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I'm looking for a CPU that will support PAE and fit into an LGA775 socket. This combination of technology is very much preferred for my current server hardware/software setup.

My priorities in order of highest to lowest:
PAE & LGA775
At least 1066Mhz FSB
Largest CPU cache possible
Multiple Cores if possible
HyperThreading if possible
Most other factors are of little-to-no consequence.

I'm finding it very difficult to figure out what my options are. Intel doesn't have much useful information on PAE (since x64 is so dominant), and Wikipedia simply says that "PAE is provided by Intel Pentium Pro (and above) CPUs - including all later Pentium-series processors except the 400 MHz bus versions of the Pentium M."

All of Intel's listed Pentium CPU's support Intel64, which makes me seriously doubt they will support PAE with a 32-bit OS. And Wikipedia's claim is so vague, I have no idea if they mean up-to-and-including the x64 Prescott CPUs. PAE is supposed to be an aspect of the x86 architecture, and I believe it is no longer supported in an x64 environment. Please correct me if I am wrong.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Any modern Intel CPU will support PAE. Even if you don't want to use >4G of memory you need PAE if you want NX in 32 bit mode.

I still run a 32 bit Linux on a system with 8GB of RAM and a core 2 quad.

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I see! So PAE does not cause my selection of CPUs to shrink. That's good news. I have a feeling that my motherboard does not support anything past the Pentium series, so I'll probably go with a Pentium E6500. – Giffyguy Sep 29 '09 at 21:11
PAE causes Windows to use another addressing scheme. You can have more memory, but calculating addresses by the CPU will be a bit slower. I don't suppose it'll be very noticeable for most applications. – harrymc Sep 29 '09 at 21:14

It would have been the Core 2 Extremes but they aren't available any more. Q9650 should be next in line.

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All of Intel's listed Pentium CPU's support Intel64, which makes me seriously doubt they will support PAE with a 32-bit OS.

False, in fact by definition all x86 CPUs that support x64 or even NX will support PAE with 32-bit too.

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