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Old 02-13-2005, 12:45 AM   #1
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i386 vs i586 vs x86 etc.

This is a total newbie question.

Can someone clear this up for me? What do all of these numbers mean?

Through google, I found out that x86 refers to the Intel 8086 chips (which includes the Pentium Line), but I have a Pentium4 and I have to use i386 apps. So what is the deal?

Any help would be apprecieated

Old 02-13-2005, 02:04 AM   #2
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the reason most distro's (but not all) will compile for i386 is that it will run on all x86 architectures (pentiums, athlons, celerons, cyrix's, etc...)

x86 is the general term for the pentium architecture (which other companies use, like AMD).

if you were to compile things specifically for your pentium-4, they would only run on pentium 4's or higher. You might see some thing's compiled for i686 (which is your processor,and others like duron's and athlon's).


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