Chris Adams wrote:
It's not silly today. My company switched to 64-bit a year and a half ago because the java process which drives our application was running out of memory (we hold a lot of data in memory) at larger clients, and we couldn't make it any larger because of the 4G process-size limit. In short, the need to use 64-bit really does occur now in the real world.Also, as things grow and you add RAM, i386 tops out at 4G unless you use PAE (which still has a 4G process-size limit and has a performance impact), while x86_64 can handle much more RAM (more than any consumer motherboard can hold today by far). It may sound silly today, but RAM usage is only going up (because programs do more, we run more programs simultaneously, and because of ever-present bloat).
Unfortunately, we have a lot of appliances at customer sites which can't run 64-bit, because some have CPUs so old that they don't support it and others don't have enough RAM. So we're stuck supporting both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of our appliance platform for the foreseeable future (ugh).