Run 32bit Kernel on Mac mini server 2010

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by vslo, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. vslo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #1
    Hi guys,
    I have been experiencing some king of sluggishness on my dock. My mac mini is the server edition 2010, but with 4gb of ram. I think the 64bt kernel might be my problem, and wanted to try the 32bit kernel, but he boots automatically in the 64bit. So s there a way for me to force the 32 bit mode ?
    Thank you very much !
     
  2. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #2
    are you positive it's booting into 64-bit kernel mode? i don't think it does by default. you can try holding down the number keys "3" and "2" while booting to force it into 32-bit mode, though it should do it automatically without you having to.

    can also try this app:
    http://www.ahatfullofsky.comuv.com/English/Programs/SMS/SMS.html

    some people have noticed that quartz extreme is being disabled after updating to 10.6.4 (gui animations sleem slow or jittery). one way to see if QE is working is when you add a widget to dashboard, you should see a ripple animation. if you don't see the ripple effect, then QE is disabled and you need to re-enable it.
     
  3. vslo thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #3
    Yes my quartz is enabled.
    And yes, it is booting in 64bit default.
    I will try your tip. Thank you.
     
  4. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #4
    according to this article, 64-bit kernel mode is only enabled on the xserve and mac pro models by default.
    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3770

    it's an old article, but i don't see why apple would enable 64-bit mode by default on the new mini server.
     
  5. vslo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 9, 2010
    #5
    I can see the kernel is 64bit by default. When I turned it on for the very first time, I went in the activity monitor and the kernel was in 64bits. I am sure about this.
     
  6. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #6
    that doesn't mean anything. it just means the kernel agent is running as a 64-bit app, which it can do it 32-bit kernel mode.

    instead, you need to open the system profiler and look under software where it says:
    64-bit Kernel and Extensions: No (it will say Yes when you're in 64-bit kernel mode)
     
  7. vslo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 9, 2010
    #7
    64-bit Kernel and Extensions: Yes

    It is in 64bit mode
    Should it be faster or better in any aspect then 32bit ?
     
  8. indg macrumors 6502

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    Feb 7, 2007
    #8
    no, you won't notice any speed improvements. the only reason you'd need 64-bit kernel mode is if you have apps that utilize a large amount of ram (more than 32GB) or specific system extensions that require a 64-bit kernel. you can't have more than 8GB of ram in the mini, so no help there. and i doubt you use any apps that require a 64-bit kernel extension to be installed.

    is your mini server a refurb or previously owned? if it really came with 64-bit kernel mode enabled out of a new box, i'm really surprised.
     
  9. vslo thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #9
    no it is 0km. and yes it came out of the box 64bit kernel. I think they all do now. But, I think I will still go with the 64bits until I notice something that make me go to 32. The real question is: SHould I make raid0 ?
     
  10. ahankinson macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    #10
    Only do RAID0 if you a) always keep an up-to-date backup of your server drives, or b) don't care if your drives fail. RAID0 doubles the likliehood that a harddrive crash will wipe out all your data. If one drive dies, you lose the entire RAID set.

    And if you had just opened your server, the sluggishness may be due to Spotlight indexing your drives for the first time.
     
  11. Phantom Gremlin macrumors regular

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    Feb 10, 2010
    Location:
    Tualatin, Oregon
    #11
    4 GB RAM probably needs 64 bits

    I'm not an expert in these things. But in Windoze world you need a 64 bit OS to be able to access a full 4 GB of RAM. Otherwise you're left with wasted memory where there are holes for e.g. memory mapped PCI registers. You only get access to 3 GB or so of RAM without 64 bits. Same in the Linux universe, you can't get a full 4 GB of RAM w/o a 64 bit kernel.

    Why isn't it the same in the Mac universe? If you have > 3 GB of RAM installed, you probably need a 64 bit OS. No?

    E.g. My Macbook is running 10.6.4 but only has 1 GB of RAM. It says

    64-bit Kernel and Extensions: No
     
  12. dyn macrumors 68030

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    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #12
    I think it's quite easy why it boots the 64 bit kernel by default. It's a standard OS X Server install which normally runs on a Mac Pro or a Xserve and those machines are able to boot the 64 bit kernel by default. Booting the 64 bit kernel simply is an option in OS X Server, not in the Mac Pro or Xserve (they obviously need to support it). Since every Mac now supports booting the 64 bit kernel (most don't by default due to 32 bit drivers and things like that) it's much easier to simply ship the standard OS X Server edition instead of creating a separate Mac mini edition.

    There is this magical thing called PAE which allows you to use >4 GB of memory on a 32 bit OS (Leopard used this). Snow Leopard does it a bit differently. It uses the 32 bit kernel but it is able to use the 64 bit memory addressing stuff so it doesn't need PAE to be able to use >4 GB of memory (8 GB works fine in my mid 2010 MBP which is booting Snow Leopard with the 32 bit kernel). Due to design restrictions the 32 bit Windows version is only able to address a certain part of the 4 GB of physical memory. This has something to do with memory addressing, if you want to know more about that you should take a look at the following article: The 3GB-not-4GB RAM problem.

    In OS X you do not need to run a 64 bit kernel to be able to run 64 bit software. You also do not need to boot the 32 bit kernel to be able to run 32 bit software. Modern Macs with Snow Leopard are able to run 32 AND 64 bit software simultaneously and it really doesn't matter whether you're using the 32 or 64 bit kernel, it can do this with both of them. In other words: stuff simply works, no need to worry about 32 or 64 bit :)
     
  13. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Location:
    Singapore
    #13
    the Mac Mini will not be booted into 32-bit mode. and this isnt even related to your problem, which is something completely different. what is your CPU usage?
     
  14. vslo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 9, 2010
    #14
    the kernel takes up to 15-30% all the time, sometimes more. I am getting some laggy glitches at the dock, a problem that I did not have in my old 2009 mini. My monitor still the same (1080p 23" ). So I can only assume that what is causing the dock to get choppy sometimes is the server snow leopard, and my guss would be due to the usage of the processor. One thing I know, this wasnt supposed to be happening.
     
  15. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
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    #15
    yeh thats a lilkely issue. what are your temps? i wonder if the CPU is underclocking itself.

    i would reinstall tbh.
     
  16. vslo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 9, 2010
    #16
    my temps are OK. They never go up 52 C. I used the Fan Control to speed up the fan to 2600rpm. I can say that my 9400M was doing better than this 320M. If I call Apple and ask them for a Mac mini Snow Leo install dvd, would they give me one ?
    Thank you !
     
  17. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #17
    odd, you should already have one? the 320M blows the 9400M OUT OF THE WATER wrt power, so im guessing its a software issue. its probably worth taking it into apple and show them the problem, therefore it will be documented if any future events arise.
     
  18. Phantom Gremlin macrumors regular

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    Tualatin, Oregon
    #18
    I think he means a DVD of OS X Snow Leopard non-server edition. He bought the server version of the Mini.
     
  19. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Singapore
    #19
    gotchya, :) thanks for clarifying
     
  20. vslo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 9, 2010
    #20
    exactly !
    By software issue you mean what ? Issue with the installation ? Hope so. I am waiting for the external superdrive to come, so I will perform a clean install. Still, wish I could install the normal Snow Leopard. Would Apple give me one if I ask ?

    EDIT:

    Just remembered something. Don't really know if has to do with the problem or not. When I first booted the mini, and was performing the installation, when I finished it the mini booted and the installation wasn't performed. I had to go trough all the process again. Don't know why it happened, but was strange. I just remembered and decided to post it, you never know, maybe I am missing something that you guys can see.
    Thank you!
     
  21. vslo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 9, 2010
    #21
    Sorry for the double post, but now I have a doubt, I dont know in who to believe. Just called Apple and the adviser told me, better, assured me that if I buy a retail version of snow leopard trough Apple.com, it will DEFINITELY work with my Mac Mini server. So, what should I do ? He assured me that it will work !! I am in doubt about it right now, because you guys told me it wont. And he even told me that if I borrow a DVD with someone that has the 2010 Mac Mini, the install dvd will only work with the Mini that it came with. He assured me that the snow leopard that is sold in apple.com is the latest version of it (10.6.4).
    So, what should I do ?
     
  22. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #22
    If you get a $29 Snow Leopard DVD, it installs and runs fine on your Mini Server. If you use the DVD which came with another Mini, it works too. Apple doesn't allow this, but you could install Snow Leopard on every Intel-Mac on the Planet with one disk that came with a Mac Mini. Apple just calls you a bad, bad boy if you do, and Steve Jobs may come around and spank you, if he finds out. They can't even figure out whether it's a $29 DVD or a DVD which came with a Mac, they are basically the same. They don't even care, or they would try to prevent it. A DVD that came with any other types of Mac work, too. As long as you do this for personal purposes and not commercial ones, you basically don't have to give a crap about the restrictions of the end-user agreement. Apple states to love their customers, see that as the proposition.

    What do you mean by "sluggishness"? That if you hit the Applications folder in the dock and click any folder inside, that it takes some seconds to open the new folder? That's standard behavior. Also, 64Bit is not likely to cause any kind of sluggishness. I configured my non-server Mini to boot in 64Bit mode, works as before. As said before, hold the "3" and "2" keys on the keyboard and hit the power button to start the Mini will boot it with the kernel in 32Bit mode. If that helps, which is not likely, you can configure that to permanent behavior as needed.

    You didn't told us what you use the Mini for, but if you use apps which use more then the 4GB of memory available and the systems swaps to the slow 5400 RPM hard drives, or use 100% of both processor cores, the system gets slow and that can cause described behavior. If so, get a Mac Pro.
     
  23. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #23
    Incorrect on so many levels. The disk that came with a MBP will not work on a Mac Mini. On the disks that come with machines, there's code to check what type of machine you are attempting to install on. Retail disks do not do this.

    Also, the new Mini Server contains 7200rpm drives.
     
  24. vslo thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #24
    Thank you for your help.
    My sluggishness is graphic related.I mean, the dock gets choppy sometimes, the spaces too, just a bit though. But wasnt happening with my 9400M Mini, so I figure its not suposed to happen with my 320M one. Anyone that has the 2010 mini and runs it on 1080p could help me. I know that the server edition has so many more processes than the normal version of snow leopard, and question if this can cause that.Also, could a bad installation cause this ?
     
  25. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #25
    You mean like a bolt hits your screen? Set the correct frequency for your monitor then, or get an uprated HDMI 1.3 cable if you use HDMI.
     

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