Intrepid compatibility with C3 CPUs

Nick Hill nick at
Mon Sep 1 21:37:00 UTC 2008

> What should be 
> considered obsolete (mini itx boards with C3s are still for sale 
> so if Via have stopped building them 
> it can't have been long ago).

cmov was introduced:
By Intel: 1 Nov 1995. All Pentium Pro/P2 onwards
By AMD: Mid 1999 onwards with AMD K7 (Athlon/Duron)
AMD Geode line: 2005 onwards with Geode LX.
By VIA: Nehemiah cored C3 late 2002/early 2003 onwards.

The initial C3 processor was introduced in 2001 with support for cmov introduced 
early 2003, so I would imagine a large majority of C3 processors in circulation 
support cmov.

I am not suggesting whether or not kernels should be compiled to require cmov, 
but to give some handle on what proportion of x86 processors out there don't 
support the i686 instruction set.

I wouldn't be surprised if the proportion of machines currently in circulation 
people might want to install x86-32 ubuntu on, around 0.5-1% of CPUs lack cmov. 
Of that 0.5-1%, most may well be installed by experimenters seeing how far they 
can push the hardware. I and several friends certainly do that, but we have 
learned not to bother to try to do that with Ubuntu. Ubuntu is more mainstream. 
  Horses for courses. IMO, Mainstream users on the whole would probably have a 
bad experience of Ubuntu if using a processor with a power in the order of a 
P1/K6 etc. I would point anyone using a processor like that to a specialist 
distro such as "damn small linux", or just use the machine as a thin client to LTSP.

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