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  • SharkyForums.Com - Print: 64bit Processors and the Desktop Computer.

    64bit Processors and the Desktop Computer.
    By LostGod September 01, 2001, 03:15 AM

    Ive seen many posts in various forums about 64 bit chips in the desktop enviroment. I can't really seem to find a point to 64bit processors in a desktop setting. The only advantage it offers is higher memory addressing, but 32bit can address up to at least 4GB of RAM. I dont see desktops needing more RAM than that for at least another 10 years.
    Just my thoughts, What do you all think.


    NO FLAMERS PLEASE.

    By ua549 September 01, 2001, 08:27 AM

    A 64 bit proc with its larger memory model can be used immediately by anyone who works with large graphics projects, audio/sound editing and statistical modeling.

    The movie industry and geophysical engineering/analysis industry both can use the additional capabilities.

    By idris5 September 01, 2001, 09:19 AM

    Yeah, 64-bit processing is going to be quite useful for accuracy in deep sub-micron design - however, the EDA vendors need to improve the tools so that we can better utilitse 64-bit advantages.

    As far as memory addressing is concerned some of the upcoming tools want more 6-GBytes+ of memory for place and route, so >4-GByte of RAM is useful to us at least.

    By Hateslife September 01, 2001, 02:19 PM

    With Itanium and 64-bit processor support in certain versions of XP, it looks like we'll see a smooth transition of 64-bit processor technology to the desktop PC.

    Don't you think it's about time we had SOMETHING smoothly transition?

    By James September 01, 2001, 03:23 PM

    Progression is everything in computers. Computers can only go so far on clock speed and memory technology alone. Sooner or later you have to start working smarter, not harder (thanks for that line dad, I finally got to use it).

    Think about the progression from 16bit to 32bit computing. 32 bit apps run much better than their 16 bit counterparts (those that had 16bit counterparts). Why? Because they can manipulate nearly twice as much data in a given perion than their 16bit cousins.

    Now move to 64bit computing. There is going to be an interesting shift here. The reason being, only one processor is going to be fully backwards compatible with 32bit/16bit applications. (Kind of like Pentiums were backwards compatible with 16bit apps, even though they were a 32bit based processor).

    This is because Intel, the people who developed the x86 architecture that is the basis for all processors, as well as the x86 code structure (which is the basis for all Windows based programs) has realized the limitations of it's own creation. It is moving to the EPIC code structure for it's 64bit processors.

    Now AMD on the other hand, is playing the field a different way. Just as Intel made itself a household name with it's Pentium CPU, AMD is planning on becoming the next standard by offering full backwards compatible 64/32/16 bit computing using it's x86-64 architecture.

    Now as someone else mentioned, since both of the major forces in OS's (Microsoft and Linux) have EPIC based operating systems ready to be used with the Itanium's, it will be interesting to see who the software developers back.

    But more interesting is going to be what the consumer decides. Many consumer's don't want to sacrafice older software packages, just to have the bleeding edge in computing power.

    I can never think of a good way to end these posts, so I will just say that, if I had the money, I would probably pick up an Itanium to run a Linux box off of.

    As always, if this post does not fit in with the intended purposes of this forum, please remove it. Also, if anything I have said is incorrect, please correct me.

    By LostGod September 01, 2001, 07:45 PM

    I think some may miss my point.
    64bit processors are not any different than there 32bit siblings as far as processing power, the only real advantage is Memory and file size. Instucttion size has nothing to do with being 64bit, it all has to do with memory and file size. These things mean little to desktop users.(not to be confused with high end workstations) 64bit processors will only gain significant speed if they make major changes in the architecture. The Itanium makes such a change, and it will surely be a performance powerhouse. AMDs Hammer is not a major architecture change, it is still CISC chip, and will not do much to benefit the common users. My whole point is this. Why change to something that offers little benefit and costs twice as much.(or 10 times as much in the case of the itanium.)
    It seems AMD may try to push 64bit computing to the desktop area with the Hammer, and i just dont see the point.
    Im worried Hammer could turn AMD int Apples twin brither. A good chip no one uses.

    By ua549 September 02, 2001, 11:05 AM

    quote:Originally posted by LostGod:
    I think some may miss my point.
    64bit processors are not any different than there 32bit siblings as far as processing power, the only real advantage is Memory and file size. Instucttion size has nothing to do with being 64bit, it all has to do with memory and file size. These things mean little to desktop users.(not to be confused with high end workstations) 64bit processors will only gain significant speed if they make major changes in the architecture. The Itanium makes such a change, and it will surely be a performance powerhouse. AMDs Hammer is not a major architecture change, it is still CISC chip, and will not do much to benefit the common users. My whole point is this. Why change to something that offers little benefit and costs twice as much.(or 10 times as much in the case of the itanium.)
    It seems AMD may try to push 64bit computing to the desktop area with the Hammer, and i just dont see the point.
    Im worried Hammer could turn AMD int Apples twin brither. A good chip no one uses.

    I don't think you can make a clear distinction between "desktop" and "workstation" machines using those outdated categories. Just as a "server" can be anything from a single proc P3 to a 64 proc P3 or a Cray. My old home desktop was a dual large cache P3 Xeon 500 w/2GB memory. I had a like machine I used as a home server and domain controller. I have since replaced both machines with a new dual Xeon 1.7 w/2GB memory. During preliminary testing I found that the procs still run near 100% utilization for hours at a time. I'm sure I can use the additional power offered by an Itanium processor with a larger memory model for my next home desktop.

    BTW - I am retired. My biggest application is SQL Server for my home automation system.

    By Adisharr September 04, 2001, 01:08 PM

    quote:Originally posted by ua549:
    I don't think you can make a clear distinction between "desktop" and "workstation" machines using those outdated categories. Just as a "server" can be anything from a single proc P3 to a 64 proc P3 or a Cray. My old home desktop was a dual large cache P3 Xeon 500 w/2GB memory. I had a like machine I used as a home server and domain controller. I have since replaced both machines with a new dual Xeon 1.7 w/2GB memory. During preliminary testing I found that the procs still run near 100% utilization for hours at a time. I'm sure I can use the additional power offered by an Itanium processor with a larger memory model for my next home desktop.

    BTW - I am retired. My biggest application is SQL Server for my home automation system.

    What types of things are you doing with your home automation system?

    By ua549 September 04, 2001, 05:11 PM

    quote:Originally posted by Adisharr:
    What types of things are you doing with your home automation system?


    Food inventory and managementMeal planning, receipes and cookbooksEnvironmental control (HVAC)SecurityAccounting - AR, AP, GL, Inventory, TaxesFinancial modelingOffice 2000Backoffice 2000FTP ServerWeb ServerPOP3 Post OfficeDNS ServerProxy ServerNAT ServerDomain Controller

    My old system ran Win2k Server, build 2195. My new system runs Whistler Server beta 2, build 2462.

    By Adisharr September 04, 2001, 11:58 PM

    quote:Originally posted by ua549:
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Adisharr:
    [b] What types of things are you doing with your home automation system?


    Food inventory and managementMeal planning, receipes and cookbooksEnvironmental control (HVAC)SecurityAccounting - AR, AP, GL, Inventory, TaxesFinancial modelingOffice 2000Backoffice 2000FTP ServerWeb ServerPOP3 Post OfficeDNS ServerProxy ServerNAT ServerDomain Controller

    My old system ran Win2k Server, build 2195. My new system runs Whistler Server beta 2, build 2462.

    [/B][/QUOTE]Nice.. are you running anything like 'HAL' or another proprietary package for the security / HVAC control?

    By Prince September 05, 2001, 02:46 AM

    quote:Originally posted by ua549:
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Adisharr:
    [b] What types of things are you doing with your home automation system?


    Food inventory and managementMeal planning, receipes and cookbooksEnvironmental control (HVAC)SecurityAccounting - AR, AP, GL, Inventory, TaxesFinancial modelingOffice 2000Backoffice 2000FTP ServerWeb ServerPOP3 Post OfficeDNS ServerProxy ServerNAT ServerDomain Controller

    My old system ran Win2k Server, build 2195. My new system runs Whistler Server beta 2, build 2462.

    [/B][/QUOTE]

    ua549, I will to know more about Enviromental Control. Can you please contact me? PrinceMS@hotmail.com

    By ua549 September 05, 2001, 11:02 AM

    The security and environment systems are both over 15 years old and useless.

    The environment software is an old 8088 program and "RS232 black box" given to me by a friend that built smart houses. It works as a programmable thermostat and keeps track of HVAC run times. It can easily be replaced with a $150 Honeywell thermostat. It will probably be replaced when my autumn HVAC maintenance is done.

    The security software came from the same source as the HVAC software. This system uses a similar "black box" that tracks the opening and closing of door and window circuits. It can be set to dial a phone number when it alarms. It didn't work in August when my home was robbed. My wife and I may have been sleeping in the house at the time. They were stealthy, stole 40 check blanks and 20 cancelled checks. The robbery was not discovered until a bank statement came with the forged checks for $750 each.
    I'm looking for new security stuff.
    (non-cumputer controlled)

    By brianshields September 05, 2001, 06:08 PM

    Sorry to drift off the topic of home control systems, but I feel I need to make points about the lack of advantages of a 64bit system to a home user. One of them is we have many of the features available in the current processors:
    * the Pentium introduced a 64 bit data bus, and could load & store 64bit floating point numbers ("double"s) in one memory opperation (alignment permitting)
    * the Pentium with MMX supported native 64bit integers (that could be subdivided for SIMD operations)
    * the P4 supports parallel operations on 64bit floating point ("double") data types

    Basically, all we're missing is 64-bit memory addressing, which actually introduces a host of problems (full 64-bit ALUs, 64bit AGIs....) and the extra silicon will go unused by 99.8% of the desktop market and 95% of the workstation market (how many CAD designers, even, need 4GB of working RAM???)
    And in the Catch-22 that is the beauty of market forces, until users need them in a mass produced chip, or until the extra engineering and transistors become trivial (enough so companies can boast a "true 64 bit chip"), there's no point anyone breaking their backs over it.
    BTW, I believe the P2 and above include the extended 36bit memory address system, originally featured in the PPro, that can reach a total of 4,398,046,511,104 bytes (2^36 x 64-bit chunks), although only 4gigs in one continuous block (buy segment juggling).
    Good luck finding a mobo that'll take 4 terrabytes though

    By cz September 06, 2001, 09:59 PM

    The other day I reached the limit of 32-bit processor when I wanted to map very large files into memory space in a project. 4GB addressable memory space is not quite enough, even though 4GB memory seems enough for now.

    By ECILOPAVEHT September 07, 2001, 02:19 AM

    quote:Originally posted by Prince:
    ua549, I will to know more about Enviromental Control. Can you please contact me? PrinceMS@hotmail.com


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