Intel...64 bit?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by studiomeridian, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. studiomeridian macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    #1
    I don't know a lot about chip technology, or the Duo Core for that matter, but is the Duo Core a 64-bit chip? I remember how Apple kept touting the G5 chip as being a 64-bit processor in comparison to 32-bit PC chips...Is the Duo Core up to par?
     
  2. Airforce macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #2
    No, it is 32bit. 64bit one will be coming out later this year.
     
  3. ksgant macrumors 6502a

    ksgant

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago
    #3
    OK, so this begs the question, how will this effect OSX?

    In the Windows world we have 64bit computers...I'm typing this on a 64bit X2 Athlon. And there are two separate operating systems XP and XP64. XP64 requires 64 bit drivers and such...yet there are programs that are 64bit programs...some (not all) of the higher end ones make you buy specific either 32 bit or 64 bit.

    Will there be two versions of OSX floating around out there? Will developers now have to contend with Universal binaries AND if they're 64bit or 32bit?

    Just wondering.
     
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #4
    Unless you are going to use more than 4Gb or RAM 64bit is not really worth it at the point in time. As the current Intel Macs are limited to 2Gb or RAM 32bit is fine. The extra registers of x64 would be nice but not life changing.
     
  5. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    #5
    OSX knows what sort of PPC its running on 32 bit or 64 bit and no additional version is needed. I'll assume the same for the universal binary version for the 32 and 64 bit intel chips.
     
  6. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #6
    A Universal Binary can contain more than 2 architectures. There is nothing to stop developers shipping apps that are PPC, x86-32 and x86-64 in a single binary when the time comes.
     
  7. cnakeitaro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #7
    Could you elaborate on the kind of things that x64 would offer on MacOS X? I cancelled my MacBook order when I saw it was 32-bit, because I wasn't sure what it would mean in the next 4 years if you had a 32 bit intel, when it could be that they were only in macs for around 6 months before the mac line was transitioned into Merom and Conroe (if that happens). I hope i didn't cancel my MacBook for no reason. Probably better to wait for rev b anyways. :)

    cnakeitaro
     
  8. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #8
    More than 4Gb of RAM. From a user perspective that's it. It's not a magic, silver bullet.

    64bit on it's own does not make anything faster or better in itself. In fact on some OSs (Solaris comes to mind) 64bit compiled apps are actually SLOWER than 32 bit ones.

    x64 does have addition registers (local memory address on the CPU used to hold data for use in current instructions) over "standard" x86 which gives the compiler more room to play. This can make things a tiny bit faster but in real life (i.e. on Windows XP for x64 which I have on my games PC) it doesn't make a noticeable difference.
     
  9. guzhogi macrumors 68020

    guzhogi

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Location:
    Wherever my feet take me…
    #9
    I just took a class about computer maintenance & repair. My professor and book said that Pentiums were 64-bit processors and there are 2 kinds of busses: an adress bus and a data bus. The address bus gives an address to RAM and drives while the data bus does the processing. The thing that determines whether a CPU is an x-bit processor is how big the data bus is. Is this correct? If it is, what would the advantage of having a 64-bit processor?
     
  10. p0intblank macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #10
    As far as I know, 64-bit is not important for consumers at this time. There are very few, if any at all, apps that use 64-bit technology. 32-bit is just fine for a couple more years in my opinion. If you're debating whether or not to get the new iMac or MacBook Pro because they use 32-bit chips, I have to say go for it. I'm hoping to get the new iMac soon and like I've already said: 64-bit isn't something to think about right now.
     
  11. Morn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    #11
    Well, he's not exactly wrong, just a bit old fashion, people usually mean the registor size when they talk about how many bits a processor is.
     

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