[ubuntu-us-nm] Building own system and 64-bit

Andrew Parker andrew at source3.com
Mon Apr 21 13:40:06 BST 2008

Ok.  I have decided to build my own system rather than buy pre-built.
Why?  I always wanted too.

Before asking the group thoughts on my configuration, I need some
explanation on 64-bit technology.  It seams the more I read online, the
more questions I have!

I will be running a desktop with Ubuntu as a host and Windows XP as a
guest in VMware Workstation.  As this will be a computer at my office, I
won't be using Ubuntu that often.  My main computations will be in
Windows XP running ArcMap 9.2.  The map files are stored on our server
running Windows Server 2003.  I want to run Ubuntu as a host because I
am going to try to convince the office that switching to open source
will be fine.  Plus, I need as much exposure to Linux as possible.

FYI: As I learn Grass GIS and R-spatial, I will be using these programs
more and more on Linux rather than using ArcMap 9.2.

Now the 64-bit questions.  
     1. Do I gain any advantage getting a 64-bit processor if Windows XP
        (in a VM) runs on 32-bit, other than upgradability?  
     2. The processors that I am looking at say they support 64-bit.
        But are they really 64-bit?  For example, are the Intel Core 2
        Quad, Core 2 Duo and the Dual Core all 64-bit?  I do not think
     3. If I get a 64-bit chip, can I run a 32-bit Ubuntu?
     4. But, if I run 64-bit Ubuntu can I run software built for 32-bit?
        Looking at the Grass website, there is a AMD64 version and an
        I386.  Does the AMD64 apply to Intel 64-bit too?  And the I386
        the 32-bit version?  
     5. What about VMware. If I run 64-bit Ubuntu, 64-bit Vmware, can I
        run my 32-bit Windows XP?  And, if I run the 64-bit VWmware, can
        I transfer my existing VM running on a 32-bit Ubuntu to the
        64-bit VMware Version?
     6. If I go with a 64-bit processor and a 32-bit Ubuntu, will I be
        able to utilize 8GB of RAM?

For your comments, reviews, etc, below is a list of my system

     A. Case and Power Supply: Antec Sonata Plus 550 (I want a quiet
     B. DVD RW: Pioneer 20x
     C. HD: Seagate Barracudea 250GB 7200RPM
     D. Graphic Card: EVGA 512-P3-N862-AR GeForce 9600GT 512MB
     E. RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin SDRAM DDR2 1066
     F. Motherboard: Intel BOXD975XBX2KR LGA 775 Intel 975X ATX
     G. Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2
        Cache LGA 775
     H. CPU Fan: Zalman CNPS7700-CU 120mm 2 Ball Cooling Fan

Thanks again for your time.  One of these months I will have something
to contribute!

Andrew Parker
Source3 Computing LLC

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