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#4726 - 10/06/09 07:11 AM 64 bit processor
jaybass Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: toronto Canada
OS 10.5. 20" imac intel Core 2 Duo. 4 GB ram

I believe that my computer is 32 bit and that I can somehow take advantage of the 64 bit.

If so, how do I do that? How do I know it's actually running at 64 bit?

jaybass.
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#4728 - 10/06/09 07:16 AM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: jaybass]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
More info is needed, namely the processor speed. Not all 20" Intel iMacs support 64 bit. You can check yourself, of course, with MacTracker.
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#4730 - 10/06/09 08:29 AM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: jaybass]
joemikeb Online

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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
The easiest solution is the freeware utility 32 or 64 bit Startup Mode Selector. It will tell you if your Mac is capable of 64 bit operation and will set it so that you will always logon to the mode of your choice.
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#4733 - 10/06/09 09:07 AM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: joemikeb]
jaybass Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: toronto Canada
My mac has a 64 bit processor according to that website you gave me.
I have downloaded it but I'm not sure if I will see a difference

What are the major advantages?

jaybass
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#4734 - 10/06/09 09:27 AM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: jaybass]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
See this thread for a nice discussion of the issue.
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#4738 - 10/06/09 11:44 AM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: jchuzi]
joemikeb Online

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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
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#4741 - 10/06/09 01:10 PM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: jchuzi]
jaybass Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: toronto Canada
Thank you Jon # Joe,

I don't use my computer for any business purposes but I'll try out both options and take it from there.

jaybass
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#4742 - 10/06/09 01:26 PM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: jaybass]
jaybass Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: toronto Canada
I have just clicked on the 32,64 bit icon and a window says "Unsupported OS you need to run MacOSX 10.6 or above, therefore you cannot make any changes"
And yet I have Intel Core 2 Duo which is supposed to be 64 bit.

BTW, what is above 10.6?

jaybass
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#4745 - 10/06/09 03:05 PM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: jaybass]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
AFAIK, OS versions prior to 10.6 do not support 64-bit mode. My guess is that Apple made recent computers so that they would be able to take advantage of it when 10.6 was released.

Above 10.6? Not yet, at any rate. Considering the short time span for the release of 10.6, I'd say that that 10.7 will be out within the next two weeks. grin
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#4747 - 10/06/09 03:22 PM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: jaybass]
joemikeb Online

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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Just because you have a core 2 duo processor does not mean your Mac is capable of 64 bit operation. The architecture of the logic board must also support 64 bit operation. For example I have three computers here with core 2 duo processors, a MacMini, an MacBook Air, and an iMac. Of the three, only the iMac supports 64 bit operation.

Leopard (OS X 10.5.x) does not support 64 bit operation regardless of the hardware configuration, you must have Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6 or later) for that. I am running OS X 10.6.1 which is above OS X 10.6.
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#4749 - 10/06/09 03:48 PM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: jaybass]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: jaybass
I have just clicked on the 32,64 bit icon and a window says "Unsupported OS you need to run MacOSX 10.6 or above, therefore you cannot make any changes"
And yet I have Intel Core 2 Duo which is supposed to be 64 bit.

BTW, what is above 10.6?

jaybass


10.6 is the new Snow Leopard that just came out.

One of the new features of Snow Leopard is that it has a 64-bit kernel and supports 64-bit operation throughout. In 10.5 and earlier, 64-bit memory addressing is supported and some parts of OS X are 64-bit, but not all of it. If for whatever reason you want to run "pure" 64-bit mode, you must upgrade to OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.
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#4769 - 10/07/09 07:06 AM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: joemikeb]
jaybass Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: toronto Canada

Re this 32 or 64 bit mode selector, Am I reading it wrong?

"If your intel based Mac has a 32 bit processor the Snow leopard will run as a 32 bit-system.

The intel Core 2 Duo processors are 64-bit processors.

If your intel-based Mac has a 64-bit processor then Snow Leopard will run as a 64-bit system" (Verbatim)

My imac is 3 months old and according to the above, it should run as a 64-bit system.
Not that it will bother me if it doesn't, it's just that the above seems to be contradiction.

jaybass

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#4771 - 10/07/09 07:44 AM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: jaybass]
joemikeb Online

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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Your assumption is incorrect as there are factors other than the processor in determining whether or not a given Mac can run in 64 bit mode. There are at least three things that must be present to run full 64 bit mode:
  1. A 64 bit capable processor such as the Intel Core 2 Duo
  2. A 64 bit Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI). [Wikipedia - EFI is a specification that defines a software interface between an operating system and platform firmware. EFI is a much larger, more complex, OS-like replacement of the older BIOS firmware interface present in all IBM PC-compatible personal computers]
  3. An operating system such as OS X 10.6.x (Snow Leopard) that has a 64 bit kernel. [Wikipedia - the kernel is the central component of most computer operating systems. Its responsibilities include managing the system's resources (the communication between hardware and software components).]
NOTE: Apple disabled 64 bit kernel support for any MacBook computer, even those with a 64 bit EFI.
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#4774 - 10/07/09 08:27 AM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: joemikeb]
jaybass Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: toronto Canada

Thank you for putting me straight.

I'll just delete that software and stick with leopard.

jaybass
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#4823 - 10/09/09 03:51 AM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> NOTE: Apple disabled 64 bit kernel support for any MacBook computer, even those with a 64 bit EFI.

Any particular reason of which you're aware other than that MacBooks can't take more than 4Gb RAM?
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#4828 - 10/09/09 07:07 AM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online

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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Space limitations and design decisions limited the number of memory address bus lines to enough to address 4,294,967,296 unique memory locations. To support a larger memory address space the logic board itself and a number of the components on the logic board up to a possibly including the CPU would have to be modified to add at least one additional address line to the memory address bus.
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#4841 - 10/09/09 11:27 AM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: artie505]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
also sometimes the bottleneck is only in one specific location or component.

You may recall macbooks that could take 3gb but not 4gb of ram. Both slots could accomodate 2gb sticks each, but the bus could only address a total of 3 so installing two 2gb sticks would "see" both of them but could only use half of one.

The limitation can be one of OS also. Look at the windows madness where they were selling dells bundled with upwards of 4gb of ram that couldn't address it all in the software. (the real crime there however was that for all intent and purpose windows said 4gb was installed and appeared usable, but was not)
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#4857 - 10/10/09 01:34 AM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Space limitations and design decisions limited the number of memory address bus lines to enough to address 4,294,967,296 unique memory locations. To support a larger memory address space the logic board itself and a number of the components on the logic board up to a possibly including the CPU would have to be modified to add at least one additional address line to the memory address bus.


Uuuh... OK.

So if I'm following you, it's not that my MacBook can't take more than 4Gb RAM, but that it can't deal with more than 4Gb, and 64 bit requires more than that (to deliver real benefit, anyhow)?


Edited by artie505 (10/10/09 04:38 AM)
Edit Reason: Rewrite
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#4863 - 10/10/09 09:27 AM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online

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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
So if I'm following you, it's not that my MacBook can't take more than 4Gb RAM, but that it can't deal with more than 4Gb, and 64 bit requires more than that (to deliver real benefit, anyhow)?
Artie, one of us is confused, but I don't know which of us it is. I was responded to your specific question…
Originally Posted By: artie505
Any particular reason of which you're aware other than that MacBooks can't take more than 4Gb RAM?
The question as I understood it and as I responded was independent of any consideration of whether or not a given Mac could run in 64 bit mode. Neither am I aware of any reason a Mac with less than or equal to 4GB of RAM cannot take advantage of 64 bit mode to good advantage. In fact as I reported in 32 bit vs 64 bit my overall system performance on an iMac with 4GB of RAM was better in 64 bit mode in spite of a reduction in CPU performance. The addressable RAM size is unrelated to operating in 64 bit mode. V1's comments added specific examples of potential limitations on the addressable memory size of a given computer and software system.

In re-reading your original question and in light of your included quote from my post
Originally Posted By: artie505 from joemikeb
> NOTE: Apple disabled 64 bit kernel support for any MacBook computer, even those with a 64 bit EFI.
I now realize you may have been assuming a relationship between Apple's design decision to disable 64 bit kernel support on MacBooks to the limitation in addressable RAM. I have no idea what prompted Apple's design decision, but I can assure you it has nothing to do with the size of the addressable RAM. In point of fact my iMac, that happily runs 64 bit mode, has the same 4 GB addressable RAM limitation.

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#4873 - 10/11/09 03:33 AM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> Artie, one of us is confused, but I don't know which of us it is.

I can safely say that it's axiomatic that I'm the confused party in any technical discussion such as this one. frown

> The question as I understood it and as I responded was independent of any consideration of whether or not a given Mac could run in 64 bit mode.

> I now realize you may have been assuming a relationship between Apple's design decision to disable 64 bit kernel support on MacBooks to the limitation in addressable RAM.


Yep, and your response to my question (or, as the case may be, my inability to fully comprehend it) prompted my next one.

(I read your comparison post, but I'm still confused by tacit's "The biggest advantage of 64-bit addressing is that it allows your compute to use more than 4 GB of RAM, the limit for 32-bit systems. If you don't have more than 4 GB of RAM installed in your system, then it'll make no difference." (Here).)

So now that I've got a bit more understanding of the matter (or so I think, anyhow)...

Activity Monitor on my MacBook (which is technically able to run a 64-bit kernel but cannot because it is unsupported) showed SlimBatteryMonitor as "Intel (64-bit)," using 16Mb and 2.9Gb Real and Virtual Memory, respectively, until I ticked "Open in 32 Bit Mode" and now shows it as "Intel," using 6.6Mb and 920Mb, respectively.

How does that fit into this discussion? (If I'm hijacking this thread, and I'm honestly not certain whether I am or not, please start a new one.)

Thanks.

And in closing...

> I have no idea what prompted Apple's design decision, but I can assure you it has nothing to do with the size of the addressable RAM.

It's probably a fair bet that Apple decided, and not unreasonably, that users who require demand 64-bit capability "require" pricier Macs than my MacBook.


Edited by artie505 (10/11/09 03:35 AM)
Edit Reason: [s][/s]
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#4883 - 10/11/09 02:09 PM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online

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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
(I read your comparison post, but I'm still confused by tacit's "The biggest advantage of 64-bit addressing is that it allows your compute to use more than 4 GB of RAM, the limit for 32-bit systems. If you don't have more than 4 GB of RAM installed in your system, then it'll make no difference." (Here).)
Read Tacit's statement a bit more closely. Tacit said, "The biggest advantage…" not the only advantage. There are, as my admittedly limited tests reveal other potential advantages to running full 64 bit mode. Technophiles and computer engineers can argue endlessly about 64 vs. 32 bit operation and the theoretical versus practical advantages of either mode. And to be truthful many of the relative advantages can be greatly impacted by the design implementation of the CPU as well as the computer system itself. Certainly the increased address space a processor running in full 64 bit mode is capable of is one of the most apparent advantages. In fact, my limited testing leads me to believe the Core 2 Duo processors were designed using some of the design work arounds Intel used the in some of the early 80x86 microprocessors, thus blunting at least some of the theoretical advantages of full 64 bit operation.
Originally Posted By: artie505
Activity Monitor on my MacBook (which is technically able to run a 64-bit kernel but cannot because it is unsupported) showed SlimBatteryMonitor as "Intel (64-bit)," using 16Mb and 2.9Gb Real and Virtual Memory, respectively, until I ticked "Open in 32 Bit Mode" and now shows it as "Intel," using 6.6Mb and 920Mb, respectively.
On my Macbook Air which cannot run 64 bit kernel for the same reason your Macbook cannot, I looked at Activity monitor. Like many parts of OS X Activity Monitor can run in either 64 bit or 32 bit mode, regardless of the kernel mode. In 64 bit mode Activity Monitor used 21MB of Real and 24MB of virtual memory. Switching Activity Monitor to 32 bit mode reduced memory usage to 15.5MB Real and 22.8MB Virtual memory. The difference can easily be accounted for by the difference in the data "word" size between the two modes.
Originally Posted By: artie505
How does that fit into this discussion? (If I'm hijacking this thread, and I'm honestly not certain whether I am or not, please start a new one.)
It does not strike me you are redirecting joboy's original thread to a completely new topic, especially in light of the fact his question has apparently been answered to his satisfaction.
Originally Posted By: artie505
It's probably a fair bet that Apple decided, and not unreasonably, that users who require demand 64-bit capability "require" pricier Macs than my MacBook.
My quess is you are partially correct. The decision was made as a manufacturing cost saving move so Apple could meet the intended price point with the design.
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#4895 - 10/12/09 03:35 AM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Thanks for your in-depth response.

> Read Tacit's statement a bit more closely. Tacit said, "The biggest advantage…" not the only advantage.

But, tacit's statement also says, and perhaps I was mislead by, "If you don't have more than 4 GB of RAM installed in your system, then it'll make no difference." (Emphasis added)

Or was that meant to be specific to Safari?

> On my Macbook Air which cannot run 64 bit kernel for the same reason your Macbook cannot, I looked at Activity monitor. Like many parts of OS X Activity Monitor can run in either 64 bit or 32 bit mode, regardless of the kernel mode. In 64 bit mode Activity Monitor used 21MB of Real and 24MB of virtual memory. Switching Activity Monitor to 32 bit mode reduced memory usage to 15.5MB Real and 22.8MB Virtual memory. The difference can easily be accounted for by the difference in the data "word" size between the two modes.

So our readings reflect coding (Right word?), rather than functionality, differences, i.e. the fact that our apps appear to be running in 64-bit mode is no more than an illusion as far as performance goes.

In conclusion, then, as apps are upgraded it will pay users to ensure that they are not running in their 64-bit incarnations if the Macs on which they are installed cannot run in 64-bit mode, because they will be needlessly hogging system resources.
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#4903 - 10/12/09 07:31 AM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online

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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
But, tacit's statement also says, and perhaps I was mislead by, "If you don't have more than 4 GB of RAM installed in your system, then it'll make no difference." (Emphasis added)
Far be it from me to argue with Tacit's assertions, but FWIW my test results belie his claim. My system with only 4GB of RAM actually shows performance improvements in every area except CPU speed when running in 64 bit mode with a surprising 18% improvement in hard drive performance. I will let you draw your own conclusion from that.
Originally Posted By: artie505
So our readings reflect coding (Right word?), rather than functionality, differences, i.e. the fact that our apps appear to be running in 64-bit mode is no more than an illusion as far as performance goes.
If by "coding" you mean that data storage is allocated in 64 bit "words" rather than 32 bit "word" where a "word" is an addressable unit of virtual or real memory that is correct. However, since my test results show an actual improvement in performance running in full 64 bit mode I have to question your use of the word illusion. It is pretty substantial to be called an illution.
Originally Posted By: artie505
In conclusion, then, as apps are upgraded it will pay users to ensure that they are not running in their 64-bit incarnations if the Macs on which they are installed cannot run in 64-bit mode, because they will be needlessly hogging system resources.
Whether the additional memory resources are needlessly hogging system resources or not is open to question and experimentation. Until tests are conducted, on an app by app basis, that is pure speculation. It may well be the apps run faster and/or more efficiently in one mode or the other.

It may well be the next generation of Intel CPUs and the myriad of support chips before the benefits of 64 bit mode can be fully realized. It will definitely require a new generation of applications written specifically to take advantage of the additional memory space and other processing advantages. But before any of that can effectively be utilized the full 64 bit capabilities of the Snow Leopard kernel has to be in place. Snow Leopard is merely one step on the journey, but it is a big and very important step.
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#4914 - 10/12/09 03:49 PM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: artie505]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: artie505
Thanks for your in-depth response.

> Read Tacit's statement a bit more closely. Tacit said, "The biggest advantage…" not the only advantage.

But, tacit's statement also says, and perhaps I was mislead by, "If you don't have more than 4 GB of RAM installed in your system, then it'll make no difference." (Emphasis added)

Or was that meant to be specific to Safari?


Yep. That's specific to Safari; I can't see any difference in performance for Safari in 64-bit vs. 32-bit on systems with 4 GB or less of installed RAM. Sorry to be confusing. smile
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#4971 - 10/14/09 01:02 AM Re: 64 bit processor [Re: tacit]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> Yep. That's specific to Safari; I can't see any difference in performance for Safari in 64-bit vs. 32-bit on systems with 4 GB or less of installed RAM. Sorry to be confusing.

Thanks for the clarification, but are you talking about a Mac that is 64-bit capable or your MacBook which is not?

Thanks.
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