x86_64 as Fedora's primary platform

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Mon Sep 27 19:59:52 UTC 2010


On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 3:26 PM, Frank Murphy <frankly3d at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 27/09/10 20:12, Gregory Maxwell wrote:
> <snip>
>>
>> If you're not swapping x86_64 bringing increased performance is easily
>> demonstrated, and has been previously demonstrated here... if there is
>> any doubt on this point I'd be glad to run some more benchmarks to
>> demonstrate it.
>
> For me inept brain.
> You mean no swap partition?

Ha. No. I mean so long as your working set is smaller than the amount
of physical ram. Or in other words so long as your not frequently
swapping things out to make room, e.g. the swap in/out counters in
vmstat.

On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 3:34 PM, Stephen John Smoogen <smooge at gmail.com> wrote:
> My laptop went into swap after about 4 hours of work from firefox,
> thunderbird, and xchat. At 4 GB I find it pretty stable.

It's not too difficult to drive firefox into using more than 3Gbytes
of _virtual memory_, with the actual in use memory much smaller.  On
i386 this inevitably results in a crash, while on x86_64 it's fine—
and even if the memory actually gets dirty at least you can swap it
out.

Very few applications handle OOM gracefully and yet on i686 it's not
too difficult for a desktop grade system to exhaust the address space.
Arguably the continued promotion of i686 is a stability issue.

> On a longer state. Redesigning that page always causes a painful long
> list of arguments as everyone wants to be on the top or listed. PPC,
> KDE, LXDE, and s390 all come out of the woodwork and want a big link
> on top (or lets randomize it to make it even!). So after the last
> bikeshedding and my distro is bigger and larger than yours talk.. it
> was decided to go with one that worked best on the largest install
> base.

As far as I can tell the x86_64 hardware probably already has the
"largest installed base" unless you add all of it's installed base to
i686 since x86_64 supports a compatibility mode.  I don't believe that
adding it makes a lot of sense since that kind of reasoning would have
Fedora promoting x86_64 even when i686 was more or less completely
extinct.


Cheers!


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