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Thread: Buying dilemma

  1. #1
    777
    Guest
    Buying dilemma
    Hi all,

    Before I start, I'd like to say that this forum has been tremendously helpful thus far! Very knowledgable.

    Anyways, in the fall, I'm going to be attending an Apple-friendly college, and I'm in need of a laptop. Having seen the newest MBP, I'd definitely love to try to switch from PC to Macs. But my fear is that the yonah chips are only 32-bit. Now I know that 64-bit programs aren't in the mainstream yet, but I tend to keep things that I buy for a really long time. The PC I have now is 7 years old. Do you guys think it would be smarter for me to go for a dual AMD Turion (most likely Lenovo) when it comes out in a few months? Or just go ahead and purchase the MBP and hope that the 64-bit apps aren't coming as soon as people say. I'm going to keep this laptop at least through graduate school (8ish years). The ideal situation would be for me to wait for the meroms that come out at the end of the year, but school starts in September, and I'm afraid that waiting that long won't be an option.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Buying dilemma
    Aptmunich's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 09, 2004
    Location
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    9,073
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    Aluminium Macbook 2.4 Ghz 4GB RAM, SSD 24" Samsung Display, iPhone 4, iPad 2
    AFAIK the main advantage of 64-bit apps and processors is that they can access more than 8GB of RAM.

    You're never going to cram that much into a current generation system anyway, so I say don't worry about it.

  3. #3
    Buying dilemma

    Member Since
    Nov 24, 2005
    Posts
    749
    Specs:
    Powerbook G4/ 15.2"/ 1.67 ghz/ 2 gb RAM/ ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 (128 mb RAM)/ 100 gb hdd@ 5400 RPM
    Quote Originally Posted by Aptmunich
    AFAIK the main advantage of 64-bit apps and processors is that they can access more than 8GB of RAM.

    You're never going to cram that much into a current generation system anyway, so I say don't worry about it.
    That and most laptops will never have more than two (some may have a third) slots for RAM anyway.
    I'd use Windows... but I like the Mac OS more.

  4. #4
    Buying dilemma
    Discerptor's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 02, 2005
    Posts
    1,229
    Specs:
    2.6GHz Core i7 15" MacBook Pro - 8GB DDR3 SDRAM - 750GB 7200 RPM HDD - GeForce 650M GT 1GB VRAM
    Quote Originally Posted by 777
    Hi all,

    Before I start, I'd like to say that this forum has been tremendously helpful thus far! Very knowledgable.

    Anyways, in the fall, I'm going to be attending an Apple-friendly college, and I'm in need of a laptop. Having seen the newest MBP, I'd definitely love to try to switch from PC to Macs. But my fear is that the yonah chips are only 32-bit. Now I know that 64-bit programs aren't in the mainstream yet, but I tend to keep things that I buy for a really long time. The PC I have now is 7 years old. Do you guys think it would be smarter for me to go for a dual AMD Turion (most likely Lenovo) when it comes out in a few months? Or just go ahead and purchase the MBP and hope that the 64-bit apps aren't coming as soon as people say. I'm going to keep this laptop at least through graduate school (8ish years). The ideal situation would be for me to wait for the meroms that come out at the end of the year, but school starts in September, and I'm afraid that waiting that long won't be an option.

    Any thoughts?
    I'd suggest waiting until August and seeing what's out then before you buy if you're looking for cutting edge future immunity.

  5. #5
    777
    Guest
    yea, I'll definitely wait until at least the summer, but it's always nice to have an idea.

    So besides accessing 8GB of ram, there are no other benefits to 64 bit? I figured that with Vista coming out around the summer, more apps would eventually switch over to 64 bit. With that said, is software in the future going to be sold in 2 versions? 32 and 64bit? I thought that the 64 bit switch would be a major change to the computer industry as more software companies adopt 64bit. But if the conversion is only going to affect those with huge processing needs, then it looks like a 32 bit is enough. Basically, I'm afraid that if I buy a 32 bit now, say, 6 or 7 years later, I'd have an increasingly difficult time finding 32bit software. Or perhaps my thinking is totally wrong...lol. Sry, I'm not exactly a computer expert. =)

    On a side note, I read somewhere that the visual features in Vista are essentially the same as those found in OSX. Yet, why does Vista recommend a 64-bit CPU in order to utilize all of its snazzy visual effects while Apple can cruise along with 32-bit CPUs?

  6. #6
    Buying dilemma
    Discerptor's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 02, 2005
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    Specs:
    2.6GHz Core i7 15" MacBook Pro - 8GB DDR3 SDRAM - 750GB 7200 RPM HDD - GeForce 650M GT 1GB VRAM
    Quote Originally Posted by 777
    yea, I'll definitely wait until at least the summer, but it's always nice to have an idea.

    So besides accessing 8GB of ram, there are no other benefits to 64 bit? I figured that with Vista coming out around the summer, more apps would eventually switch over to 64 bit. With that said, is software in the future going to be sold in 2 versions? 32 and 64bit? I thought that the 64 bit switch would be a major change to the computer industry as more software companies adopt 64bit. But if the conversion is only going to affect those with huge processing needs, then it looks like a 32 bit is enough. Basically, I'm afraid that if I buy a 32 bit now, say, 6 or 7 years later, I'd have an increasingly difficult time finding 32bit software. Or perhaps my thinking is totally wrong...lol. Sry, I'm not exactly a computer expert. =)

    On a side note, I read somewhere that the visual features in Vista are essentially the same as those found in OSX. Yet, why does Vista recommend a 64-bit CPU in order to utilize all of its snazzy visual effects while Apple can cruise along with 32-bit CPUs?
    If it's any consolation, I expect Intel to unleash the Merom by August, which is a 64-bit Core Duo on steroids with hyperthreading. I can't really say I'd be good at predicting a whole lot on what's going to happen in the future to 32-bit processors. And 64-bit processors are mainly better at memory management at this point, but there are advantages to the processors themselves I won't get into now because I'm not even sure I could do a very good job of explaining the difference.

    As for Vista, no. The visual features are not the same. The windows in Vista will have transparency distortion effects that utilize pixel shaders and a 3D version of Alt-tab with the windows themselves rather than icons is going to be implemented. The fact that it uses pixel shader alone is ridiculous, and I could tell from when I saw demonstrations of the OS that it would have immense system requirements/recommendations. At the same time, I don't see why a 64-bit CPU would be necessary; I'd think a stronger video card would be more encouraged. 64-bit is probably recommended because Vista will have 64-bit support. Just like OS X runs better on the 64-bit G5 than the 32-bit G4, Vista will run better on the 64-bit Conroe than on the 32-bit Pentium 4.

  7. #7
    777
    Guest
    Can someone explain why Mac OS X, a 64-bit program, runs perfectly smooth on the 32-bit yonahs?

  8. #8
    Buying dilemma

    Member Since
    Nov 24, 2005
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    749
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    Powerbook G4/ 15.2"/ 1.67 ghz/ 2 gb RAM/ ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 (128 mb RAM)/ 100 gb hdd@ 5400 RPM
    Quote Originally Posted by 777
    Can someone explain why Mac OS X, a 64-bit program, runs perfectly smooth on the 32-bit yonahs?
    It runs native 32 and 64-bit.
    I'd use Windows... but I like the Mac OS more.

  9. #9
    777
    Guest
    hmm..so if that is the case...will future software that is designed for 64-bit CPUs also be native 32 bit as well?

  10. #10
    TinMonkey
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by 777
    hmm..so if that is the case...will future software that is designed for 64-bit CPUs also be native 32 bit as well?
    It is my understanding that osx is not fully 64-bit....
    the libraries used for programming the user-interface of apps (Cocoa & Carbon) are not 64-bit capable. So, if you consider those libraries as part of OS X (a justifiable way of thinking), then OS X is not yet fully 64-bit. But it is true (now, in Tiger) that both the kernel and user-space apps are 64-bit capable. So it is possible to write 64-bit apps, you just need to either implement the UI portion from scratch (rather hard) or else separate the UI from the calculational portion of your app so you can use Cocoa for the UI.

  11. #11
    Buying dilemma
    mr g5's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 15, 2006
    Posts
    534
    Specs:
    Mac Pro 2.66GHz Quad, 1GB RAM
    I would say wait, even if 64 bit isn't out yet the clock speed of the MBP will increase, I dont know if you would get much extra out of a 64 bit laptop because

    A- Most laptops will not support up to 8 gb of RAM
    B- Laptops are limited because there hard drives are very slow.

    But I would still wait until this summer because prices will drop and speed will go up.

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