Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I know I can force it to boot into 64-bit kernel by holding down the 6 and 4 keys during the boot process. I also know that some extensions still don't run in 64-bit mode.

So the question is what might I gain by running in 64-bit mode?

If it matters, I have the brand new 2010 15" MBP with the faster processer and 8GB of RAM.

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers 2

With a kernel running in 64-bit mode, the kernel might be a little faster - but it's not likely you'll ever notice that.

64-bit applications run in 64-bit mode on OS X (and can access all 8GB of your RAM) even if the kernel is in 32-bit mode, so really, I don't see a point of switching kernels.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I don't know if it applies to a Mac, but running in 64 bit can apparently require more memory:

The main disadvantage of 64-bit architectures is that relative to 32-bit architectures, the same data occupies more space in memory (due to swollen pointers and possibly other types and alignment padding). This increases the memory requirements of a given process and can have implications for efficient processor cache utilization. Maintaining a partial 32-bit model is one way to handle this and is in general reasonably effective.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.