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Old 05-21-2009, 02:22 PM   #1
jlinkels
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Intel Atom 230 64bits or not?


I am to install a Linux system on an Atom 230 system. Question is, is this CPU 64-bits, i.e. will it run AMD64 architecture code?

It is not obvious from the documentation, Intel says the CPU is "Intel 64", and explain this as "has 64 bits address extensions". I doubt whether this is not one of those commercial statements to make the CPU look like 64 bits while it is not.

No, it is not easy to try either, the system has no CDROM so I have to prepare an AMD64 boot USB in order to try.

Meanwhile, if the CPU is AMD64 architecture it is worth to put an AMD64 OS on the system, I have very good experiences with running 64-bits OS on a 64-bits CPU as opposed to running 32-bits.

jlinkels
 
Old 05-21-2009, 03:05 PM   #2
farslayer
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according to the wikipedia page it is not 64 bit..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...icroprocessors

the 270, 280 and 5XX series are..
 
Old 05-21-2009, 03:18 PM   #3
Quakeboy02
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Atom (under Architecture)

Quote:
x86-64 is so far only activated for the Atom 230 and 330 desktop models. N and Z series Atom models cannot run x86-64 code.
 
Old 05-21-2009, 07:38 PM   #4
jlinkels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quakeboy02 View Post
Quote:x86-64 is so far only activated for the Atom 230 and 330 desktop models. N and Z series Atom models cannot run x86-64 code.
Sigh... that doesn't make it any more clear. It is a desktop machine (it is really too small to place it on the floor hehehe), and the CPU info doesn't say it is a N or Z series.

Code:
cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor       : 0
vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
cpu family      : 6
model           : 28
model name      : Genuine Intel(R) CPU  230   @ 1.60GHz
stepping        : 2
cpu MHz         : 1596.041
cache size      : 512 KB
physical id     : 0
siblings        : 2
core id         : 0
cpu cores       : 1
apicid          : 0
initial apicid  : 0
fdiv_bug        : no
hlt_bug         : no
f00f_bug        : no
coma_bug        : no
fpu             : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level     : 10
wp              : yes
flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts pni monitor ds_cpl tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr lahf_lm
bogomips        : 3195.66
clflush size    : 64
power management:

processor       : 1
vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
cpu family      : 6
model           : 28
model name      : Genuine Intel(R) CPU  230   @ 1.60GHz
stepping        : 2
cpu MHz         : 1596.041
cache size      : 512 KB
physical id     : 0
siblings        : 2
core id         : 0
cpu cores       : 1
apicid          : 1
initial apicid  : 1
fdiv_bug        : no
hlt_bug         : no
f00f_bug        : no
coma_bug        : no
fpu             : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level     : 10
wp              : yes
flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts pni monitor ds_cpl tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr lahf_lm
bogomips        : 3191.94
clflush size    : 64
power management:
I have compared this with the CPUinfo of a real 64-bits processor, but neither of the two lists clearly indicate the architecture.

Why does cpuinfo give a dual listing, for processor 0 and processor 1? There is only one core, isn't it?

jlinkels
 
Old 05-21-2009, 07:56 PM   #5
DragonSlayer48DX
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According to this spec chart, the Atom 230 is single-core, 64-bit.

It also doesn't have a Z or N classification.

Cheers

Last edited by DragonSlayer48DX; 05-21-2009 at 08:02 PM.
 
Old 05-21-2009, 08:36 PM   #6
jlinkels
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There is exactly one page (and not an obvious one) on the Intel web site which states this table:

Code:
Processor Number	230
# of Cores	1
Clock Speed	1.6 GHz
L2 Cache	512 KB
FSB Speed	533 MHz
Instruction Set	64-bit
Core Voltage	0.9V-1.1625V
I'll make the effort to create a 64bit bootable USB to test it.

Thanks all.

jlinkels
 
Old 05-21-2009, 09:13 PM   #7
farslayer
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Yep the wikipedia page I cited seems to have it wrong.

the CPU flag lm indicates 64 bit support.
 
Old 05-21-2009, 10:28 PM   #8
jlinkels
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Cool! Thanks.

jlinkels
 
Old 05-24-2009, 10:40 AM   #9
jlinkels
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A follow-up on this. The nettop is a MSI barebone system. (I am away from the system now so I can't tell the exact type number).

I made various bootable USB sticks, but the box refuses to boot from them. I used both syslinux and Grub. Other 64-bit systems boot fine from this stick. The MSI boots fine from a 32-bits stick. Scientifically, this let be draw these conclusions:
  • I am able to create a 64-bits bootable USB stick which can boot at least one 64-bits system
  • The MSI system is able to boot from at least one 32-bits USB stick I created
  • Booting the MSI system from a USB stick is therefore not impossible
  • No 64-bits USB stick I have created is able to boot the MSI system

More loosely this makes me to think that the MSI system can boot from 32-bits USB sticks, but not from 64-bits sticks. (32-bits USB sticks do not exist, neither 64-bits sticks, but you get the idea)

In addition, the Intel specs state that the BIOS must allow 64-bits operation for the Atom in order to run 64-bits code. Another hint is that the manual of the MSI specifies a 32-bits memory bus for this system.

Now I am drawing the conclusion that my MSI system has a 64-bits capable processor, but that I cannot run 64-bits code.

jlinkels
 
Old 05-24-2009, 11:16 AM   #10
DragonSlayer48DX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
Now I am drawing the conclusion that my MSI system has a 64-bits capable processor, but that I cannot run 64-bits code.

jlinkels
I've never had a 64-bit system, so this might just be "the blind leading the blind" here, but have you snooped around in BIOS to see if there's a 32/64-bit switch? If there isn't, then it appears that you're right, although that's not a very practical way to build a system, IMHO.

Cheers
 
Old 05-24-2009, 08:47 PM   #11
jlinkels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonslayer48dx View Post
although that's not a very practical way to build a system, IMHO.
Altough I think it is a pity, I think it makes sense from a commercial point of view.

First off I think it is easier and therefor cheaper to design a board with 32-bits wide address bus instead of a 64 bits wide bus. I don't know how memory chips are layed out nowadays, but if a 64-bit system would need 2 memory chips to create a 64-bits data path, it is cheaper to design a system which only needs a single chip. It is also true that this board limits the RAM size to 2 GB, which makes the use of a 64-bit address bus nonsense anyway.

Last but not least, since Microsoft has mercifully graced the selling of WinXP licences, one of the main goals being to make sure that netbooks and nettops which are unable to run Vista can run at least a Microsoft, there is no need for any system to be 64-bits as XP is still 32-bits.

The bright side is that I can simply copy my old server on this new box, without any reinstallation, and that is an asset as well. I am sure in 2014 when I make the next server upgrade there are 64 bits low power boxes available.

jlinkels
 
Old 05-24-2009, 09:18 PM   #12
DragonSlayer48DX
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True, but why use the 64-bit CPU at all? Bragging rights, even though the 64-bit capability can't be accessed? Why not just use a 32-bit CPU? Wouldn't that be cheaper? They do still make 'em.

I'm not just blind, I'm totally confused, now.

Cheers
 
  


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