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LMDE 32-bit vs 64-bit RAM usage

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:50 am
by tburdge222
I had read quite a few forum posts regarding the 32-bit vs 64-bit OS pros and cons. I was aware of the 4gb RAM limitation on 32-bit, as well as hindrances with heavy computational or graphic rendering operations. A few posts talked about 64-bit requiring more RAM, but I was curious how much more, so I did a little test. I installed LMDE 32-bit (686-pae) and 64-bit on separate partitions, booted them with the same startups and additional programs, and then compared the RAM usage. What I found was that the 64-bit used, on average, about 50% more RAM compared to the 32-bit.
________________________LMDE 32-bit------>LMDE 64-bit = +% increase
firefox (with same 4 tabs)_______120mb------------->174mb = +45%
cinnamon_____________________53mb--------------> 76mb = +43%
dropbox______________________35mb---------------> 52mb = +48%
plugin-container________________40mb--------------> 73mb = +82%
soffice_______________________21mb---------------> 30mb = +43%
nautilus_______________________10mb--------------> 15mb = +50%
mate-system monitor_____________5mb-------------_-> 9mb = +80%
Total of all 85 tasks____________391mb-------------->589mb = +50.6%

(I'm not sure why many of them were between +40~50%, but a few like plugin-container and mate-system-monitor were up around +80%.)

Anyway, I concluded that I want to conserve my 3gb of RAM, stick with the 32-bit for now, and wait until I have an 8gb system before hopping to the 64-bit.

Re: LMDE 32-bit vs 64-bit RAM usage

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:47 am
by nunol
That's why there is talk about the Linux x32 ABI: ... px=MTEwMTk

If you don't get in to the swap, then using 64bits is probably better for your but if you are using 64bits and you use some swap then it's probably better to go for the i686-pae kernel if the swap starts slowing down your system. All depends on how you use your computer. For my netbook with only 1GB this become a problem and I moved from Mint 12 Cinnamon 64bit's to Mint 13 Cinnamon 32bits i686-pae because sometimes while only using Firefox I would use 100-200MB of swap and with the 32bits kernel I have no such problem because it uses less RAM.

The problem of the i686-pae kernel for computers with lots for RAM is that you are still limited to 32bits (4GB) per-process. Works well with 8GB, maybe even with 16GB but could give you problems if you have more RAM. I have a machine running Mint 9 i686-pae with 8GB and I have no problem because I don't have any process needing more than 4GB of Virtual RAM, Firefox and plugin-containe use up to 2GB each but normally less than 1GB , Virtualbox sometimes uses more but still less than 4GB. The problem is if the program needs more than 4GB for process, then you need the 64bit kernel.

Re: LMDE 32-bit vs 64-bit RAM usage

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:13 pm
by tburdge222
Here is my current desktop. This is what I like -- a nice, smooth, efficient OS and DE, booting up in only 150mb of RAM.