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Author Topic: Will 64-bit make a difference?  (Read 3277 times)

zridling

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Will 64-bit make a difference?
« on: April 28, 2006, 05:03:26 PM »
64-bit operating systems, 64-bit hardware, 64-bit software. How long before everything's just as slow as 32-bit?
(Yea, I'm directing that snide to Adobe and anyone else who can bring a fully-loaded 4G RAM system to a crawl. Seems like programmers consume whatever hardware resources is given to them, no matter how much it is. Much like my old mom does her house.)
« Last Edit: April 28, 2006, 05:14:39 PM by zridling »

Rover

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Re: Will 64-bit make a difference?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2006, 10:44:25 PM »
Yes it does.  64 bit xeons are plentiful these days.  Using VMware, I can run several 32-bit virtual servers on a dual 64-bit Xeon system and seeing around 5% CPU utilization. :up:

The slow thing currently is the HD access.  PCI-X has increased bus speed, we just need fast hard drives.
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zridling

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Re: Will 64-bit make a difference?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2006, 01:49:37 AM »
Cool! I'm ready for that talking computer in Star Trek, or better, just implant Data's brain in my skull!

mouser

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Re: Will 64-bit make a difference?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2006, 02:24:06 AM »
zaine we implanted his brain in your skull last year.  you don't remember?
I'll prove it, let me ask you a question only data could answer in 1 ms and see how long it takes you.
what is 345634987398745395983765983465987*2384623986428974629874628923?

Carol Haynes

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Re: Will 64-bit make a difference?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2006, 04:25:25 AM »
LOL

Actually I think Zaine has a point - most 32 bit systems these days are as slow as 8 bit systems were in the 70s. When 16 bit systems appeared for domestic use they seemed really whizzo. I can still remember managing a 25 seat multi user mini computer that had 1 x 32 bit CPU and 4 Mb (that's not a typo) of memory and a fairly tiny hard disc by today's standards.

All software writers expand to fill the capacity of the system. (It is the same law that says it doesn't matter when you start to write and essay you will get it done on time and fill all the intervening time up - and in my case if I leave it to the last minute I usually get a better mark for it too!)

Does Microsoft Office (eg) actually acheive much more than Office 2 when it was released which came on a few floppies? There have been a lot of esoteric functions added but little of real core value and yet now you get umpteen CDs and it requires a mssive machine to do the same job. I am not picking on MS on this one but it is typical of application development. The fact that anything using the .Net framework (even a Hello World program) requires a 21Mb DLL installed says it all!

gjehle

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Re: Will 64-bit make a difference?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2006, 03:46:29 PM »
it is not so much about speed, as it is about address space (for both, physical and virtual memory)
also, just loading your box full of ram wont help in terms of speedup after a certain point

one main reason this (switch to 64bit) was done is the server market, where you have to address enormous amounts of storage/memory.
another thing is: consumers expect of their software to work with any filesize, you want to open up a 2GB or 4GB file.. well that's not trivial, the 4GB limit of 32bit pointers can be "fixed" using 64bit offsets (slower on 32bit machines) but you can't load that _whole_ thing into your virtual memory, since that one isn't able to address it. no way fixing this without nasty workarounds.

the end-consumer is just used to pay off the development costs by buying high priced CPUs in the beginning.

once the chip manufacturing plant amortised itself and the manufacturers are able to better control power consumption the same chips will be used in embedded systems in a few years.

embedded systems are the real market, not consumer PCs or servers.
after all almost all manufactured processors world wide are used in the embedded market (try to think of something electronic you bought lately that doesn't have a processor (vacuum cleaners have em, your coffee machine of course, the dish washing maschine.. all of em)).
the embedded stuff just limps behind the others by a few years.


it basically comes down to this:

1) the server people needed more address space
2) the consumer is told they need 64bit (a few actually do, very few), and they are willing to pay a high price for the new CPUs, paying off the development (see gamers, they are willing to pay everything)
3) the embedded market will profit from cheap 64bit cores in a few years

zridling

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Re: Will 64-bit make a difference?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2006, 11:40:29 PM »
Good points, gjehle. One thing I consistently gripe about is the inability of many programs to handle large files, be they documents, text files, database files, or even photos. Everyone tells me I don't need it, but if they worked on the files I'm given to work with every week, 64-bit couldn't come fast enough, assuming the code doesn't eat it up.

f0dder

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Re: Will 64-bit make a difference?
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2006, 12:10:55 PM »
Hrm, 64bit embedded? I was under the impression that the "latest" x86 processors used for embedded systems would be plain pentiums, because things like out-of-order execution can make it hard to be *really* precise (as in hard realtime operating systems).

Supporting large files on 32bit operating systems isn't really that bad, developers just need to stop being lazy and thing that they can MemMap() entire files, or represent filesize in "unsigned int" or size_t.
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