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Old 04-12-2005, 07:27 AM   #1
chbin
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Intel next generation cpu


I was curious exactly what the E64MT and Execute Disable (XD) Bit is? Some kind of enhanced virus protection? Can it be used for something elses besides viruses? Will linux be abel to make a use of it?

Last edited by chbin; 04-12-2005 at 08:00 AM.
 
Old 04-12-2005, 08:11 AM   #2
macemoneta
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The EM64T is Intel catching-up to the AMD64. It is a 64-bit processor, mostly compatible with the 64-bit extensions that AMD added. The XD is Intel's name for the AMD NX (no execute). This allows the OS to flag portions of memory as being non-executable.

Linux supports and exploits the EM64T and AMD64 under the x86_64 architechture (a more generic term) distributions. The XD and NI flags are used to prevent buffer overflows, a typical exploit. This is in addition to the ExecShield facility in Linux, which performs a similar function, but is completely software so it works on CPUs that don't have XD/NX capability.
 
Old 04-12-2005, 08:21 AM   #3
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Why did they make such a quite step into the 64 bit world. Is it because they are ashamed that it took them so much longer than amd.
 
Old 04-12-2005, 08:44 AM   #4
macemoneta
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Quote:
Originally posted by chbin
Why did they make such a quite step into the 64 bit world. Is it because they are ashamed that it took them so much longer than amd.
In short, yes. Intel was caught with their pants down. Their direction with 64-bit processing was Itanium (called the Itanic by the media). Unfortunately, the high cost and lack of useful backward compatibility of the Itanium left a large opening in the market. AMD stepped in with an X86 chip with 64-bit extensions, more registers and useful functions (like NX). The chip allowed a seamless transition to full 64-bit computing, in an affordable manner. The market loved it to the point where the relatively small AMD was outselling Intel briefly.

Intel realized the error of its ways, and 18 months later the EM64T is available. The EM64T costs more (for a given performance level), uses more power, and runs hotter than the equivalent AMD64. However, it allows those with business ties to Intel (Dell) to continue using Intel components. If you are building your own machine, AMD64 is the way to go. If you are buying only Dell equipment, AMD64 is not an option for your company, so you will continue to pay a premium for the "Intel Inside" advertising.

That "Intel Inside" logo is a good thing to look for - it tells you that the manufacturer is not selecting the best components currently on the market. Not that there is anything wrong with Intel's EM64T - it works. It's just that Intel has lost it's development leadership, and so you are paying more for less. They can't even claim the additional costs are due to R&D, since they are just reacting to other manufacturer's innovations. Remember when Transmeta came out with their low power chips, and Intel scrambled to develop the "Centrino" component package? They haven't been doing to well technically for years, but they have very strong marketing.
 
Old 04-12-2005, 09:01 AM   #5
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I've looked into amd and like the cpu. Always have and like you said they are cheapier. I've always had a intel but have been thinking my next upgrade will be amd. Except, the intel chipsets are better, north and south bridges. Nvidia had to come in and pick up the slack but I'm not crazzy about getting a Nvidia chipset because they don't have much experience yet at making north and south bridges. What brand chipset would you recommend for an amd platform.
 
Old 04-12-2005, 09:19 AM   #6
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The VIA k8t800 series and the nVidia nForce 3 appear to be quite stable at this point. If you're interested in more leading edge features, there will always be a little pain in the front lines. BIOS upgrades come fast for a few months, then almost stop. That's the point to switch to a given chipset if you're looking for a stable, reliable system. Also, consider ECC and Chipkill (PDF) support for systems with 1G or more. It's an important stability option (with very little cost associated) that many people overlook. It may be hard to find out if a board supports Chipkill, but even some modest boards (like the ASUS K8V SE Deluxe) do support it.
 
Old 04-12-2005, 09:44 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info.
 
  


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