64-bit - is it worth it?

Nathan kemotaha at gmail.com
Sat Apr 19 12:45:02 MDT 2008

On Sat, 2008-04-19 at 09:56 -0600, Hans Fugal wrote:
> I have an AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 2800+ (VIA mobo if that matters). 
> I've almost always just run 32-bit on it because I haven't been in the 
> mood to deal with the inevitable issues with 64-bit, and I haven't had a 
> compelling reason to do so.
> 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.

I haven't fought with 64-bit for about 18 months.  I have been using
64-bit for 3-4 years.  The only thing that doesn't currently work is
java applets on the web, but since I don't care, it hasn't been a
problem for me.

> 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?

I don't do much transcoding so I am not sure how well it will help.  It
would depend on 2 things, first and foremost would be if the program was
written with 64bit in mind.  Even if a program is compiled in 64bit, if
it wasn't written correctly it can be still limited to 32bit
performance.  The second thing, is the amount of RAM you have.  Shane
mentioned it in his email, but it really if you have over 2GB you will
see improvements, if not you probably won't see much.

Personally, I would recommend it moving to 64bit.  The more people that
make the jump the more that we will see it in the marketplace and the
more programs will be designed to take care of the 64bit features.


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