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View Full Version : Is 64 bit that big of a deal? Here's why I ask...


mbself
2009-06-16, 11:39 PM
Ok.....I came across a deal and snatched it up....with certain assumptions that proved wrong. The seller did not lie...I just assumed and now I doubt the seller would have even known if I had asked.



I bought an hp xw8000. It has 2-dual core 3.2ghz xeon processors......being dual xeon I assumed it was 64bit....have now determined it is 32bit. I wasn't aware of the actual age of the machine or I think i might have known better.


Question is this: Does it really matter? I bought this beast for $150. Can I really go wrong? It is a major upgrade from what I have now and I will be running Linux mostly (dual booting with either XP Pro or Vista Ultimate) and maxing out the RAM to 12gig (or whatever amount I determine is the most my Linux distro will allow).

It has PLENTY of PCI slots..a coupla PCI express and an AGP slot. Not to mention FIREWIRE and USB2.0. IDE, SCSI, and SATA support.

Was thinking of using it as an A/V workstation. I have gone as far as I can with my old stuff (Athlon 1ghz single core running at 750mhz....don't ask). Migrating to Linux breathed new life into the machine a coupla years ago but, alas...it is what it is.

I have accumulated some video equipment (TBC, Proc Amp and detailer) and really want to do some serious analog video conversions. Also, small potatoes recording studio setup. Kind of a multimedia catch all.

trustthex
2009-06-17, 01:03 AM
64bit is only tits if you have software written for 64bit. 64bit windows is nice for security and everything, and if you've paid for all your apps to be 64bit... otherwise, some sort of hypervisor and/or the OS basically has to convert the 32bit software to run at 64bit, not really giving you that much performance gain and actually probably runs at a performance deficit (anyone remember NT4 on PowerPC?). if all of your apps are 32bit (and most everything is), then that hoss of a system should be able to kill whatever audio and/or video you throw at it.

direwolf-pgh
2009-06-18, 10:12 AM
$150 ?! for two dual-core Xeon system board - more than a fair shake.
drop some RAM in that puppy and you're off to the races.

travelinsong
2009-06-18, 11:50 AM
32 bit and quit - no real difference YET

mbself
2009-06-18, 01:38 PM
Thanks.....that is great news for me. It was sort of an auction atmosphere. I didn't want any of their drives or video cards. After seeing it boot up I let them have the stuff I didn't need back. They had 2-512 meg DDR ram sticks in it and I knew I wanted to go 12gig and I couldn't use the 512's.

Very much a right place right time scenario.

I will have this beauty cleaned up and restored/built to my specs by mid July. Gotta take a vacation 1st.

Considering a "dual boot" with windows and Linux....anyone experienced with that setup?

Also, recomendations for a good video capture card that will capture AVI as well as MPEG formats that is compatible with both OS's will be appreciated.

As I said earlier, I want to be able to get set up to really help out someone with some good VHS material that needs to be digitized/enhanced and authored into a good DVD release.

Last things I need for that are a good capture card and a really good VHS deck....bidding on Panasonic AG 1980.

dude87
2009-06-21, 11:49 PM
Thanks.....that is great news for me. It was sort of an auction atmosphere. I didn't want any of their drives or video cards. After seeing it boot up I let them have the stuff I didn't need back. They had 2-512 meg DDR ram sticks in it and I knew I wanted to go 12gig and I couldn't use the 512's.

Very much a right place right time scenario.

I will have this beauty cleaned up and restored/built to my specs by mid July. Gotta take a vacation 1st.

Considering a "dual boot" with windows and Linux....anyone experienced with that setup?

Also, recomendations for a good video capture card that will capture AVI as well as MPEG formats that is compatible with both OS's will be appreciated.

As I said earlier, I want to be able to get set up to really help out someone with some good VHS material that needs to be digitized/enhanced and authored into a good DVD release.

Last things I need for that are a good capture card and a really good VHS deck....bidding on Panasonic AG 1980.

Can't really help with the video card questions, but a couple of things on the 32/64 bit issues and Linux/Windows dual boot.

Remember that 32 bit Windows can only address 4 GB of RAM, some of which is the RAM on your video card. 12 GB of RAM on a 32 bit operating system is not necessarily going to improve anything. It is possible to patch the Linux kernel with Physical Address Extensions (PAE) to address greater than 4 GB of memory, you may or may not want to try that as a Linux newbie (assuming you are - if you're an experienced Linux user than go for it).

As for dual-booting, I did that for a while with no problems. When I realized I never booted Windows on my torrenting machine I wiped the drive clean and installed Linux only :) In general, dual booting works well and has few problems, another alternative is to consider installing VMware (or something similar, such as Parallels) and running a virtual machine when you need to access Windows. Saves the rebooting time.

Pugs
2009-06-26, 05:32 AM
I ended buying a 64bit version of vista because as stated XP will only see 4GB RAM wheras I have 8GB

mbself
2009-06-27, 11:46 AM
thanks for the info on RAM recognition. Will save me some dough. Maybe later I can find a way to make linux recognize more. Again, my current old machine is maxed out at 768 meg of ram. Still, 4-8 gig will be a vast improvement.