64-bit - is it worth it?
shane at hathawaymix.org
Sat Apr 19 11:23:33 MDT 2008
Hans Fugal wrote:
> But I'm considering switching to 64-bit when I upgrade to the next
> version of Ubuntu, Real Soon Now™. The reason is that I think it might
> be a substantial enhancement when it comes to transcoding large video
> files (i.e. HDTV - I don't have an HDTV and even if I did I'm not nuts
> enough about quality to want to allocate 9GB/hr).
> I know many of you have been riding the 64-bit wave for some time now.
> What are the remaining pitfalls? Will I be constantly fighting with
> software to get it to run? This is primarily my wife's desktop computer,
> and she primarily does web, email, and OOo.
Running 64 bit isn't much of a fight anymore. The only real holdout is
Flash, and that works through nspluginwrapper. As a fallback, you can
host a 32-bit chroot in a 64 bit kernel (I've been running Oracle 10g XE
this way), or you can use VirtualBox to put a complete 32 bit
environment inside a 64 bit system.
OTOH, I haven't seen significant benefits from 64 bit except the ability
to use more than 4 GB of RAM. Also, the counters displayed by
"ifconfig" wrap around much less often. :-) Some pointer-heavy
software, such as Zope, often takes twice as much RAM under 64 bit.
> Also, am I right in thinking it would help in video transcoding? I know
> that theoretically it should, but does it in practice with current software?
Most of the video transcoding I've done has been I/O bound and benefits
more from multiple hard drives than from any particular processor
I haven't personally seen any noticeable speed difference with 64 bit.
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