Today, while putting SMF‘s new server together, I noticed that the (Intel Core 2 Duo E8400) CPU box read “Intel 64 Architecture for 64-bit Computing”. At first, I thought I just made a mistake in which CPU to get — I was trying to get a 32-bit processor so that hardware/software compatibility issues would be minimized — and I’d just have to deal with the 64-bit horror. (And yes, I’ve been firmly resisting 64-bit technology for the time being, so as to benefit from the stability and wide availability of drivers, software, etc. that the 32-bit kingdom offers.)
Then I had a thought — the E8400 is a socket LGA775 CPU, and Limited Edition‘s E5200 is also LGA775… And so I checked on Google, and indeed, my E5200 is 64-bit! I had absolutely no idea, and I’ve been running 32-bit XP natively on the thing for over a year with no… anything working differently, as well as 32-bit *nixes working quite well. Ha! My resistance to 64-bit technology was circumvented already!
I guess it is partly a tribute to the abilities of Intel’s engineers to make something that does 32-bit so flawlessly that I didn’t even notice a difference… and partly a tribute to my inability to see “64-bit” where it is plainly printed 😳 . If I want to (so it seems), I could run 32-bit or 64-bit equally well on SMF’s new server or Limited Edition.
So… what now? Part of me wants to venture into 64-bit Linux right away and see if there is any appreciable difference, and part of me says “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Then again, I have been eying alternate distros for Limited Edition, and the new server is, well, new, so whatever I do won’t have any bad implications if it doesn’t work right away. Any thoughts?