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Old 07-05-2010, 10:40 PM
Jim McCloskey
 
Default advice on amd64

I recently acquired a new Dell Studio 15 laptop and mean to install
Debian (squeeze) on it. I'm trying to decide whether to do a 64-bit
install (amd64) or a 32-bit install (i386). My understanding is that
the amd64 port is now very complete, and that the principal difficulty
would probably be with flashplayer (since Adobe withdrew the 64-bit
version of flashplayer 10 for linux).

There seem to be various workarounds for this issue, but I was
wondering if the performance gain that one might expect from the
64-bit architecture over the 32-bit architecture would be worth the
extra trouble entailed by these workarounds. The machine has a 1.6GHz
Intel Quad Core processor and 6GB of RAM. The GPU is an ATI Mobility
Radeon (HD 5470) with 1GB of onboard memory.

The laptop will be a work machine, but it will not be required to do
3D modelling or any intensive mathematical tasks (except maybe some
statistical analysis and visualization with R, along with some audio
analysis).

If anyone here had advice to offer regarding this choice, I would very
much appreciate hearing it,

Thank you,

Jim


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Old 07-05-2010, 11:58 PM
Stan Hoeppner
 
Default advice on amd64

Jim McCloskey put forth on 7/5/2010 5:40 PM:

> If anyone here had advice to offer regarding this choice, I would very
> much appreciate hearing it,

Allowing a single web plugin to dictate your course of action here is
simply...sad.

If you're that addicted to youtube and pr0n go with a 32bit kernel with PAE
("bigmem"), and be aware that any one application can only use 4GB of that
6GB, though the kernel can use it all.

Best of luck.

--
Stan


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Old 07-06-2010, 12:11 AM
Celejar
 
Default advice on amd64

On Mon, 05 Jul 2010 18:58:48 -0500
Stan Hoeppner <stan@hardwarefreak.com> wrote:

> Jim McCloskey put forth on 7/5/2010 5:40 PM:
>
> > If anyone here had advice to offer regarding this choice, I would very
> > much appreciate hearing it,
>
> Allowing a single web plugin to dictate your course of action here is
> simply...sad.

[I assume we're talking about flash.] Flash is not really required for
Youtube; I actually have flash installed, but I hate using it, so I
generally just grab the video with youtube-dl (or cclive) and play it
with mplayer.

Celejar
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:36 AM
Kelly Clowers
 
Default advice on amd64

On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 17:11, Celejar <celejar@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, 05 Jul 2010 18:58:48 -0500
> Stan Hoeppner <stan@hardwarefreak.com> wrote:
>
>> Jim McCloskey put forth on 7/5/2010 5:40 PM:
>>
>> > If anyone here had advice to offer regarding this choice, I would very
>> > much appreciate hearing it,
>>
>> Allowing a single web plugin to dictate your course of action here is
>> simply...sad.
>
> [I assume we're talking about flash.] *Flash is not really required for
> Youtube; I actually have flash installed, but I hate using it, so I
> generally just grab the video with youtube-dl (or cclive) and play it
> with mplayer.

And a fair number of Youtube videos are available in WebM now.


Cheers,
Kelly Clowers


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Old 07-06-2010, 12:41 AM
Ron Johnson
 
Default advice on amd64

On 07/05/2010 05:40 PM, Jim McCloskey wrote:


I recently acquired a new Dell Studio 15 laptop and mean to install
Debian (squeeze) on it. I'm trying to decide whether to do a 64-bit
install (amd64) or a 32-bit install (i386). My understanding is that
the amd64 port is now very complete, and that the principal difficulty
would probably be with flashplayer (since Adobe withdrew the 64-bit
version of flashplayer 10 for linux).


Won't be that difficult, actually, since a 64-bit system can run
32-bit plugins.


What ever you do, go with either Iceweasel 3.6.4 from from
Experimental, or v3.6.6 from upstream so that you can get plugin
process separation.




There seem to be various workarounds for this issue, but I was
wondering if the performance gain that one might expect from the
64-bit architecture over the 32-bit architecture would be worth the
extra trouble entailed by these workarounds. The machine has a 1.6GHz
Intel Quad Core processor and 6GB of RAM. The GPU is an ATI Mobility
Radeon (HD 5470) with 1GB of onboard memory.


The GPU (actually, which driver to use and get decent performance
from it) would be my big concern.



The laptop will be a work machine, but it will not be required to do
3D modelling or any intensive mathematical tasks (except maybe some
statistical analysis and visualization with R, along with some audio
analysis).

If anyone here had advice to offer regarding this choice, I would very
much appreciate hearing it,



--
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:08 AM
Jim McCloskey
 
Default advice on amd64

|> Allowing a single web plugin to dictate your course of action here
|> is simply...sad.
|>
|> If you're that addicted to youtube and pr0n

Sigh ... suppresses irritation.

But thank you very much for this advice:

|> go with a 32bit kernel with PAE
|> ("bigmem"), and be aware that any one application can only use 4GB
|> of that 6GB, though the kernel can use it all.

I actually very occasionally have a professional need for flash
animations. I'm happy to use gnash for this, but the last time I tried
it, it wasn't quite ready. For YouTube, I mostly use WebM-enabled
Google Chrome

Jim


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Old 07-06-2010, 01:11 AM
Greg Madden
 
Default advice on amd64

On Monday 05 July 2010 15:58:48 Stan Hoeppner wrote:
> Jim McCloskey put forth on 7/5/2010 5:40 PM:
> > If anyone here had advice to offer regarding this choice, I would very
> > much appreciate hearing it,
>
> Allowing a single web plugin to dictate your course of action here is
> simply...sad.
>
> If you're that addicted to youtube and pr0n go with a 32bit kernel with PAE
> ("bigmem"), and be aware that any one application can only use 4GB of that
> 6GB, though the kernel can use it all.
>
> Best of luck.
>
> --
> Stan

Flash from 64 bit debian-multimedia depends on 32 bit libraries. It will set
up the 32 bit library environment automagically.

--
Peace,

Greg


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Old 07-06-2010, 04:51 AM
Mark
 
Default advice on amd64

On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 6:08 PM, Jim McCloskey <mcclosk@ucsc.edu> wrote:

|> *Allowing a single web plugin to dictate your course of action here

|> * is simply...sad.

|>

|> *If you're that addicted to youtube and pr0n



Sigh ... suppresses irritation.



But thank you very much for this advice:

[...]

I admire the OP's class in his response.* Thought that comment about youtube and pr0n was completely unnecessary and unsolicited when I read it.
 
Old 07-06-2010, 05:35 AM
Andrei Popescu
 
Default advice on amd64

On Lu, 05 iul 10, 15:40:04, Jim McCloskey wrote:
>
> I recently acquired a new Dell Studio 15 laptop and mean to install
> Debian (squeeze) on it. I'm trying to decide whether to do a 64-bit
> install (amd64) or a 32-bit install (i386). My understanding is that
> the amd64 port is now very complete, and that the principal difficulty
> would probably be with flashplayer (since Adobe withdrew the 64-bit
> version of flashplayer 10 for linux).

Skype is another annoyance with similar workarounds...

> There seem to be various workarounds for this issue, but I was
> wondering if the performance gain that one might expect from the
> 64-bit architecture over the 32-bit architecture would be worth the
> extra trouble entailed by these workarounds. The machine has a 1.6GHz
> Intel Quad Core processor and 6GB of RAM. The GPU is an ATI Mobility
> Radeon (HD 5470) with 1GB of onboard memory.

One of the workarounds[1] seems to work fine for my brother's laptop.
I'm trying to get along without flash, at least until there is a native
68bit version

[1] http://wiki.debian.org/FlashPlayer#DebianTesting.27Squeeze.27amd64

Besides the GPU problems mentioned by Ron, don't forget the performance
penalty of PAE, which is necessary to take advantage of your 6 GiB RAM.
IMVHO PAE is a hack and I would avoid it, at least by using a 64bit
kernel.

If you plan to switch "later" to amd64 also consider this will require a
complete reinstall.

Regards,
Andrei
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:40 AM
Bob Proulx
 
Default advice on amd64

Jim McCloskey wrote:
> I recently acquired a new Dell Studio 15 laptop and mean to install
> Debian (squeeze) on it. I'm trying to decide whether to do a 64-bit
> install (amd64) or a 32-bit install (i386). My understanding is that
> the amd64 port is now very complete, and that the principal difficulty
> would probably be with flashplayer (since Adobe withdrew the 64-bit
> version of flashplayer 10 for linux).

That pretty much agrees with my view of things. I have been running a
64-bit desktop for many years. I mostly use a 32-bit chroot for
things that I want to keep "mainstream" like Firefox.

> There seem to be various workarounds for this issue, but I was
> wondering if the performance gain that one might expect from the
> 64-bit architecture over the 32-bit architecture would be worth the
> extra trouble entailed by these workarounds.

The performance difference is very small. Some natively compiled
applications will perform better in 64-bit mode due to the larger
number of cpu registers available for the optimizer. You would need
to benchmark any particular application for real data. Some
applications will have a noticeable performance difference. But I
personally don't see a large performance difference either way as an
overall statement about the system in general. For practical purposes
I would say performace between them is basically the same. It really
comes down to memory use. If you need the memory in one process then
you need the 64-bit system to be able to use more than 3G of ram in a
single process.

> The machine has a 1.6GHz Intel Quad Core processor and 6GB of
> RAM. The GPU is an ATI Mobility Radeon (HD 5470) with 1GB of onboard
> memory.

You have 6G of memory and so with a 64-bit system you would be able to
run a single program that could access all 6G of that memory. With a
32-bit system a single process is limited to 3G of memory. The 32-bit
Linux kernel with PAE will be able to make good use of all 6G across
the entire system. So either way the system will be able to use all
of the memory.

> The laptop will be a work machine, but it will not be required to do
> 3D modelling or any intensive mathematical tasks (except maybe some
> statistical analysis and visualization with R, along with some audio
> analysis).

By this I assume you won't need that 6G of ram in any one program
because I would describe that as intensive. :-) Also you don't sound
like you want to develop and debug and so want a 64-bit environment
specifically for that purpose. In which case I personally would go
with the 32-bit Linux kernel with PAE. It is still the mainstream
architecture and so somewhat simpler.

Bob
 

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