32-bit vs. 64-bit

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oceanfirehawk
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32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by oceanfirehawk »

Hi guys,

I have a quick question:

I recently bought a Dell Studio Mini-Tower, Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 (2.5GHz, 4MB) 6GB DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz.

Should I use Linux MInt 32-bit or 64-bit? I saw on the download section that it says 64-bit is less stable than 32-bit. But it says that 32-bit supports 64-bit processors.
Will 32-bit use my 6GB of RAM? How about my quad processors?

Thanks,
oceanfirehawk

nukm

Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by nukm »

The 32 bit will show about 3.2 gigs of memory. The 64 bit would show nearly 6 gb. I run 7x64 on Intel & AMD platforms, one with 8 gb RAM. It is stable. I run 5 LTS on the same platforms. It is stable.

Run either one you want or both. The primary thing you need watch is the graphics arrangement and updates. Which ever you install, set Mintupdate at level 2 until you see how things are going.

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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by oceanfirehawk »

nukm wrote:The 32 bit will show about 3.2 gigs of memory. The 64 bit would show nearly 6 gb. I run 7x64 on Intel & AMD platforms, one with 8 gb RAM. It is stable. I run 5 LTS on the same platforms. It is stable.

Run either one you want or both. The primary thing you need watch is the graphics arrangement and updates. Which ever you install, set Mintupdate at level 2 until you see how things are going.
So, will my the 32-bit allow me to use my hardware to their full capability?

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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by Aging Technogeek »

A 32 bit OS is only capable of addressing about 3.25 Gig of ram without special help so you will have almost 5 Gb sitting idle with a 32 bit OS. Other than ram availability, most hardware will run equally well with a 64 bit or a 32 bit OS. I have a desktop PC that originally ran Vista 64. I have run Mint 6 and 7 32 and 64 bit OS on it with equal success.

The stability thing is minimal. Its like saying the granite is more stable than sandstone - it's true but for most purposes, the difference in stability levels is negligible.

The major negative for most users with 64 bit systems is increased ram usage to perform the same tasks as a 32 bit system.
examples:

On my system (Core 2 quad, 6 gig ram) 32 bit Mint 7 Main uses 219 Meg of ram just to display the desktop without any apps running. 64 bit Mint takes 290 Meg.

With Firefox open, 32 bit ram usage is 240 Meg. 64 bit is 344 Meg.

With 8 Gb available, this difference may seem minimal to you but for many users less well endowed with ram, it is a deal breaker for 64 bit OS.
Last edited by Aging Technogeek on Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by rippedcb »

oceanfirehawk wrote: So, will my the 32-bit allow me to use my hardware to their full capability?
NO 32-bit will not allow you to use ur hardware to its full capability.. u'd only be able to use about half ur RAM nevermind the full capability of ur processor.
I use 64 Bit gloria on this laptop and haven't had a single problem..
if i were u i'd download 64bit first and run it as a live CD and make sure everything that you need working works.. if not u can always switch to 32 bit.. but i haven't had a single problem

CB
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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by Aging Technogeek »

To answer a point I missed when I originally read the first post, as I said above I have run both 32 and 64 bit systems on my desktop. I have an Intel Core 2 Quad processor installed. System monitor shows core activity (core loading and load sharing) to be almost identical for the two OS. 32 Bit uses a slightly lower percentage of core capacity, but it still uses all four cores approximately equally.

I'm not really arguing for one OS or the other. I've used both successfully and like both. I'm dual booting both on two separate 64 bit capable systems now. I am just throwing out some empirical data I have discovered through my personal testing and use in the spirit of promoting a lively and informative discussion.
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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by rippedcb »

Aging Technogeek wrote:A 32 bit OS is only capable of addressing about 3.25 Gig of ram without special help so you will have almost 5 Gb sitting idle with a 32 bit OS. Other than ram availability, most hardware will run equally well with a 64 bit or a 32 bit OS. I have a desktop PC that originally ran Vista 64. I have run Mint 6 and 7 32 and 64 bit OS on it with equal success.

On my system (Core 2 quad, 6 gig ram) 32 bit Mint 7 Main uses 219 Meg of ram just to display the desktop without any apps running. 64 bit Mint takes 290 Meg.

With Firefox open, 32 bit ram usage is 240 Meg. 64 bit is 344 Meg.

With 8 Gb available, this difference may seem minimal to you but for many users less well endowed with ram, it is a deal breaker for 64 bit OS.
Interesting observations Ageing Technogeek :) but that small difference in ram usage saved is more then compensated by have twice as much physical ram available.. no?? wouldn't someone with 6gb's of ram still be better off using 64bit regardless of the amount or load on RAM??
I only have 3GB ram on this laptop and i'm still using the 64bit OS and find it more responsive then 32bit that i have on my desktop which has 4gb's of ram and a faster processor (of course i understand that all 4gb's of my ram is not being used on my desktop)The stability thing is minimal. Its like saying the granite is more stable than sandstone - it's true but for most purposes, the difference in stability levels is negligible.

The major negative for most users with 64 bit systems is increased ram usage to perform the same tasks as a 32 bit system.
thanks :D
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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by Aging Technogeek »

rippedcb,

In a way, you are comparing apples and oranges when you compare OS functions with 64 bit on one machine and 32 bit on another with different hardware. As I said earlier, I have used both OS on the same machine (and on more than one machine) in dual boot and for day to day operation I find no significant difference in speed or functionality.

I have a Dell Inspiron 530 with a Core 2 Quad clocked at 2.4 Ghz, 6 Gb of ddr2 ram and a 640 Gb hard drive. If I'm not doing something that requires more than 3 Gb of ram, I normally boot into 32 bit Mint. 64 bit gives me no improvement in performance. It boots a little faster, but that is due to the 64 bit OS being installed on the outside of the drive with the32 bit installed inside of it. I have switched positions on the drive and found that the 32 bit boots just as fast as the 64 bit when it is first in the partition table.

I also have an HP Pavilion dv9500t running a Core 2 Duo at 2.4 Ghz, 2 Gb of ddr2, and 2 X 120 Gb, 7200 RPM drives. I'm multi-booting Mint 7 Main, 64 bit, KDE, and XFCE on it and I usually use XFCE if I don't need any special capabilities available only on one of the other OS. ( This is my testing rig. I use it to try things out before I recommend them to Posters n this forum).

I've been running these systems with these or similar set ups since Mint 6 came out and I can't say I've found any real benefit in using 64 bit all the time. I use it when I need its special capabilities. But normally, 32 bit Mint serves me quite well.
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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by AK Dave »

oceanfirehawk wrote:Should I use Linux MInt 32-bit or 64-bit? I saw on the download section that it says 64-bit is less stable than 32-bit. But it says that 32-bit supports 64-bit processors.
I suspect that you misunderstand the contextual use of the word "stable".

I suspect that you mis-apply "stable" as meaning that the 64bit version is more liable to crash and burn: unstable, in the same way that home brewed kitchen explosives are likely to blow up in your face.

In the context of linux software, "stable" means that the underlying CODE and FEATURES of the software are not subject to change and that the code has been frozen. By contract, "unstable" means that the CODE and FEATURES are aa work in progress that is subject to change.

In the context given, Windows ME is considered "stable" because the code has been frozen. It isn't getting any better. Don't hold your breath waiting for it to get better. But in Windows parlayance, ME is considered "unstable worthless bat-dung" because it is subject to random errors and is likely to blow up in your face resulting in grievous loss of data and personal bodily harm.

Chemists like to talk about stable and unstable reactions, meaning that the reaction proceeds (or does not) in a predictable linear fashion. Or stable/unstable states of material, meaning that a change or reaction is (or is not) likely to occur at that state.

Linux code is often described as "unstable" because it is a work in progress that is actively being coded or developed. In this context, the entire Ubuntu family and all derivatives (including Mint) are "unstable" because Ubuntu itself is a derivative of the "unstable" branch of Debian development.
Last edited by AK Dave on Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by Kaye »

Condensing a few things:
1. 32-bit will not be able to use your full system specs.
2. Unless you are doing some kind of scientific computations or intense graphical work, you will most likely never need more than 3.25 gigs of RAM (the amount that a 32 bit system will give you)
3. 32 and 64 bit are mostly equal as far as normal usage goes. As AK Dave mentioned, some of the 64-bit components are under constant revision, meaning they have a slightly higher chance of becoming broken with an update. This could, of course, be circumvented by not updating until the latest version has been tested.

It's pretty much up to you whether you want to use the 32 bit or the 64 bit systems. You won't notice any real difference if you're doing normal computing tasks (browsing the web, watching videos, writing word documents, etc). I've personally decided to use 32-bit only because it's the main edition with the best support, but ultimately you should try both and decide which feels better to you.
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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by magician11 »

So almost a year has passed since the last post by Kaye, and I'm back to wondering the same thing. This seems to be the one thing I have to think about the most before installing, as it's not as easy to change my mind later and simply uninstall as if it was a package...

The Ubuntu docs seem to recommend installing 64bit if the machine is capable of it.. https://help.ubuntu.com/community/32bit_and_64bit

My machine is capable of running 64bit. Not sure what my processor is exactly (Intel i3), as it seems to list 4 of them. It has 4 Gb of memory on it, and I'm unlikely to upgrade it on this laptop??

Was just wondering if there was a significant change in thinking about this topic over the last year? I'm currently running the 64 bit version of Ubuntu and haven't had any hassles. So maybe just stick with that?

I'm looking forward to trying out the new Mint which looks like it'll be released soon! Just wondering which version (32bit or 64bit) to start with! :D
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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by Aging Technogeek »

A little surprised to see this topic reactivated after all the discussion last year. For myself, I still use 32 bit Mint Gnome or Xfce as my daily driver, but I normally have a copy of the 64 bit version installed also. Still no significant difference in function noticed in day to day operation. If you are doing a lot of memory intensive work, like astrophysics or video editing, you will probably benefit from the 64 bit version's ability to handle more ram. Otherwise I see no benefit in 64 bit over 32 bit.

And, on the subject or ram availability, the 32 bit Mint 10 RC will, if connected to the internet during installation, detect the presence of more than 3.3 GB of ram and automatically install the PAE module to the kernel that allows 32 bit systems to address more than 8GB of ram.
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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by magician11 »

Aging Technogeek wrote:A little surprised to see this topic reactivated after all the discussion last year. For myself, I still use 32 bit Mint Gnome or Xfce as my daily driver, but I normally have a copy of the 64 bit version installed also. Still no significant difference in function noticed in day to day operation. If you are doing a lot of memory intensive work, like astrophysics or video editing, you will probably benefit from the 64 bit version's ability to handle more ram. Otherwise I see no benefit in 64 bit over 32 bit.

And, on the subject or ram availability, the 32 bit Mint 10 RC will, if connected to the internet during installation, detect the presence of more than 3.3 GB of ram and automatically install the PAE module to the kernel that allows 32 bit systems to address more than 8GB of ram.
So as I have 4Gb of RAM, it'll install the module, but the module won't make a difference as I don't have more than 8Gb of RAM!? :D

Thanks for the feedback. It looks like I'll stay with the 32bit OS versions for now.

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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by Cheesethief »

magician11 wrote:So almost a year has passed since the last post by Kaye, and I'm back to wondering the same thing. This seems to be the one thing I have to think about the most before installing, as it's not as easy to change my mind later and simply uninstall as if it was a package...

The Ubuntu docs seem to recommend installing 64bit if the machine is capable of it.. https://help.ubuntu.com/community/32bit_and_64bit

My machine is capable of running 64bit. Not sure what my processor is exactly (Intel i3), as it seems to list 4 of them. It has 4 Gb of memory on it, and I'm unlikely to upgrade it on this laptop??

Was just wondering if there was a significant change in thinking about this topic over the last year? I'm currently running the 64 bit version of Ubuntu and haven't had any hassles. So maybe just stick with that?

I'm looking forward to trying out the new Mint which looks like it'll be released soon! Just wondering which version (32bit or 64bit) to start with! :D
Just so you know your system, you have an Intel Core i3 Dual Core processor rated at 2.13GHz. I am not totally sure why it lists four cores, but I think that is because your CPU supports hyper-threading (meaning as in that you only have 2 physical CPUs and 2 virtual CPUs).

PAE will be good if you have more than 3GB of RAM. I am not sure what the maximum RAM it sees is, but it will be able to utilize all 4GB of your RAM.
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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by jesica »

I say 23 bit
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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by Cheesethief »

jesica wrote:I say 23 bit
A lolwut?
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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by grey1960envoy »

I have A question as to my own laptop (a Dell inspiron 1525)all stock except for the Ram I installed 4GB instead of the original 3GB and a 320 GB 7200rpm HDD.would I be able to notice any difference between the 32& 64 version? Presently I am running mint 9 my first endeavor into Linux fully!Goodbye Bilk Greedygates
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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by tdockery97 »

jesica wrote:I say 23 bit
:lol: This whole discussion makes about that much sense. Unless you are doing scientific calculations, heavy number crunching, video encoding etc. that most of us aren't doing, 32 bit works just as well as 64 bit. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it :P
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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by grey1960envoy »

What no 46???OK I'll trust your judgement and I still say goodbye to bilk ya for all I can gates (we have had enough of highway robbery with the taxes we pay to keep the crooks in parliament here in Canaduh!
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Re: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Post by tdockery97 »

grey1960envoy wrote:What no 46???OK I'll trust your judgement and I still say goodbye to bilk ya for all I can gates (we have had enough of highway robbery with the taxes we pay to keep the crooks in parliament here in Canaduh!
I thought only we had that problem. :lol:
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