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  • AMD Phenom 32-bit vs. 64-bit Linux

    Phoronix: AMD Phenom 32-bit vs. 64-bit Linux

    Since publishing our Linux review of the AMD Phenom 9500 on the Spider platform a month ago, we have continued in our investigation of this first AMD desktop quad-core processor that has been very problematic with Ubuntu 7.10 Linux. Fortunately though this support isn't stagnate and a better picture is painted when using the latest development builds of Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" with the Linux 2.6.24 kernel. Per reader requests, we have carried out additional benchmarks of the Phenom 9500 to compare its 32-bit and 64-bit Linux performance.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=11837

  • #2
    I think you meant "leading the pack", not "leading the pact".

    I haven't had too much trouble with flash though - there's a guide on the ubuntu wiki that shows how to setup 32bit firefox and flash for it. I was on a 32bit before though, so I never followed it myself - but newbies easily got it working.

    And the new system76 laptop that came with 64bit ubuntu already had flash pre-setup

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Vadi View Post
      I think you meant "leading the pack", not "leading the pact".

      Oops, that's what I get for finishing the article late at night Thanks, corrected.
      Michael Larabel
      http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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      • #4
        A bit curious test. Usually you don't need 64 bit for just 2 GB RAM. Give it maybe 4 or 8 GB. Using PAE you can use up to 64 GB with 32 bit too - just 4 GB per app. I highly doubt the huge difference in one gaming test. There must be another issue with that. Maybe you ran directly into a driver problem. Retest with NV card.

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        • #5
          You can use 32bit flash plugin (and some others) with 64bit firefox with nspluginwrapper: http://gwenole.beauchesne.info/proje...pluginwrapper/

          The only plugin missing is the 64bit java plugin. There is a 5 year old bug in sun's bugzilla about it...

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          • #6
            I don't know if the linux version of the games were optimized for 64 bit architecture, but if they aren't it could also be possible that the slowdown comes from the higher memory usage that a 64 bit system needs (if the software isn't optimized for it).
            Just guessing though

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NeoBrain View Post
              I don't know if the linux version of the games were optimized for 64 bit architecture, but if they aren't it could also be possible that the slowdown comes from the higher memory usage that a 64 bit system needs (if the software isn't optimized for it).
              Just guessing though
              They're NOT optimized for 64-bits. He's running 32-bit applications. While there's a fallback mode that allows you to run them natively, it's not optimal to DO that as AMD didn't intend for you to run nada but 32-bit apps in a 64-bit mode OS. It ends up inserting slowdowns in many, but not all, cases.

              I would rather like to see some comparisons between apps that would be more of an apples to apples comparison. Same source, compiled 32 and 64 bits. The stuff we're seeing isn't telling the whole story here on any of it.

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              • #8
                Maybe there should be a new article which shows the differences when you want to use:

                a) win32 codecs for media players
                b) java for firefox
                c) 32 bit apps that require more 32 bit libs than available using the compatiblity packages

                Also often 32 bit apps only work in OSS mode instead of ALSA because of missing 32 bit libs. This could be already the case with the game benchmarks.

                You should really think about using a 64 bit system as main os when you need one of those 3 mentioned things. Of course compiling is a bit faster and some "feel" faster - but mainly because of missing functionality like missing java applets in the net or so.

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                • #9
                  i recently installed swfdec, it is already really impressive, not only the "supported" sites such as youtube etc. works nicely, nearly every flash-page worked with it, even web-tv-streaming from a german tube .
                  so in a year or even half of a year, you should have one problem less.

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                  • #10
                    Not having an ATI card, but hearing how driver support is pretty bad, I'd be interested in seeing the same tests conducted with nVidia and Intel graphics cards (and I'd expect to see the biggest improvements with repsect to Intel Graphics, even though these aren't really "gamer" chips).

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                    • #11
                      A major difference I've seen in my six months of running amd64 on four, then eight gigabytes of RAM is that normally memory-hogging Firefox doesn't slow down at all. I opened 600+ tabs and it was as quick as if I had but one open.

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                      • #12
                        For Java I'd use IcedTea, there's even a native (alas not very compatible with many applets) 64-bit plugin for firefox. IcedTea is installed by default on Fedora 8 and 9 alpha, I'd be surprised it wouldn't be included in Ubuntu 8.04 final. By the way, IcedTea is based on the GPLed Java code Sun released.

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                        • #13
                          It is in hardy universe and I compiled it for sid. But no java chat which I wanted to use worked with it -> useless.

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                          • #14
                            Interesting review, but, beyond the gaming benchmark, a quad core is meant for ... compiling !
                            Ok, I'm a Gentoo user, and I'm looking for a quad-core for compiling while playing ETQW or UT3.
                            I'm crazy ?
                            Perhaps, but I already played UT2K4 while compiling a new kernel or some gentoo upgrade.
                            I have a 512 Mb P4 Hyperthreaded and it's written on the box that is "multi threaded". It's partly true. In fact, the disk is the limiting factor, but with more RAM, the game can run with no disk access after loading and after, it's only CPU power.
                            I could also resize an AVCHD video while playing (it's boring to wait for such long process to carry out so I want to play meanwhile) !

                            Give a chance to Phenom. Try those tests. After all, it's a native quad-core AMD said. Not a twin "double core". It should behave extremly well on massive multitasking, shouldn't it ?

                            Thanks anyway to all phoronix team for being a very good site about Linux hardware, reviews and much more ! Phoronix rules.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kano View Post
                              It is in hardy universe and I compiled it for sid. But no java chat which I wanted to use worked with it -> useless.
                              Odd, it's worked with everything I've thrown at it, from standard apps (downloaded from the official site Azureus, Frost Wire, web applets, etc; granted I don't use many Java-enabled sites)

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