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Cable
June 5th, 2009, 06:21 PM
I haven't run Ubuntu for a while (I think the last release I ran was 7.10). I'm now thinking of coming back to Ubuntu! I'm just wondering if 64-bit is still lacking at all compared to 32-bit as I thought it was back then. Is 64-bit safe now, or should I still run 32-bit?

Also, how difficult is it to set up dual monitors? I would love to be able to get that running under Ubuntu/Kubuntu/whatever variety I decide to go with.

Therion
June 5th, 2009, 06:27 PM
I've been running Ubuntu (and on occasion some other distros) in 64-bit flavor for the past two years or so and I don't have anything but good things to say about it. The old problems with Flash/Java are history. And don't be dissuaded by the "you need 4GB of RAM" to take advantage of a 64-bit distro. That's bull. There's a lot more to 64-bit computing than JUST memory allocation.

IMO, if your PC's architecture supports 64-bit, you want 64-bit. Hands down, full stop.

mbsullivan
June 5th, 2009, 06:37 PM
I think that the moral of my story here is that 64-bit Ubuntu is ready for mainstream, but does not offer significant advantages or disadvantages for most users. The decision, while confusing for many people, doesn't really matter that much.


I'm just wondering if 64-bit is still lacking at all compared to 32-bit as I thought it was back then. Is 64-bit safe now, or should I still run 32-bit?

I think that basically any programs in the repos will work fairly well under 64 bit. The only problems I've had in recent history are with externally packaged programs, such as Picasa (from Google).


And don't be dissuaded by the "you need 4GB of RAM" to take advantage of a 64-bit distro. That's bull. There's a lot more to 64-bit computing than JUST memory allocation.

The performance difference between 32-bit and 64-bit general purpose programs is fairly nominal. Honestly, the decision's not that important. I think that the ability to natively address > 3GB of usable RAM without enabling PAE in the kernel is still one of the main selling points of 64-bit Ubuntu... but it's still just an issue of convenience, rather than performance.



Also, how difficult is it to set up dual monitors? I would love to be able to get that running under Ubuntu/Kubuntu/whatever variety I decide to go with.

Depends on your window manager and graphics card.

In general, I'd say with a major WM (Gnome/KDE/XFCE) it's easy to set up dual monitors. Depending on your graphics card (and associated drivers), there may be some quirkyness/bugginess, though.

Also, dual monitors don't always improve your efficiency, unless you improve the way you operate.

All in all, so long as you're willing to stick to mostly open source software and not insist on using proprietary ports, I'd say go with 64-bit. Or, if you don't want to deal with any potential hassle from 1-2 programs over the lifetime of Jaunty (and you have <=3GB of RAM) go with 32-bit. It doesn't matter!

Hope this helps,
Mike

Cable
June 5th, 2009, 09:56 PM
Depends on your window manager and graphics card.I have an ATi Radeon HD 3850 (AGP). Are ATi cards difficult to set up dual monitors with?