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Re: 64-bit netbooks with Debian linux

Ron Johnson put forth on 5/5/2010 8:56 AM:
> On 05/05/2010 08:49 AM, Camaleón wrote:
>> On Wed, 05 May 2010 09:42:03 +1000, Alex Samad wrote:
>>> right tools for the job, I never ever thought about putting 64bit os on
>>> my netbook - it physically limited to 2G of memory
>> 64-bits kernels are not only intended for systems with tons of ram. Those
>> kernels usually have enabled the "nx bit" and AFAIK, only 32 bits PAE
>> kernels enable such feature.
>> BTW, my Shuttle box has also a ram limitation of 2 GiB (and currently
>> using only 1 GiB) but has installed "amd64". It runs fine, without
>> noticeable drawbacks.
> The question, though, is: "What -- beyond geekness -- is the *benefit*
> of amd64 in 'low' RAM systems?"

Very little, if any, benefit for the vast majority of apps.  Cache use is
more efficient with 32bit kernel and app binaries due to smaller code,
pointer, and data size.  x86-64 binaries double the width and number of
GPRs, so you get more efficient in-core code execution, though cache
performance takes a hit, opposite of the 32bit case.  For the vast majority
of day-day applications such as web and mail the user won't notice a
difference.  That said...

I happen to be resizing (downsizing, for web page use) about 150 digital
camera .jpg files of ~3000 x ~2000 pixel dimension on a 32bit system using
ImageMagick.  I can only assume that the 64bit version of this binary would
run more than a bit faster than the 32bit version.  The system isn't x86-64
capable so I can't do a comparison.  Image manipulation is one area where
x86-64 binaries would definitely have an advantage over i386 (i686)
binaries.  Gimp would definitely perform better in many operations with
x86-64.  PDF readers would also probably run a bit faster.


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