64-bit vs 32, speed difference

Rashkae ubuntu at tigershaunt.com
Sun Apr 12 03:31:14 UTC 2009

Sandy Harris wrote:
> I'm setting up a system with three boxes and Xubuntu. The firewall
> and the X-terminal are Intel Atom based, so have to run the i386
> release. The main machine is a core 2 duo, so could (currently
> does) run the 64-bit version.
> It would be easier to manage, especially for caching updates,
> if all three ran the same system. My question is how much
> performance do I lose switching the main box to i386?
> It is a personal system. Browsing, Open Office, playing
> music & movies, some development stuff, mainly using
> Dr Scheme.

I'm quoting numbers from old benchmarks from my memory, so in other
words, this is very unreliable information.  But as I recall, you could
see as much as 10% reduction in speed, but that's only in pure
calculation. (ie, tasks that peg a cpu at full utilization), which given
the workload you just described, would be extremely rare, if ever.
64-bit applications can also access much larger amounts of memory, but
again, regular desktop use won't need more than 2GB, so you should never

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