Mark Kane wrote:
 > Hi. I'm using an Athlon64 3000+ (and the amd64 version of FreeBSD) as my
main workstation. I also have another workstation with the same CPU
running the i386 version. Here's my opinions:

Flash - The 32 bit Linux binary of Flash 7 works in linux-firefox or
linux-opera fine in i386 or amd64. The 32 bit Linux version of Flash
6 works somewhat with linuxpluginwrapper and the native Firefox on
the i386 version of FreeBSD, although I've found it to be somewhat
unstable and crashed quite a bit. There's also a project Gnash that is
an open source Flash player, but I have not tried that one yet.

Acrobat - The Linux binary of Acrobat 7 works for sure in the i386
version of FreeBSD. I have not tested it on my amd64 one (I just use
xpdf), but the port's Makefile says it works and I don't see why it
would have a problem.

nVidia Drivers - Work great in the i386 version of FreeBSD. Does not
work on the amd64 version yet
( ).

Java - Got it to work on i386 version of FreeBSD (interfacing with
browser not attempted, just for OpenOffice), but have not needed to or
attempted on my amd64 box. I'm not sure if it's even possible for amd64
or not (as the Makefile I looked at shows only for i386), but someone
else will know.

For my purposes, there really isn't much that the amd64 version cannot
do that the i386 version can. I would like the nVidia driver to work
since I have a decent video card, but the Flash and Java I don't really
care about much anymore. I use the native Firefox compiled from ports
for my browsing and just fire up linux-opera whenever I need to see a
Flash site.

Unfortunately, those items are pretty important to me. Kind of the point of the mail. I appreciate the feedback, and I am aware of some of the work arounds you mentioned. I use JEdit daily, as well as a couple of other Java apps. The nVidia driver thing stinks too. I had that running on my PC before the crash, and really liked it.

Me personally, I prefer AMD hardware over Intel and would get the
Athlon64 regardless of if I run in i386 or amd64 mode FreeBSD.

I don't have any bias towards either company. My focus is spending my money on what will actually work. Starting to feel like I'll be looking at the Pentium-D processors. I've got a laptop with a dual core Pentium and it works pretty sweet.

be sure to check your AMD64 hardware against the compatibility list
before buying. I had to buy a replacement motherboard real quickly one
day after one failed and I didn't fully check out the list before
buying. When I got it, it turns out the onboard NIC and sound didn't
work with FreeBSD in i386 or amd64 mode. I already had a NIC and sound
card ready to go from the previous machine, but now both PCI slots on
the Micro-ATX motherboard are taken and unfortunately I can't put in a
SCSI card.

I've been looking over spec pages like crazy for various motherboards, with particular attention on network and audio.

The amd64 motherboard list is here. Note that "amd64" in this case
means the hardware itself and not the OS version, so if it's not
listed here then the i386 version probably will not work either with
that hardware (I found that out the hard way):

For sound cards, I have found the Sound Blaster stuff to work well with
FreeBSD so far. I'm running an Augidy 2 Platinum in my main machine and
it works better than on Windows (had tons of skipping problems that
never could be solved -- thought it was a bad card but moving to
FreeBSD eliminated them). The cheaper SB LIVE cards work too, and some
of my machines have onboard which work great also.

Hope that helps. :)

Any and all feedback is appreciated. For as nice as the AMD64 processor may be, sounds like things are a ways off before the software has fully caught up.

"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is."
- Yogi Berra
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