The value of 64-bit vs 32-bit

DJ Lucas dj at
Thu Nov 27 19:46:44 PST 2008

Bryan Kadzban wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 09:23:41PM -0500, Jeremy Huntwork wrote:
>> * Any comments on the details provided in the above article, 
>> specifically in how that might relate to LFS?
> Other than "that 3GB number is only applicable to Windows anyway", not
> really.  :-P
>> * If you were to benchmark 32-bit vs 64-bit on an LFS system, what would 
>> your tests include?
> I wouldn't bother benchmarking it.  Every single time that a bit width
> increase has come along so far, it has eventually won out (except Itanium,
> which came along too early and without enough attention paid to having
> some sort of backward compatibility).
Not exactly...this is the third time that Intel had to take a step 
backwards because they didn't care about hardware cost.  8086-8088, 
80386-80386SX, Itanium-whatever (I pretty much don't understand the new 
Intel naming convention, nor care since AMD took the time to nip both 
cost and compatibility in it's initial 64 release).

> I don't think it's a question of
> whether people should use 64-bit; I think it's a question of when they
> will eventually move to it en masse.
Took about 11 years last time before 32 was the default and 16 was 
'legacy' (using NT-4 and the 80386 as a rough benchmark, some may prefer 
Win98 as a the timestamp for consumers and NT-3.1 for business, but NT4 
was where large adoption took place in my fuzzy memory, I was very green 
at that time).   We are over halfway there.  Fortunately, Windows isn't 
my chosen baseline anymore, though they are there now on the server 
side...the consumer OS is still flipping.

> Of course, if you have to choose between the two bit widths (i.e. if we
> don't support multilib -- and I realize that would be a lot of work!),
> it may still make sense to go with 32-bit, given the huge set of
> programs already written out there.  But if you can run both, I see no
> reason not to.
At this time, multilib is unfortunately the proper way to go IMO...I 
just haven't taken into account how difficult it is yet.

-- DJ Lucas

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