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'[EE]: Extra instruction sets'
2012\02\05@005920 by Justin Richards

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A PC magazine article reviewing a new AMD processor stated " ....
with the extra instruction sets ...".

I think they intended to say " ...extra instructions..." and to me
this begs a question.

To take advantage of these new instructions, I assume compilers used
to compile operating systems and programs must be modified to support
the new instructions.

So in the short term there would be no gain using one of these
processors with current versions of windows and linux.

Also I think the review the magazine gave with regards to benchmarking
may have been biased as the software they were using was most likley
not taking advantage of the additional instructions.

Perhaps it turns out that the processor developers simply work closely
with the software developers and new versions or upgrades are good to
go at the same time as the processor is released.

Any one know how this actually goes down.

Justi

2012\02\05@022610 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Feb 4, 2012, at 9:59 PM, Justin Richards wrote:

> A PC magazine article reviewing a new AMD processor stated " ....
> with the extra instruction sets ...".
>
> I think they intended to say " ...extra instructions..." and to me
> this begs a question.

Things like MMX, SSE, 3Dnow, or the FP and DSP instructions on an ARM CM4, are considered "extra instruction sets"; they may (probably) have their own execution units that run in parallel to other instructions.


> To take advantage of these new instructions, I assume compilers used
> to compile operating systems and programs must be modified to support
> the new instructions.

Yes.  Or they could just get new libraries for existing  compilers (carefully hand-written with inline assembler, or with pre-release compilers, or whatever.)

> So in the short term there would be no gain using one of these
> processors with current versions of windows and linux.

Right.  And probably not with a binary distribution, either, which would probably be compiled for the most generic cpus.  (there could be run-time checks for really important bits, of course.)  Thus the interest in source-based distributions like GENTOO being expressed by SolarWind recently.


> Perhaps it turns out that the processor developers simply work closely
> with the software developers and new versions or upgrades are good to
> go at the same time as the processor is released.

It could happen.  Intel has their own compiler group, for instance.  IIRC, their compiler has numerous switches to control whether (and exactly which) processor-specific optimizations are done.

BillW

2012\02\06@044924 by alan.b.pearce

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> So in the short term there would be no gain using one of these processors with
> current versions of windows and linux.

I don't know about Linux, but Windows certainly has different modules to handle the different processors. You can have problems if somehow an AMD module gets applied to an Intel processor installation.

It is all hidden from the installer and user by the HAL module.

But when it comes to end user applications, it is anyones guess  as to the code having switchable linked modules for the processor type. I guess if they are wanting to squeeze the very last ounce of performance out of something then they may do it, but I suspect for most applications they use the 'common instruction set' in the compiler.


-- Scanned by iCritical.

2012\02\06@093604 by John Ferrell

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Interesting!

As a user, I sometimes need to change a motherboard & CPU. What should I do to the OS other than install the new boards hardware support disk?


On 2/6/2012 4:49 AM, spam_OUTalan.b.pearceTakeThisOuTspamstfc.ac.uk wrote:
>> So in the short term there would be no gain using one of these processors with
>> current versions of windows and linux.
> I don't know about Linux, but Windows certainly has different modules to handle the different processors. You can have problems if somehow an AMD module gets applied to an Intel processor installation.
>
> It is all hidden from the installer and user by the HAL module.
>
> But when it comes to end user applications, it is anyones guess  as to the code having switchable linked modules for the processor type. I guess if they are wanting to squeeze the very last ounce of performance out of something then they may do it, but I suspect for most applications they use the 'common instruction set' in the compiler.
>
>

-- John Ferrell W8CCW
Be thankful we're not getting all the
government we're paying for. - Will Rogers

2012\02\08@081222 by M.L.
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On Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 9:36 AM, John Ferrell <.....jferrell13KILLspamspam@spam@triad.rr.com> wrote:
> Interesting!
>
> As a user, I sometimes need to change a motherboard & CPU. What should I
> do to the OS other than install the new boards hardware support disk?
>

You don't have to do anything as long as you're using an OS released
in the past several years.

If you're installing a 64 bit CPU and more than 4GB of RAM you will
need a 64 bit operating system to utilize all available RAM. This will
require reinstalling the OS.
-- Martin K

2012\02\10@184822 by cdb

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On Wed, 8 Feb 2012 08:11:42 -0500, M.L. wrote:
:: You don't have to do anything as long as you're using an OS
:: released in the past several years.

I'm not so sure about that, there is a registry entry that can prevent an AMD board running a system set up for Intel in XP systems.

My minor dissertation on the subject is here http://forum.acronis.com/forum/25208#comment-78542 .

Colin
--
cdb, colinspamKILLspambtech-online.co.uk on 11/02/2012
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