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I have i5-3230M CPU @ 2.60GHz processor and 8GB RAM in my Thinkpad T530 laptop.

Normally I have 6-7 pinned (gmail, whatsapp, slack, keep etc) and up to 10 open tabs in Chrome, virtualbox with vagrant, PhpStorm IDE, Firefox with few open tabs. Sometimes I need to open LibreOffice Calc.

Recently I faced significant slowing down, I cleaned the dust inside the cooler, it slightly helped.

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Will migration to 64 bit Ubuntu bring performance improvement because of getting rid of PAE overhead or 8GB in 2016 is basically not enough?

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Yes, you are likely to experience a major performance improvement (over 10% in most scenarios) by switching to the 64-bit system. Note however that such improvement is not perceived for 32-bit processes.

This is not realized by not using PAE, but instead due to the 64-bit environment itself, which does more work with less CPU cycles. As Hennes suggested in the comments, check out this for details: 32-bit vs. 64-bit systems.

As for the percentage, I benchmarked it myself (though I used Debian, but close enough). Also, a web search returned me this:

Phoronix has taken a look at the performance difference between the 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Ubuntu 13.04. They found that the 64-bit edition of Ubuntu had superior performance in real-world benchmarks.

Source: http://www.howtogeek.com/165144/htg-explains-should-you-use-the-32-bit-or-64-bit-edition-of-ubuntu-linux/

As for RAM usage, I also have 8GB and it suffices. My usage scenario is pretty much the same as yours. Of course it depends on the amount of RAM your VM demands.

Looking at your screenshot, and since you don't mention gaming, I recommend you double-check your BIOS to make sure you have no more than 256MB for Dedicated Video Memory. Also from the screenshot, I'd be tempted to suggest you use Firefox exclusively, so this might be worth mentioning since Chrome really uses up lots of RAM.


Now, even though switching architectures will definitely speed things up (which you can test yourself, for instance, with the PeaceKeeper Benchmark - running from a 64-bit Live CD), it is very very likely that the slowdown you have been experiencing is related to the Hard Drive. Defragmentation is not usually needed for Ubuntu, unless you are running low on storage space, so I'd check up on that.

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Moving to a 64 bit OS will improve performance slightly over a 32 bit PAE OS. From the little performance information I can find, which relates to only Red Hat, PAE slows the system down by an average of 1%, with a max of 10%. In all likelyhood, you will not notice a difference.

Unless you are starving for memory, the best performance improvement you can achieve is a SSD.

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No and yes.

Performace will not just increase by going from 32bit compiled code to 64 bit compiled code (and OS). Due to the larger code size it can even be slower. Using 64bit code also means using 64 mode with a lot of extra goodies which got intruduced with the AMD64 instruction set. On average this means no speed difference between an i5 running in 32bit x86 mode or an i5 running in amd64 mode.

This is assuming you are using PEA atm. If you do not upgrade to 64 bit immediately so you can use >4GiB address space. Which means you can map and use the full 8GiB without PEA trickery.

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Most certainly. The answer is simply 'yes' and noticeably so.

14 or 16 doesn't matter. It's the 64bit that make the big difference

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    Care to elaborate?
    – rob
    Nov 10 '16 at 18:37

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