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I'm about to get a Mac Mini (2.3GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5) which I'm pretty sure is 32bit (I'm really not sure) and want to be able to do basic video and audio editing on it.

If it IS 32bit, then I'd appreciate any recommendations for special effects software which can do simple things such as gunshots (video and audio) - if it ISN'T 32bit (and is 64bit) then I'd appreciate it if you could firstly tell me, and then recommend 32bit video special effects software as I already know some 64bit special effects programs that are brilliant and also want to know 32bit programs for my own knowledge.

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It's 64 bit. Lion isn't even available in 32 bit. – Daniel Beck Jul 27 '11 at 16:41
Ok - thanks. Do you know of any 32bit special effects software for Mac anyway? – anon Jul 27 '11 at 16:45
Not my area of expertise, otherwise I'd have answered ;) – Daniel Beck Jul 27 '11 at 16:45
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I think you're working from a false premise here, namely that Mac software is either 32- or 64-bit. Actually, a lot of Mac software (and pretty much the entire OS, in both 10.6 and 10.7) comes in the form of multi-architecture binaries, with both 32- and 64-bit code included (and sometimes PPC code as well). The version of that came with 10.6 was a fairly extreme example, as it was a 4-way universal binary: 32-bit PowerPC code, 64-bit PowerPC, 32-bit Intel, and 64-bit Intel. When the OS launches a program like this, it looks at the list of supported architectures and picks the best match for your CPU.

All Macs that have shipped in the last few years have 64-bit Intel CPUs, but this doesn't mean they're 64-bit only; they're entirely capable of running in 32-bit mode as well. Net result: it doesn't really matter if the program is 64-bit capable or not, as long as it includes at least one Intel architecture, it'll run under Lion.

If you want to run a 64-bit-capable program in 32-bit mode for some reason, just select it in the Finder and Get Info -- if it has both 32- and 64-bit architectures, there'll be an "Open in 32-bit mode" option in the General section.

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Oh wow. Thanks, I'm a Windows user mainly and didn't know about this! Awesome answer! – joesavage Jul 29 '11 at 9:23

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