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SubjectRe: Pentium 4 and 2.4/2.5

On Wed, 8 Nov 2000, Alan Cox wrote:
> > unless that CPU is also SMP-capable). It's documented by intel these
> > days, and it works on all CPU's I've ever heard of, and it even makes
> > sense to me (*).
> Do the intel docs guarantee it works on i486 and higher, if so SMP athlon
> will be the only check needed for the SMP users. You work for an x86 chip
> cloning company so if you say it works I trust you 8)

Well, we don't make low-power SMP laptops, so as such Transmeta doesn't
much care. It will work, though. And yes, as far as I know Intel made it
an "architecture feature", meaning that they claim it work son all their
ia32 chips.

Now, I could imagine that Intel would select an instruction that didn't
work on Athlon on purpose, but I really don't think they did. I don't
have an athlon to test.

It's easy enough to generate a test-program. If the following works,
you're pretty much guaranteed that it's ok

int main()
printf("Testing 'rep nop' ... ");
asm volatile("rep ; nop");
return 0;

(there's not much a "rep nop" _can_ do, after all - the most likely CPU
extension would be to raise an "Illegal Opcode" fault).

> > Also, at least part of the reason Intel removed the TSC check was that
> > Linux actually seems to get the extended CPU capability flags wrong,
> > overwriting the _real_ capability flags which in turn caused the TSC
> > check on Linux to simply not work. Peter Anvin is working on fixing
> > this. I suspect that Linux-2.2 has the same problem.
> I've not seen incorrect TSC detection in 2.2, do you know the precise
> circumstances this occurs and I'll check over them. I've also got no
> bug reports of this failing.

It won't fail on other CPU's. The bug is, as far as I can tell, in

cpuid(0x80000001, &dummy, &dummy, &dummy, &(c->x86_capability));

Notice how we overwrite the x86_capability state with whatever we read
from the extended register 0x80000001. So we overwrite the _real_
capabilities that we got the right way in head.S.

This is wrong. It just happens to work on other, non-Pentium IV,
processors. The extended capabilities are an _extention_, not replacement,
for the regular capabilities.

> check_config would also panic with the 'Kernel compiled for ..' message
> if it occurred.

Which is what it apparently does, if you compile for TSC. Even though very
obviously a Pentium IV _does_ have a TSC.

NOTE! I don't actually have access to a Pentium IV myself yet, although
I'm promised one soon enough. So I've only got second-hand reports on the
cpuid thing so far.


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