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Guessing - but it seems that 32-PAE is going to be much slower with 8 or more gigabytes of RAM, doing a large memory-demanding task(s).
Most times my PC is multi-tasking: bacFkground Internet watching, various timers and indicators, or background backups, etc ...
Other unusual notes on this test: was the operating system Ubuntu, or Xubuntu? Big difference, since disabling Ubuntu's Unity is complex.
Also unusual is the use of the latest stable kernel. This is not part of the default distributions. I update all my distros to the latest stable kernel ASAP too. But then my Dell XPS-16 notebook needs the kernel's SSD-friendly benefits, not available with normal distro kernels.
Pity some juniors here can't read. As already mentioned, it is really a beginner's test of 32 vs 64 distro. Unknown seemingly to the tester, is that 64-bit is useful with more than 4GB of RAM. 32-PAE was created AAIK, since 64bit op systems had not developed enough for early adopters, until just recently.
Some apps use as much memory & cores as much is free. Anyone knows if 32-PAE is slower, with us guessing?
Actually it was master to master copy entire ~/.steam folder to ~/Documents/.steam.
I only use slave as reserve backup.
Also this was both on Kernel 3.11-rc2 as well. I've always had slow transfers and system unreponsiveness on vanilla Ubuntu, which never happens on Xubuntu or Mint.
Out of curiosity, how were you transferring those files?
Nautilus ? (G)rsync ? Bash 'cp' command ?
I can easily see Nautilus causing problems, especially in Ubuntu.
In fact, a couple of bad experiences with Nautilus in Ubuntu was what caused me to brush up on rsync, again, and make using that standard practice for large file transfers, even between disks/partitions on just one computer...