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Old 20th May 2008
mosburn mosburn is offline
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Default amd64 or x86?

I recently broke down and purchased a new amd64 laptop after finally killing the old one. As this is my first AMD64 box I was attempting to install FreeBSD 7.0 x64 on it. After fighting with it for a few days trying to get it to boot the installer (and giving it all sorts of flags) I am going to be installing the 32bit version tonight.
Am I giving up on any worthwhile features by going this route? Additionally, if I am, can I install a 64bit kernel on a 32bit userland to get some of the benifits back?

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Old 20th May 2008
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Personally unless you have like 5+++ GB of system memory I doubt you are missing out on much using the i386 one instead of the amd64. That's just my opinion of things !!!


Even if you could run an AMD64 kernel on an i386 Userland it probably is not a good idea: FreeBSD == complete OS.
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Old 20th May 2008
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That is part of the reason that I have been stalling as long as I have to "upgrade" to a 64bit CPU. Nothing that I have read has really compelled me to do the switch. The only reason I got this laptop was that it is $500 and the old one died while I was on the road for work. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 20th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryP View Post
Personally unless you have like 5+++ GB of system memory I doubt you are missing out on much using the i386 one instead of the amd64. That's just my opinion of things !!!


Even if you could run an AMD64 kernel on an i386 Userland it probably is not a good idea: FreeBSD == complete OS.
If you have 4Gb, you will miss almost 1G ;-) So it fits up to 3G.
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Old 20th May 2008
mosburn mosburn is offline
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This box only has 2G so I am safe there. As far as I can tell I only need to find a replacement wifi card because the built in one does not seem to be natively supported and I shy away from ndiswrapper. I prefer that all my devices that I use daily do not have to have wrapper scripts to get them to be usuable. One less thing to break and/or futz with.
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Old 21st May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryP View Post
Personally unless you have like 5+++ GB of system memory I doubt you are missing out on much using the i386 one instead of the amd64. That's just my opinion of things !!!


Even if you could run an AMD64 kernel on an i386 Userland it probably is not a good idea: FreeBSD == complete OS.
1) Try updating your Laptop bios to the latest
2) Try to configure your BIOS setup to any compatible/safe option if there is available
3) Your next move is to install FreeBSD 7 amd64 STABLE or FreeBSD 8 if you are brave enough..

Edit: If you have NVIDIA graphics chipset, then your only choice is 32bit due to the lack of 64bit drivers..

@TerryP
I disagree with the state that there is not any performance gain by using amd64 with less that 4G of ram. Of course , the more memory you add, amd64 processor family expands their capabilities, but there is always a performance gain of 5-10% at worst and all the amd64-specific registers are activated .

I was running FreeBSD 7 on i386 mode on my Acer aspire 1501 and when I moved on amd64 version I show noticeable performance improvement.

Last edited by harisman; 21st May 2008 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 21st May 2008
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Interesting topic. I have an AMD 64 system with 3 Gigs. I'd like to know if choosing the 64 bit version is a wiser move in the long run for 7.0 and future releases of FreeBSD.
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Old 21st May 2008
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Interesting topic. I have an AMD 64 system with 3 Gigs. I'd like to know if choosing the 64 bit version is a wiser move in the long run for 7.0 and future releases of FreeBSD.
AFAIK, nowadays all of the produced processors from Intel and AMD are 64bit, so I think that the move to AMD64 architecture is unavoidable.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver_H View Post
If you have 4Gb, you will miss almost 1G ;-) So it fits up to 3G.
Eh, good point I forgot about that :-)


Quote:
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@TerryP
I disagree with the state that there is not any performance gain by using amd64 with less that 4G of ram. Of course , the more memory you add, amd64 processor family expands their capabilities, but there is always a performance gain of 5-10% at worst and all the amd64-specific registers are activated .
I didn't say there was _no_ performance gain I said I didn't think it was worth while.


What I really should have written with that comment was that in my humble opinion, without the mother load of addressable memory and the performance benefit from sheer resource volume (amount of physical memory, cpu and bus speeds, etc).


The potential for headaches probably outweighs the probable benefits offered by the typical desktop :-)


My desktops dual core chip is X86-64, not counting a lone Motorola 6809-family chip it is the first and only one I've had that isn't purely X86. I'm quite interested to see 64-Bit computing become the norm, especially the implications of porting some software... But have yet to see sufficient advantage w/o exceeding the limits of existing 32-Bit systems.
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