32-bit vs 64-bit

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Fri Jun 6 17:01:26 UTC 2014

On 6 June 2014 19:57, Vinny Ray <Vinny at fusiontunes.net> wrote:
> I am choosing a version of Ubuntu to install on my laptop.
> The website says the 32-bit version is for machines with less than 2.00 GB of RAM.
> Apparently my machine has exactly 2.00 GB of RAM.
> Does this mean that the 64-bit version is going to be barely adequate?
> Would I get better results from the 32-bit?

There is a slight RAM overhead to 64-bit software. Some values take
twice as much space in memory, because they're taking 8 bytes rather
than 4. So 64-bit software uses a little more RAM - I couldn't tell
you offhand how much, but a modest amount - say 10%.

So if you never intend to add more RAM to your notebook, then 32-bit
will use slightly less memory.

Set against that, x86-64 chips have twice as many registers as plain
old x86-32 ones. For some software this really matters, and over,
64-bit code runs slightly faster.

If you even might add more RAM later, go with 64-bit.

If you can't - if the machine is maxed out, or you definitely can't
afford it, or you already have better PCs - then 32-bit might be a
better deal. Also it offers very slightly better compatibility, e.g.
with 3rd party drivers.

But as the docs say, you are on the crux, right at the balancing point
where one factor more or less equals the other. As such it doesn't
hugely matter either way!

Liam Proven * Profile: http://lproven.livejournal.com/profile
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