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Re: dual mode?

On  6 Feb, tko@westgac3.dragon.com wrote:
> I've been eyeing some multi-processor motherboards. After checking several web
> sites, I've come across a factiod that only Intel supports "dual mode". So,
> what is "dual mode"? And does one need "dual mode" to run Debian under SMP
> kernel option? Or can one use non-Intel processors?

I think this refers to the fact that these motherboards will work with
either one or two CPUs installed, but only when using Intel CPUs.  
When using non-Intel CPUs, only one will work.  This is due to the fact
that Intel has some proprietary interest in the multiprocessor
specification and refuses to license it to competitors; my guess is
that something in the spec is patented, because the competitors haven't
bothered to reverse engineer it, instead coming up with their own
specification for multi-CPU support.  Unfortunately, I have yet to hear
of a motherboard (or chipset!) that supports the other spec.  Bottom
line: if you want to run multiple CPUs, you need to use Intel.  I do
not know if Linux supports the other multiple CPU hardware spec, but
since there are no products available, the support would be purely
academic anyway.

As for what actually does work with Linux, anything that says Intel
MultiProcessor Spec  v1.1 or v1.4 should work.  There is a web page at
http://www.uk.linux.org/SMP/title.html which explains what does work.
Stephen Ryan                   Debian GNU/Linux
Mathematics graduate student, Dartmouth College

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