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x86 is the CPU architeture family. These go along the lines of i286, i386, i486, i586, etc. where the x is used as a variable for the 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.
i586 is the same as a pentium and amd k1, i686 is the same as pentium II and amd k2, and so on. x86-64 stands for 64-bit processors like Athlon-64's and Opteron that operate off of the x86 family.
Each of the chips has extra transitors and instruction sets, so if you download a distro that was compile for your chip, it should, in theory, run better. Also, You have to meet the architecture number or older to use the distro to.
Last edited by deviance99; 11-14-2004 at 08:54 PM.
Each of the chips has extra transitors and instruction sets, so if you download a distro that was compile for your chip, it should, in theory, run better.
That is not true. The amount of transistors does not depend on architecture model. There are 686 or 80686 processors that have as much transistors as a 486 or 80486. Also adding more transistors does not always mean it will be better although it will be hotter.
I suggest doing a search in this forum on this topic. There are several threads for your question.
Extra Transistors, no. Extra Instructions, Yes. A linux distro compiled for i686 won't run as well on a i586 processor, but it should still run. If you see a distro for x86 it's a generic distro that will run the same on any series as long as it's the same processor speed. And, as mentioned above, x86-64 is for 64-bit processors and won't run on 32-bit processors.
Hmmm... For one, many of the chips DO HAVE more transistors, also, SOME programs will run on older arch's, however, some WILL NOT. In general, you should NOT use a distro that is newer then your chip family.