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Old 04-09-2004, 03:29 PM   #1
Metal Martian
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Dumb question about program architecture

what is the difference between i386 i586 and i686 and how do I know which one I'm supposed to use when downloading any given program?

Old 04-09-2004, 04:41 PM   #2
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they refer to general processor categories/speeds

i386 is Pentium 1 class
i586 is sort of Pentium 2 upwards
and i686 is P4 and equivelant

it means the OS has been compiled to run on at least a processor in that class
so an i386 hasn't been compiled to makes use of the newer on chip instruction sets

I have redhat 9 which is i386 on an i686 and mandrake which is i586 on the same i686

most distros are i386, apart from mandrake and suse which are i586

generally, it's ok to use i386 stuff on faster machines
but you'd have problems running i686 on a i386 class machine

this is a general overview and slightly vague at that
Old 04-09-2004, 04:49 PM   #3
Metal Martian
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