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Old 12-05-2002, 06:20 PM   #1
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i686 vs i386

Im using a PIII so the arch. is an i686. However the i386 kernel and source work for the PIII. Is there any added benefit for using the i686 kernel? Also what is ocmprable in the i686 family when it comes to kernel-source.

On RH site I dont see an i686 kernel-source package and Im going to need it for the NVdriver.

From redhat .com...







No kernel-source...?
Old 12-05-2002, 06:48 PM   #2
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I kinda found an answer but I dont know what this guys credentiala are...


I just asked this very question. Here's my rational/estimate but I'd
like to see Robin or someone else tell us what their experiences are

I'm making the following assumptions: gcc will use i686 instructions
to speed up floating point operations, integer operations, and
memory copying. I can't think of anything else except the odd very
exotic opcode .

gcc can't optimize for the following: bus speed (copying to and from
memory, video card, scsi card etc), disk i/o, video hardware
acceleration (that's all in your video driver).

Things you may want to recompile and see if they run faster:

development tools like gcc, binutils, gdb etc. will benefit since
they're cpu intensive.

compression utilities such as gzip and bzip2 will benefit although
this may depend on your cpu's cache size. programs which do a lot of
work by copying to and from memory like bzip2 REALLY love large cpu

x11 may benefit since i'm sure it does its share of integer and
floating point calculations. this is also true for x11 applications
which use double buffering (almost all of them would).

any games that have a high frame rate will definetly benefit.

your window manager should benefit.

your web browser should definetly benefit since this helps in all
the HTML rendering.

I certainly couldn't give you hard statistics like 10%-20%. It all
depends on what you're compiling and what you want it to do.

But that still doesn't answer my question about the i686 kernel-source...
Old 12-05-2002, 07:26 PM   #3
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There wont be a 'i686' version of the kernel sources because the source package is simply the code, which isn't any different for athalons, pentiums, sparc's...

It doesnt become anything different untill the compiler begins working on it, includes cirtain asembler routines depending on the archatecture that its being built for.

So the kernel source your looking for is labled i386 version

As for a benifit of using a 686 over a 386, there would be benifits as the 686 kernel could use enhanced cpu calls that could speed up some operations.
Old 12-05-2002, 07:40 PM   #4
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Thanks sbrown, that makes sense. Let me pick your mind on a couple of other things. What are the


packages used for?
Old 12-05-2002, 08:23 PM   #5
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bigmem includes support for systems with more than 4G of memory,
smp - symetric multi-processor (two or more CPU's on one board), and uml is user-mode linux if you want to know what the heck it is you better read


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