<br /> Debian AMD64: A Split Personality? – Debian Planet

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    Debian AMD64: A Split Personality?
    Submitted by robster on Saturday, July 10, 2004 – 15:15
    DebianThe port to AMD64 (aka IA-32e) has been the source of much technical debate recently. The port has been a source of debate for several reasons, the most notable of which is the name chosen for the architecture.

    The name chosen for the architecture by various Debian project teams in discussion with the dpkg maintainers at DebConf was x86-64, versus the name amd64 which the porters had been working on previously. The message announcing
    this to the debian-amd64 list from Scott James Remnant caused mixed reactions on the list. The arguments that were put forward by the dpkg maintainer was that this name matches the GNU arch string and the name chosen by several other distributions but most importantly for many people it removes an unnecessary marketing connotation and ensures that there will be no trademark dispute. He also highlighted some disadvantages including that the name doesn’t quite match that used by other distributors who use x86_64, however the underscore is used as a filename separator for Debian packages and so may cause significant breakage. although some people came out in support of the name change the majority of replies were in opposition to this change. much debate followed including another whole thread and a vote or two. Matt Zimmerman subsequently backed out the change from CVS whilst Scott James Remnant forwarded the decision to the Debian Technical Committe. Who subsequently decided that the name adopted should be that of amd64.

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    Subject: a question to ADM64’ers …
    Author: bluesmurf
    Date: Monday, 2004/07/19 – 18:43
    Hi all.

    For some time I have been thinking of buying an AMD64. The question is : Is it worth it ?.

    Is there such a performance gain over a 32bit processor ?.

    I currently have an AMD XP 2600+, and can’t get the stupid AMD64 out of my head.

    I also have to work on windows platform, so a hold back is all that silly microplof closed source. (or having to run in 32bit mode)

    a bit of topic, but if any on of you AMD64’ers would like to share there 64 bit experience with the rest of us it will be appreciated, by me at least 🙂

    Well, thanks and have bags of fun.


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    Subject: maybe
    Author: kelt65
    Date: Thursday, 2004/09/09 – 01:52
    You not gonna see a huge speed difference, but the main thing is being able to properly address more than 1GB of memory, unlike a 32 bit system. It also vastly increases the other limits 32 bit arches bind you to as well (file size, file system size, etc)
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    Subject: Big speed difference
    Author: hazelsct
    Date: Tuesday, 2004/09/14 – 18:38
    YMMV, but my experience is that Opteron is about 2x faster than Athlon at the same clock speed, even with 32-bit code. Then again, a lot of what I do is memory bandwidth-limited, for which Opteron is at its best…

    -Adam P.

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    Subject: Debian IA-32e???
    Author: Randal Rioux
    Date: Wednesday, 2004/07/14 – 05:46
    AMD64 is neither Intel nor 32 bit. What kind of braintrust chose this as a naming scheme? At least stick to the stuck x86_64, it’s not as clearly misinforming as IA-32e!
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    Subject: re: Debian IA-32e???
    Author: Vanieter
    Date: Saturday, 2004/07/24 – 03:56
    Actually, it seems like the work of a bunch of marketing droids at Intel – hey, it’s a extension ‘e’ of the Intel Architecture (IA) for the 386, which conveniently happens to be 32-bit long ! It’s not like anybody outside of Intel will use IA-32e anyway, since it has nothing to do with Intel save the i386 connection.
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    Subject: 2 cents
    Author: wouter@jabber.org
    Date: Sunday, 2004/07/11 – 05:03
    In my opinion, it should have been a technically neutral name. Without any brands or hint towards a specific company’s product.

    But then again, I really don’t care that much, it’s only a name and it won’t be very visible to most people (users, as opposed to Debian developers). It’s not worth fighting over.

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    Subject: Why?
    Author: calc
    Date: Wednesday, 2004/07/14 – 10:02
    Most of the other arch names are not vendor neutral, in fact the only neutral names I see are powerpc and s390. All the other arches either are the name of the company involved with the arch or include the initials referring to the company. The name of the arch is AMD64, AMD invented the arch and thus gets to name it. It intially introduced the arch as “x86-64” in 1999 but changed it to “amd64” once they actually released chips in 2003. Intel decided they wanted to rename it for marketing reasons, but that doesn’t change the fact the real arch name is “amd64”.

    Names of arches in Debian:

    alpha (“alpha” – Alpha Processor, Inc) I think this company is defunct.
    amd64 (“amd(64)” – AMD)
    arm (“arm” – ARM , Ltd.)
    hppa (“hp(pa)” – Hewlett Packard)
    i386 (“i(ntel)386” – Intel)
    ia64 (“i(ntel)a(rchitecture)64” – Intel)
    m68k (“m(otorola)68k” – Motorola)
    mips (“mips” – Mips Technologies, Inc)
    mipsel (“mips(el)” – Mips Technologies, Inc)
    powerpc – PowerPC vendor neutral name
    sparc (“sparc” – Sparc International, Inc)
    s390 – ibm zSeries vendor neutral name I assume

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    Subject: alpha
    Author: ajslater
    Date: Wednesday, 2004/07/14 – 17:11
    Alpha was a product of Digitial Equipment Corporation and were) the fastest and best designed chips in the world.

    DEC folded into Compaq, Compaq sold the Alpha VLSI Team to Intel who is trying to convince them that saving Itanic will be as fun as working for DEC was.

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    Subject: Re: alpha
    Author: calc
    Date: Wednesday, 2004/07/14 – 17:28
    There was a company called Alpha Processor, Inc. that produced the chips. They even donated one of the alpha machines to Debian. I think they may have been a wholly owned subsidiary of DEC but I am not certain since they seem to no longer exist.
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    Subject: Especially given IA-32e
    Author: josh
    Date: Sunday, 2004/07/11 – 07:43
    I agree entirely, especially since there are two implementations of x86-64: IA-32e and AMD64.
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    Subject: Re: Especially given IA-32e
    Author: calc
    Date: Wednesday, 2004/07/14 – 09:50
    They are not implementations of x86-64. There is amd64 and em64t/ia32e (Intel uses two names for unknown reasons). The arch formerly introduced as x86-64 in 1999 was renamed to amd64 in 2003. amd64 is not a superset of x86-64, it is the same arch. So it would be correct to state that em64t/ia32e is an implementation of amd64.
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    Subject: they most certainly are the same
    Author: JoeBuck
    Date: Sunday, 2004/08/01 – 00:32
    Intel cloned AMD’s architecture. The differences are minor enough that it’s trivial to produce code that runs on both (and GCC does). GCC calls it x86-64 (or x86_64 when it appears in a string generated by config.guess, since hyphens divide the CPU architecture, OS vendor and OS name), as do all of the GNU tools. It’s a descriptive, vendor-neutral name.
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    Subject: technology neutral name
    Author: yeti-dn
    Date: Sunday, 2004/07/11 – 08:07
    It doesn’t matter. The rest of world doesn’t care i386 contains Intel’s i either. It’s just a notation and as such it will — after some time — inevitable produce people knowing amd64 but not knowing what amd was.

    And IA-32 is far from being vendor neutral, I can still see the Intel there.

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    Subject: except that Debian is diverging from GNU
    Author: JoeBuck
    Date: Tuesday, 2004/07/13 – 22:52
    The GNU tools use x86_64 (it has to be an underscore rather than a dash, so that the target triplets that configure works off of function correctly). That means that gcc, glibc, binutils, etc. are all choosing a different name. There’s no good reason for Debian to choose a different name; x86-64 or x86_64 would be better.
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    Subject: History Lesson
    Author: calc
    Date: Wednesday, 2004/07/14 – 09:47
    The arch was initially called “x86-64” by AMD in ~ 1999. In 2003 when they finally had chips to release the arch name was officially changed to “AMD64”. AMD64 is not a superset of x86-64, it is x86-64, the name of the arch was changed. Since Linux and the gnu tools had been in development much before that time using simulators they stuck with the naming of x86_64. Pretty much all Linux dists (except Fedora) and all the BSDs use the current arch name which is “AMD64”.
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