Re: amd64 or i386 for desktop use?

On 3/5/08, Roland Smith <rsmith@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On Wed, Mar 05, 2008 at 12:36:33AM -0500, Isaac Mushinsky wrote:
I have new hardware (Abit ip35-pro, Intel Q6600), and was contemplating
installing FreeBSD/arch, but now realise that I am going to have some

My nvidia card will not be of much use (GeForce 8500GT), since
are not there for amd64, and the open source nv driver does not even
XVideo extension for these cards. I can downgrade to a nv 7xxx series
which works better with the open driver. I do not mind loss of 3D
but would need basic things like mplayer.

Any ATI card up to and including the 9250 (rv280) is fully supported on
amd64, 3D and all. (I know because I've got one :-)

2. Any problems with flash plugin (flash7 for now, I do not mean the
confounded flash9 headache)?

I've never been able to get a native flash player to work, but I don't
mind doing without. The downloadhelper plugin for firefox can help you
download a lot of movies (e.g. youtube) which you then can play with
mplayer. All the flash ads I'll gladly do without.

3. Other casual desktop user problems I should be aware of?

Wine is i386 only.

4. Is it worth it? Perhaps I should stay with i386, but it is a pity
not to be able to use the new machine to its full potential.

Practically you don't _need_ amd64 unless you're running out of address
space on i386. Me, I'm running amd64 because I can. :-) My desktop has a
of RAM, and I seldom use more than half of that. Mind you, I'm using a
simple window manager not a desktop environment with lots of bells &

I suspect binaries on i386 will be somewhat smaller. But amd64 has more
registers which might give some speed advantages. I haven't tested it, but
might be nice to do a speed comparison between i386 and amd64 on
identical hardware. I don't think the difference will matter for
a common desktop though; the CPU of a desktop is mostly idling anyway.


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Thanks a lot. Trouble is, new hardware does not even have an AGP slot for
those cards. I don't mind to go without 3D, though, and it appears some
newer cards (R5xx/R6xx) have decent drivers otherwise.

Yes, I also want to go amd64 because I can. Besides, it will be a fresh
install, and if ever, this is the right time to switch.
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