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Author Topic: 32bit vs 64bit question  (Read 793 times)
bit
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« on: November 11, 2014, 05:54:36 PM »

This may be kind of a 'duh' question, but here goes;
If 32bit implies 32bits of data to do anything, and 64bit implies double that, then does that mean that a 64bit system will process exactly 2x as much data?
Wouldn't that make the computer run half as fast?
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eleman
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2014, 05:58:30 PM »

Nope, the bit count refers to the width of the memory addressing system. So pretty much the only difference is that 32 bit systems can address a memory space of 2^32 bits, while 64 bits can address 2^64.

So 64 bits allows you use programs which require much more memory. Think about photoshopping a 10m(eter) x 2 m banner for instance.

No other practical difference.
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Stephen66515
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2014, 06:02:10 PM »

1. Your name is appropriate for the thread.

2.
Quote
32-bit processor

The 32-bit processor was the primary processor used in all computers until the early 1990s. Intel Pentium processors and early AMD processors were 32-bit processors. The Operating System and software on a computer with a 32-bit processor is also 32-bit based, in that they work with data units that are 32 bits wide. Windows 95, 98, and XP are all 32-bit operating systems that were common on computers with 32-bit processors.
Note: A computer with a 32-bit processor cannot have a 64-bit version of an operating system installed. It can only have a 32-bit version of an operating system installed.
64-bit processor

The 64-bit computer has been around since 1961 when IBM created the IBM 7030 Stretch supercomputer. However, it was not put into use in home computers until the early 2000s. Microsoft released a 64-bit version of Windows XP to be used on computers with a 64-bit processor. Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 also come in 64-bit versions. Other software has been developed that is designed to run on a 64-bit computer, which are 64-bit based as well, in that they work with data units that are 64 bits wide.
Note: A computer with a 64-bit processor can have a 64-bit or 32-bit version of an operating system installed. However, with a 32-bit operating system, the 64-bit processor would not run at its full capability.
Note: On a computer with a 64-bit processor, you cannot run a 16-bit legacy program. Many 32-bit programs will work with a 64-bit processor and operating system, but some older 32-bit programs may not function properly, or at all, due to limited or no compatibility.
Differences between a 32-bit and 64-bit CPU

A big difference between 32-bit processors and 64-bit processors is the number of calculations per second they can perform, which affects the speed at which they can complete tasks. 64-bit processors can come in dual core, quad core, six core, and eight core versions for home computing. Multiple cores allow for an increased number of calculations per second that can be performed, which can increase the processing power and help make a computer run faster. Software programs that require many calculations to function smoothly can operate faster and more efficiently on the multi-core 64-bit processors, for the most part.
Another big difference between 32-bit processors and 64-bit processors is the maximum amount of memory (RAM) that is supported. 32-bit computers support a maximum of 3-4GB of memory, whereas a 64-bit computer can support memory amounts over 4 GB. This is important for software programs that are used for graphical design, engineering design or video editing, where many calculations are performed to render images, drawings, and video footage.
One thing to note is that 3D graphic programs and games do not benefit much, if at all, from switching to a 64-bit computer, unless the program is a 64-bit program. A 32-bit processor is adequate for any program written for a 32-bit processor. In the case of computer games, you'll get a lot more performance by upgrading the video card instead of getting a 64-bit processor.
In the end, 64-bit processors are becoming more and more commonplace in home computers. Most manufacturers build computers with 64-bit processors due to cheaper prices and because more users are now using 64-bit operating systems and programs. Computer parts retailers are offering fewer and fewer 32-bit processors and soon may not offer any at all.

Sauce: http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch001498.htm
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2014, 06:36:18 PM »

...
No other practical difference.

Forgive a Turbo-Newb butting where he doesn't belong, but I think it makes a TON of "practical" difference!!

When you change a "bit" addressing amount, you unlock things that weren't possible before. Lots of examples. Discuss.

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Deozaan
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2014, 06:47:28 PM »

Another thing is that 64-bit programs automatically take up more memory because they need larger pointers or need to allocate larger something something or something. I'm no expert at it, so I am probably wrong about something here.

But the amount of extra memory you have to work with more than makes up for the little bit of extra memory it takes up to allocate/point to the memory.
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eleman
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2014, 06:49:16 PM »

...
No other practical difference.

Forgive a Turbo-Newb butting where he doesn't belong, but I think it makes a TON of "practical" difference!!

When you change a "bit" addressing amount, you unlock things that weren't possible before. Lots of examples. Discuss.

I say none, you say lots. I believe the onus lies with you, rather than me, for non-existence is a tad harder to prove than proving existence. See the debate on agnosticism.

I really think the only practical difference for 4.99 percent of the population is the address space limit. There maybe a few others for the 0.01 percent, that I am not aware of, and that you will hopefully name. For 95 percent, no difference whatsoever between 32 and 64 bits.

ed.: removed a "the". I will never master these things.
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2014, 07:17:37 PM »


Complex post Eleman.

I say, review the history of 8,16,32,64 bit systems and see what all helped improve. No doubt, for each addressing change, backup hardware had to scream along at Moore's Law and more, but somewhere in there, the addressing matters. I think I can (barely) cite the case of the C128 that had to do hard bank switching to max out to the limit, and if you just look at 8,16,32 bit games, you see stuff.

64 bit hit a new realm. For the least of examples, it took a stratospheric boost to chess, because a 64 bit board could do things no other set could do before.

Then you have X today's games, whatever they are. A little work needed in modeling art, and we're still "only" at 64 bit. Like it matters. If anything CS has taught us, when we jump a Bit-Level, the game changes. Who's gonna post the first 7 bits of 128 bit news?

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Shades
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2014, 07:28:14 AM »

Compiling software for 64-bit takes, in practically all cases, a whole lot longer (C++/Embarcadero).

And not that many programmers have a lot of experience with (efficiently) programming for multi-threaded applications. Something modern 64-bit processors are cut-out to do. When that happens you will see some progress again. Not as much as you think, though. Multi-threading requires extra computational overhead, level of efficiency will differ between applications and all this hardly matters if the OS these applications run on doesn't assign the available computational horsepower appropriately.

In my experience Windows isn't that good with automatically assigning different cores to different processes/applications. When I take a look at the i7 processor with task manager on my database server I always see one core under huge load, while the others are more or less idling, even when I run several different Oracle databases and a VM at the same time on it. All installed software is 64-bit. Using several instances of 7-zip at once (to archive database dump files) does put a load on every core though.

Going out on a limb here: assumingly Linux/BSD operating systems are better at this, as these OS's are more commonly used in academic fields and super computing. I don't think that smartphones or tablets make efficient use of their multi-core processors either. With the financial risks and returns as they are currently, you won't see this happening (yet) in consumer devices, such as PC's, mobile devices or consoles.

It used to be the case the "techies" were allowed to show the best they could do with the hardware they made. Hence the big jumps with the increase of bits. However, with the vested interests of today, financial and marketing departments won't let them anymore. Trading innovation for evolution...
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2014, 03:13:14 PM »

I agree with Shades it will take awhile to catch up.  One thing we may see is a return to multiprocessing rather than multithreading.  When resources were relatively scarce it was a good idea to spawn another lightweight thread rather than another process.  But with 64 bit one could let the OS handle more of the address space integrity chores and just fork another process rather than doing all the semaphore/mutex stuff by hand.

Also with huge data space one could do things like map an entire 16 GB or larger DB file into ram instead of relying of the caching algorithms.  The difference from 32 bit to 64 bit is vast compared to say 24 bit address space of 286 type systems to 32 bit.  So it stands to reason it may take a bit longer(is there any plausible deniability if I say no pun intended?) to utilize all the resources.

As for the holding back by executive decision that may be a factor also.  I don't have the experience to make an educated guess how much of one though.

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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2014, 10:20:11 PM »

It's just that I'm running an aging machine in an endless game of catch-up on ever newer more complex stuff.
Especially after adding MalWareBytes, everything slowed down (but I wouldn't be without it now, after I saw it in action blocking a few nasty little PUPs).
Aside from getting a whole new machine, the best I've come up with is getting a faster HD.
But I've seen reports that SSDs have a fatal flaw that their memory slowly starts to decay somehow, with individual sectors either failing or working more slowly over time.
So I chose a 10K rpm Western Digital last time I got an HD, rather than an SSD.
But one is never sure what to decide, except when you have enough cash; then you can just ignorantly throw money at the problem until something works.
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