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151
votes
19answers
27k views

32-bit vs. 64-bit systems

What are the differences between 32-bit and 64-bit systems? If you have used both of them, what kind of sharp differences have you experienced? Would it be a problem to use 32-bit programs on ...
92
votes
13answers
11k views

Why doesn't “add more cores” face the same physical limitations as “make the CPU faster”?

In 2014, I hear a lot of programming languages touted for their concurrency features. Concurrency is said to be crucial for performance gains. In making this statement, many people point back to a ...
57
votes
6answers
13k views

How does a CPU 'know' what commands and instructions actually mean?

How does a processor 'know' what the different commands mean? I'm thinking of assembly level commands like MOV, PUSH, CALL, etc...
53
votes
9answers
9k views

Why have CPU manufacturers stopped increasing the clock speeds of their processors? [closed]

I have read that manufacturers stopped concentrating on higher clock speeds and are now working on other things to improve performance. With an old Desktop machine with Intel® Xeon® Processor E3110 ...
28
votes
9answers
128k views

How can I enable PAE on Windows 7 (32-bit) to support more than 3.5 GB of RAM?

I know that Windows XP 32-bit can be configured, through PAE, to support more than 3.5 GB of RAM. Is there a good tutorial to do this with Windows 7 32-bit? As to why I don't simply use 64-bit ...
16
votes
7answers
1k views

Why does the heat production increase as the clockrate of a CPU increases?

The whole multi-core debate got me thinking. It's much easier to produce two cores (in one package) then speeding up one core by a factor of two. Why exactly is this? I googled a bit, but found ...
16
votes
2answers
740 views

Why are newer generations of processors faster at the same clock speed?

How come, for example, a 2.66 GHz dual-core i5 will be faster than a 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo (also dual-core)? Is this because of newer instructions that can process information in less clock cycles? ...
15
votes
2answers
359 views

Are 64-bit processors “faster” than 32-bit ones, simply because they are 64-bits? [duplicate]

I have pondered that some say "32-bit is old news" because you are limited in RAM without cutting around, such as with PAE. Assuming first that the following factors weigh in on the processor's speed ...
13
votes
10answers
50k views

How can I determine if the current version of Windows is either 32-bit or 64-bit from the command line? [duplicate]

What's the command line to find out if the OS is running a 32-bit version or 64-bit of Windows?
11
votes
3answers
642 views

Will a new processor with slower clockspeed run legacy applications faster?

I'm using Linux and have an old P4 with about 3 GHz clock speed. Will a newer chip that had slower clock speed run my legacy applications faster or slower? I only use one application at a time, an ...
9
votes
6answers
49k views

What's the main difference between Intel processor generations?

What are the main differences between each processor generation of Intel processors/chipsets? Is there a performance difference? I've already seen processors from first to sixth generation, however I ...
8
votes
3answers
8k views

Why can't Windows 7 be installed on a ARM processor based system?

Today I was reading some news(1, 2, 3, 4) about Microsoft Windows 8 and saw that one of the new features is that it can run over a ARM processor based system. This make me wondering the reasons that ...
8
votes
4answers
12k views

Is my i7 920 Intel processor considered ia64 or x64?

Is my i7 920 Intel processor considered ia64 or x64?
7
votes
1answer
101 views

How do general binaries take advantage from new instructionsets on new CPUs

With every release of a new processor, there are changes to the instructionset the processor supports. For example, Haswell has Advanced Vector Extensions. However, when I run a program on a PC with a ...
7
votes
4answers
703 views

Does the 6502 put FF in the stack pointer register as soon as it gets power for the first time?

I'm reading about the 6502 processor's instruction set from the many links at 6502.org, and one tutorial states: The stack pointer (S) points to a byte on Page 1, that is, to a byte whose address ...
5
votes
2answers
177 views

32-bit to 64-bit skipping 48-bit?

Computer architecture upgraded from 16-bit to 32-bit to 64-bit. What was the logic for skipping 48-bit? What reasoning was used to upgrade to 64-bit and not some other exponent? The following tables ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

What`s the difference between Intel 64 and AMD64?

Can someone explain if there is any difference between the intel64 and amd64 architectures?
5
votes
3answers
5k views

What do the terms “asynchronous” and “synchronous” mean, with respect to the definition of an interrupt?

Quoted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrupt: an interrupt is an asynchronous signal indicating the need for attention or a synchronous event in software indicating the need for a change ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

Why SRAM is faster than DRAM?

In modern multi-core processors, the processor caches (L1,L2 and L3) are made up of SRAM with decreasing speeds(L2 caches are higher speed SRAM than L3 caches which is a cost trade-off). The main ...
5
votes
1answer
482 views

Intel's AES-NI performance: Isn't the hard drive the bottleneck?

Will I see a performance gain with AES-NI using dm-crypt/LUKS for hard drive system encryption? Isn't the hard drive the bottleneck even without hardware acceleration?
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it possible for an x86 processor to match an ARM processor in terms of performance per watt?

From my personal experience with my tablet, and from the benchmarks and articles I've read, it always seems ARM processors, as seen in virtually all mobile devices, deliver incredible performance for ...
4
votes
3answers
8k views

What is the meaning of dual core vs. dual cpus?

What is the difference between multiple CPU processors (ie: Pentium D) and multicore processors (ie: Core 2 duo)?
4
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I find a list of all SSE instructions? What happens if a CPU doesn't support SSE?

So I've been reading about how processors work. Now I'm on the instructions (SSE, SSE2, etc) stuff. (Which is pretty interesting). I have lot of questions (I've been reading this stuff on Wikipedia): ...
4
votes
3answers
302 views

Does a hotter processor run faster?

I heard from a physicist that when silicon gets hotter it can conduct more electricity through it. He said: "Silicon is going to have a pretty good structure, it's going to have higher melting ...
4
votes
3answers
645 views

where does Kernel reside on a multi-core system

Suppose I have a multi-core system, say 4 cores, and in this I pin 3 user process to a 3 CPU's. In such a case, where will the kernel reside? Suppose one of the user process make a system call, or ...
3
votes
3answers
582 views

“Processor register” and “IO register”

I was wondering if processor registers and IO registers are the same concept? Are they registers in CPU or in some IO devices? I picked up IO registers from this Super User question.
3
votes
2answers
112 views

Do emulators parse binary code within files?

I have seen some emulators that claim they execute, and even though they do, their source code shows they don't directly parse every 1 and 0 to determine an instruction. My question is, if the ...
3
votes
3answers
104 views

How to count the approximate number of Intel-compatible binaries/programs on a computer running OS X Lion, and time that count?

For an approximate count — and to get an idea of the time taken to count — I began with a multi-line command that could run in tcsh. I'm not a plumbing expert, so I invite answers that are better ...
3
votes
2answers
248 views

64 bit Operating System?

What we are getting if someone says "my machine is 64-bit computer" . What is the difference between 64-bit computer (I mean the CPU architecture) and operating system (Windows 64-bit OS). Please ...
3
votes
3answers
197 views

How is bit number of register determined?

Is it true registers are 32-bit in x86 and 64-bit in x86-64?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do we need multiple levels of cache memory?

In general a cache memory is useful because the speed of the processor is higher than the speed of the ram (they are both increasing in speed but the difference still remains). So reducing the number ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Confusion with terms -> FSB, QPI, HT, DMI, UMI

I'm a bit confused about some terms used by CPU manufacturers. I know that FSB is a bus that connect the CPU to the Northbridge and that QPI (Intel) and HT (AMD) replaced this technology. The new ...
3
votes
1answer
672 views

Understanding the nop byte(s)

Ok, so I was reading through the AMD64 manuels and knowing that nop is really an xchg eax, eax, I looked at the xchg and found something interesting, that it seems a byte can be encoded into the ...
3
votes
3answers
708 views

What's the difference between a hardware register and a memory-mapped register?

This has been puzzling, so I'll lay it all out here. Apparently, through MMIO, you can access external devices using a certain memory-mapped address, which would then be re-routed to that device ...
2
votes
3answers
10k views

Which Windows 7 Version (32 bit or 64 bit) should I install on a new MacBook Pro with 4 GB of RAM?

I have just bought a brand new MacBook Pro with 4 GB RAM, and was wondering which Windows 7 version 32 bit or 64 bit I should install with BootCamp, in order to do Visual Studio development? Is ...
2
votes
2answers
171 views

Why CPU emulation is slow [closed]

Different CPU (IA-32, ARM9 etc.) operations should be equivalent in their nature (move, read, write data etc.). It shouldn't be that painful for different CPUs to emulate each other. But seems like ...
2
votes
2answers
212 views

What's the difference between the graphics capabilities in Sandy Bridge and an accelerated graphics card? [closed]

I've been reading that the big news with Sandy Bridge processors is that they can process video much faster. Does this mean that we no longer need accelerated graphics cards that can do this? Are we ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

CISC and VLIW, and instruction and opcode

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instruction_set CISC processors include "complex" instructions in their instruction set. A single "complex" instruction does something that may take many ...
2
votes
1answer
245 views

How interrupts and privilege levels work?

I'm trying to get a better understanding of how interrupts work (both hardware and software) and the privileges that go with them. If we use the NIC as an example. When the OS creates the IDT, does ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

Instruction assignment with multiple CPUs

Maybe this is a stupid question but I am trying to gain a better understanding of hardware inner workings... If a machine has two or more CPUs, which hardware component is actually responsible for ...
2
votes
1answer
363 views

“nop; jmp short” vs. “jmp short; nop”

Ok, first let me get this straight: This is not about micro optimization. But, I know in bootloaders on the partition, a lot use the jmp short; nop coding. But it is to my understanding that the less ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

VMWare on Intel i7-2600[S/K]: VM processor configuration for maximum performance

I have an Intel i7-2600K-processor, which has 4 cores but runs 8 thread because of Hyperthreading. I want to run a Ubuntu-VM with maximum performance under VMWare 8 (host system is Windows 7, and is ...
2
votes
0answers
222 views

How to tell if an EXE is 32-bit or 64-bit? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Quick way to tell if an installed application is 64-bit or 32-bit What's the easiest way to know if a Windows EXE is 32-bit or 64-bit?
1
vote
1answer
105 views

Confusing info from /proc/cpuinfo: CPU Frequency:

I ran a 'cat /proc/cpuinfo' on a node I'm using and obtained the following: processor : 13 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 62 model ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

When modern computers boot, what initial setup of RAM do they execute, and how does it exactly work?

I know the title reeks of confusion, and some of you might assume I am just wondering about how the computer boots in general, but I'm not. But I'll sort this out for you people now: 1.Onboard ...
1
vote
1answer
109 views

Which enhanced instruction set does an application use?

Is there any reliable and easy way to establish whether an exe or dll uses a particular enhanced instruction set (e.g. SSE4.1)? Disassembling it with ndiasm seems to produce a listing which you could ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

What does “book” mean in the output of 'lscpu -p'?

On Linux, the lscpu -p command outputs lots of information about the CPU architecture. One of the columns is the "book number". What does "book" mean in this context? EDIT: the documentation of lscpu ...
1
vote
0answers
261 views

How to determine control/data/address bus width

I am hoping you guys can help. I need to know how to calculate the control bus, address bus, and data bus width of a hypothetical CPU. A computer is word addressable with a 64 bit word size and ...
1
vote
1answer
113 views

When a thread is created, how is the initial context determined? [closed]

How is a thread's initial context (registers state) determined on thread creation? For example: Current thread context eax=0x4, ebx=0x9000, ecx=0xfff, etc... Create a thread is called to begin ...
1
vote
0answers
804 views

Using UEFI to access CPU features which are locked in BIOS

I have Dell Latitude E6420 with SandyBridge i5-2520M and standard issue Dell BIOS (version A15). In certain situations computer produces annoying high-pitched noise (it is not loud but it is ...