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Author Topic: computer woes  (Read 2662 times)
Ivan
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« on: February 05, 2012, 12:18:42 PM »

I think I'll add my name to the list of disheartened ubuntu users. Yesterday morning my wife's computer did a load of updates. None of these updates meant anything. However, it obviously met with problems during the update, and the upshot was that the computer lost wireless capability, sound and the ability to turn off. I spent several hours googling the problem, but couldn't fix it.

So I gave up and installed Mint (64bit version as it's a 64bit computer). The installation worked perfectly, and now the computer is up and running again. However, since the OS change, it runs extremely slowly. Everything takes ages to respond when clicked on. Then I remembered, the reason we put ubuntu on the machine in the first place, was that Windows Vista (presumably 64bit) ran like a snail on a bad day. Which makes me wonder......why is 64bit so much slower than 32bit? I thought the whole point of 64bit was to speed things up. I've got a pentium running windows2000 which seems far faster than any 64bit machine I've got...
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Richard Owen
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2012, 12:27:51 PM »

Length of data word has no direct effect on speed. The word length refers to the amount of memory that the computer can directly address.

A 32 bit computer can address 232 bits of memory and a 64 bit computer can address 264 bits.

It is assumed that the computer reading or writing one 64-bit word is going to be faster than it reading or writing 2x 32 bit words.

But it doesn't always work out like that.

It's been over half a lifetime since I last wrote an operating system, but I don't think the basic architecture of the computer has changed much. The problem is always going to be that when you step out of the electronic world to the mechanical world things slow down by about 1000x.

Keeping things in RAM is always better than sending things to disk.

And, if you have a 64 bit operating system, even one that's truly 64 bits and doesn't pretend to be 64 bit when parts of it are still 32 bit, you are going to need a lot more RAM than you will for a 32 bit operating system because everything is twice as big. And if you don't have enough RAM then the disk is going to be used a lot and if that happens you can forget all about processor speed, RAM speed, anything speed, because the mechanical world is always (a lot) slower.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 01:10:06 PM by Richard Owen » Logged

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Richard Owen
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2012, 12:31:21 PM »

I'm running 32 bit Ubuntu (10.4 LTS) on a 7 year old Dell computer that was a cast off by a customer who felt the need to upgrade.

I put the maximum amount of RAM (4GB) in it and it's fine.

I'm going to stick to 10.4 until I'm forced to upgrade and then I'm going to play with some other interface such as XFCE (or whatever it was called) as recommended by Wookey.

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martin
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2012, 12:55:06 PM »

Going on the "what would I do?" thing, I'd replace the 64 bit version of Mint with the 32 bit version, and concur with the "go for the maximum memory" thing.
I think Ivan's problems on update underline the fact that Ubuntu seems to have lost it's way of late, I had similar problems when I "updated" to 11.04-  then after hours of faffing to fix the problems, you're presented with the "interface from hell" (Unity) wackoold
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knighty
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2012, 07:43:46 PM »

it#s probably not a 64bit vs 32bit version thing

if you're comparing Vista to Ubuntu to Mint it's not a like for like test

Vista was always slow on any machine...

but I've never used ububtu or mint so have no idea there Sad
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clivejo
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2012, 01:35:49 AM »

Are you sure the hardware is fully 64 bit compatible?  In the early days some systems had a mismatch in hardware i.e. a CPU compatible but not the memory, which lead to problems.

To test your CPU run "grep --color=always -iw lm /proc/cpuinfo" at a terminal.  Do you see 'lm' marked in red anywhere?
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