[SATLUG] 32-bit vs. 64-bit

Bruce Dubbs bruce.dubbs at gmail.com
Thu May 22 14:53:16 CDT 2008

pixelnate at gmail.com wrote:
> Hey guys, I recently made the leap to Hardy Heron by way of an upgrade
> from Gutsy, and I am starting to think that I might want to do a clean
> install instead, and I have a few questions about the
> benefits/detriments of the 32-bit vs. 64-bit versions. I am currently on
> a 64-bit install, and I have run into a few problems: I cannot install
> Opera and the Flash plugin needs to use nspluginwrapper to work in a
> 64-bit Firefox., among others. So I am thinking about going back to a
> 32-bit system.
> My laptop currently has 2GB of RAM and I want to upgrade to 4GB. Will
> that be a problem with a 32-bit system? Will I be able to access all
> that memory? Will my machine be any slower? Will the power management
> give me any more battery life (long shot, but I had to ask)? Any there
> any reasons why I should want to stay on a 64-bit system? Any real
> benefits on a laptop?
> Laptop specs: 1.5Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo T5250, 2GB RAM, Santa Rosa
> chipset.

I have always questioned the need for a 64-bit system for most users.  You only 
need 64-bits if you have *more than* 4G of RAM or you want to edit very large 
files (e.g. movies) where an address space of more than 4G is useful.  Otherwise 
the problems with comparabilities such as you describe are a hassle.

   -- Bruce

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