People have asked me several times why I run 64bit ubuntu. Running & 64bit OS these days still has some problems. You ll want to stay away from the windows flavours and on linux its mostly a smoothe ride, but the catch is in the “mostly” part. Yet 64 Bit Ubuntu works like a dream for me. Everything works with the exception of some quirks and but most of the time they dont bother me that much.
Asfor why I do choose to live with those quirks; there are 2 reasons really.
- Probably the most important: I hate the idea of not fully using my hardware. My fancy lil processor (all several of them) has the space for 64bit computing. The idea of leaving 32 of those bits unused and only using 32 of them because the software is a bit behind on the technology simply irks me. If I wanted to use merely 32 bits, I’d have bought a 32 bit processor. I have a 64 bit processor. I need to use all 64 of those bits to the maximum of their potential. (as far as the current software will allow me to do that.)
Immagine a huge freeway with 32 lanes. After some years, designers figure out that trafic would flow even smoother with the double amount of lanes, so gradually all freeways become 64 lanes. That means the double amount of trafic at the same time. And then (you install a 32 bit system) you decide; those 32 new lanes, we dont need them; we ll just keep using those 32 lanes and ignore those 32 fresh lanes. Doesnt that feel like a waste?
(And for those haters, I do know that I am simplifying the matter here quite a bit, but since I’m about conveying my point here and not about writing a manual about the difference between 32 and 64 bit processors, you ll have to live with that. Those interested in the differences, read up on it on Wikipedia!)
- Speed! Those 32 more bits should (logically) be able to speed things up, even if its only marginal. (and even if its only for that software that HAS decently been addapted to 64bit where necessary.) I hadnt really gathered any evidence to this probable speed up and wasnt really looking to do so. Being content with the fact that it should logically make a speed difference & being happy in the ignorance about if any of the software I run does feel the difference.. (yes, ignorance sucks, but Ive got better things to do than checking every bit of software on my desktop computer for performance gain in 32b vs 64b. Marginal increasy in my desktops performance not mission critical to my work as a linux dude.)
Yet now, the fine people at Tuxradar did some 32 bit vs 64 bit benchmarking on Ubuntu 9.04.
And lo and behold, there is now a proven speed up for us 64Bit massochists, thus vallidating my second point. Hooray! To quote the article.. “As we said earlier, it’s a nice bonus. Sure, 5-10% isn’t a lot, but when it’s across your whole desktop and comes at no cost, why not?“
I’m 64 Bit!
And I’ll be installing the new Adobe 64-bit Flash 10 alpha now because ubuntu doesnt want to do it automatically for me. But if you check the speed up; it ll be worth it 😉