Saturday, 16 July 2011

32bit or 64bit ?

The Mac OS X Lion 10.7 is believed as pure 64bit operating system. It is nice to run application in 64bit mode as we manage to use the full feature of Intel core2 duo processor which is build based on 64bit hardware architecture.

64bit OS can use more than 4GB memory since 32bit can only use less than 4GB. Fortunately there was a PAE (Physical Address Extension) method to address bigger than 4GB memory using 32bit OS.

Mac OS X can run into 32bit or 64bit mode with supplying kernel flags "arch=i386"for 32bit and "arch=x_64" for 64bit in boot loader while bootup process. The only limitation to run the OS is availability of kext (drivers in windows wolrd). There are wide variety of choice in desktop pc to swap the component with the other which has suitable kext. Since i only have notebook capable to run Mac OS X and the upgrade is very limited. I can't swap my integrated graphics adapter while i can change my wifi card into airport friendly.

Here is my experience running Mac OS X 10.7 Lion on Fujitsu S6410 pros and cons.

32Bit Mode:

  • Display adapter run OOB running using AppleIntelX3100 with full hardware acceleration QE/CI.
  • Display can operate on native resolution on my LCD 1280x800x32 @60hz
  • Keyboard and Touchpad  running using VoodooPS2 and two finger scrolling feature was working flawlessly. 
  • Benchmark result slightly lower @3099 using 32bit geekbench.

64Bit Mode:

  • Display only run on 1024x768 resolution.
  • Display has no QE/CI hardware acceleration didn't working.
  • Keyboard and Touchpad didn't work since VoodooPS2 only operate in 32bit mode, I change to ApplePS2Controller.kext which can run on 64bit, but I loose a nice two finger scrolling feature :)
  • Benchmark result higher @3430 using 64bit geekbench.

Since my notebook mainly using for video related with IMovie, I need full hardware QE/CI but I still can't find suitable kext for my Intel X3100 video adapter running on 64bit. So there is no point for me to run in 64bit mode, and I will stick on 32bit with slightly less performance but richer compatibility to my old notebook.


  1. Instead of Intel X3100 can run on 64-bit as well?

  2. Yes it is, I have try this kext with no luck. Only resolution can work but no QE/CI. Thanks Indra X for your comment.