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  1. #1
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    Default What does it mean?

    Hi, Please could you educate me? Just a simple question but hope I've come to the right place? Please excuse me if I haven't. With the Windows XP, and Windows 7 programmes, their title is 'windows 7 x86, or windows XP x86 ....silly question sorry but....what does the 'x86' bit represent? Please can you advise? Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Member abseh1's Avatar
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    x86 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    x86 ....is a series of computer microprocessor instruction set architectures[2] based on the Intel 8086 CPU.

    The 8086 was introduced during 1978 as a fully 16-bit extension of Intel's 8-bit based 8080 microprocessor and also introduced memory segmentation to overcome the 16-bit addressing barrier of such designs.

    The term x86 derived from the fact that early successors to the 8086 also had names ending with "86".

    Many additions and extensions have been added to the x86 instruction set over the years, almost consistently with full backward compatibility.[3] The architecture has been implemented in processors from Intel, Cyrix, Advanced Micro Devices, VIA, and many other companies.
    In summary it is just a way to ID a series of computer microprocessors ...calling them x86 series

    Note: X86 series are all backward compatible...thus you can use x86 with WinXP and Win 7

    BTW: No silly questions....I had to look it up....I was well aware of the term....but never had to explain it

    The term is not synonymous with IBM PC compatibility ....I always assumed it was..thanks I learned something too

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    Last edited by abseh1; 09-28-2012 at 08:38 AM.
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    Member Digerati's Avatar
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    I think today, x86 is used to signify 32-bit architectures, but even that is confusing. If you are running 64-bit Windows, you will see on your boot drive two folders, Program Files (x86) and Program Files. The former is where the 32-bit programs are installed by default.

    The term is not synonymous with IBM PC compatibility ....
    Yeah, the original IBM PC came out before 32-bit, so it is not synonymous. I have also seen it associated with the term, Wintel computer but it is not really that either.

    Clear as mud, huh?
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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    Bill

    Right ...clear as mud

    the term x86-64 (or x64) is often used to denote 64-bit software, with the term x86 implying only 32-bit.
    The architecture has been implemented in processors from Intel, Cyrix, Advanced Micro Devices, VIA, and many other companies.

    mike
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