Note that the G5 is not the first 64-bit desktop, much less the first 64-bit CPU. Sun currently offers a number of 64-bit desktop workstations (as opposed to, say, servers), and other manufacturers - I think Digital Equipments was mentioned - have done so a long time ago in terms of computing history.|
AMD's 64-bit CPUs (Opteron et al) have gotten a lot of coverage recently, although arguably they're server and not desktop CPUs. (I think that's an arbitrary choice: they're marketed as server CPUs, that's all.) Intel's been busy on the 64-bit front, as well.
I'm not sure whether the move to 64-bit is relevant to most computing tasks anyway, I haven't read anything definitive on that so far. The move to a larger address space is inevitable, but doesn't really seem necessary at the moment: an x86 architecture process can address 4 GB of memory (more, I think, with certain extensions to the instruction set), which is 4 times what I have in my computer and 16 times what most people have. There are no mainstream desktop apps (none!) which require or could even sensibly use more than 4 GB of RAM, at the moment. Obviously, at some point there will be. And also, obviously the extended address space is not the only advantage of a 64-bit CPU.
I'm not in a hurry upgrading to x86-64 (AMD's 64bit extension to x86), I'm fairly certain my upcoming CPU upgrade sometime next year will still feature a good old 32-bit CPU.
#96089, By Moonbender New Apple Macs (sorry everyone)
Moonbender 407 posts
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