Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 10th Jun 2010 22:59 UTC
Multimedia, AV It's been a very long wait, but the release is finally here: Adobe has released Flash Player 10.1. Since Flash has come under increasing scrutiny, there's a lot at stake here for Adobe. This release is supposed to use far less resources while still being faster, more stable, and more secure. Update: No 64bit Flash player for now - on any platform. The Linux beta has been axed.
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RE[2]: No 64-bit yet! So useless!
by gilboa on Fri 11th Jun 2010 10:07 UTC in reply to "RE: No 64-bit yet! So useless!"
gilboa
Member since:
2005-07-06

Generic answers:

- Multi-tasking. The more tasks you keep in the background the more memory you need. Want to keep browser full of open tabs, 6-7 copies of (Open)Office, a couple of PDF's, email client, listen to music and edit a huge image in GIMP - you need memory and lots of it. Doing it with 2GB of RAM is simply not enough. Trying to use more than 2GB of RAM on a 32bit machine, even with a 4G/4G kernel is anything but efficient.

- Disk caching. The more memory you have, the more memory OS can use for caching. Try reopening (again and again) a 200MB file in 1GB 32bit and on 4GB 64bit machine you'll understand what I mean.

- Gaming. While I usually play Linux games (and rarely do the same under Window) games tend to want a lot of memory. E.g. X3/Linux can easily take 2-2.3GB of RAM once your empire grows. I can only assume that recent 32bit Windows game are coming close to overflowing their memory space (2-3GB) making 64bit a must. Try running a recent game on a heavily multi-tasking 32bit machine (Item I) without closing applications and you'll start swapping pages, badly.

- Virtualization. Doing virtualization, with or without hardware virt support on a 32bit machine is plain stupid. (Virtualization cares less about CPU power and -far- more about memory)

- Performance (Added registers, additional instructions). x86_64 has twice the GP registers as i686 and by default has access to large number of additional instructions (E.g. an i686 binary cannot relay on having SSE and SSE2). If you ever looked at the assembly dump of an -optimized- x86_64 application compared to its i686 port, you'll understand why a well optimized x86_64 can actually be 2x as fast as it's i686 counterpart (And even more).
Heck, under certain conditions, I saw a 5/1 performance increase in one of my own applications (That was partially written in assembly).

So, if your usage case is low-end desktop or Internet only usage, 2GB/32bit is more than enough.
If you are doing anything else, 64bit is a -must-.

Given the years it takes to get a 64bit port out, I can only assume that Adobe devs cared little about times (E.g. mixing long, int and native Windows types) making a 64bit port far harder then a platform port (Read: Windows to Linux/MAC).

Just to put this in perspective:
My dual Xeon 55xx workstation has 12GB RAM and Fedora 13/x86_64.
I'm currently running two CentOS VM's (testing my code), couple of VI's editing the code, browser full of tabs, a couple of copies of OpenOffice calc (Excel), evolution mail client, amarok (Feature full music player), ktorrent (torrent client) downloading Linux ISO's, KDE (desktop environment) 4.4.4 with all the bells and whistles, and yum (package manager) is downloading updates in the background.
My machine uses ~8GB for applications (~6GB goes to the VM's), 3GB for caching and 1GB free.

- Gilboa

Edited 2010-06-11 10:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

As _xmv said, except for the performance thing, couldn't most of this be achieved by using 64-bit in the OS and in high-performance apps, while keeping low-end apps 32-bit ? I mean, things like Flash Player won't ever eat up more than 2GB...

Edited 2010-06-11 11:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

As _xmv said, except for the performance thing, couldn't most of this be achieved by using 64-bit in the OS and in high-performance apps, while keeping low-end apps 32-bit ? I mean, things like Flash Player won't ever eat up more than 2GB...


I believe you failed to understand the importance of the "performance" thing.
When you target i686, most compilers assume that you have a Pentium or above - which means MXX only.
When you target x86_64, most compilers assume that you have an AMD Athlon64 or above - which means MMX, SSE and SSE2.
Now add the additional GP registers to the mix, and you can have far better -application- performance.

Another issue: I use a number of 32bit applications on my main workstation: A couple of native games, flash w/ nspluginwrapper and skype. In-order to support them, more than 10% of all my root file-system is "wasted" on 32bit libraries.
It might not sound like much, but the same 10% is wasted everytime I update my Fedora or switch to new Fedora release.

If -all- my applications were 32bit, I can only guess that I'll lose an additional 20-30%. (I would still require a lot of 64bit libraries for basic OS functionality and -full- 32bit library stack for all my applications)

Both disk and bandwidth wise, a pure 32bit or 64bit is the best option.

- Gilboa

Reply Parent Score: 4