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Which one is latest or normally used in computers today ? What is the type of pentium 4 and Core 2 duo?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

i386 is for extremely old CPU generation dating before Pentium.

i686 is post Pentium generation.

No one today have i386, they are at least 15 years old.

That being said, i386 marks a 'compatibility' build and should work on ANY 32bit x86 CPU. i686 may or may not use MMX, SSE and more extensions.

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Are applications written for i386 compatible with i686? –  pineapple Feb 1 '10 at 5:59
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i686 can always run i386. the reverse is not always true. –  LiraNuna Feb 1 '10 at 6:00
    
"No one today have i386, they are at least 15 years old." ... khm, khm ... well, wouldn't you believe it but ... :-))) –  ldigas Feb 1 '10 at 6:52

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