While 64-bit Linux desktop support has been in good shape for years, it seems there's a surprising number of Intel/AMD Linux desktop users undecided whether to use the 32-bit or 64-bit installation images of their favorite Linux distribution. For the latest perspective on 32-bit versus 64-bit Linux performance, here are said benchmarks from the latest Ubuntu 13.10 development state.
With most new Intel/AMD x86_64 desktops sporting their fair share of system memory, there really are no major reasons left not to be using the 64-bit Linux installation images. The 64-bit problems of the past like compatibility problems with Adobe Flash, Wine, and Java are nearly non-existent.
Making the 64-bit path worthwhile -- among other reasons -- is generally better performance. We have been putting out 32-bit vs. 64-bit Linux benchmarks for many years, but we continue to see the question asked in various forums about which version should be used. Whenever we put out new i686 / x86_64 benchmarks they continue to attract a staggering number of views, so here we go again with our latest numbers...
On a Lenovo ThinkPad W510 notebook with Intel Core i7 CPU, the 32-bit and 64-bit images of Ubuntu 13.10 with the Xfce desktop were tested. The images were from 20130724 and feature Xfce 4.10 with the Linux 3.10 kernel. The proprietary NVIDIA graphics driver was also used. All of the benchmarking was handled in a completely automated manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite software.