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PCstats Q & A - Dual-core conundrum - PCstats.com PCstats Q & A - Dual-core conundrum
Tue, June 21 2005 | 2:34PM | PermaLink Feedback?

Our tenth Q & A of the week comes from James via the PCstats reader feedback page . If you have a question you need answered right away, try our friendly forums for help too.

Q: Your dualcore article was very informative, and I liked your point on AMD keeping the motherboards the same for upgrades. My question for comparison is, will the AMD chips still be 32/64 bit software compatible, and will intel change from 64bit only to 32/64 bit? That would seem to be an important factor when looking at the price differences. thanks for any info on this.

A: To answer your questions: 1) yes, dual core Athlon 64 CPUs are still fully compatible with 32-bit applications, just like the single core processors, and 2) The Pentium 4 processors that Intel has added EMT64 abilities to were originally designed as 32-bit only; EMT64 adds 64-bit registers and compatibility. The 64-bit only Intel processors are the Itanium line, which are not directly x68 or x86-64 compatible. There is a separate 64-bit edition of Windows Server which works with Itanium processors only, and has been available for a while. As far as I know, Intel has no plans to merge these seperate product streams, and the Itanium (Itanic?) may well sink out of sight in the next few years.

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