i386 or amd64?

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
12 messages Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

i386 or amd64?

Jeff Ross
Hi all,

I've had a server with corenetworks for quite a few years now but after
changes at corenetworks (their recent name change after acquisition by
another company, no current servers available, no communication about
the change of ownership with existing customers and an email exchange
with sales@), I've decided it is best jump ship now rather than wait for
a hard and possibly immediate deadline.

I've just rented a server with 8GB of ram from m5hosting (based in large
part from the many recommendations I read while searching misc@ on
marc.info).  Now the question is: i386 which is what I've always run on
my 2 GB ram server, or amd64? http://www.openbsd.org/amd64.html and
http://www.openbsd.org/i386.html are curiously silent on the amount of
ram that can be accessed.  If I have 8GB, I for sure want to use it all.

I know there was a time when i386 was limited to the amount of ram it
can access (32 bit) but now amd64 has this caveat: "(Some Intel
processors lack support for important PAE NX bit, which means those
machines will run without any W^X support -- it is thus safer to run
those machines in i386 mode)."  How does this fit with the recent work
in 6.0+?  How can I tell if the Xeon 3220 processor has the PAE NX bit?
I see nothing in the tech sheet about PAE NX.
http://ark.intel.com/products/28034/Intel-Xeon-Processor-X3220-8M-Cache-2_40-GHz-1066-MHz-FSB

I have a little less than 2 weeks to make the transition so not a lot of
time for install and try.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions--dmesgs supplied once I get access.

Jeff Ross

Open Vistas Networking

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: i386 or amd64?

STeve Andre'
On 09/20/16 19:38, Jeff Ross wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I've had a server with corenetworks for quite a few years now but after
> changes at corenetworks (their recent name change after acquisition by
> another company, no current servers available, no communication about
> the change of ownership with existing customers and an email exchange
> with sales@), I've decided it is best jump ship now rather than wait for
> a hard and possibly immediate deadline.
>
> I've just rented a server with 8GB of ram from m5hosting (based in large
> part from the many recommendations I read while searching misc@ on
> marc.info).  Now the question is: i386 which is what I've always run on
> my 2 GB ram server, or amd64? http://www.openbsd.org/amd64.html and
> http://www.openbsd.org/i386.html are curiously silent on the amount of
> ram that can be accessed.  If I have 8GB, I for sure want to use it all.
>
> I know there was a time when i386 was limited to the amount of ram it
> can access (32 bit) but now amd64 has this caveat: "(Some Intel
> processors lack support for important PAE NX bit, which means those
> machines will run without any W^X support -- it is thus safer to run
> those machines in i386 mode)."  How does this fit with the recent work
> in 6.0+?  How can I tell if the Xeon 3220 processor has the PAE NX bit?
> I see nothing in the tech sheet about PAE NX.
> http://ark.intel.com/products/28034/Intel-Xeon-Processor-X3220-8M-Cache-2_40-GHz-1066-MHz-FSB
>
>
> I have a little less than 2 weeks to make the transition so not a lot of
> time for install and try.
>
> Thanks in advance for any suggestions--dmesgs supplied once I get access.
>
> Jeff Ross
>
> Open Vistas Networking
>
>

AMD64.  There isn't a real future in 32-bit stuff.  I have some great
old Dells ("white optiplex") that I'll eventually get rid of but have
kept because of their quality.  But they do have the 3G problem.  So
look forwards at 65-bit.  I don't think you'll look back.

--STeve Andre'

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: i386 or amd64?

Martin Brandenburg
In reply to this post by Jeff Ross
On Tue, 20 Sep 2016, Jeff Ross wrote:

> How can I tell if the Xeon 3220
> processor has the PAE NX bit? I see nothing in the tech sheet about PAE NX.
> http://ark.intel.com/products/28034/Intel-Xeon-Processor-X3220-8M-Cache-2_40-GHz-1066-MHz-FSB

Look at the very bottom: it says ``Execute Disable Bit: Yes.'' That is
the NX bit. (Intel calls it the XD bit.)

This has been around a while. Anything you come across that isn't
ancient will include it.

Martin

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: i386 or amd64?

Pedro Tender-2
In reply to this post by STeve Andre'
Very shortcutted the PAE is for 32bits to allow more RAM like 64bits
processors. Search the math about those RAM numbers regarding CPU
architecture.
Some (very old) 32 bits processors may lack the NX bit.

64 bits all have the NX bit.

You should use amd64.

As a side note, in the processor you've linked here it says it will launch
in the first quarter of 2017, so if what says there is true you have to
wait a little longer to upgrade.

On Sep 21, 2016 1:01 AM, "STeve Andre'" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 09/20/16 19:38, Jeff Ross wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I've had a server with corenetworks for quite a few years now but after
>> changes at corenetworks (their recent name change after acquisition by
>> another company, no current servers available, no communication about
>> the change of ownership with existing customers and an email exchange
>> with sales@), I've decided it is best jump ship now rather than wait for
>> a hard and possibly immediate deadline.
>>
>> I've just rented a server with 8GB of ram from m5hosting (based in large
>> part from the many recommendations I read while searching misc@ on
>> marc.info).  Now the question is: i386 which is what I've always run on
>> my 2 GB ram server, or amd64? http://www.openbsd.org/amd64.html and
>> http://www.openbsd.org/i386.html are curiously silent on the amount of
>> ram that can be accessed.  If I have 8GB, I for sure want to use it all.
>>
>> I know there was a time when i386 was limited to the amount of ram it
>> can access (32 bit) but now amd64 has this caveat: "(Some Intel
>> processors lack support for important PAE NX bit, which means those
>> machines will run without any W^X support -- it is thus safer to run
>> those machines in i386 mode)."  How does this fit with the recent work
>> in 6.0+?  How can I tell if the Xeon 3220 processor has the PAE NX bit?
>> I see nothing in the tech sheet about PAE NX.
>> http://ark.intel.com/products/28034/Intel-Xeon-Processor-X32
>> 20-8M-Cache-2_40-GHz-1066-MHz-FSB
>>
>>
>> I have a little less than 2 weeks to make the transition so not a lot of
>> time for install and try.
>>
>> Thanks in advance for any suggestions--dmesgs supplied once I get access.
>>
>> Jeff Ross
>>
>> Open Vistas Networking
>>
>>
>>
> AMD64.  There isn't a real future in 32-bit stuff.  I have some great
> old Dells ("white optiplex") that I'll eventually get rid of but have
> kept because of their quality.  But they do have the 3G problem.  So
> look forwards at 65-bit.  I don't think you'll look back.
>
> --STeve Andre'

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: i386 or amd64?

lists-2
Tue, 20 Sep 2016 17:38:50 -0600 Jeff Ross <[hidden email]>
[...]
> I have a little less than 2 weeks to make the transition so not a lot of
> time for install and try.
>
> Thanks in advance for any suggestions--dmesgs supplied once I get access.

Hi Jeff,

Go amd64 as others advised, X3220 processor supports 64-bit instructions.

OpenBSD amd64
[http://www.openbsd.org/amd64.html]

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 19:49:30 -0400 STeve Andre' <[hidden email]>
>
> AMD64.  There isn't a real future in 32-bit stuff.
[...]
> So look forwards at 65-bit.  I don't think you'll look back.

Hi STeve,

You may have to reconsider this for embedded & other applications given
the patents expired and the architecture's become fully open over time.

[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86]
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IA-32]

Surely, you meant to say 64-bit architectures, given they are more than
12 years old now, as practically current there is not much to look for.
This means you can simply stop looking forward to 65-bit architectures.

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 01:58:22 +0100 Pedro Tender <[hidden email]>
[...]
> You should use amd64.
>
> As a side note, in the processor you've linked here it says it will launch
> in the first quarter of 2017, so if what says there is true you have to
> wait a little longer to upgrade.

Hi Pedro,

You must have been very tired when you read the Intel product sheet, the
CPU in question was released first quarter 2007, and is now end of life.

Intel Xeon Processor X3220 (8M Cache, 2.40 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB)
[http://ark.intel.com/products/28034]

It is known hosting companies offer quite old servers especially if they
are a lower tier provider.  It is recommended you pick another host with
more recent line up, a newer server for the same cost, or just go amd64.
The server CPU you got was meant to run 64-bit OS more than 7 years ago.

Kind regards,
Anton

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: i386 or amd64?

Mike Larkin
In reply to this post by Jeff Ross
On Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 05:38:50PM -0600, Jeff Ross wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I've had a server with corenetworks for quite a few years now but after
> changes at corenetworks (their recent name change after acquisition by
> another company, no current servers available, no communication about the
> change of ownership with existing customers and an email exchange with
> sales@), I've decided it is best jump ship now rather than wait for a hard
> and possibly immediate deadline.
>
> I've just rented a server with 8GB of ram from m5hosting (based in large
> part from the many recommendations I read while searching misc@ on
> marc.info).  Now the question is: i386 which is what I've always run on my 2
> GB ram server, or amd64? http://www.openbsd.org/amd64.html and
> http://www.openbsd.org/i386.html are curiously silent on the amount of ram
> that can be accessed.  If I have 8GB, I for sure want to use it all.

Then your only choice is amd64. PAE, as discussed below, is only used to
enable NX, and not for "gigantisch memory i386".

-ml

>
> I know there was a time when i386 was limited to the amount of ram it can
> access (32 bit) but now amd64 has this caveat: "(Some Intel processors lack
> support for important PAE NX bit, which means those machines will run
> without any W^X support -- it is thus safer to run those machines in i386
> mode)."  How does this fit with the recent work in 6.0+?  How can I tell if
> the Xeon 3220 processor has the PAE NX bit? I see nothing in the tech sheet
> about PAE NX. http://ark.intel.com/products/28034/Intel-Xeon-Processor-X3220-8M-Cache-2_40-GHz-1066-MHz-FSB
>
> I have a little less than 2 weeks to make the transition so not a lot of
> time for install and try.
>
> Thanks in advance for any suggestions--dmesgs supplied once I get access.
>
> Jeff Ross
>
> Open Vistas Networking

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: i386 or amd64?

Mike Larkin
On Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 08:36:40PM -0700, Mike Larkin wrote:

> On Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 05:38:50PM -0600, Jeff Ross wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> > I've had a server with corenetworks for quite a few years now but after
> > changes at corenetworks (their recent name change after acquisition by
> > another company, no current servers available, no communication about the
> > change of ownership with existing customers and an email exchange with
> > sales@), I've decided it is best jump ship now rather than wait for a hard
> > and possibly immediate deadline.
> >
> > I've just rented a server with 8GB of ram from m5hosting (based in large
> > part from the many recommendations I read while searching misc@ on
> > marc.info).  Now the question is: i386 which is what I've always run on my 2
> > GB ram server, or amd64? http://www.openbsd.org/amd64.html and
> > http://www.openbsd.org/i386.html are curiously silent on the amount of ram
> > that can be accessed.  If I have 8GB, I for sure want to use it all.
>
> Then your only choice is amd64. PAE, as discussed below, is only used to
> enable NX, and not for "gigantisch memory i386".
>

Also, to answer the concern you posed below more directly, any recent CPU
will have NX.

> -ml
>
> >
> > I know there was a time when i386 was limited to the amount of ram it can
> > access (32 bit) but now amd64 has this caveat: "(Some Intel processors lack
> > support for important PAE NX bit, which means those machines will run
> > without any W^X support -- it is thus safer to run those machines in i386
> > mode)."  How does this fit with the recent work in 6.0+?  How can I tell if
> > the Xeon 3220 processor has the PAE NX bit? I see nothing in the tech sheet
> > about PAE NX. http://ark.intel.com/products/28034/Intel-Xeon-Processor-X3220-8M-Cache-2_40-GHz-1066-MHz-FSB
> >
> > I have a little less than 2 weeks to make the transition so not a lot of
> > time for install and try.
> >
> > Thanks in advance for any suggestions--dmesgs supplied once I get access.
> >
> > Jeff Ross
> >
> > Open Vistas Networking

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: i386 or amd64?

Kenneth Gober
In reply to this post by Jeff Ross
On Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 7:38 PM, Jeff Ross <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I've just rented a server with 8GB of ram from m5hosting (based in large
> part from the many recommendations I read while searching misc@ on
> marc.info).  Now the question is: i386 which is what I've always run on my 2
> GB ram server, or amd64? http://www.openbsd.org/amd64.html and
> http://www.openbsd.org/i386.html are curiously silent on the amount of ram
> that can be accessed.  If I have 8GB, I for sure want to use it all.

I'm inclined to say, "don't worry about PAE, use amd64 regardless."

The reason for this is ASLR (address space layout randomization).  ASLR
works better when you have a larger address space to work with, and
amd64 gives you that larger address space.

Plus of course amd64 is the more 'modern' architecture, which implies
that it will tend to get more developer attention.  With time, i386 will
probably be dropped just like 32-bit sparc was.

-ken

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: i386 or amd64?

Christian Weisgerber
In reply to this post by Jeff Ross
On 2016-09-20, Jeff Ross <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Subject: i386 or amd64?

If the hardware supports it, run amd64.

> If I have 8GB, I for sure want to use it all.

You will need amd64 for that.  But even if you have less memory,
the larger address space is beneficial.  Also, AES-NI support is
only implemented for amd64.  And some crypto algorithms are just
faster on 64 bits.

> amd64 has this caveat: "(Some Intel
> processors lack support for important PAE NX bit, which means those
> machines will run without any W^X support -- it is thus safer to run
> those machines in i386 mode)."

That is true but very misleading.  It concerns only some rare early
CPUs.  The only ones I can find in Wikipedia's lists of Intel CPUs
are the "Nocona" Xeons from 2004.

I have now removed that caveat from the page.

--
Christian "naddy" Weisgerber                          [hidden email]

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: i386 or amd64?

Jeff Ross
On 9/21/16 2:15 PM, Christian Weisgerber wrote:

> On 2016-09-20, Jeff Ross <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Subject: i386 or amd64?
> If the hardware supports it, run amd64.
>
>> If I have 8GB, I for sure want to use it all.
> You will need amd64 for that.  But even if you have less memory,
> the larger address space is beneficial.  Also, AES-NI support is
> only implemented for amd64.  And some crypto algorithms are just
> faster on 64 bits.
>
>> amd64 has this caveat: "(Some Intel
>> processors lack support for important PAE NX bit, which means those
>> machines will run without any W^X support -- it is thus safer to run
>> those machines in i386 mode)."
> That is true but very misleading.  It concerns only some rare early
> CPUs.  The only ones I can find in Wikipedia's lists of Intel CPUs
> are the "Nocona" Xeons from 2004.
>
> I have now removed that caveat from the page.
>
Hello and thanks to all that responded!

I'll install amd64 on my server--it is being configured right now. dmesg
to follow.

Thank you naddy for clarifying the amd64.html page and making OpenBSD's
already superb documentation even better.

Jeff

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: i386 or amd64?

Mihai Popescu-3
In reply to this post by Jeff Ross
Since the answer is done, I will dare to ask something in this thread:
are there some hints in choosing over Intel or AMD processors?

I see many users do not comment that and I respect it. Sometimes, you
can see phrases in threads like "happy to run AMD again", etc.
Is there a preference over one manufacturer, even from the
documentation point of view?

On the video section, is AMD prefered over Intel integrated video solutions?

Thank you.

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: i386 or amd64?

lists-2
Thu, 22 Sep 2016 09:53:43 +0300 Mihai Popescu <[hidden email]>

> Since the answer is done, I will dare to ask something in this thread:
> are there some hints in choosing over Intel or AMD processors?
>
> I see many users do not comment that and I respect it. Sometimes, you
> can see phrases in threads like "happy to run AMD again", etc.
> Is there a preference over one manufacturer, even from the
> documentation point of view?
>
> On the video section, is AMD prefered over Intel integrated video solutions?
>
> Thank you.
>

Hi Mihai, misc@,

The simplest answer is, as always: it depends.  On many factors, mostly
what you want from the system as intended use, your budget, preference,
and of course, special considerations.  Like for example balancing your
machine farm, power usage, testing and live machines, re-purpose roles.
It also very much depends on the way you obtain the system whether it's
new and you hand pick each component, or you salvage it from retirement
or reuse some parts from other machines, or it's a refurbished laptop..

For me being on a very constrained budget for personal use, it's always
been efficiency towards cost of ownership and longevity of the hardware
but this may be a completely different story for you, even different in
work compared to personal use, and different between consecutive tasks.
For work I've always gone with ~even split, and special considerations.

I would be willing to provide much more details on hardware choice from
user point of view off list but I wouldn't insist details like CPU bugs
or deep engineering specifics in the public air.  I think this is being
avoided for the risk of creating more stir than useful productive talks
& furthermore, it may go completely off topic unrelated to OpenBSD use.

Yet, I too would like to back you up with this request for more special
details, as it's mostly interesting for me as well.  Thanks for asking!

P.S. If I was looking around for a laptop, I'd go for one that has both
internal Intel video, and discrete Radeon video card, for more options.
However, I am not interested in laptops any more since they became much
more expensive than a real desktop/server machine & much lower quality.

Looking forward to more interesting considerations for picking CPU/GPU.

Kind regards,
Anton