64bit Merom

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mike2q, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. mike2q macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    #1
    I have ordered a Macbook Pro and am waiting in line with everyone else. I always know that whatever computer I get there will always be a much faster computer waiting around the corner. 64bit chips however seem different and have got me trying to decide if I should cancel my order and wait. My questions are this:
    1. I hear that 32bit chips can run 64bit operations but not as efficiently. Is this true and if so does this mean that my computer won't be obsolete any quicker than the next?
    2. Will there be 64bit only software that a 32bit chip would not be able to run efficiently?
    3. Will the resell value really drop or is this just specuation?
    4. If Merom chips can be "droped" into a yonah socket and the macbook pro's chips are soldered on can they be unsoldered and replaced by a professional at a later date?
    5. Will 32bit suport be dropped quickly because 32 bit intel chips were only made for 6 months?
    Help me make a decision. I'm not a professional who needs a high end for work however I would like a fast computer with a decent graphics processor that will still feel speedy after two or three years. Somthing that can play modern games if I want to. I realisticly wont buy another laptop for proably three or four years.
     
  2. excalibur313 macrumors 6502a

    excalibur313

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    #2
    No a 32 bit processor cannot run a 64 bit program. Yes when software is specifically designed for it it will run faster (expect a more universal binary for supporting different types of intels) 32 bit support won't be dropped because when a programmer designs something it will be for all platforms, you could expect less time optimizing that part of the code maybe.
     
  3. Ryan T. macrumors 6502a

    Ryan T.

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #3
    32 bit support won't be "dropped", 32 bit processors account for probably 90% of all CPUs in use right now.
     
  4. Hodapp macrumors 6502a

    Hodapp

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #4
    Keep in mind that there are several very good arguments towards 64 bit processors being completely un-needed at this point in the computing game. I've seen a few good threads on both Anandtech and Slashdot about the 64bit vs 32bit debate. It pretty much comes down to this, until we are commonly using programs which require more than 4GB of real non-virtual memory, 64 bit is kind of pointless.

    Most of the performance benefit you see with 64 bit processors are simply because they're new processor architectures which are faster and more optimized then their predecessor. Take a look at the Athlon 64 for example. The only real benefits anyone sees when using that chip in 64 bit mode with 64 bit Windows XP are based in math intensive applications that use gobs and gobs of memory.

    You don't have to worry about 32 bit becoming deprecated for a long, long, long, LONG time.
     
  5. excalibur313 macrumors 6502a

    excalibur313

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    #5
    64 bit refers to how many bits that the processor can address in a register and while you are right about the 4 gig thing if a program is coded for 32 bit and 64 bit separately it will be significantly faster if it is 64 bit. Just take a look at Windows 64, ms internet explorer is waay faster 64 bit.
     
  6. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #6
    As someone else said, 32-bit processors can't do 64-bit, period.
    Not in the lifetime of any computer you buy this year.
    Resale value of Macs will probably take a hit. A processor released now at highest-end will dive by $2-300 retail within about 9 months. The fastest CPUs are priced far above the runner-up and if you buy a brand new computer with the fastest possible CPU (those retailing near $1000), you can bet that the extra $300 you paid over the base model will probably mostly disappear after a year. The $1200 PC and the $1600 faster-CPU PC might, for example, settle to $950 and $1000 after one year. Even though Macs will remain a niche product, the new CPU pricing cycle will affect the value of a high-end versus a mid-range version of the same computer and will tend to minimize the difference.
    It's highly uncommon for people to attempt to upgrade mobile CPUs these days. In addition to the risk of damage to the motherboard and the new CPU, the retail price of mobile CPUs is a major deterrent, and cooling systems are often designed not to be disassembled (to save space), which is often trickier to manage than the actual soldering. You also risk having the computer's firmware not able to detect the newer CPU (notebook chipsets can be much less flexible than desktops in this regard). In the end, the most logical approach is just to buy a new machine entirely...look at typical professional repair prices--replacing LCDs can often cost $800, and that's a fairly simple procedure.
    32-bit support won't be dropped for a very, very long time.[/QUOTE]
     
  7. mmmcheese macrumors 6502a

    mmmcheese

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #7
    That doesn't make any sense whatsoever....Why does Internet Explorer rely on 64-bit calculations? Unless you're running scientific experiments with high precision, or very large, number, there won't be any speed-up. The only other case where 64-bit will be is an advantage is the already mentioned case where an application has a huge memory footprint.
     
  8. jrk07 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    #8
    Stupid question time:

    So why did "bits" matter back in the Super Nintendo thru Nintendo 64 period? They just doubled the processors from 8bit to 16bit to 32bit to 64bit to 128bit. Fill me in why these processors are completely different than PC processors. Sorry to derail, I just always wonder this.

    Bonus question: Why the hell does the x-box 360 have 3 processors?
     
  9. Towel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2003
    #9
    I think there's little reason to postpone a MBP purchase solely on account of Merom. Intel's recent presentation on Merom said it would be only 20% faster for the same battery life as Yonah. It's going to debut at identical clock speeds as the contemporary Yonah. As for 64-bitness, at the moment you can only stuff 2GB of RAM into a MBP anyway - I imagine it will take a little while for SODIMMs to make the density jump to make the 4GB 32-bit ceiling an issue. Desktops are another story, since Conroe is going to be a substantial leap over Intel's current offerings. But Yonah/CoreDuo is a good chip, right now, with most of Merom's advantages. And a Merom MBP might not even appear for a full year yet.
     
  10. mike2q thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    #10
    Well thanks guys. Thats pretty much what I wanted to know. I don't mind that newer hardware is always around the corner, I just hate the idea that what I'm buying now won't last very long and will have a sharper drop in resell value in a couple of years. I think I'm proably going to keep my MacBook on order. I have until march 24th to make a decision though.

    -Michael
     
  11. maxvamp macrumors 6502a

    maxvamp

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Location:
    Somewhere out there
    #11
    Be careful with all of those longs..you will need a 64-bit proc to calculate them. :D

    I almost totally agree.

    The **ONLY** place that 64-bit may quickly come to the consumer realm is in Games. This is an area where calculations are everything.

    I don't think we will see the need for a 64-bit version of MS-Office any time soon.

    Max.
     
  12. mmmcheese macrumors 6502a

    mmmcheese

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #12
    Well, you won't want to buy computers or cars then...if you only want to buy products that maintain their value, stick to precious metals and gems.
     
  13. mike2q thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    #13
    I'm not worried about resell value computers in general, I'm worried that it won't be worth a dime in a few months.
     
  14. maxvamp macrumors 6502a

    maxvamp

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Location:
    Somewhere out there
    #14

    This is not likely...

    Max.
     

Share This Page