basically i386 means that the code shall run on all Intel CPUs starting from 80386 DX and also AMD CPUs.
However,compiled code can be optimized for a certain target architecture.
i686 means optimized for Intel Pentium II (PII including PIII based Celerons and Xeons) and above.
K7 means optimized for AMD Athlon/Duron.
SMP means Symmetric Multiprocessing and you shall use this kernel *only and only* if
you have 2 or more CPUs in your machine.
If you have only a *single* CPU then do *not* use SMP kernels.
Although the compiler optimization for a certain CPU type perform optimization,
the performance benefit, if at all, is not that high.
When in doubt: use always i386. This will work and in most cases there isn't that much
performance difference between i386 and optimized code.
Last edited by Vlad-A; 06-02-2004 at 03:11 PM.