What is x86: Definition and 14 Discussions

x86 (also known as 80x86 or the 8086 family) is a family of complex instruction set computer (CISC) instruction set architectures initially developed by Intel based on the Intel 8086 microprocessor and its 8088 variant. The 8086 was introduced in 1978 as a fully 16-bit extension of Intel's 8-bit 8080 microprocessor, with memory segmentation as a solution for addressing more memory than can be covered by a plain 16-bit address. The term "x86" came into being because the names of several successors to Intel's 8086 processor end in "86", including the 80186, 80286, 80386 and 80486 processors.
The term is not synonymous with IBM PC compatibility, as this implies a multitude of other computer hardware. Embedded systems and general-purpose computers used x86 chips before the PC-compatible market started, some of them before the IBM PC (1981) debut.
As of June 2022, most desktop and laptop computers sold are based on the x86 architecture family, while mobile categories such as smartphones or tablets are dominated by ARM. At the high end, x86 continues to dominate computation-intensive workstation and cloud computing segments. The fastest supercomputer in the TOP500 list for June 2022 was the first exascale system, Frontier, built using AMD Epyc CPUs based on the x86 ISA; it broke the 1 exaFLOPS barrier in May 2022.

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  1. Dex_

    Apple's new ARM CPUs vs, classic x86 for physics?

    Hi it's my first post here! I'm in my second year of my degree and looking to replace my computer. The new M-series chips seem like a better deal, however I am nervous that some software that might not be compatible with the ARM architecture. For more context on my workflow I do quite a bit of...
  2. U

    Comp Sci X86 NASM reading from the terminal and writing back to the terminal

    cpu 8086 segment code ..start mov ax,data mov ds,ax mov ax,stack mov ss,ax mov sp,dno mov es, ax start_2 mov ah, 0x0a mov dx, buffer int 21h cmp al, 0 je print_lines inc word [count] mov si, buffer mov di, line mov cx, 100...
  3. Stephanus

    X86 Protected Mode: Advantages, Process Protection & Memory Protection

    Dear PF Forum, What does "Protected mode" means in x86 architecture? I try to understand this, but failed. This is the "Protected Mode" advantages from http://prodebug.sourceforge.net/pmtut.html#Advantages that I read: - Access to 4 gigabytes of memory - Virtual memory - Address translation -...
  4. Psinter

    I'm having a problem Booting Windows 8 x86 through USB and UEFI

    My friend just let his computer fall to the ground and something appeared to have happened to the hard drive. While the hard drive it's not making terrible sounds (unlike another one I'm fixing as well because it's owner formidably hit it with his arm while he was alseep... accidentally of...
  5. perplexabot

    X86 assembly procedure prologue help.

    Hey all, I was doing a bit of reading and ran into the following code (this is a function prologue for a main function, if you need more code or the actual C code let me know): push ebp mov ebp, esp sub esp, 0x18 and esp, 0xblackf0 mov eax, 0x0 sub esp, eax So I understand the...
  6. W

    X86 Assembly Calling Another Function

    1. firstFunction (parameters has an input and an output){ (ebx holds the input, ecx holds the output) ... mov eax, 1 push ebx call factorial pop ebx ... } factorial(unsigned int n){ push ebx mul ebx } 3. I...
  7. W

    Understanding X86 Assembly Parameters: Reading from the Stack vs. Elsewhere

    1. I need help understanding how to read the parameters from the stack and not from anywhere else. In addition, what is difference between reading from the stack and somewhere else? For example, if the parameters had this: logicUnit(unsigned long int value, unsigned long int flags, unsigned...
  8. W

    Understanding X86 Assembly dword ptr & 'and' Commands

    1. I'm stuck on understand two lines of code because I don't really understand how the command (dword ptr and 'and') works. array = {40, 86, 10, 14, 68, 25, 50, 7, 9} int method(int array[]) { __asm{ mov ebx, 0 mov esi, array (there is a loop that goes around ten times before...
  9. E

    Powerpc vs itanium vs x86 performance

    hi, is there a reason that powerpc and itanium have been unable to outperform the x86? apple had the g3, g4, g5 and at times claimed powerpc and risc outforms the pentium, and intel itself bet that itanium epic would outperform the x86, and have lower power consumption and replace the x86...
  10. E

    Why is x86 called otherwise disastrous X86 architecture and doex x64 improve?

    why is x86 called "otherwise disastrous X86 architecture" and doex x64 improve? why is x86 called "otherwise disastrous X86 architecture" and doex x64 improve? for example, http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2007/12/01/floating-point-bugs-explode but i have heard many claims...
  11. C

    Exploring the World of Assembly Language Programming: A Forum Discussion

    Just curious about how many forum members use assembler programming, and: 1. what sort of assembler they may use, 2. the pros and cons of various assemblers, 3. capability of assemblers vs HLL's, 4. their thoughts on 16 vs 32 bit, 5. and why they may use assemblers at all? Chris
  12. F

    Comparing RISC vs x86 for Gaming Performance

    This was brought up in another thread but I believe it derserves it's own. When comparing a game on the MAC and on a PC most gamers will say the PC performs better. However most consoles are based in the same processor that the MAC has. Even Xbox is changing from Pentium to POWER in their...
  13. dduardo

    Is Democratic Reality the Key to Truth?

    This is very exciting news. When OX X 10.5 Leopard comes out I'm definitely going to get a copy. Woot Woot ! There is no way Microsoft can compete. Apple has dehorned Longhorn.
  14. O

    Find a Dada Engine for x86: Free & Open Source

    If you don't know what the Dada engine is, here is a link to the original. I am looking for a version of this, or a comparable program (in function and quality), that will run on an x86 machine. Actually, I would ideally want to get my hands on a script version that accesses a dictionary...