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AMD Hardware

64-bit x86 Computing Reaches 10th Anniversary 332

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the long-live-athlonmp dept.
illiteratehack writes "10 years ago AMD released its first Opteron processor, the first 64-bit x86 processor. The firm's 64-bit 'extensions' allowed the chip to run existing 32-bit x86 code in a bid to avoid the problems faced by Intel's Itanium processor. However AMD suffered from a lack of native 64-bit software support, with Microsoft's Windows XP 64-bit edition severely hampering its adoption in the workstation market." But it worked out in the end.
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64-bit x86 Computing Reaches 10th Anniversary

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  • by vistapwns (1103935) on Monday April 22, 2013 @06:07PM (#43520421)
    Heard x64 was barely faster than 32-bit, wrote this program to find duplicate files on Windows: http://poshcode.org/3377 [poshcode.org] - it's at least twice as fast in x64 than 32-bit. Naturally it won't apply to everything, but for certain things x64 is really good.
  • by muon-catalyzed (2483394) on Monday April 22, 2013 @06:20PM (#43520523)
    The people at AMD who did this, an unquestionably biggest AMD's achievement to date, they should be rehired and given executive positions.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2013 @06:36PM (#43520651)

    XP x64, Microsofts ginger step-son of an OS. Ignored and dropped like a hot potato as soon as they could.

    You couldn't get drivers for half the stuff, even MS didn't provide their own software and lots of 'free for home, pay for commercial' stuff would detect it as 2003 Server and refuse to run/install.

    Somewhat of a shame really as it wasn't a bad OS.

  • by Ecuador (740021) on Monday April 22, 2013 @07:46PM (#43521109) Homepage

    In our algorithms lab there were programs that would gain more than 2x when compiled for 64 bit.
    A more "real-world" example is when I started in 2005 at my current company. The engineers had 6-month old P4s @ 3.2 or 3.4GHz, running 32bit linux. For a project they used VisualStudio on VMWare and it took over a minute to compile the project. The company allowed engineers to choose their hardware, so I built an Athlon 64 @ 2.2 or 2.4GHz and I had it run 64bit SuSE. I remember the shock and awe from the first time I tried to compile the project under VMWare - a little more than 10 secs - the engineer next to me had his jaw drop. Of course most of the engineers immediately requested to switch to 64bit machines. I am not sure why it made such a difference in that application - perhaps the 16 general purpose registers come in really handy in this scenario? Of course it didn't help that the P4 was slower in everything (funny how at the time very few reviews really clarified this), but not order of magnitude slower...

  • by Burning1 (204959) on Monday April 22, 2013 @08:34PM (#43521381) Homepage

    I think if you understand how truly horrifying PAE is, you would have no doubt at all that 64 bit platforms were the way to go. There's a lot of memory management cruft in the Linux kernel that x86_64 eliminates.

    x86_64 also slipped in a few much needed enhancements to the ia32 architecture, including some extra general purpose registers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86-64 [wikipedia.org]

  • by raymorris (2726007) on Monday April 22, 2013 @09:25PM (#43521593)
    Is this still Slashdot? Nobody mentioned that Linux supported x86 64 in 2001, before it was even released, while Windows was stuck at 32 bit for another four years.

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