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    SubjectRe: NOP instruction

    > > LOCK
    > > SEG ES
    > > MOV DI,DI
    > >
    > > The first time I read through that, I wondered what on earth it was
    > > supposed to do, and only later did I realise it was effectively a
    > > rather verbose NOP instruction...
    Odd choice for a NOP - the LOCK can be slow on
    SMP systems, or maybe not if we aren't actually accessing memory?
    > I've always wondered... A much used NOP "instruction" is
    > OR AX,AX (or similar);
    > But doesn't this, as well as MOV DI,DI, set the zero flag???
    MOV doesn't set any flags, if I remember correctly. The compiler
    may feel free to use "OR AX,AX" and similiar as a NOP if it knows
    that the zero flag won't be needed or that it will be
    set to the correct value anyway (because the instruction
    before the OR AX,AX calculated a result in AX)

    > As a NOP instruction is supposed to do nothing, would this then be wrong?
    > (Nothing meaning not setting any flags?)
    > Hmmm... Where's the time from the good ol' Z80 when you HAD a real NOP
    > instruction? *Sigh* :-)
    The x86 has a real nop instruction. The point of using other
    NOP forms is that the x86 NOP is one byte, and takes a fixed
    time to execute. Now, if we happen to need 6 byte of filling
    then 6 NOP's take 6 times the time to execute. Putting a
    single 6-byte do-nothing instruction there instead will be faster.
    A good compiler will use the fastest NOP form available
    for the gap to be filled. x86 instructions have sizes
    varying from 1 to 15 bytes.

    Helge Hafting

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