64 or 32 bit?

M

Michael Hobson

Guest
Hello,

I aminterested in trying Linux Mint. I have a 64 bit AMD desktop with 500gb but last time it crashed I could only find a 32 bit XP OS disk to reload which it is still running on. If I want to load Mint to try, should I try the 32 or 64 bit version?

Thanks,

Michael
 


D

DevynCJohnson

Guest
64-bit.

If you have problems again, then try a different Linux distro - Ubuntu ;)
 
P

pane-free

Guest
How old is the AMD cpu?
When in doubt, I go with 32-bit, especially on older machines.
Also, how much RAM is installed?

If an older machine and wanting to use any 'buntu-based distro, go with the LTS version, as a suggestion. With Mint, this is "Maya."
 
M

MikeyD

Guest
64-bit, and really shouldn't be using 32-bit if you want to get the most out of your computer.
The "bit precision" I guess of your PC is really based on the motherboard, memory, CPU, and software of your PC (there are also still benefits of 64bit vs 32bit computing with PCs running 4GBs memory, and you cannot properly use more than 4GB of memory without a 64-bit processor and accompanying hardware. So if you have more than 4GB memory and you're running 32-bit software it won't be accessible to running software, and pretty much worthless.) You need hardware to take advantage of the larger values, memory addresses, and datapaths of 64 bits, so if you do you might as well use 64-bit software to take advantage of the storage and performance improvements when possible.
 
R

ryanvade

Guest
64-bit, and really shouldn't be using 32-bit if you want to get the most out of your computer.
The "bit precision" I guess of your PC is really based on the motherboard, memory, CPU, and software of your PC (there are also still benefits of 64bit vs 32bit computing with PCs running 4GBs memory, and you cannot properly use more than 4GB of memory without a 64-bit processor and accompanying hardware. So if you have more than 4GB memory and you're running 32-bit software it won't be accessible to running software, and pretty much worthless.) You need hardware to take advantage of the larger values, memory addresses, and datapaths of 64 bits, so if you do you might as well use 64-bit software to take advantage of the storage and performance improvements when possible.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_Address_Extension
 
M

MikeyD

Guest
True, but PAE has to do with the chipset, and doesn't carry over to 32-bit software (at least not as well). Under Design:

The 32-bit size of the virtual address is not changed, so regular application software continues to use instructions with 32-bit addresses and (in a flat memory model) is limited to 4 gigabytes of virtual address space.Operating systems supporting this mode use page tables to map the regular 4 GB address space into the physical memory, which depending on the operating system may be as big as 64 GB. The mapping is typically applied separately for each process, so that the extra memory is useful even though no single regular application can access it all simultaneously.
Luckily, I believe most Linux versions use PAE kernels by default, but this will generally improve memory addressing of the overall system, but not for individual programs/processes.
I'm also not sure if PAE fully uses the increased number/size of processor registers that a 64-bit CPU has over its 32-bit counterpart, but I don't think so, which means you're still not getting the most out of your CPU.
 


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