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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

64 bit and what does it all mean?


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JamminJonah
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I understand from watching yesterday's WWDC Keynote (http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.ne...ent/index.html)

Leopard is to run in native 64 bit. Currently all Apple machines but the Mac Pro run Intel chips that don't have 64 bit operating capability. So this leads to my next question (and 1 answer)

Answer: yes, the 32 bit machines will be able to run Leopard because though it operates in native 64 bit it also operates at 32 - so anybody who was going to ask that don't worry you can use Leopard when it comes next Spring.

1. What the heck is 64 bit and what does it do for me?

- I know Vista is also touting it's 64 bitness and Internet Explorer already has 64 bit capability but what the heck does that mean and why should I care? Obviously in the computing world most often more bits are better (3Ghz vs 2Ghz, 512Mb vs 256Mb) but what will 64 bits do for me?

2. Can anyone SPECULATE (don't want to get slammed by the good folks at Apple now) on when the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines will have 64 bit capable CPU's? It seems they would do this before the official Leopard release but I haven't been investigating Apple for that long, I'm one of those

"OSX got me interested in Mac again and Intel leaves me no reason not to switch" folks.


So help me out! You guys are smart I read your posts what does it all mean!
:yinyang:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamminJonah
Obviously in the computing world most often more bits are better (3Ghz vs 2Ghz, 512Mb vs 256Mb) but what will 64 bits do for me?
While 3GHz and 2GHz are Processor clock speeds, 512MB and 256MB are storage capacities, 64-bit is what the processor arcitechture is built on. :ninja:
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Definition of 64-bit.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamminJonah
2. Can anyone SPECULATE (don't want to get slammed by the good folks at Apple now) on when the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines will have 64 bit capable CPU's?
Sure, why not. 2015 is my guess, but I may be wrong.


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JamminJonah
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I guess I was asking if anyone could speculate when the Memrom would be put in the MacBook line - http://guides.macrumors.com/Merom

My bad for not being more specific.

Also the buyers guide says they're about due:
http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/
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JamminJonah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCraver
While 3GHz and 2GHz are Processor clock speeds, 512MB and 256MB are storage capacities, 64-bit is what the processor arcitechture is built on. :ninja:
I guess I understand that 64 bit is the architecture but what does that mean exactly? What does it do for performance to have a 64 bit archetecture rather than a 32?

as noted above 3Ghz is better than 2Ghz because it means the processor is faster, 512Mb RAM is better than 256Mb RAM because it gives you a higher capacity (lets assume they're the same RAM type) so what advantage does a 64 bit architecture have over 32 - does that mean better processor bandwidth? Faster clockspeed? how does the architecture affect the chip?
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I guess to put it in absolute Layman's terms:

There are two ways to get fast traffic flow:

Raise the speed limit, or widen the highway.

Since processors are being clocked very high now-a-days (speed), 64-bit is widening the highway.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfwax95
I guess to put it in absolute Layman's terms:

There are two ways to get fast traffic flow:

Raise the speed limit, or widen the highway.

Since processors are being clocked very high now-a-days (speed), 64-bit is widening the highway.
Awesome thank you very much for the explaination and great analogy. i'm way better at grasping things conceptually when they're explained analogously.

One of the best explainations of pixels I ever heard compared them to painting a picture on a wall of apartment mailboxes where each mailbox could be only one solid color.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamminJonah
i'm way better at grasping things conceptually when they're explained analogously.
Me too. No prob. :black:

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Somewhere on the Apple web site, I saw a discussion of why Tiger was not running 64 bit on the G5's, which are 64 bit machines natively. The response essentially indicated that it really made no difference, and in fact could slow things down in many cases. Ultimately, the same number of instructions had to be executed per unit time, and memory archtitectures were already so optimized that widening the pipe didn't have much impact. Meantime, you were sucking in twice as much data per gulp, which meant more cache flushing for poorly localized loops, hence potential overall slowdowns. To me, it sounded like a classic defensive response, but there it was. Does anyone else remember reading this? I have hunted around but can't find it again. I am sure it was posted right here in one of these forums as a link.

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