Project Talk:X86

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clarification, that "x86" in this article is actually 32-bit x86

Talk status
This discussion is still ongoing as of 2023-07-24.

When it comes to x86, there are so many terms referring to so many different generations of x86.

While "x86" alone could be anything from the 16-bit (with an 8-bit bus) 8088 in the original IBM PC, to the 16-bit 8086 and 80186 and 80286 processors (IBM PC/AT), to the first 32-bit Intel 80386 from 1986. 32-bit x86 was back then often referred to as i386. Intel then named it "Intel Architecture 32-bit", i.e. IA-32. Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) extensions where used all the time (not only) on Linux to clarify which IA-32 or i386 was compatible, like i586 (IA-32 compatible with the Pentium) or i686 (IA-32 compatible with the Pentium Pro or Pentium II). i686-pae also comes to mind, which required PAE capable i686 x86 CPUs.

To illustrate the need for clarification: uname on Linux often gives the kernels "i686" or "i386" (and anything in-between). Gentoo calls the architecture "x86", but e.g. Slackware calles it "ia32" and Debian calls it "i386" (even when it's really i686). (U)EFI calls the architecture IA-32 or, without the dash: IA32 (\EFI\Boot\BootIA32.efi, whereas on x86-64 aka AMD64 it is called \EFI\Boot\Bootx64.efi).

IMHO x86 alone is not good enough in the article, it should clearly state the main common terminology "i386" and "IA-32" as well. Today, x86-32 is also a common term to refer to 32-bit x86, so it should be mentioned as well...

Luttztfz (talk) 08:57, 24 July 2023 (UTC)