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Author Topic: x86 ?  (Read 2990 times)

Imagine.

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x86 ?
« on: May 14, 2009, 04:50:32 PM »

This is much of a technical problem but more of something i've been thinking of. I know 32bit = x86 and 64bit = x64 but why doesn't 32bit = x32 rather than x86. It's just something I never really understood. :)
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Imagine™

sevenlayermuddle

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Re: x86 ?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2009, 05:20:23 PM »

This is much of a technical problem but more of something i've been thinking of. I know 32bit = x86 and 64bit = x64 but why doesn't 32bit = x32 rather than x86. It's just something I never really understood. :)

x86 came first, and it referred to the intruction set of a family of intel processors ending with 86, e.g. 8086, 80286, 80386 etc - it doesn't specifically imply 32 bits and indeed, some early x86 CPUs were only 16 bits.   So actually, x86 simply implies the Intel family instruction set. 

64 bit CPUs were a bigger leap that anything that anything before, so the term x64 seems to have come along to represent the 64-bit specifics of x86.  It basically means '64 bit Intel'.  Which is a shame, because there's you could easily assume wrongly, from the name , that it would apply to (say) sun Sparc processers too.  It seems that 'x' has come slang for 'Intel'.  Obvious, isn't it? ???

I must admit, I checked my facts with wikipedia fore composing the above.  I think it agreed, but there's lot's more there if you want the details or to verify my explanation.

7LM
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HPsauce

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Re: x86 ?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2009, 06:01:24 PM »

I checked my facts with wikipedia
  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:
(sorry, just couldn't resist that)
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: x86 ?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2009, 08:51:54 PM »

(sorry, just couldn't resist that)

Not at all, I'm glad it raised a smile.

I do recall being bowled over when a guy from Intel took a bunch of us out to lunch, circa 1983, and boasted that the whereas the address space of the 80186 had been limited to 1Mbyte, the '286 could address an unblievable 16Mbytes.  Surely, I thought, that would be enough to keep abreast of anything the memory manufacturers would make available, at least in my lifetime? :)
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