64-bit in Snow Leopard – few words of explanation
I just want to explain some of the confusions which you can find across the net about the 64-bit and 32-bit modes which are coming in Snow Leopard this Friday. Snow Leopard will run in true kernel 64-bit mode currently only on XServe! On you day to day use Macbooks Snowy is going to run in 32-bit kernel mode, but unlike any other operating system, Snowy will be able to manage true 64-bit applications. What does it mean? It means, that if the application has been written or compiled for 64-bit it will run on 32-bit kernel without any problems.
Look ma, it’s not possible on Vista or any other OS’s, where to do it you need 64-bit OS, which means more expensive version of that system. Mac OSX Snow Leopard will cost you only 29 dollars. Why Apple blocked true 64-bit kernel booting for us, regular users? Because not all kernel extensions or third party drivers are ready to run on 64-bit kernel yet. The reason is of course compatibility.
Remember, that’s being said, running in 32-bit kernel mode does not hurt you at all. What is important, it’s a chance to run 64-bit applications and being able to get more than 4GB of RAM for a single process and maybe process more data in single CPU cycle. That’s a hole story! So, don’t be surprised, you may or may not see the speed performance yet, but Snowy gives us a strong base for what is going to be in the future for Apple in the world of computing.
Stay tuned for this Friday and do a backup before you decide to upgrade you system!