11 Replies Latest reply: Oct 23, 2010 10:18 AM by Topher Kessler
vea1083 Level 3 Level 3 (685 points)
How do you know that your Mac is running in 64-bit mode. I run my Windows 7 partition in 64bit mode, but I don't know if my Mac is doing the same.

Thank You.

Specs below (in green text)

2.53GHz Core i5 MacBook Pro 15" (Mid-2010), Mac OS X (10.6.4), 500gb HDD @ 7200rpm, 4gb 1067mhz ddr3 ram, Intel HD + Nvidia 330m 256mb
  • 1. Re: 64-bit mode on MacBook Pro?
    Antonio Rocco Level 6 Level 6 (10,180 points)
    Hi

    One way is to launch Terminal (/Applications/Utilities) and issue this command:

    arch


    If the result to screen is i386 it's running in 32-bit. If the result to screen is x86_64 it's running in 64-bit. Activity Monitor's Kind column will list active 64-bit Processes. Don't worry about issuing the command as it does nothing other than outputting a result to screen.

    Tony
  • 2. Re: 64-bit mode on MacBook Pro?
    Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8 (35,275 points)
    If it is an Intel Mac later than the very first, it runs in '64-bit mode.' Whether it has booted into 32-bit or 64-bit kernel is a different matter that doesn't really matter unless you've got more than 32GB of RAM.
    Open up System Profiler and click on Software. In the text it will say: "64-bit kernel and extensions: " yes if booted into 64-bit kernel and no if 32-bit kernel. However, unlike Windows, Mac OS X runs apps at 64-bit regardless of which kernel it is booted into.
  • 3. Re: 64-bit mode on MacBook Pro?
    The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,880 points)
    For more on 64-bit kernel mode see this:
    http://macperformanceguide.com/SnowLeopard-64bit.html

    You do not need 32GB RAM to see benefit.

    Your 64-bit programs (if any) will run fine on a 32-bit kernel, gaining the benefits of 64-bit-ness. But they won’t see full performance that way.


    A 64-bit EFI is required to boot into K64 but is not always sufficient. Some machines do have a 64-bit EFI but are not able to boot into K64 (the iMac7,1 falls into that category).


    For an easy to use control panel:
    http://timesoftware.free.fr/k64enabler/
  • 4. Re: 64-bit mode on MacBook Pro?
    Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8 (35,275 points)
    I guess I don't think a 3% to 12% increase in performance is much when it comes down to a handful of seconds.
  • 5. Re: 64-bit mode on MacBook Pro?
    vea1083 Level 3 Level 3 (685 points)
    Ok I will open the system profiler app and see if that 64bit extentions option says "yes", I will write back tomorrow I'm currently at a friends computer and I will be returning home late.

    Thank You for your feedback...
  • 6. Re: 64-bit mode on MacBook Pro?
    The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,880 points)
    Apple will gladly sell you a $1200 BTO processor for 10% boost too.
  • 7. Re: 64-bit mode on MacBook Pro?
    BobHarris Level 6 Level 6 (13,110 points)
    No matter which Mac OS X kernel you boot (32 or 64-bit), you can run 64-bit apps. This has been true for the past few versions of Mac OS X.

    Applications -> Utilities -> Activity Monitor -> Kind will show you lots of applications already running 64-bits.

    Today there are very few reason you really need the 64-bit Mac OS X kernel.
    o You are a developer writing a 64-bit kernel driver.
    o You need to use a 64-bit ONLY driver (very rare).
    o You have a Mac with more than 32GB of RAM.
    o You like testing the beta 64-bit drivers, reporting kernel crashes to the developers, so that the rest of the Mac community doesn't have to.
  • 8. Re: 64-bit mode on MacBook Pro?
    vea1083 Level 3 Level 3 (685 points)
    BobHarris wrote:
    No matter which Mac OS X kernel you boot (32 or 64-bit), you can run 64-bit apps. This has been true for the past few versions of Mac OS X.

    Applications -> Utilities -> Activity Monitor -> Kind will show you lots of applications already running 64-bits.

    Today there are very few reason you really need the 64-bit Mac OS X kernel.
    o You are a developer writing a 64-bit kernel driver.
    o You need to use a 64-bit ONLY driver (very rare).
    o You have a Mac with more than 32GB of RAM.
    o You like testing the beta 64-bit drivers, reporting kernel crashes to the developers, so that the rest of the Mac community doesn't have to.


    Does Snow Leopard have the ability to run applications in 64bit mode without having to run the OS in 64bit mode as in Windows 7 where the OS has to run in 64bit for its apps to run in 64bit?
  • 9. Re: 64-bit mode on MacBook Pro?
    BobHarris Level 6 Level 6 (13,110 points)
    Does Snow Leopard have the ability to run applications in 64bit mode without having to run the OS in 64bit mode as in Windows 7 where the OS has to run in 64bit for its apps to run in 64bit?

    Tiger, Leopard, and Snow Leopard have all had the ability to run 64-bit apps while Mac OS X was booted as a 32-bit kernel.

    Just run Applications -> Utilities -> Activity Monitor and look at the 'kind' column which will tell you that you are already running dozens of 64-bit apps.

    Mac OS X can run both 32-bit and 64-bit apps no matter what kernel is booted. This is NOT Windows, and you should not apply Window's limitation to Mac OS X.

    And just to make it more interesting, a Mac OS X 32-bit kernel can give those 64-bit applications more than 4GB of real memory to work with (assuming your Mac has more than 4GB of RAM).
  • 10. Re: 64-bit mode on MacBook Pro?
    vea1083 Level 3 Level 3 (685 points)
    Taking a quick look (no pun intended) in Activity Monitor I see that almost everything is running in 64bit mode (except for ituneshelper and itunes), but safari runs in 64bit as well.

    Anyways, let's see what Steve Jobs has instore for Mac OS X ("Lion") tomorrow at the "Back To The Mac" event. Hopefully, OSX Lion will run well on the current 2010 MacBook Pro's without any kind of upgrading (Hardware-wise, like ram upgrade). Personally, I don't understand why Apple feels the need to release a new OSX, I mean Snow Leopard came a little over a year ago and it is the best Version of OSX yet (I used Tiger, and Leopard, and I say 10.6 is a leap forward improvement over Leopard in terms of snappyness). OSX (Snow Leopard) is lightyears over Windows in terms of technologies, I mean, look at how OSX uses its kernel, it runs 64bit capable applications in a 32bit kernel and still the user enjoy the benefits of 64bit applications without the need to boot with the 64bit kernel, in Windows 7 you can't do that. What I would not like to see in 10.7 is someting like ditching the current aqua interface in favor of the minimalistic iOS UI, it will make OSX look like (in Jobs terms) as "Baby Software", I guess is me but Aqua fits OSX still to this date, even Windows Aero looks retro when you put it against Aqua.

    Thank You everyone for your feedback.
  • 11. Re: 64-bit mode on MacBook Pro?
    Topher Kessler Level 6 Level 6 (9,340 points)
    64-bit breaks the 4GB limit (there is no 32GB limit) of addressable RAM in 32-bit machines, so if you have more than 4GB on a machine then a program and the processor can make use of it without running through funky hardware and software hoops.