Leopard 64bit

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by billabong, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. billabong macrumors 6502

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    #1
    With the update in leopard to 64bit, will my MacPro run much faster than it previously did with Tiger? I don't fully understand the Benefits of 64bit in Leopard. Will our MacPro's finally utilize the 64bit capabilities? Or did they already do so with Tiger?
     
  2. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

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    #2
    Not only 64bit, the whole OS will take advantage of your MP much better than Tiger...it will speed up greatly :)
     
  3. antibact1 macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I like how people are entirely hung up on 64-bit computing. Unless you are running software that is using massing amounts of memory ( > 2GB ) this is in no way going to affect you.

    As from the Apple page as to what extra options this gives to Developers:

    * 64-bit addressing of up to 16 exabytes of virtual memory and 4 terabytes of physical memory
    * Full 64-bit arithmetic
    * 64-bit development tools
    * 64-bit performance monitoring tools
    * Seamless deployment
    * LP64 data model
    * Common source base support

    This is not going to affect the average computer user at all - it's just marketing hype. In all likelihood, inexperienced programmers using this will make software that runs slower (ie. using 64-bit variables when 32-bit ones will do).
     
  4. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #4
    If you have Leopard, and a computer with a Core 2 Duo processor, not a Core Duo processor, then your computer can run both 32 bit and 64 bit applications at the same time.

    A 64 bit application has some advantages: First, it can easily handle more than a few Gigabyte of data. Most applications don't need that, but if you need it, then 64 bit applications will run much much faster. Second, certain applications that need 64 bit operations run a lot faster, but that is mostly things like encryption or mathematical software. And third, due to some strange differences between Intel processors in 32 bit and 64 bit mode, most things run maybe 10 percent faster as 64 bit applications.

    However, if you use an application that isn't a 64 bit application, then you will gain nothing. And developers will only switch to 64 bit apps quickly if there is a _big_ advantage for the end user. So right now, the 64-bitness will not give you anything. With time, high-end applications first and then other applications will switch to 64 bit and run faster, but it will take years.
     
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #5
    I doubt they will make the switch anytime soon, since most developers are going to err on the side of selling to as many users as possible.

    So a lot of developers may end up with 10.3 or 10.4 as a minimum.

    Though switching to the Leopard APIs may be worthwhile to pick up the easier multicore calls.
     
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #6
    10.3 support is dying fast already.
     
  7. sblasl macrumors 6502a

    sblasl

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    #7
    So no perceivable speed increase or fluidness?

     
  8. jasonvp macrumors 6502a

    jasonvp

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    #8
    No. The only thing it'll change is how much memory an application can address at any given time. And, in order to be able to take advantage of that, the application (Final Cut, Photoshop, et al) have to be recompiled and relinked to support 64-bit memory addressing.

    That WILL happen. Anyone who says it won't happen is living in the past. 64-bit computing is here and the app designers know it. How soon? Not sure...

    jas
     
  9. sblasl macrumors 6502a

    sblasl

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    #9
    Would this not be a given to assume that Apple will do it for all of their Pro applications, if for no other reason than a marketing campaign?

     
  10. Lone Deranger macrumors 65816

    Lone Deranger

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    #10
    I should think so. It would be a waste to have OSX finally 64 bit in it's entirety and then not to make use of it. I'm expecting apps like Final Cut, Shake, Logic Pro etc. to get a 64bit compile.
    It's already happening in an increasing degree with software for that other OS ;) with Maya and XSI for instance available in both 32 bit and 64 bit flavours. And boy does it make a diffirence when your scene files hit that 2GB marker. :D (Provided you have in excess of 3-4GB of Ram ofcourse).

     
  11. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    #11
    64-bit computing has been around for ages. The performa 6200 had a 64-bit processor (though the motherboard could only address at 32-bit). The G5 was 64-bit. It's not new. And as far as I know, Tiger (and possibly Panther) were designed to optimize 64-bit machines as well.
     
  12. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #12
    Panther was 100% 32bit and Tiger was only 64bit in the Unix layer, the rest of Mac OS X (i.e the GUI and all the 'Mac' stuff) was still 32bit.

    Leopard is the first version of Mac OS X to be fully 64bit and be able to use the 64bit processors for everything.

    Oh and the Performa 6200 used a 32bit processor (the PPC 603 / 603e).
     
  13. damado macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I got my first 64 bit capable chip from AMD a few years ago and have yet to see any reason for 64 bit for the average person. It's been around...just hasn't been put to use for the general populace it seems. No real need maybe.
     
  14. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #14
    Were you running a 64bit capable OS such as Linux or XP 64bit? If not you wouldn't have noticed any difference anyway.
     
  15. powderblue17 macrumors regular

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    #15
    I think there is a lot of confusion on what 64-bit in Leopard really means. I'm not a developer but as far as I know Leopard is really still a 32-bit os even on 64-bit chips. The only difference is that Leopard has the frameworks that would allow you to run a 64-bit app if you had one but everything in the os is still 32-bit. I think the confusion is created by the fact that Windows has a dedicated 64-bit version which really is a 64-bit os. This is because Windows doesn't have the capabilty to run anything like universal binaries as OS X does. That means OS X can have 32/64-bit PPC code and 32/64-bit Intel code all in one app while the os decides which one to use. Apple has said nothing in OS X has been compiled as 64-bit except X-Code because that was the only app that would see a performance gain from being in 64-bit. So really Leopard is still only 32-bit with the capability to run 64-bit apps and Apple won't make something 64-bit unless there is a performance gain to be had by doing so. You can even see this in the fact the 64-bit version of Windows is not any faster then the 32-bit version. That was just the only option they had. It just really shows how much more advanced OS X is then Windows that you can have 1 app run on 4 different architectures. This is my understanding of it all from reading about the issuse in the past and even on Apple's 64-bit Leopard page it says 64-bit ready and not that it is 64-bit. And to anwser the question about whether there will be a perceivable speed increase. Yes there will be but this doesn't have anything to do with 64-bit. This is just the os becoming more optimized across the board especially for multi-core processors.
     
  16. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    #16
    See above post (from powderblue).


    From Lowendmac:

    "To save money, Apple based the motherboard on the Quadra 605 with its 25 MHz bus and 32-bit memory. (Remember, the 603 is a 64-bit chip.)"

    However, looking up the chip I've found that only the 603e came in a 64-bit version, and there seems to be some confusion over the straight 603 being able to handle floating points at 64-bit. I'm fairly certain that the 6200 was a 630, not a 630e, so I guess it would be a 32bit...
     
  17. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #17
    I have and he is wrong.


    I'd be really interested to see some links to back your claim up because at the moment I'm 99.99% sure you are wrong.
     
  18. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    #18
    I'll ask for links to that as well. But I don't really care all that much, although I would be curious to see if the 64-bit support you're talking about extends to PPC as well...

    I am also a bit fuzzy on that, as I thought there were already certain apps under Tiger (like CS2 and ProTools) that took advantage of 64-bit, but that might have just been erroneous conversations I'm remembering.

    The lowendmac link is here, but as I said earlier after looking up the chip, it's fairly obvious that the site is incorrect. This RoadApple page (which talks about how poorly that gen of Mac was designed) repeats the same info. This Byte article points out the likely root of the error, as it states that the 602 and 603 chips were 32-bit versions of the 64-bit PPC chip of time, and that the chip can address 64-bit but not AT 64-bit. Googling around will find some tech sheets on the 603e that call it 64-bit, but again likely for the same reason (I'd find them again, but I'm already procrastinating from work enough and need to get back to it ;) ).

    EDIT: from the Byte article:

    "For example, the 602's FPU handles only single-precision (32-bit) IEEE-754 standard arithmetic, while the 603 handles both single- and double-precision (64-bit) arithmetic."

    Which, unless I am reading it incorrectly, means that the 603 can emulate 64-bit processing, I imagine similarly to Rosetta emulating the PPC architecture...
     
  19. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #19
    To help out:

    A 64-bit processor Mac will see no more of a speedup from Leopard than a 32-bit Mac will. This is because any speedup from Leopard is purely from better code, not from the "more 64-bitness" of it.

    As for the 603 being 64-bit...

    The processor is not what we now call "a 64-bit processor". It uses a 64-bit memory bus (as did the 601, as did the 604, G3, G4, and all Intel chips dating back to the original Pentium.) And it is capable of processing 64-bit integers (as are ALL PowerPCs,) in "double-byte" mode. This means that it can work on 64-bit integers by using two clock cycles to do it. This is true on the Intel side as well. (Also, the SSE4 unit on the original Pentium 4 could perform operations on 64-bit integer and floating point code, well before the Pentium 4 line added "true" 64-bitness.)
     
  20. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #20
  21. neonblue2 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
  22. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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  23. MacsAttack macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    The 64 bit extensions to the intel architecture introduced a bunch of 64 bit registers. True 64 bit software gets a real boost using these (over the archaic 32-bit register schema that the X86 platform has been lumbered with).

    The interesting question is just how much the Leopard 64-bit'ish code makes use of those new registers. There is a lot of room to write better code to take advantage of them. There are more benifits from the 64-bit intel hardware then just being able to address more memory.

    Going to have to wait and see.
     
  24. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    It will run faster, A lot of the work in leopard was under the hood and I would guess IO,VM,threads got a lot of love. I noticed a big boost overall and it is very noticable when you have a **** load of apps running. I would not say the speed is due to it being 64bit though, more due to optimizing darwin etc..
     
  25. Transeau macrumors 6502a

    Transeau

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    #25
    Okay, it's pretty obvious that many don't fully understand this.

    Leopard is fully 64-Bit. With full 32-bit support. It's 64-Bit from the Mach Kernel, through all of the frameworks, all the way to the GUI.

    Being 64-Bit, the OS takes advantage of the Intel EM64T extensions, including the 64-Bit SSE4. The biggest advantage is heavy calculations. 64-Bit math is almost twice as fast as 32-bit math, assuming that the calculation and result all fit in the registers. You will see this gain in compression algorithms.

    Having the GUI be 64-Bit means that the GUI can take full advantage of CoreImage (new to 10.5) All the pretty effects and 3D stuff get a boost from this.

    Memory... the primary advantage. The OS can access far more memory than you could ever afford. (at least in the next few years - Remember when memory was $100 for a 1MB SIMM)

    Some of you may remember when CryTek released the 64-Bit version of FarCry. It had several advances that had nothing to do with memory. Sure, it was nice to load a full area into memory, but more importantly it allowed the game to have substantially better textures, more detail and more environment detail like butterfly's and stuff. This was all due to the CPU being able to process the physics data much faster. That is - being able to process 128bits of data in two cycles of 64-bit, rather than four cycles of 32-bits.

    Given, this is pretty dumbed down, but you get the point. And this is all dependent on the programmers writing good clean and efficient code, as well as having a compiler that is geared for the job. (see GCC-4.2 - available with the Developer tools after Leopards release)


    Oh yeah... a 64-Bit OS will NOT make Safari "feel snappier" and it will not making you hard drive faster, nor will it make your computer boot faster. The Only time you are going to see any gains is when you are running an application that is doing heavy calculations.
     

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