FreeBSD 8.0 amd64 on Nehelem Xeon?
ivoras at freebsd.org
Fri Jan 22 23:55:28 UTC 2010
Nerius Landys wrote:
> I'm in the process of purchasing a small Nehelem-based server (Xeon
> L5506 CPU to be exact). I will be installing some flavor of FreeBSD
> 8.0 (either i386 32 bit or amd64 64 bit, to be exact). I have no
> immediate need for a 64 bit server, as none of the processes that I
> will be running in the forseeable future will require more than 3 gigs
> of memory. My primary use for the server (which will be in a data
> center) will be to run video games servers; the exact game I'll be
> running is based on the ioquake3 open source engine, which compiles
> and runs fine on FreeBSD, at least 32 bit (have not tried 64 bit
> FreeBSD yet, but will get around to that).
> My two concerns when making a decision between 32 bit and 64 bit are:
> 1. Performance. Will there be any difference in performance between a
> 64 bit OS and 32 bit on my Nehelem?
Probably not so much that you would notice (i.e. not something the users
would immediately feel) - for general loads we're talking about low
percentages in either direction.
But installing a 64-bit OS is more like planning for the future. Maybe
you will need more RAM for some application and then you will be stuck
with a 32-bit OS.
> 2. Availability of software. Will some software run only on 32 bit?
> Only on 64 bit?
There probably are some. If you are only interested in FreeBSD ports,
you can make a list of which ports you need and then inspect their
Makefiles to see if there's a flag disabling them on the amd64 architecture.
Another option is that you bring up a 32-bit-only jail and run your
32-bit applications from it.
Additional information for Nehalems is that you should stick to the more
widely available models - the 4 core+HTT ones. Some of the more exotic
ones (6 core) might have problems with ULE and topology guesswork.
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