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Hm... I Installed 12.04 B1 before it promptly crashed and corrupted my drive, but before that, it seemed much slower than a 32-bit version of 11.10 which I installed before. I bought a new drive, and installed 11.10 AMD64 on it, and again it seemed much slower that i686. Why?

Oh and it's a persistent flash drive I installed the Ubuntu OSs on.

Isn't it the computer's CPU that does all the processing? Is it the fact that the load of 64 bits is too much and 32 bits are lighter to transfer to the computer's CPU? I have a Intel Celeron something 64-bit CPU.

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For me, 12.04 is much more responsive than 11.10 regardless of architecture. x64 should be at least marginally faster than i686. More information about your setup - were you using the same window manager and 3d settings? – RobotHumans Apr 8 '12 at 18:29
Yup - Unity, Compiz, and 3D acceleration were all the same. – Marco Scannadinari Apr 8 '12 at 18:39
up vote 3 down vote accepted

AMD64 installs will always use more RAM than i386, so if you are low on ram, then i386 will work faster. Drive failure also causes an OS to run very slowly, and even crash. If your drive was a little thumb drive, it was probably near burned out by the time you installed the 64-bit version on it. (Those things can't be written to very many times) Even the flash drives you put in your computer and use as a hard drive have a limited number of writes. Those things don't last very long, especially when there is an OS on it. When the OS can't read from the media, apps can't load and such, ergo your computer is "slow".

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As I recall I had 1GB+ swap space and 3GB of RAM on the actual computer - Isn't this enough? – Marco Scannadinari Apr 8 '12 at 18:38
Yes, that is more RAM than I have on a 64-bit install. Read the rest of the answer though. Your corrupted drive is probably decking your performance. – Relish Apr 8 '12 at 18:40
I bought it new... because 12.04, as you said would happen, burnt out my old USB. – Marco Scannadinari Apr 8 '12 at 18:42
There could be a difference in drive speed. The speed of flash drives varies greatly. There are very fast ones and very slow ones. Flash drives (the ones I have bought) have been either USB 3.0 fast or USB 1.0 fast. This is an external one, right? Not internal? Also, to answer the questions about 64-bit: 64-bit OS's use 64 bit addresses for memory and stuffs like that. It also has a few more processor instructions I think. Anyway, AMD64 is usually only about 5% faster than i386 is. – Relish Apr 8 '12 at 18:51
Corsair Flash Voyager? I got it because of it's speed! Yup, external. – Marco Scannadinari Apr 8 '12 at 18:57

No, CPU is not the only thing doing processing. A desktop system will not be faster than it seems to be. That is to say; graphics is very important. If your graphics driver is bad, then things will draw slowly on your screen, and the result is that your computer seems to be very slow. Since you can't react to things you can't see, the effect actually is that the computer is slower.

If your graphics is the issue, then choosing Ubuntu 2D before you log in (clicking on the button next to your username) should be much, much faster. That'll tell you that you just need to install a proprietary driver.

I'm not saying this is the case in this instance. You don't provide enough details about what "slow" means. But it is a possibility.

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I just installed in an HP Pavillion zv6000 (amd64) and it seems faster after selecting 2D !! – Dcm1405 Jun 12 '12 at 17:25

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