32bit Mac now or wait for 64bit Intel Mac???

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by joehack, May 29, 2006.

  1. joehack macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Location:
    Zurich
    #1
    Hello everone

    With the new MacBooks out, I'd love to join this prestigious society. Now after some days, I'm thinking about how save this investment would be since the current MacBook is a 32bit system :confused: . I know that no one needs a 64bit system on the desktop, but I don't want to end up with a piece of cool hardware without any current software (XCode, WebObjects, OS-X, MS Office etc.).

    So, does anyone out there who could answer this question?

    Thanks for your help!
    Jochen
     
  2. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

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    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    #2
    Standard buying advice applies: If you need a computer now buy, if you can wait, then wait.
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    Location:
    London
    #3
    As you have pointed out you do not need a 64-bit system (some select people do).

    OSX and the software that runs on it is not going 64-bit only any time soon. If you buy a machine today you should expect 4 years or more of software support.
     
  4. Caitlyn macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 30, 2005
    #4
    What conditions would you guys think require a 64-bit processor?
     
  5. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

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    #5
    Well Mathematica can take advantage of 64-bit.
    I don't know of much else. Basically, unless you crunching a lot of data you don't need 64bit.
     
  6. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #6
    I can think of one other group of people that MUST have 64 bit. The people that Microsoft/CompUSA/most salesmen tell "you need 64 bit because it is the most up to date technology" to will need it. Unfortunately, that group tends to get abused into making overpriced purchases. I have memories of coworkers from my Computer City days making nice commissions doing that. :(
     
  7. recentgrad macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    #7
    I know that leopard is still a ways away, but what are some possible features that would require a 64-bit?

    I think the vast majority of consumers (like me) don't use apps that require 64-bit so the only aspect that would affect them directly would be through the OS. Would it merely be some gui differences like aero vs nonaero? Or actual useful features?
     
  8. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

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    Jul 29, 2005
    #8
    Just get one now beacuse if you are going to play the waiting game you will never get a computer.

    Once you wait for 64bit, then you will wait for the quad core, then SLI in a laptop, then RAID in a laptop, then a blu ray dual layer burner. You will keep waiting and waiting.
     
  9. afornander macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    #9
    there is always going to be something new coming out. after 64bit there will be something else that you can continue to wait for. if you want a mac, then buy it. if it will do everything you need it to, it will continue to for a long time.:D
     
  10. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #10
    The only "feature" that requires 64-bit is more than 4Gb of RAM. Apart from that you can do exactly the same stuff in 32-bit land as you can in 64.
     
  11. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    #11
    I'm waiting for 64 bit so my machine has some legs into the future.
     
  12. TallShaffer macrumors member

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    Apr 14, 2006
    #12
    I was in the same dilemma about two weeks ago, then I wisened up, realized I didn't need the 64 bit and commenced to make the best decision of my life; I bought a mac.:D
     
  13. FragTek macrumors 6502

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    Fredericksburg, VA
    #13
    They already have all that minus the quadcore which we should have Q1 '07 :)
     
  14. ajaygrover macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    #14
    The recent rumours are that Intel is going to release its 64 bit chips (Core 2 Duo) on July the 23rd. Most probably Apple will be the first few companies to use these processors in their Macbooks:cool:

    I am sure that at least by August first week all the professional computers by Apple would be running on 64 bit processors from Intel.:)

    I plan to wait till then because its not possible to it is not possible to upgrade processors on the macbooks.:(

    But the other upgrades that are going to come in the future like OS X Leopard, Blu-ray drives or 802.11n wireless technologies can be always added.:eek: to the computer.
     
  15. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

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    #15
    I don't get the difference between a 64 bit and 32 bit processor.:confused:
     
  16. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    May 27, 2006
    #16
    To the consumer, it really means nothing. It's just another little specification that is used to say "this computer is better". In reality though, you won't notice much, if any difference as there are no Intel Mac apps which run using 64 bit.

    The only other advantage to having a 64-bit processor is that it allows you to address more RAM, although I don't think any consumer is really going to need more than the 4GB limit that 32-bit processors can address.

    Lastly - Apple have not said that they will be releasing any 64-bit based Intel computers. As usual, people look to Intel to see what's coming next, but I really don't think that Apple make their machines just to show off the new Intel processors.
     
  17. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

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    #17
    Have a read of this article, it's a good summary of 64 bit processing. :)
     
  18. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    #18
    It's not a great time to buy a new computer because Intel is poised to release some really hot chips this summer that will almost certainly find their way in the next generation of Macs. I would wait for those releases if at all possible. And the longer you wait, the more apps go Universal.

    But that said, the current lineup is pretty damn good too.

    And the industry's just not ready for 64-bit or even dual core - it'll take some time for the software to catch up. Though OS X is better positioned than Intel in my opinion, given that its Unix based.

    I dunno, yeah, standard advice, if your computer is too slow, buy a new one. If it's just a little slow, add RAM and hang in their for six more months.
     
  19. joebells macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    #19
    Well for one I believe that the processor coming july 23 or around then is the conroe(desktop part) not the merom(mobile part) I think the merom is later like august sometime could be wrong about that though.

    Two the merom will actually show a 20% increase in performance for a given clock speed like a 2 gigahertz yonah and a 2 gigahertz merom would show the merom 20% better on average. Also besides being able to adress more than 4 gigs of ram when they took x86 to 64bit they addressed some instruction problems or register problems or something that x86 has had for a long time so it really helps I guess(not a programmer).

    Three I am in the same situation as the op and others. I would wait but I actually prefer the macbook to the macbook pro and I imagine they will both switch fairly quickly but something tells me the macbook pro might get the merom first and they might hold out on the macbook for a while. If they were going to redesign the macbook pro when it gets merom then I might be interested but I'd imagine they will first slap in a merom chip since its pretty much a drop in upgrade and they know people will buy because its a new processor so why redesign rite then. Then maybe when the santa rosa platform comes next year they will redesign the macbook pro's since its a whole new motherboard they will have to work on. But I really prefered the macbook to the pro. Something just didn't seem right or look right with the pro, one thing I think I don't like is the silver power button it just looked, I don't know, almost cheesy. The keyboard looks kind of wierd and the holes for the speakers looked crap. Closed it is a thing of beauty. But I think its definately time for a new look. I'm hoping for something other than a super heat conducting metal. I do wish the macbook had the lighted keyboard though.
     
  20. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #20
    Merom's (64-bit) benefits over Yonah (32-bit) are worth the wait. That is, unless you NEED the computer now. I doubt Apple is going to give the iMac 4 GB+ of RAM support anytime soon. So the 64-bit addressing of large amounts of memory is going to be moot on the iMac. However, at the same clock speed Merom will outperform its equivalent Yonah chip. (20% superior performance at same clock speed)

    As for applications, I run 32-bit applications just fine on my 64-bit G5. It's only if you're going to try to run 64-bit applications where you're going to run into problems. Still, the day iTunes and Word require a 64-bit processor...
     
  21. kevin.rivers macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

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    Dec 4, 2005
    #21
    I am going iMac, so I can drop in a Merom down the road. I am sure the 965 chipset will show an advantage over the 945 when it comes to the Merom, but the performance increase is still hefty on current chipsets with ES Meroms. So it will still be a worthy upgrade. :)

    Then when the notebooks get upgraded, I will pounce on them.
     
  22. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

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    Florida Resident
    #22
    My G5 has legs for the future but it's butt is getting spanked by 32-bit cpus of today.
     
  23. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #23
    You'd still have the same bus speed on the 965 using Merom. Have fun opening your iMac.
     
  24. kevin.rivers macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

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    Dec 4, 2005
    #24
    I am sure the 965 chipset will be optimized for the Merom, while the 945 won't be.

    I will have fun opening my iMac :) . I will wait a while for the prices to drop on the chips.
     
  25. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
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    Indianapolis
    #25
    Err..Yonah and Merom are pin compatible. What kind of optimizations could their be? Is the 945 somehow limited?
     

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