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Re: [K12OSN] AMD64 K12LTSP



David Trask wrote:

"Support list for opensource software in schools." <k12osn redhat com> on
Tuesday, January 4, 2005 at 11:35 AM +0000 wrote:


Over vacation my laptop died. I bought a shiny new HP Pavilion zv5000
with an amd64 cpu in it. I should have some sort of K12LTSP/64 support
in the near future...

-Eric



Eric...pardon my ignorance, but what are the primary benefits of running 64 bit as opposed to 32 bit in a K12LTSP environment? Really curious as I might budget for a new server....

David N. Trask
Technology Teacher/Coordinator
Vassalboro Community School
dtrask vcs u52 k12 me us
(207)923-3100

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Pardon me tossing my 2 cents worth in, but...
The primary reason I have selected the amd64 chip over the 32bit version is the speed / temperature tradeoff. The 64 bit architecture has more registers and fewer stages in the instruction pipeline, so when code is compiled in that form, it can run more efficiently. This can be seen on benchmarks under Linux, where the 64 bit OS can be used.


Becasue the chip is more efficient at processing instructions, they have marketted them as "3800+" or whatever, to represent the equivalent pentium4 speed. In fact, the processor is clocked much lower. The 3800+ unit is clocked at 2.4 GHz.

Another architectural thing on the amd chips is that they clock themselves lower when not in use. This cuts the effective operating temperature. If you have to sit beside the server, it is quieter. That, and energy savings.

The last, and probably most important, thing is that the 64 bit chips can access far more memory than the 32 bit chips. 32 bit chips are limited to 4GB of RAM visible to the processor at a time (remember bank-switching?). The 64 bit chip can address much more memory at a time.

The 64 bit chip can still run 32-bit binaries, which is good for running 32-bit versions of the OS (whichever one you use). In fact, you can mix 32-bit binaries and 64-bit binaries, as long as you have library support and are running the 64-bit OS.

The net result is that the price/performance equation is in for the AMD 64 chips right now, although that may change. An equivalent Pentium chip is probably just as good for most of us, until the RAM requirement ramps up too high.

Angus Carr.


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