Understanding and Choosing CPUs

The Linux kernel was originally written for the Intel 80386 (or ยก386) CPU. This CPU is part of a family of CPUs known as the 80x86, x86, or Intel Architecture 32 (IA-32) family. These CPUs all have similar capabilities and run more-or-less the same programs, although there are exceptions to this rule. Other architectures are available, though, and Linux runs on many of them. If you're planning to buy a new computer, you may want to consider some of these alternatives to the ubiquitous IA-32 systems. First, I'll explain the architectures of the most popular desktop computer CPUs, followed by some tips on choosing the right CPU for your needs.

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