32 or 64 bit kernel?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Maccle, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. Maccle macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2011
    Hey. Is there any real difference between running the 32 bit kernel and the 64 bit one? My MBP's default is 32 bit, but I've switched it to 64 bit to see if there was any difference. As far as I can tell, there's no real difference, but is it better for me to run in 32 or 64 bit kernel mode? What are the differences?
  2. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    64 bit is more secure in some situations, faster for some calculations, and can address more memory (although OS X can run in a sort of hybrid mode).

    Downsides are that some compatibility issues are introduced. For instance, I cannot run cisco VPN or my serial to usb cable under 64 bit because of the drivers.

    Let compatibility dictate what you need. If you don't run any exotic hardware perhipherals and your apps play nice, you can switch it to 64 bit with no ill effects. Otherwise , for compatibility, i'd keep it at 32 bit.
  3. getheo macrumors member


    Jul 3, 2011
  4. Maccle thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2011
    Thanks Eddyisgreat, I think I'll leave it on 64 bit unless I do come across any incompatibilities. So far, so good :D

    getheo, you can check what version you're running currently (some of the later models default to 64 bit) by following the instructions on this page. To change it, follow the steps on this page.

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