2010 Mac Pro runs in 64bit Kernal by default. Why?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by theaero, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. theaero macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2008
  2. PenguinMac macrumors member

    May 21, 2010
    For the same reason $500 laptops with 4GB RAM come with Windows 7 64-bit. With Mac's and PC's selling with 4GB memory and up, Apple and Microsoft are trying to tell us it's time to move to 64-bit. Yes the Mac Pro comes with 3GB RAM, but that is a marketing decision that I don't understand - when a 13-inch MacBook Pro comes with 4GB, why doesn't the Mac Pro come with 6GB? Anyway, with many Mac Pro's soon to be running with 24GB and 32GB of memory, the 64-bit kernel should be the default.
  3. dockingbay94 macrumors regular


    Jul 29, 2010
    64-bit is the future and rightfully so. I'm stoked to hear it boots 64-bit by default.
  4. Corndog5595 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    How do you check which kernel you are booted in?

    Edit: Terminal — "uname -a”

    My MBP with 4GB boots into 32 bit by default.
  5. dockingbay94 macrumors regular


    Jul 29, 2010
    I'm pretty sure (besides the XServe) this Mac Pro is the first computer to boot 64 by default.
  6. Corndog5595 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    Is this editable? I know that apps can run in 64 bit mode but I’d like to boot into the 64 bit kernel (without holding down 6 and 4 when booting).
  7. dockingbay94 macrumors regular


    Jul 29, 2010
    I think I remember reading a terminal command around somewhere that will have the system boot to either 32 or 64 by default.
  8. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    • a) Steve thinks consumers are dumb
    • b) Apple thinks no one will notice
    • c) Person responsible for 2010 Mac Pro update actually works in the app store & isn't familiar w/ the Mac Pro
    • d) Apple is cheap and wants to wring as much money out of customers as possible
    • e) Both a and b
    • f) Both a, b, and d
    • g) all of the above

  9. Cynicalone macrumors 68040


    Jul 9, 2008
    Okie land
    I'll take "f". :D
  10. Ryan P macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2010
    Interesting read, didn't realize the details on that. Don't have my Mac Pro yet but just changed my i7 MBP to boot 64 by default. It seems happy.
  11. Justinf79 macrumors 6502


    May 28, 2009
    My '09 MP booted into 32bit mode by default. I had to alter a file to get it to boot into 64bit.
  12. Corndog5595 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    You either have to edit a Property List or run ‘nvram’ from Terminal in order to boot into K64 by default.
  13. Ryan P macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2010
    h. The Person who prices Apple RAM is different from the person who specs the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro person can't bear to put any more of the horribly over priced RAM in the Mac Pro!
  14. Corndog5595 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    Somebody needs to write a VB plugin that lets people '+1’ posts and then that user’s ‘+’ count increases by 1.
  15. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    The 2009 Mac Pro boots in 64-bit mode by default if you install OS X Server…
  16. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2010
    it doesn't come with OS X Server by default, nor is it only coming with OS X Server
  17. PenguinMac macrumors member

    May 21, 2010
    The 2010 Mac Mini Server with OS X Server also boots into 64-bit mode by default. The only problem I had: MacFuse to read/write NTFS disks only works with the 32-bit kernel. There is a hacked 64-bit MacFuse but I can't trust my data to that, so I bought Paragon NTFS for Mac which is 64-bit.
  18. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    I'm just not sure about the advantages of the 64bit kernel.

    I benchmarked my '09 Pro with both the 32 and 64bit kernel and had the exact same results. :confused:

    IMHO the only opinion to use the 64bit kernel is if you have more than 32GB of RAM installed, performance wise it doesn't make a difference (or maybe I just used the wrong benchmarks or software that doesn't stack up with the hardware ;)).
  19. DualShock macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008


    See Method 2.
  20. MacBird macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2010
  21. Giuly macrumors 68040


    Because it can. Why shouldn't it? There comes a really minor performance improvement with it.
    On Macs, it doesn't bring that much of improvement, as most stuff already runs 64Bit on 32Bit-Kernel, i.e. drivers, as the Kernel runs in the kernel runs in 64Bit Compatibility-Mode, so actually the CPU is already in 64Bit (aka long)-mode rather then being completely 32Bit.
    BS. Even with a 32Bit-Kernel, the CPU runs in long-mode, thus can adress much more then even the 64GB of PAE, as the long-mode is a superset of PAE.
  22. macusersince5 macrumors member


    Mar 13, 2010
    so what does this mean now for 2010 mac pro owners?? Does this mean certain software won't be able to run on these new mac pros. They talked about drivers, drivers for what exactly, but I don't really think I understand all of this.
  23. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Probably because it isn't just a pure marketing decision (or is marketing decision ... depends if you think the marketing folks care about quality or not.)

    Mac Pro and MBP are two different market segments. Mac Pro users typically want to open the box and tweak the configuration. In that context, the user is going to change the configuration anyway after they get it. It is not a "buy and then use for months/years before change" situation. It is a "buy it and change after a day or two. " situation. If the user doesn't really want Apple's RAM then it is better to sell the cheapest RAM possible so no big deal with them putting on the shelf (or trading in) when they buy the RAM config the want from someone else. That way the can also crow about how they saved bucks but not paying Apple "sky high" RAM fees.

    For those who don't mind paying apple prices for RAM it isn't just 3GB you can get it in. Typically those folks put value on one purchase order and configuration support over saves a few bucks. Nobody "has to" buy a 3GB Mac Pro from Apple. There are more memory configurations you can buy in the Apple store for the Mac Pro than the MBP.

    MPB: 2x different flavors of DIMMs on menu.
    MP: 3x and 4x different flavors of DIMMs on menu.

    The 1GB flavor boxes are Apple's version of a "bare bones" box offering.

    As for quality there are three different memory channels. A simplistic QA check at manufacturing would be to put in something to test all three when do the boot smoke test before boxing. So stuff something into all slots with a distinct channel. The MBPs generally have have two channels and the Mac Pro has three. [ won't be too surprised in the 4x channel next gen Mac Pro's ship with 4x 1GB DIMMs . Would be natural for Apple to leverage the memory decrease over time costs to jump to 2GB/slot, but since the number of slots to be filled will likely have gone up... they are reluctant too... because pinching pennies. ]

    The MBP happens to get use 2GB sticks. That's more so because Apple would rather you do not open your MBP to muck around with updates. You can, but they'd rather you not. There are also fewer slot to fill.
  24. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Perhiperals like Firewire, USB, PCI-e devices sometimes comes with pieces of software that "drive" the communication between the Mac and the add-on device. For example printers have drivers.

    Some drivers are written by Apple. Typically those are generic. The more non generic funcitionality your add-on device has the more likely it needs a special driver. Another set of drivers are collected by Apple and distributed with system updates. Apple just ships, not writes them.

    Likewise some things make low level kernel modifications ( e.g., Cicso VPN tweaks how packets get routed onto network ). So some cases not necessarily a physical device.

    The crux of the matter drivers generally have to tightly integrate with the OS kernel. So if make major change to kernel ( go from 32 to 64 bits ) you have to change the drivers.

    What will happen with 64 bit kernel is that potentially printer, PCI-e , etc. will stop working because that company hasn't released updated 64 bit versions of their drivers. That's not really a big issue at this point. With the Snow Leopard release most manufacturers got on board with 64 kernels for their then current offerings.

    The big problem tends to be someone who is pushing old legacy cards/printers/etc. that aren't supported anymore. The 64-bit kernel will likely send them over the edge into not working mode. They'll need to replace or just simply boot 32-bit all the time.

    Folks would bought highly specialized, low volume equipment are usually more freaked out about this. If you attach relatively modern and mainstream stuff to your Mac you probably have no issues with either kernel version.

    The vast majority of Applications just "talk" to the OS. The don't require kernel modifications. The 32-bit kernel can run the more common 64-bit apps (all other macs ship exactly in that mode) and the 64-bit kernel can run 32 and 64 bit apps transparently. So no big impact at the app level. As long as they don't dip into the kernels internals the mode of the kernel shouldn't really matter.

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