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I am reading information for a processorAMD FX-8320 Eight-Core

My primary question is why the L1 cache is not in the information. Would this imply that it does not have registers that it can access as quickly as a processor that does have L1 cache? Isn't that a big downside to this processor? It does however have somewhat larger L2 and L3 caches than other processors. But the L2 cache is given as 4 x 2MB, does that mean it cannot use all 8MB if the program is not multi-threaded?

Also, how is the clockrate reported? What I mean is the details report 3.5GHz, but is that by adding the cores together to give some theoretical maximum, or is that how fast each of the eight processors are? Just to be on the safe side.. I wouldn't want to buy the 8 core expecting up to 3.5 GHz on a linear program but in reality only getting around 400MB.

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Related: megahertz myth on Wikipedia. – gronostaj Jun 22 '13 at 9:26
@gronostaj Thanks, I have read this whole article, and although it brings to mind some important points I am mostly interested in comparing the cache of a processor at the moment. – Leonardo Jun 22 '13 at 9:59
up vote 1 down vote accepted

About clock rate: it's the max speed of each core at CPU dice. If you have linear program, it will run at speed around that ( there are other factors to include, mostly: I/O performance, RAM delay, OS scheduling).

About L1 cache: Yes, this CPU have 12 units of that:

Would this imply that it does not have registers that it can access as quickly as a processor that does have L1 cache?

Um, please remember: registers are in each CPU core, RAM in turn stores words. Access to registers is near instantaneous (for application purposes)

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Thank you for clearing that up, and thank you for a very good link. – Leonardo Jun 23 '13 at 2:28
Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought if an L2 or L3 cache was listed, a 'lower level' cache was implied. L3 listed means there's an L2 AND L1. – Cand3r Dec 15 '15 at 14:09

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