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64 Bit Compatibility

From: Christopher Browne <cbbrowne(at)libertyrms(dot)info>
To: Jeff <jam(at)zoidtechnologies(dot)com>
Cc: Robert Treat <xzilla(at)users(dot)sourceforge(dot)net>,pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: 64 Bit Compatibility
Date: 2003-07-23 14:38:50
Message-ID: 3F1E9DFA.8010608@libertyrms.info (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-advocacy
Jeff wrote:
 > *I* know what "64 bit compatibility" means, but I have been 
programming for
 > 20 years.. how many members of the press corps are going to know what 
that
 > means? and if someone doesn't know what it means, how likely are they to
 > look it up or ask someone that knows about these things?

 > as a test, I just asked a Cisco router guy if he knew what "64 bit
 > compatibility" means.. and the first question he asked was "in what
 > context"? I then explained that it was the context of "RDBMS 
software", and
 > he was *still* not sure what I was talking about, and didn't see any
 > benefit.

Then let's ask ourselves: "What use is 64 bit compatibility?"

Answer:

"... 64 bit support means database processes can access more than 2GB of 
physical memory, which is vital for supporting large enterprise 
databases and data warehousing applications."

The problem with "only 32 bits" is that you can't make use of >2GB of 
RAM on a system.  (Well, on a 4GB IA-32 box, you could have PostgreSQL 
consume up to 2GB, and then see filesystem cacheing use the rest, but 
you still only have direct access to 2GB at a time...)

This is the reason why Opteron, in particular, should be very exciting.  
It breaks the 2GB barrier without having to resort to really expensive 
"proprietary Unix" hardware.

Something resembling my "quoted" bit should be added, as it gives people 
some idea as to what 64 bits "fixes."

-- 
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Christopher Browne
(416) 646 3304 x124 (land)



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