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Re: Intel(r) Core™2 Duo Processors"



Dotan Cohen wrote:
> What exactly is considered pushing the limits of 32 bit?

1. Stuff that needs to use more than 2 GiB per process.

2. Stuff that spends considerable amounts of time working with very
large integers (e.g. cryptography).

3. Stuff that *really* spends a lot of time number-crunching *may*
benefit.

With 2 and 3, you'll only see a difference if your PC actually spends
enough time doing these sorts of calculations. If a PC can encrypt or
decrypt data faster than it can get it over the network, then there's
little advantage to making the encryption much faster.

The difference between 2 and 3 is that support for 64 bit integer maths
can make a lot of performance difference when you're dealing with very
large numbers. So you can see the benefits more easily. For situation 3, 
you're merely reaping the performance benefits of having more
registers -- depending on what you're doing, that may give you a 10%
speedup, or may not give you a speedup at all.

> I'm also
> considering upgrading to the Duo processor, and I'm not sure how to
> decide whether to go with i386 or x86_64. I mostly use Kmail, Firefox,
> F-Spot, Skype, Kate, AmaroK, and the K Office suit. Every now and then
> I'll watch a DVD in Kaffiene, burn a DVD or CD in K3B, or edit a photo
> in Photoshop on wine. What benefits will I see with 64 bit?

FWIW, I've been running x86_64 Fedora for a couple of years now, and
have come across very few things *I* would consider problems -- but then
I don't really want support for proprietary stuff.

Seriously -- what benefits do you expect to see from upgrading at all?

James.

-- 
E-mail:     james@ | Never ask, "Oh, why were things so much better in the old
aprilcottage.co.uk | days?" It's not an intelligent question.
                   |     -- Ecclesiastes 7 v. 10 (GNB)


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