View Full Version : interesting article on 64bit computing

jin choung
03-11-2003, 11:44 PM

howdy fellows,

that's a link to a very informative article on 64bit computing.

interesting what the author has to say about the potential of the new PPC 64 bit processor coming up - but i think that final statement would apply to all 64bit platforms like itanium and sparc too.


p.s. check out our very own andy cross at the amd64 site! oooooh, well, at least we know that newtek's behind amd! perhaps there will be another flavor of lw for v8 ... perhaps a 64bit flavor.


03-12-2003, 06:55 AM
Jin, that second link is broken! :(

The article at arstechinca was very cool!

03-12-2003, 08:49 AM
I like the following quote about 64-bit gaming:

Quote from Epic Games

On a daily basis we're running into the Windows 2GB barrier with our next-generation content development and preprocessing tools.

If cost-effective, backwards-compatible 64-bit CPU's were available today, we'd buy them today. We need them today. It looks like we'll get them in April.

Any claim that "4GB is enough" or that address windowing extensions are a viable solution are just plain nuts. Do people really think programmers will re-adopt early 1990's bank-swapping technology?

Many of these upcoming Opteron motherboards have 16 DIMM slots; you can fill them with 8GB of RAM for $800 at today's pricewatch.com prices. This platform is going to be a godsend for anybody running serious workstation apps. It will beat other 64-bit workstation platforms (SPARC/PA-RISC/Itanium) in price/performance by a factor of 4X or more. The days of $4000 workstation and server CPU's are over, and those of $1000 CPU's are numbered.

Regarding this "far off" application compatibility, we've been running the 64-bit SuSE Linux distribution on Hammer for over 3 months. We're going to ship the 64-bit version of UT2003 at or before the consumer Athlon64 launch. And our next-generation engine won't just support 64-bit, but will basically REQUIRE it on the content-authoring side.

We tell Intel this all the time, begging and pleading for a cost-effective 64-bit desktop solution. Intel should be listening to customers and taking the leadership role on the 64-bit desktop transition, not making these ridiculous "end of the decade" statements to the press.

If the aim of this PR strategy is to protect the non-existant [sic] market for $4000 Itaniums from the soon-to-be massive market for cost-effective desktop 64-bit, it will fail very quickly.

-Tim Sweeney, Epic Games

Ars Technica speculates that in a few years consumers will be playing computer games that require more than 5GB of RAM. If the consumers need these machines, won't the content creators? Newtek, are you taking notice? The development of a 64-bit Lightwave for ALL supported platforms will be essential.

Apart from AMD's 64-bit offering, it's interesting to note that Apple seems to be set for a May 19 launch of their PowerPC-64 (IBM970) strategy, to be announced at their Worldwide Developers Conference.

03-12-2003, 08:55 AM
That's what Tim said:

"And our next-generation engine won't just support 64-bit, but will basically REQUIRE it on the content-authoring side."

Does anyone have the info for that second link? I really want to read it and can't find it by going to the root of the site.

jin choung
03-12-2003, 11:38 AM


don't know why that didn't work. the above should. look for andy and newtek toward the bottom right.


03-12-2003, 01:31 PM
Hmm very interesting. wonders about the renderfarm i am going to make over the next few months... Anyone think its worth waiting for some 64bit systems, very fast renderspeeds me thinks!


03-12-2003, 07:02 PM
Yes it would seem like perfect timing to release a 64Bit version of LW at the launch of the Opteron... (hint, hint)

I'm hoping that this has been the plan, it would be a major good thing if LW8 was the first 64bit 3D program to be released.

With people like Andy Cross and Proton at the AMD stand...(GDC)
i still live in hope..

Of course we also need Win64..... :)

My god have you seen how many people can't even install 7.5b on windows without someone holding their hand?

I'd happily move to a full linux installation, but the majority of users will not..... (I also need Photoshop) Although i could live with Aura64 on linux :) And i need new versions of all my plugins.

I still think 64bit, will take a long time to mature.....
chipsets, software, etc, etc..... But it has to start somewhere...

Note: Hasn't the AMD64 stuff just been put back another 7 months? :(

jin choung
03-12-2003, 07:10 PM
i think the consumer version, athlon 64 is coming out in september now.

yah, that killed me too. i have p3 1ghz with 512 mb of 133mhz sdram and i'm itchin' to upgrade already. and i am indeed leery of early chipsets, especially from VIA but you do have to start somewhere. hopefully, they'll take these remaining months to really hone what they got so i don't end up buying junk.

photoshop is great but it seems that film gimp (or cinepaint now) is moving up in the world and would be a good linux alternative.

as for 7.5b it seems that the mac version was well and truly broken and it's since been recalled.

i still haven't found a good linux distrib however that allows you to elegantly upgrade from one version to another. i don't want to do a full set up with a possible compile everytime i upgrade a .1 version!


03-12-2003, 07:27 PM
Yeah i see cinepaint is looking better all the time.....
But Aura would seem like a great item to port to Linux....

It would seem to have very little competition....
And would allow us LW users to move to Linux too...

I simply won't pay for another MS OS..... XP was the straw that broke the camels back... (don't get me started)
Win2K was such a good move, i'm amazed that MS could get XP so wrong.

Although i think linux will have just as many downsides, the more mainstream users move to it...

And even then, if you can't navigate windows, you should not move to linux... :)

Yeah NT get into trouble when they update Lscript and we need to recompile.... Linux is the whole OS... :)

Yeah, thats a shame, i have to buy another AMD chip, this week!
And my choices are, over priced piece of crap, XP2800 or Overpriced Barton 3000.... I'd kill for a 64Bit now (with sse2)

The underdog is meant to be cheaper and or faster, at the moment it's slower and more expensive...

But you can expect Intel to do this... Monopolistic powers make it very easy to squeeze the competition into the ground.

Thanks for the article Jin..

jin choung
03-12-2003, 07:58 PM
no problemo freak.

epita, if you're building render machines, athlon 64 is DEFINITELY worth the wait.

initially, never mind the 64 bits, it has SSE2 which no chip but p4 has right now.

that means that the double render speed benefit that p4's get also apply to athlon 64.

and, when 64bit lw does indeed come out (assuming a fairly quick rollout for 64bit windows - or they can make a 64bit linux version of lw), 64bit architecture plus the extra registers should make a substantial difference in an application like 3d rendering.

but again, earliest it's coming out is september and even then, you're buying into NEW TECHNOLOGY - always a risky proposition.

but i'm game. this summer, athlon 64 for me!


p.s. if apple does make its may launch date for their 64bit system, they will officially be the very first 64bit consumer computer system! can't wait to see what it can do.

03-12-2003, 09:21 PM
May 19 is shaping up to be the date when Apple will officially announce its 64-bit (IBM970) systems. I'd predict it would be July, August or September when Apple's 64-bit machines are actually in the shops.

There are varying predictions about how good IBM's new processor will be in these Apple machines. Some say it will be a bit slower than AMD. Others say it will leave anything from AMD or Intel in the dust. Whichever way it is, it's great to see the race is on to get the first 'consumer' 64-bit system out.

So Apple will have 64-bit IBM based machines, but IBM will release their own boxes with the same processor but with Linux OS.
Question 1: will these IBM 64-bit PowerPC boxes be able to run Newtek's Linux renderer?
As far as I can see, it's possible that they may be incompatible due to the different byte order of PowerPC compared to x86 (ie big-endian Vs little-endian). Or maybe a slight reworking of the code would allow everyone to use Lightwave's renderer on a 64-bit IBM machine.

Question 2: If the new 64-bit IBM PowerPC processor is faster than what's available on the Wintel side, how many Windows Lightwave users would be willing to switch to Mac OS X to take advantage of it? :p

03-17-2003, 09:15 PM
Question 2: If the new 64-bit IBM PowerPC processor is faster than what's available on the Wintel side, how many Windows Lightwave users would be willing to switch to Mac OS X to take advantage of it?

That is actually a really interesting point to ponder, Beam...
Yeah if Macs got the speed and hardware right, i'd consider it...

But MAC's lack of 3rd party support, is always going to be a problem, couple that with higher hardware prices.. (and it becomes a concern)

Apple has the right idea of going after professional graphics and video markets...

Microsoft on the other hand, has lost the plot....
You simply can't please all market segments with a singular product.

I'd rather Mac OS, than a future Microsoft OS.
But if the mainstream moved to Mac, the same problems would occur.

It's irony (as is everything)

The same thing that makes it great, is also the same thing that makes it not so great. :)

My major annoyance about all operating systems, is they don't seem to want to move forward, they just add a new theme pack,
and charge you more money for the same thing.

The only advantage windows gave me over DOS was multitasking, and even then i so miss dropping from windows into a DOS BOX, to do just about all tasks, it was much faster.

Why are we still using folders and start bars?, We should of already progressed from that stage a long time back.
The GUI, should be totally redesigned... (every few years, likely)

Newtek should just make there own flavoured 3DOS
Newtek Linux. 64Bit integrated LW8, and Aura3 + VT3.
Aura, LW and possibly VT3. Run it on AMD64Bit chips


You have one powerful little workstation....

03-20-2003, 05:09 PM
It's looking more and more like Apple will be the first to market with a 64-bit machine. OS X was also designed with a 64-bit platform in mind, as was it's predecessor from NeXT.

AMD will be at the mercy of Microsoft. I wonder whether Intel is putting any pressure on Microsoft regarding AMD-64? I'm sure Intel would be wild if MS supports it. Plus, there's the issue of fragmentation of the Windows world. Windows64 for AMD. Windows 64 for Itanium. Windows32 for the rest. It starts to get messy.

I wonder if pro-users of AMD64 will wait for Microsoft to release an OS, or just go straight to Linux.

03-22-2003, 08:07 AM
I can say as a windows pc user, that I wouldn't switch to a mac os to take advantage of 64 bit processing. First of all, I know that if OS went to 64 bit, that pc's wouldn't be far behind. And secondly and more important, the mac version of anything coming out before the windows version is the exception rather then the rule. I like being able to get any kind of software I want for my pc instead of having to wait a lot of times like on the mac. Linux has yet to make a real dent in the pc market but it's really taking off in the server market. So until there's a serious shift in marketshare, I wouldn't buy anything other then a pc.

03-22-2003, 04:14 PM
Apple need to be the first to market, if they don't get the jump on the market, they will lose a huge amount of market share.

Whats interesting is the reports that Apple will switch to Intel Itanium processers early to mid next year...

If these rumours do turn out to be true, this will change the PC landscape forever....It will also cause AMD to die a horrible death....

AMD needs to get a good 6 > 12 month jump on Intel, just to recover production and R&D costs..

AMD64 is still unproven technology, new Chipsets, Software, Operating systems, will ensure that the uptake to 64Bit will be slow, and problematic. It will take 3 or 4 more years for this technology to become widespread and utilised correctly.
And by then, AMD might not even be around......
Especially if Apple start selling Intel.....

Apple should of done a deal with AMD and co-developed
their own 64Bit technology and used it in Clone PC's and Apples..
This would of really put a dent in Intel, and kept AMD always in production and cut costs for both companies.

Apple would benefit greatly having standard AMD64 chips and Nvidia videocards, as standard equipment.. (it will bring Apple hardware costs down to an almost PC level)

Having industry standard hardware, Apple software, and linux compatible networks via Xserve... designed for 3D and Video professionals.... Would greatly improve the Apple world.
And would actually make it's appeal much greater IMO...

The same thing would happen using IA-64, but using only Intel chips, would ensure that AMD would die, Intel would again be the only maker of desktop CPU's and we would lose the benefits of competition. It would also make PC's and Apples too close to call for the average consumer, so people would just stick with the slightly cheaper generic PC.....

Windows Vs MacOS both running Intel Chips, would seriously scare Microsoft, so much so they will force Intel, not to back Apples plans on IA64 or will make hardware alliances with AMD or another manufacturer and start making their own CPU....

So i think interesting times to come in the PC markets over the next 18 months.

As for Linux, i think you will see never see Linux land large mainstream customers, that belongs to MS and Apple...
Until Adobe, Macromedia, and even MS start making software for Linux (which won't happen for years)

AMD64 won't be enough for pro users to move to Linux.
People won't buy 64Bit until Windows is 64Bit.

However most 3D production studio's will move to Linux
for their networks, and even most of their workstations,
during the next 4 years, as we progress to 64Bit.

One day i think Linux will be the only OS, and MS and Apple will both make their own flavours of it..... But i'm predicting this sometime in 2025. :)

Rant Mode: Off

03-22-2003, 07:33 PM
odd thing is I remember alll not to long ago the experts saying 64 bit would never sit on the consumers desk,,, they didnt want it they said,, they didnt need that much power they said......


03-23-2003, 12:02 AM
I dunno what kind of expert would claim that....?

The same ones that said we would never have a computer
smaller than a house?

It's inevitable that we move to 64Bit, than 128, than 256 etc...
The same way everything else has increased....

You can't stop technology, or evolution.

Although it would be fun to try!


03-23-2003, 04:25 AM
Intel also said that consumers won't need 64-bit computing.

Then again, Bill Gates once said that Microsoft wasn't developing a Graphical User Interface (GUI) as nobody would need such a thing. A few months later Microsoft released Windows 3.1. They had been developing it all along!

03-23-2003, 03:00 PM
I thought you said experts? ;)

Yeah thats not a surprise....
When your going to be the last to produce a 64Bit consumer item,
it's fairly smart to tell people they aren't needed yet.

Intel say lots of things that aren't true!

Moores Law for example....
(If that aint the best marketing scam ever!)

As soon as Intel said no consumer 64, would of been the exact same time everybody else starting working on consumer64 technology. :)

Intel are always late to market, but thats because they don't
need to be their first. They have a monopoly.
And everyone dislikes Microsoft......... go figure...

03-23-2003, 05:37 PM
I highly doubt that intel ever dismissed 64 bit computing.

03-23-2003, 07:56 PM
Yeah i do vaguely remember Intel saying such lies...

I can't remember the exact circumstances,
But you can understand them saying that.....

Intel were only just getting moving with the P4,
and people were already asking about 64Bit...

It's a smart move (from a business perspective)
to deny it, so that your competition does not go
full steam ahead, (which they did) with 64bit.

You also don't want the to stop buying 32bit P4's
in anticipation of 64Bit processers.

Also when all your tools and factory and X86 technology
is designed on 32Bit CISC processers...
And people are already talking about 64Bit.

If AMD and IBM were not pushing for it, Intel would of been
very slow to move to consumer 64Bit techonology...
(Why wouldn't they?)

The plan that Intel had involved selling 64Bit chips to industry and keeping the current 32Bit processes for low-end PC users.

Intel would be quite happy not to introduce any innovation in the CPU market, just add 200Mhz and $200.00 to the CPU every month. That's how they make money. (and loads of it)

AMD and Apple have put a major fork in Intel's road.

Kudos to them for doing so, and providing the consumer with faster technology to market, much more quickly.

The consumer wins again!!
Although AMD still have a major battle to get industry support...

03-24-2003, 06:01 AM
My computer has 4 x 500MB RAM cards... a total of just over 2 gigs of RAM.

Now I read that RAM manufacturers are putting 4 gigs of DDR RAM on a single card.


How long before the 4GB DDR RAM card becomes the normal size to by RAM in.

How long before Newtek produces Lightwave64 for OS X, Windows and Linux?

It appears that Apple has moved its Worldwide Developers Conference to June, and the venue to San Francisco. Speculation has it that Apple will introduce the IBM-970 processor here, along with the 64-bit OS X 10.3 dubbed "Panther".

03-24-2003, 11:27 PM
There is here an intersting article


he he he
;) ;) :D

03-25-2003, 12:32 AM
I don't think you will see 4Gb DIMMs at your local computer shop for at least 18 months more likely 2+years.

It's going to take a while to filter down.
It's going to take many more years for programmers to learn what to do with this amount of memory, and architecture.

With Intel so far behind, and AMD64 selling in fairly small numbers,
ram sizes will not progress much in the next 12months, despite the architecture developments

64Bit Macs running Panther at Mac Conference methinks..

I'm still not sure if they will get to market before AMD though,
but they really need to try hard, because they need the jump.
It's critical for Apple to be first.

It's a really tough call.....

NT would benefit greatly from being the first 64Bit threaded
3D program to be on the market, at the launch of 64Bit technology like Apple and AMD. Considering LW8 is due at around the same time, you would simply be silly not make good on the opportunity..

However AMD is still a risk. The technology is unproven,
it will take consumers years to move from current machines,
and we still don't have a 64bit OS.

The VideoToaster3 development has already made an AMD64 platform path. So you would of course expect LW to do the same.

Windows will be the catalyst that moves the mass market to 64bit hardware.

The real issue is when do we get Win64?
And will it be AMD64 optimized?

That is why it's time for LW to move to a Linux flavoured version..

I think Linux still has low sales potential for a few more years,
it's reserved for major institutions and companies or software developers and pirates. People who generally expect to pay nothing for their software.

But it's growing.... (slowly)

LW will need to go Linux eventually, we already have the render node, you won't influence plugin makers to move to Linux unless you move LW too. You may as well do it now and make good on 64bit at the same time.

Ideally by the end of 2003.....
You would have LW8 on 64Bit platforms for Windows/Mac/Linux.
And that would be a very big plus for NT..

I think if your hiring a bunch of programmers, you may as well make them code the code for 64Bit optimisations now anyway.

But really it's more important to make LW8 a strong release,
rather than making it 64bit or Linux compatible.
I think we will go 64 by years end.

Rant Mode: Off

jin choung
03-25-2003, 12:44 AM
never mind AVAILABILITY....

it's still not going to be AFFORDABLE for a good looooooong while. if they become available at all, it will be targeted for very rareified, high end purposes for a good long while at least.

and very very few consumer apps will ever demand that much memory.

M$ Word would have to end up being so fast as to finish your document before you start typing. and then there's that whole time dilation effect that you incur and the risk of losing synch with your universe and getting dislodged into a parallel, multiversal stream. very dangerous.

as for 64bit by the end of the year?

time will tell but i really don't think we'll see lw8 this year. hope i'm wrong.

and they better [email protected]#n well have EDGES, EDGE SHARPENING SDS, EDGE PHONG SMOOTHING/SHARPENING!!!


03-25-2003, 01:31 AM
Jin Wrote:
M$ Word would have to end up being so fast as to finish your document before you start typing. and then there's that whole time dilation effect that you incur and the risk of losing synch with your universe and getting dislodged into a parallel, multiversal stream. very dangerous.

That was funny..

Yeah 4Gb DIMMs will take a while to come down, but servers will be using them within 12 months.

Consumer applications won't need this kind of memory,
but video editing and similar fields will eat up this kind of memory already. With the push for totally realtime fx, enough is never enough. Especially as we move to HD Res...

64Bit LW by the end of the year?
Yeah, i'd be willing to bet, we will have LW8 before years end.
They may as well not show up at all if not....

It would be nice for Maya to release 5 before LW release 8.