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John W

32bit or 64bit 2008.1?

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Hi

I'm currently running suse 10.3 but am going to change to mandriva because I have and am having too many problems. I went for 64bit suse 10.3 and also selected the option to be able to run 32 bit code. What I've found is that 64bit 10.3 comes with some kde4 which doesn't work but can be disabled and that the updater always goes for 64bit code some of which is also kde 4 and doesn't work. It will offer and accept 32 bit in the end but can then find that it can't install all of it.

 

I run some obscure code from time to time and have to install from source and I'm wondering given the above if I would be better off sticking with 32bit. My machine has 2 used pci x 64bit slots, nvidia pci express video, 4gig of ram and a core 2 duo processor. These days it's hard to find what's needed for what and I'm hoping some one on here will be able to enlighten me. I noticed for instance that debian 386 installs as i686 on virtualbox. Confusion rules. Just what do I need to install to make full use of my machine and if it's 64bit what are the downsides?

 

John

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There is absolutely no reason to run 64-bit OS on such an average machine... you have nothing to gain and quite a few annoyances to resolve.

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There is absolutely no reason to run 64-bit OS on such an average machine...
Ouch! With my single core 2Ghz, 1Mb of ram and 128Mb graphics card I must be running a souped up calculator. :lol2:

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There is absolutely no reason to run 64-bit OS on such an average machine... you have nothing to gain and quite a few annoyances to resolve.

 

64bit pci-x with scsi raid installed in 2 slots isn't average. Perhaps you can elaborate on what is used address wise when 2008.1 i386 is installed. I would hope that it will run i686 but still like many do not really know what that means other than changes to the instruction set. The web is strangely silent on just how much of the ram and bus will be used. Winoze xp for instance will not use more than 3gig of ram and as far as I'm aware doesn't fully support 64bit cards either.

 

John

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Sorry I don't have any numbers for you, but I can confidently say your pc will happily run i686. The i386 and i686 is a reference to the class of intel processors (intel did rule the roost for a number of years) the distros can run on. See here for more info:

 

i386: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_80386

i686: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_P6

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Unless you have 8G or more of RAM, as well as pure 64-bit hardware (which means not having to enable PAE to utilize your RAM configuration) it's pointless to use 64-bit OS.

And yes, this machine is 100% average. Mine was middle of the field when I bought it some 2,5 ears ago: Core 2 Duo 6600, 2 GB DDR2 (upgraded to 4GB recently), Intel SATA-RAID, Intel 965 chipset.

Mandriva 2008.1 is i586, not i386 optimized- factly, I think it won't install in 386 or 486 machines (don't have one to verify, just test it yourself).

By having PAE disabled you will not be able to utilize the whole 4GB of installed RAM (just a part of it, something between 2.9 and 3.4GB), but the performance will be much better than with PAE enabled and the whole 4GB of RAM utilized.

And, regarding your question: ANY Intel or AMD machine with architecture i586 or better will run Mandriva 2008.1 32-bit without any issues.

Edited by scarecrow

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Ok but the pci x and the scsi raid is 64 bit hardware. This isn't on board sata raid. I have that too but for my set up it's better used in another configuration. The board will also take 4 2gig dimms (not that I will ever fit them). It's one step down from a server board.

 

I'm still interested in this but accept that there seems to be a problem with the range of available application software on suse 10.3 86_64 at least and that it isn't a simple matter of compiling from source as some areas seem to suggest. That would lead to dependency hell on suse at least. They offer the option on installation but make some sweeping decisions about what 32bit code will be run.

 

John

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If you have 4GB of RAM, I would suggest you use a 64 bit distro. People always seem to claim there are lots of problems with it. I don't have problems with flash, java or any of the other crap that is stated about a 64 bit distro.

 

Since enabling PAE on a 32 bit distro to access the 4GB of ram would be a performance issue, is why I use a 64 bit distro. You can install 32bit and 64bit programs even if you want to get around the problem that javaws doesn't exist in 64 bit java, only 32 bit java, for example. However, 64 bit java is on the way. So simply put, there is no reason not to use a 64 bit distro. My take on it is this, if you want things to be fixed, use it and the more people that use it will ensure that support for 64 bit is added. If nobody used Linux, Adobe would not have made the Adobe Reader for Linux!!! A while ago it never existed.

 

So now that we use Linux, start using 64 bit to get the support we need, rather than having it fail because people state there is no reason to use it. Average hardware or not. If it supports 64 bit, and you need it because of 64 bit hardware, or 4GB of ram and higher, go for it!!! :)

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