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Thread: 64-bit CPUs




  1. #1
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    Default 64-bit CPUs

    Okay,

    Im old enough to remember the transistion from 16bit to 32bit, when the argument was "32bit? is it really needed?"

    It seems obvious now, 32bit was indeed needed. However, I am having a hard time seeing the advantages of 64bit. Sure it gives the ability to access terabytes of memory, but from what I can see thats about the only advantage? The only thing 64-bit brings is a huge address range. There is no real speed increase apart from the obvious GHz increase which goes with new technology. Even with storing data in the registers, 32-bit processors are easily fast enough for most desktop needs.

    Unless you are a massive multinational company with a database consisting of a billion entries then you would never need that amount of memory. This is all theoritical of cause, can you imagine the engineering challenge of producing a memory module which is 512GB????

    Not even hard drives are that big (unless I have missed something in the last few months).

    Okay, dont get me wrong. I love seeing new technology come out, and sure I will probably invest in a 64bit computer in a few months, its just a strange thing to see. I would have thourght companies would be looking for a replacement for the silicon transistor before worrying about 64-bit processors!

    With silicon reaching its limits soon, there isnt going to be massive speed increases. I think silicon transistors will reach their limit within a couple of years, and individual processors wont get past about 6GHz or 7GHz. I might be wrong about this, but silicon is bound to reach a limit fairly soon.

    The motherboards which are out at the moment for 64-bit processors should in theory support 2TB of memory...but how long is it going to be until that quantity of memory is available. (2040?)

    Okay, going back to the original statement, the history between 16 and 32 bit. Everyone thought that 8mb was overkill at one point, then when Pentiums came out with 32mb that was considered insane!. But somehow I feel this is different. The difference between 4GB and 2TB is way more than the difference between 16MB and 4GB ever was.

    Just for a bit of math, look at this:

    2TB = 2048GB = 2097152MB = 2147483648KB!

    The TB limit might as well be infinite.

    32-bit processors can access 4GB of memory. I doubt anyone on this board has that amount of combined (video + ram) memory. Certainly there is no desktop application which requires that amount. In fact, having 1GB of RAM installed and a 256MB graphics card is easily enough for any user! In a few years time maybe 2GB will be needed, but it will be decades, if ever, until a 64bit amount of memory is required!

    This post doesnt really have much of a point, its just something I thought I would bring up. I would like to hear other peoples opinions on 64-bit CPUs.

    Dont bother flaming me down if you dont agree with my arguement. Just give me your view. Im sure im wrong about something!

    (I just resent having to buy a 64bit version of windows! LOL)
    AMD XP2500+ (2.3GHz, 'barton'), Abit NF7-Srev2 mobo, 2x 256mb PC2700 (crucial memory), nVidia GeForce 4 128mb, 80gb Western Digital ATA-133, 40gb Maxtor ATA-100, BTC 52x32x16 CD/RW and half a dozen fans!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 64-bit CPUs

    Interesting thoughts, but if you'll think about it, the 64-bit processor was indeed created for use as a business server platform. I can assure you there are several businesses large enough to benefit from the additional memory addressinf capabilities, but modern motherboards don't go that high yet; not even the ones made for the 64-bit processors currently in use.

    I think the concept of the 64-bit processor became something that enthusiasts heard about and started looking into how they could get in on the action. I can recall more than one gamer building a fancy Opteron rig with no intention of using it for business or server functions. AMD and Intel see this and they react; hence they bring out something to suit the needs of this enthusiast sector.

    Oh... the 64-bit Windows OS can be had for free (at least right now). Sure it has a 360 day expiration window on it, but how many of us who proudly call ourselves enthusiasts go that long without a reformat/reinstall mixed in there somewhere? There are also 64-bit versions of Linux wandering around too but the 64-bit applications are currently sparse. I don't think this will last, however, since they will appear for the same reason the enthusiast level 64-bit processor showed up.

    Besides, I'd be willing to bet that 64-bit will become the trend whether there is a true need for it or not. Just like the 16 to 32-bit times years ago, this will happen. And when it does, there will always be some enterprising young genious who will come up with a way to put the additional promise of the technology to good use and years down the road we'll probably be venting over the change to 128-bit systems.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: 64-bit CPUs

    Yup, I understand that the enthusiast wants the best tech they can afford, I also proudly call my self a computer enthusiast (who for the record cant go a month without a reformat/reinstall...). Its just a weird thing. I would rather see processors staying at 32bit and some radical new technology being impliment. Maybe 64bit is needed, im just to dumb to see it.

    I remember ages ago seeing articles about Bio-Processors and Laser-Processors. And there were other ideas floating around as well, to phase out silicon. I think that the big development in processors comes from changing the type of transistor used, and not just increasing the size of the data registers.

    Personally, I would be much more excited to see a 20GHz processor than a 128bit processor!

    By the way, whats the largest amount of memory that 64bit Mobos can support? I assume it is something like 6GB. I dont really know a great deal about the current 64bit tech available.
    AMD XP2500+ (2.3GHz, 'barton'), Abit NF7-Srev2 mobo, 2x 256mb PC2700 (crucial memory), nVidia GeForce 4 128mb, 80gb Western Digital ATA-133, 40gb Maxtor ATA-100, BTC 52x32x16 CD/RW and half a dozen fans!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 64-bit CPUs

    I've got an MSI and an Abit I'm testing at the moment and they both max out at 4GB, but they're both of the s939 architecture so will be good paths for future upgrades. I'm guessing the overall memory limits will be updated when memory modules are capable of handling aggressive timings when in larger packages. Since there isn't an immediate need, the manufacturers are just sitting idle. I'd be surprised if they don't already have the ability to increase this, though.
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: 64-bit CPUs

    Honestly, 64 bit processors aren't need for desktop systems right now. No desktop user will ever need more than 4GBs of RAM, and the desktop A64 boards don't have room anyway. The point of the AMD K8 line is not just being 64 bit; it also does away with the front-side bus by putting the memory controller on-die, on top of the exclusive L2 cache. The fact that is 64 bit is mostly marketing, as many people erroneously believe that since 32x2 = 64, 64 bit must mean twice as much performance.

    But back in the day when 16 bit CPUs were around, desktop users wouldn't have needed the extra memory of 32-bit, either. But now they do. Ten years from now, desktop systems may very well make use of more than 4GBs of RAM. Might be a while before 2TB is needed, though...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 64-bit CPUs

    I think I can say with some confidence that 2TB will probably never be needed by a desktop user. Even that amount of space on a hard drive would be insanity...

    I just cant get my head around 2TB... 2048GB... thats an intense amount of storage!

    Just for fun have a look at these figures:
    2TB = 3226 compact discs (650mb)
    2TB = 393 dvds (5.2gb)
    2TB = 1456355 floppy discs (1.44mb) (my favourite)
    2TB = 20971 zip discs (100mb)

    again, this post has no real point...but can you imagine 1.45 million floppy discs!?

    BTW, I think the addition of the memory controler on the processor is an excelent move, anything which reduces communication between the northbridge is a good thing.
    AMD XP2500+ (2.3GHz, 'barton'), Abit NF7-Srev2 mobo, 2x 256mb PC2700 (crucial memory), nVidia GeForce 4 128mb, 80gb Western Digital ATA-133, 40gb Maxtor ATA-100, BTC 52x32x16 CD/RW and half a dozen fans!

  7. #7
    G13man is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: 64-bit CPUs

    not that i am an expert , but it is not just the memory ,but the data path and processing ... ie why are video card data busses 128 bit and 256 bit... so they can process more bandwith...
    k6-2 .and . . . AMD 64bit|3.2,1G[2326],9800xt [both died] miss my 500 K's
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    2 = 945G chipset boards 2G Celeron and dual Pentium
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: 64-bit CPUs

    If I remember correctly, didn't we have 64-bit processors a long time ago (I mean long time ago in computer years)? Almost strickly for server use, get the extra GB of ram and stuff.

    But, the thing I see about 8 to 16 to 32 to 64 is that it looks good. I thought my laptop was a real odd-ball when I learned that it had 24 megs of ram, since it didn't jive with everything else computer (1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128...). Wouldn't it look funky to see a 48-bit processor? But, if things went that way, it would just feel right then.

    Anyways, the exponential ness is just so interesting.

    2^8 = 256
    2^16 = 65536
    2^32 = 4,294,967,296
    2^64 = 18,446,744,073,709,551,616
    2^128 = 3.4028236692093846346337460743177e+38 (and I was expecting an error to occur)
    2^256 = 1.1579208923731619542357098500869e+77

    That is some real stepping power.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 64-bit CPUs

    Quote Originally Posted by MRZigzz
    If I remember correctly, didn't we have 64-bit processors a long time ago (I mean long time ago in computer years)? Almost strickly for server use, get the extra GB of ram and stuff.
    Yes the heavy server area has been 64-bit for some time now.

    Quote Originally Posted by MRZigzz
    I thought my laptop was a real odd-ball when I learned that it had 24 megs of ram, since it didn't jive with everything else computer (1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128...).
    So did ya work out whether that 8MB of 32MB was set aside for video use or was there 3 x 8MB memory modules in it? (maybe a 16MB + 8MB)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 64-bit CPUs

    Quote Originally Posted by wayout44
    So did ya work out whether that 8MB of 32MB was set aside for video use or was there 3 x 8MB memory modules in it? (maybe a 16MB + 8MB)
    Well, now I feel stupid . I just now opened up the lid on it, and it has a 16 meg DRAM in it, so I must be getting the 8 megs from what it was built with. Thanks for pointing out my ignorance. I never even thought about opening it up to see.

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