Road to Mac OS X Snow Leopard: 64-bits, Santa Rosa, and the great PC swindle

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 97
    This article is full of misinformation, propaganda, and errors of omission. Apple is hardly an example of a good transition to a 64-bit OS. Their marketing has claimed they are 64-bit, but not really, until 10.6 (maybe). I can't even deduce any real technical details from their marketing hype.



    Let's review the issues to try to get some clarity:



    Hardware: Intel's 32-bit chips had an extension called PAE, that was a hack to support more than 4GB of RAM, but not "directly". At this point, it is best forgotten. AMD released their 64-bit Opteron chips that support 64-bit addressing and MMIO. Intel copied the AMD 64-bit IS extensions but did not have the integrated memory controller, and hence had a limitation that expansion cards had to be mapped under 4GB, potentially conflicting with real RAM. This is an Intel chipset limitation, and has nothing to do with the AMD64 instruction set that both use, or Apple, Microsoft, or Linux OS.



    Software: Both Linux and Windows have 32 and 64-bit versions available, meaning the full stack, kernel, drivers, and applications. Again, if you have an Intel chip, you might not be able to use all your RAM, but this has nothing to do with the OS. For years you've been able to install 64-bit Linux on an AMD Opteron and not have to worry about any of this nonsense.



    As for Apple, it would be nice if an article on a site such as AppleInsider could explain what they currently have, and what they are planning, because I still don't understand it. But that is not this biased article.
  • Reply 22 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    All in all, Apple blew the 64 bit transition big-time. They had a much better story than Windows a year ago but now are way behind.



    No they didn't. Apple is smart enough to know that 64-bit apps take up 2x the memory that the same app running under 32-bit does. Customers would have stormed the gates if they were forced into 64-bit, thereby requiring them to double the amount of RAM in their systems at their own cost (or otherwise see performance DECREASES).



    I don't see the benefit of going to 64-bit for most people. Trust me, when this hits, people are going to complain. They'll need 16 GB of memory when they thought 8GB would be more than enough. That extra $300 is going to piss people off.
  • Reply 23 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HipPriest View Post


    Software: Both Linux and Windows have 32 and 64-bit versions available, meaning the full stack, kernel, drivers, and applications. Again, if you have an Intel chip, you might not be able to use all your RAM, but this has nothing to do with the OS. For years you've been able to install 64-bit Linux on an AMD Opteron and not have to worry about any of this nonsense.



    This may be true to a hardcore Linux user, but let me tell you, at work one of our guys recently got a new Linux box with 64 bit linux installed, and non of the software we used worked on it. Getting the box to a point where it could actually run 32bit linux apps was by no means trivial, and in the end we just decided to install 32bit Debian on it as the easiest answer. So please don't make out that 64 bit linux is completely trivial compared to Mac OS X.



    As for 64 bit Windows don't make me laugh, there's a reason why nobody uses it.



    Macs have had by far the smoothest transistion to 64 bit. I've been running 64 bit apps on my Mac since Tiger came out. The only ball that Apple have dropped was not delivering 64 bit Carbon.



    Apple's one OS strategy for 32bit/64bit CPUs compared to Windows and Linux separate versions is the far superior strategy both for compatibilty and user experience. I speak as someone who works in a 3 OS environment, where we have 64 bit capable chips, but due to the issues with Linux and Windows, only the Macs we have are actually capable of running 64 bit apps.
  • Reply 24 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HipPriest View Post


    This article is full of misinformation, propaganda, and errors of omission. Apple is hardly an example of a good transition to a 64-bit OS. Their marketing has claimed they are 64-bit, but not really, until 10.6 (maybe). I can't even deduce any real technical details from their marketing hype.



    Let's review the issues to try to get some clarity:



    Hardware: Intel's 32-bit chips had an extension called PAE, that was a hack to support more than 4GB of RAM, but not "directly". At this point, it is best forgotten. AMD released their 64-bit Opteron chips that support 64-bit addressing and MMIO. Intel copied the AMD 64-bit IS extensions but did not have the integrated memory controller, and hence had a limitation that expansion cards had to be mapped under 4GB, potentially conflicting with real RAM. This is an Intel chipset limitation, and has nothing to do with the AMD64 instruction set that both use, or Apple, Microsoft, or Linux OS.



    Software: Both Linux and Windows have 32 and 64-bit versions available, meaning the full stack, kernel, drivers, and applications. Again, if you have an Intel chip, you might not be able to use all your RAM, but this has nothing to do with the OS. For years you've been able to install 64-bit Linux on an AMD Opteron and not have to worry about any of this nonsense.



    As for Apple, it would be nice if an article on a site such as AppleInsider could explain what they currently have, and what they are planning, because I still don't understand it. But that is not this biased article.



    The article states that there are a 64 bit versions of windows. The writer is highlighting the fact that PC vendors market and sell machines that a regular 32 bit addition of windows is installed on and charge you more for basically useless ram.



    Also he article did not attempt to make a comparison with linux or other chip manufactures.
  • Reply 25 of 97
    sabonsabon Posts: 133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zmonster View Post


    Honestly, the only 'swindle' here is that when you run a 64-bit app, it takes up roughly 2x the memory that the same app does under 32-bit. The reason 64-bit architectures address more memory is because they NEED more memory. Therin lies the problem! Yes, 64 bit apps MAY run faster, but you're going to need a machine with 2x the memory you currently have in your 32-bit machine JUST to break even (and you'll probably need 4x to see a big difference in performance). So that's the good news and bad news all in one.



    I have no idea where you get your ideas but this is NOT fact. 64 bit apps do NOT automatically take up twice the memory. It CAN but most do not. If this were true then there would be no reason to get 64 bit apps.



    To actually have a clue. Go back and look at 16 bit vs 32 bit apps and stop spewing false information.
  • Reply 26 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thor79 View Post


    Yeah...PC users are getting screwed over if they stay uninformed. If they choose to become informed even the most basic research will deliver the correct answer, upgrade to a 64 bit OS. Since all recent essential hardware supports 64 bit just throwing on a 64 bit OS is all that is needed to solve the problem.



    No, PC users are getting screwed over if they try to buy a PC and Dell tells them to spend money on an upgrade they can't use, and Windows Vista tells them the memory is "installed" rather than pointing out that it can't use it. That's a lie on both sides of PC land.



    Apple's systems that can't support more than 3GB are listed as only supporting 3GB, and can't be configured with more RAM than that. Apple is being honest, and Dell and Microsoft aren't.



    Quote:

    PC Fan Boys such as me already know of the issue.



    Few understand this, and nobody should have to out-think the false advertising of their vendor. When Windows Enthusiasts complain about "Get a Mac" ads being deceptive because they are emotionally upset by them (that's not what 'deceptive' means by the way) and then turn around and make excuses for PC makers and Microsoft simply lying to them to steal their money, it only shows how irrational they are.
  • Reply 27 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post


    This may be true to a hardcore Linux user, but let me tell you, at work one of our guys recently got a new Linux box with 64 bit linux installed, and non of the software we used worked on it. Getting the box to a point where it could actually run 32bit linux apps was by no means trivial, and in the end we just decided to install 32bit Debian on it as the easiest answer. So please don't make out that 64 bit linux is completely trivial compared to Mac OS X.



    As for 64 bit Windows don't make me laugh, there's a reason why nobody uses it.



    Macs have had by far the smoothest transistion to 64 bit. I've been running 64 bit apps on my Mac since Tiger came out. The only ball that Apple have dropped was not delivering 64 bit Carbon.



    Apple's one OS strategy for 32bit/64bit CPUs compared to Windows and Linux separate versions is the far superior strategy both for compatibilty and user experience. I speak as someone who works in a 3 OS environment, where we have 64 bit capable chips, but due to the issues with Linux and Windows, only the Macs we have are actually capable of running 64 bit apps.



    What 32-bit Linux apps did you have trouble running? We run an all 64-bit Debian Linux environment at work on hundreds of systems and my experience has been much better than yours. 64-bit Debian has packages for the most common 32-bit libraries used by third-parties and of course most Linux software is open source and 64-bit native. The only thing 32-bit we run is shake, which runs fine, and the flash plugin, which needs a wrapper, and runs as well as... flash usually runs.



    As for the Mac, could you explain (or point me to an article) the technical details for Apple's 64-bit approach, from a kernel, driver, library (API) and application level. That was my frustration with Apple's marketing double-speak ("We are 64-bit! But wait, with Snow Leopard we are _really_ 64-bit!") and with the articles on this site. I'd like more details and less hype.
  • Reply 28 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post


    This may be true to a hardcore Linux user, but let me tell you, at work one of our guys recently got a new Linux box with 64 bit linux installed, and non of the software we used worked on it. Getting the box to a point where it could actually run 32bit linux apps was by no means trivial, and in the end we just decided to install 32bit Debian on it as the easiest answer. So please don't make out that 64 bit linux is completely trivial compared to Mac OS X.



    As for 64 bit Windows don't make me laugh, there's a reason why nobody uses it.



    Macs have had by far the smoothest transistion to 64 bit. I've been running 64 bit apps on my Mac since Tiger came out. The only ball that Apple have dropped was not delivering 64 bit Carbon.



    Apple's one OS strategy for 32bit/64bit CPUs compared to Windows and Linux separate versions is the far superior strategy both for compatibilty and user experience. I speak as someone who works in a 3 OS environment, where we have 64 bit capable chips, but due to the issues with Linux and Windows, only the Macs we have are actually capable of running 64 bit apps.



    Leopard still has a 32-bit kernel, it can run 64-bit apps, and address more than 4 GB, but it's not fully 64-bit. Whether you're running Leopard now, or a 32-bit version of Windows, you're still going to have to upgrade if you want a true 64-bit OS. If that wasn't the case, their would be no need for SL.



    Most PCs I've seen sold with 4 GB are coming with Vista x64 ATM, they're stopping at 3 GB if their coming with 32-bit. Or some older computers could run a 64-bit OS, but run into memory limitations, because of the chipset like my current C2D Mini. I could put 4 GB into it, but it would only show up as ~3.3 GB because of it's craptastic Intel chipset. I have no such problem with my AMD systems however.



    I've run into that issue with Linux x64 with installing apps too, and I didn't like forcing 32-bit apps to run. As far as Windows, I've only dealt with XP x64 and never liked that due to driver issues, but most things I have read regarding Vista x64 is that there aren't many issues, and those that have been running Lightroom 2 x64 have liked it quite a bit (thread over on dpreview.com).
  • Reply 29 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post


    There's also XP64 which can use as much ram as a mac (actually more in most cases since there are so many more 64 bit windows apps). [...] This article is REALLY misleading, it spins things like mac users can use all the ram while PC users can't when in fact PC users can use it all with a 64 bit OS, and there are way more 64 bit apps on the PC side.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    ...there has been long term, well known, rampant 64-bit driver support issues with Windows.



    I'm going to have to agree with Sol on this one. I consider myself a pro-user and I still couldn't put up with 64-bit XP, though I can't speak for Vista. A pro-user friend of mine is running 64-bit Vista and loves it, but he's a Windows-only guy, so who knows?



    I know I criticize Apple a lot, but I have to hand it to them: their transition to 64-bit has been seamless. I'm really hoping Windows 7 will make it easier to switch, because there's no chance I'm going to install Vista.



    -Clive
  • Reply 30 of 97
    Lawsuit against the OEM's for making this false RAM claim in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.....
  • Reply 31 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sabon View Post


    I have no idea where you get your ideas but this is NOT fact. 64 bit apps do NOT automatically take up twice the memory. It CAN but most do not. If this were true then there would be no reason to get 64 bit apps.



    To actually have a clue. Go back and look at 16 bit vs 32 bit apps and stop spewing false information.



    HUH?? You are completely clueless. The Object-C object size in a 64-bit compilation is exactly 2x the size of the 32-bit data structure. The integer is 2x the size. Most every other data structure is nearly 2x the size. 64-bit apps take up ROUGHLY 2x the size that 32-bit apps do. PERIOD. You are wrong, my friend.



    If you don't believe me, find a 64 bit machine, install both the 32-bit version of Java, and a 64-bit JVM. Run the same app on both. This is NOT limited to Apple, EVERY 64-bit architecture takes up nearly twice the memory that a 32-bit architecture takes up. Take a computer science class.
  • Reply 32 of 97
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zmonster View Post


    Honestly, the only 'swindle' here is that when you run a 64-bit app, it takes up roughly 2x the memory that the same app does under 32-bit. The reason 64-bit architectures address more memory is because they NEED more memory. Therin lies the problem! Yes, 64 bit apps MAY run faster, but you're going to need a machine with 2x the memory you currently have in your 32-bit machine JUST to break even (and you'll probably need 4x to see a big difference in performance). So that's the good news and bad news all in one.



    Of all the misrepresentations in this thread I do believe this is the worst. Mainly because it is in no way a universal truth. Most apps will come in larger but seldom get even close to 2x in size, many apps that benefit from a 64 bit environment see only a marginal increase in foot print. Moreso a few cases might even show a memory benefit going to 64 bit. It all depends on the code and how well it maps to the instruction set.



    As to the article that started this thread let's just say it needs work! The overall tone is not to bad when comparing commonly shipped os'es but really butchers the truth getting there. Need to do better boys!





    Dave
  • Reply 33 of 97
    Quote:

    Windows XP initially offered support for using more than 4GB with PAE, but this caused problems related to driver bugs, so Microsoft simply disabled support for more than 4GB, starting with Windows XP SP2 and continuing into Windows Vista. Unless you're running Vista x64 or an expensive "datacenter" or "enterprise edition," you simply can't use more than 4GB of RAM on a Windows PC.



    Not quite the full story. PAE was a 'hack' for certain server-side applications on Windows and performance would be affected. I'm not surprised at all that Microsoft yanked it from XP to push their x64 initiative.



    And to your other point, here's a list of Microsoft x64 operating systems:



    Windows XP x64 - Home, Professional Editions

    Windows Vista x64 - Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, Ultimate Editions

    Windows Server 2003 x64 - Standard, Enterprise, Web and Datacenter Editions

    Windows Server 2008 x64 - Standard, Enterprise, Web and Datacenter Editions



    Rgds,



    Simon
  • Reply 34 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zmonster View Post


    Honestly, the only 'swindle' here is that when you run a 64-bit app, it takes up roughly 2x the memory that the same app does under 32-bit. The reason 64-bit architectures address more memory is because they NEED more memory. Therin lies the problem! Yes, 64 bit apps MAY run faster, but you're going to need a machine with 2x the memory you currently have in your 32-bit machine JUST to break even (and you'll probably need 4x to see a big difference in performance). So that's the good news and bad news all in one.



    This is such egregious misinformation that I had to sign up just to counter it :P



    The only memory that needs to double in 64-bit programs is pointers. This is a chunk of memory that references other locations in memory for whatever reason the programmer needs. These go up from 4 bytes (32 bits) in older architectures to 8 bytes in 64-bit architectures. The default size of certain numeric can also increase depending on the programmer's knowledge of what size number he needs, but doesn't have to.



    Regardless, most of a program's memory is not taken up by pointers or "numbers". Although pointers are very prevalent, the executable code (which does not change significantly for 64-bit memory) that uses them is proportionally much larger, and stays that way in 64-bit code too. Also, the single biggest memory hog, "program data" (images, large binary file formats, databases, and so on) is almost completely unaffected by the memory address size.



    So yeah, none of that "needs 2x memory to keep up, and 4x to have better performance" cr*p. More memory does not equal better performance unless the program tends to load large data files or do huge data processing in memory. The advantages of 64-bit memory (not having to tiptoe around the allocator when the hardware technology is ready) address far outweigh the drawbacks.
  • Reply 35 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ...for a grant total of 3.2GB usable RAM. If you install a full 4GB, the portion in conflict with the MMIO will simply not be used. For PC users installing a high end video card with 1GB of VRAM, the additional MMIO becomes an even greater problem: their usable system RAM shrinks by down to around 2.3GB.



    Uhhh... no. That's not correct.



    Using a "high end video card" means you have frame buffer ON THE CARD, meaning you don't use system memory. If by "high end video card" you mean Intel's integrated graphics and you jack the memory allocated to this controller to 1GB, then yes - you will use an extra 1GB of system memory, but BY NO MEANS are you using a high end video card.



    I'm always amazed that people blindly believe everything that is written on the web.



    P.S. Not a fanboi... I'm running XP Pro x64, but I also use iTunes and an iPhone (and no, there are no x64 drivers for the iPhone, and iTunes has to be tricked into running on x64, but that's Steve-o's doing, isn't it?)
  • Reply 36 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CDN_newguy View Post


    Uhhh... no. That's not correct.



    Using a "high end video card" means you have frame buffer ON THE CARD, meaning you don't use system memory. If by "high end video card" you mean Intel's integrated graphics and you jack the memory allocated to this controller to 1GB, then yes - you will use an extra 1GB of system memory, but BY NO MEANS are you using a high end video card.



    I'm always amazed that people blindly believe everything that is written on the web.



    P.S. Not a fanboi... I'm running XP Pro x64, but I also use iTunes and an iPhone (and no, there are no x64 drivers for the iPhone, and iTunes has to be tricked into running on x64, but that's Steve-o's doing, isn't it?)



    the memory is on the card, but it still cuts into the addressable memory on the host system, which is what his point was.
  • Reply 37 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CDN_newguy View Post


    Uhhh... no. That's not correct.



    Using a "high end video card" means you have frame buffer ON THE CARD, meaning you don't use system memory. If by "high end video card" you mean Intel's integrated graphics and you jack the memory allocated to this controller to 1GB, then yes - you will use an extra 1GB of system memory, but BY NO MEANS are you using a high end video card.



    I'm always amazed that people blindly believe everything that is written on the web.



    P.S. Not a fanboi... I'm running XP Pro x64, but I also use iTunes and an iPhone (and no, there are no x64 drivers for the iPhone, and iTunes has to be tricked into running on x64, but that's Steve-o's doing, isn't it?)



    The article did not say the video card uses system memory, but the a video card memory will use the memory addresses that are assigned for system memory(MMIO).

    So a 1GB will take up additional address to decrease for example 3 GB of accessible ram to 2GB of accessible ram.

    But since you have 64 bit XP this is not a problem for you.
  • Reply 38 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by badtruffle View Post


    This is such egregious misinformation that I had to sign up just to counter it :P



    OK, you geniues know everything, and you've written test code to explore the memory requirements of the two use cases just like I have.



    Go ahead and run Photoshop on your new 64 bit machines with the same amount of memory that you're running it under 32-bit. See how far that gets you.
  • Reply 39 of 97
    This story is bad. You are blaming Microsoft for not supporting PAE? Duh? They already have multiple 64bit operating systems that work just fine. The 4GB memory limit is a problem of all 32 bit OS's .. And like other people have pointed out PAE is a piece of crap.. I'm a linux server admin and work with a lot of hi-mem systems with openvz.. You always install the 64bit OS over PAE as PAE has way too much overhead.. Both 64bit and 32bit apps run fine on a 64bit OS..



    Oh ya I'm writing this on my vista 64 OS with 8 gig ram .. running all my 64/32 apps and games fine .. and it supports every piece of hardware that I've ever thrown at it!
  • Reply 40 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zmonster View Post


    OK, you geniues know everything, and you've written test code to explore the memory requirements of the two use cases just like I have.



    Go ahead and run Photoshop on your new 64 bit machines with the same amount of memory that you're running it under 32-bit. See how far that gets you.



    To be honest, I'd rather see a cogent rebuttal than a fake concession. Tell me what is wrong with my explanation and I'll either admit that indeed it takes 152.1x more memory to get reasonable performance on a 64-bit machine or expand upon my earlier points (depending on whether manage to convince me that I'm wrong).
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