Mac OS 10.5 64-bit Impresses

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News Posted: Sun, Jan 27 2008 8:59 AM

We've been wondering how much performance benefit there might be for 64-bit software on the desktop ever since AMD started talking about the Sledgehammer series of chips nearly a decade ago.  Now that 64-bit is here, in various forms of implementation, we're getting our answers.  Some of the most interesting answers might come from recent tests that "the rest of us" might be curious about.  OS X's latest build has 64-bit support without losing its 32-bit compatibility, and a very interesting performance trend emerges:

“...The performance difference between the 2.8GHz and 3.2GHz Mac Pro isn’t as great as the difference between running 32-bit code and 64-bit code. In fact, the 2.8GHz Mac Pro running 64-bit code is faster than the 3.2GHz Mac Pro running 32-bit code!”

A nearly 15% deficit in clock speeds aside, the 2.8GHz running 64-bit actually manages leads of up to 10% in many tests.  We're wondering if/when Microsoft might finally merge their 32- and 64-bit variants of Windows in the same manner, as it seems the performance benefits are certainly there.



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replied on Sun, Jan 27 2008 2:23 PM
This is I think was Microsofts Big mistake regarding Vista. They should of went completely 64bit for Vista and left xp out there for the 32 bit people who dont have 64bit support. Now what we have is a hybrid landscape of 32 and 64 bit vista editions spliting up the development money instead of being able to focus on one.
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Dave_HH replied on Sun, Jan 27 2008 3:30 PM
Wow, interesting observation Bri and I couldn't agree more. By the time Vista shipped there was a decent install base of 64-bit capable CPUs in the market too. Thought I'm sure there other far-reaching consequences to doing this, beyond just the mainstream US and European markets etc...

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digitaldd replied on Sun, Jan 27 2008 3:52 PM

But Microsoft likes the backward compatibility stuff, Apple doesn't. In fact the fact the Mac users were able to run classic [OS9.2] until 10.2 came out was a complete shock. Microsoft on the other hard is still supporting many old DOS based apps in compatibility mode under XP, rather than forcing folks to buy new software, or find a replacement for that app they can't live without.

Maybe 64bit only will be the Windows7 mandate this time around. 

 

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Dave_HH replied on Sun, Jan 27 2008 5:50 PM
I've been an MS fan from the beginning. Alot of folks like to bash MS but generally their product line-up is pretty darn solid when you think about it.

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replied on Mon, Jan 28 2008 12:06 AM
Oh if you know me and the posts I have made around here you know I am a microsoft fan. Call me a Fanboy even, it doesnt phase me. It's just some of their decisions dont make a lot of sense to me as I stated previously about 64bit support. Microsoft does get a lot of bad press but I think it's just because there such an easy target and it seems to be sinking into our culture as the cool thing to do for geeks. I chuckle at the kids runing around saying windows sucks blah blah blah. I remember the days of having to figure out IRQ conflicts and driver issues pre windows and everytime i boot my windows machine today I am thankful I dont have to deal with that stuff anymore. (Honestly I take it foregranted but I do remember those days)
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