Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (686 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] 64 bit vs 32 bit RAM consumption
On Tue, 23 Jul 2013 08:05:47 -0400
Felix Miata wrote:

In googling the possibility of using a 64 bit kernel on an otherwise
32 bit openSUSE (consensus: don't try it), I found quite a bit of
mention of 64 bit apps using twice as much RAM? Is this true? Or is
it just misunderstanding arising from 64 bit using twice as many CPU
registers to increase its own speed? Or something else? My main
system running 32 bit 11.4 has 4GB RAM and is consistently using >50%
of RAM for open apps, most of the rest for disk cache, and always
around 360MB unused. Would running 64 bit on this system be consuming
virtually all RAM for apps, leaving little free for disk cache?

FWIW, not all RAM is "cheap". To bring this DDR2 system up to its 8GB
max would cost ~$63USD. To replace its 2X2GB sticks with 2X4GB (to
free them for RAM upgrade to another system) would cost triple that.

Hi Felix,

FWIW, my principal system is a 64-bit Intel Core2Duo (T5800) based
laptop with 4 GB RAM plus 512 MB dedicated VRAM on an nVidia GeForce
9300M GS graphics card.

64-bit 11.4 openSUSE + GNOME 2 ran beautifully on it. I keep literally
a few dozen apps open at any given time, distributed across five
desktops -- that's my work style, monitoring remote systems as well as
building / debugging & updating websites, both locally and remotely --
and this configuration exhibited absolutely no memory constraints at all.

I recently upgraded to openSUSE 12.3 on the same system, running KDE4
instead of GNOME 3, and I've had no memory problems, either.

I think the real key to this problem is the underlying purpose for the
machine, hence, the applications that are chosen to run on it. 3-D
modeling, hosting VMs, video editing, high end gaming ... I suspect
these are realms where 32-bit vs 64-bit vs available RAM becomes an

hth & regards,

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