Linked by Tony Bourke on Thu 22nd Jan 2004 21:29 UTC
Benchmarks When running tests, installing operating systems, and compiling software for my Ultra 5, I came to the stunning realization that hey, this system is 64-bit, and all of the operating systems I installed on this Ultra 5 (can) run in 64-bit mode.
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An Introduction to 64-bit Computing and x86-64
by julienp on Thu 22nd Jan 2004 23:09 UTC

Very interesting article on 64bit computing http://arstechnica.com/cpu/03q1/x86-64/x86-64-1.html
gives some answers to the questions...