Is my iMac 64 bit?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by tcamposr, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. tcamposr macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2006
    Hi I have a iMac Intel core 2 duo. I tried to install suse (linux) using Parallels and it says I can run a 64 bit system on a 32 bit machine. I thought my iMac was 64 bit... am I missing something?



    Hardware Overview:

    Model Name: iMac
    Model Identifier: iMac5,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache (per processor): 4 MB
    Memory: 1 GB
    Bus Speed: 667 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: IM51.0090.B03
    SMC Version: 1.8f2
    Serial Number: W8647943VUX
  2. bmcgrath macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2006
    London, United Kingdom
  3. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    It may be something to do with OSX Tiger being a 32/64-bit hybrid OS, so Parallels may not currently allow 64-bit virtualisation. OSX Leopard will be fully 64-bit on that hardware.
  4. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
  5. tcamposr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2006
    Is my iMac 64 bit?

    Thanks for your response. I made a mistake and said I can run a 64 bit system on a 32. What I meant is that Parallels says I can not run a 64 system on a 32 bit machine. Is there anyway I can fix this? How can Parallels "know" my machine is 64 bit?

  6. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    The problem is Parallels, at the moment is 32-bit. Doesn't matter if you run it on a 32-bit, 64-bit or 128-bit machine. All it knows is 32-bits. SuSe has to go through Parallels to get to your hardware so all it sees is the 32-bitness of Parallels rather than the 64-bitness of the iMac underneath. A future version of Parallels may solve this.
  7. jf8 macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2007
  8. user13 macrumors regular


    Dec 22, 2006
    I'm hoping that Parallels will solve this problem soon - they have been very accurate with updates so far, that's why there's a reason to believe in improvements.
  9. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Sep 20, 2007
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    VMware Fusion 1.0 already supports 64 bit versions of Linux and Windoze -- plus, it gives you the choice of running your virtual machines on either one or two CPU cores. VMware has been in the virtualization buisness for years, and have a large customer base running business-critical applications on Windoze and Linux hosts under "VMware Workstation.".

    VMware VMs created on any of their three host platforms (Windoze, Linux, OS-X) are interchangable -- you can create a linux virtual machine on your iMac at home and run it on your Windoze XP or Vista machine at work -- and you don't even have to buy a copy of VMware Workstation (see: VMware Player).

    Grab the free evaluation copy of Fusion from -- it's 100% functional (the downloaded disk image diff's bit-for-bit identical to the retail CD). The ONLY limitation is that the evaluation copy "times out" after 30 days.

    The licensed retail version (including media) is only $40 from

    ...fantastic product!

  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Your Macintosh is a 64 bit computer. But it looks like the virtual computer that Parallels creates is a 32 bit computer. So Linux asks the virtual computer it is running on "are you 32 or 64 bit?" and the virtual computer answers "32 bit".

    There are similar effects when Linux checks how many processors there are and how much RAM and which video card; it doesn't see the real processors/RAM/video card, but it can only sees what Parallels shows it.

    In practice, this will likely not make much difference.
  11. OldMike macrumors 6502


    Mar 3, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    I use Virtual Box, which is open source and worked on by Sun Microsystems. It is free, and I actually like it better than VMware or Virtual PC (I just got another Mac a day ago so I am talking from experience of having run it on Vista).

    They make a version for Mac and it has 64 bit support.

    You can find it here:
  12. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    There's more to it than this. The first Core 2 Duo Macs were all 32 bit machines.
  13. candan9019 macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2003
    Ontario-> Louisiana-> Colorado-> Ontario
    The first Intel processors in Macs were Core Duos which were 32-bit, as far as I know all Core 2 Duos are 64-bit hence the "2".
  14. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    But the chipsets were 32 bit (Calistoga), so the C2D were handicapped.
  15. candan9019 macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2003
    Ontario-> Louisiana-> Colorado-> Ontario
    Thanks, I took a trip to Wikipedia and educated myself a bit more :)
  16. duffer macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2007
    Installing Linux 64 bit now. Looks like a nice product. Thanks.
  17. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    No, they are all 64 bit machines. They are all perfectly capable of running 64 bit code. You are confusing the RAM limitations of the motherboard (4 GB maximum) with the capabilities of the processor. But all machines have RAM limitations, whether it is 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB. You wouldn't call a computer with a 64 GB RAM limit a "36 bit computer", would you?
  18. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Which is why there's more to it than just the processor. They are partially 64-bit and partially 32-bit, both at the hardware level and software level (e.g., kernel).
  19. TrapOx macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008

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