[CS-FSLUG] Query: 64-bit coding comparisons

Timothy Butler tbutler at ofb.biz
Thu Nov 19 19:50:15 CST 2009

On Nov 18, 2009, at 1:26 AM, Marco Tedaldi wrote:

> On the downside 64bit apps tend to use more space on your harddrive  
> and also in ram, which COULD make them slower to load and maybe  
> execute.

	This is one of the interesting points on x86-64. In theory, given the  
cleaner architecture of x86-64, on this particular architecture, it  
ought to run faster than 32-bit code, but it does make programs larger  
and 64-bit is inherently less efficient, as you note.

	I sort of wish someone would offer a 32-bit version of x86-64 (as  
opposed to the traditional i386/x86 architecture). Despite the  
disadvantages of 64-bit, Geekbench on Mac OS X runs somewhat faster in  
64-bit mode than 32-bit mode.

	Still, the advantage isn't significant -- note that with the release  
of the PowerMac G5 back in 2003 Apple jumped into the desktop 64-bit  
game head on long before it became common on Windows or GNU/Linux x86  
systems, but it is STILL rare to find apps that are compiled in 64-bit  
mode (though Apple has moved most of its end user apps over to 64-bit  
as of Snow Leopard).

	The bigger question, I think, is why people want 64-bit so badly  
other than for marketing's sake... few apps need 4GB of RAM yet.


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