Category Archives: Intel

Where’s Intel When You Need Them?

As readers of this blog know, I’m a long-time happy user of Intel desktop boards. I’ve now been using Intel boards for my main machine continuously for over 15 years (D865PERL, DG965RY, DQ67OW, DQ77CP); I have some fond and some … Continue reading

Posted in Intel, PC hardware | 14 Comments

A Piece of History

A few months ago I received a well-used but not abused copy of Rakesh K. Agarwal’s book 80×86 Architecture and Programming (Volume II): Architecture Reference, published by Prentice Hall in 1991. This is an unusually well-informed book, no doubt because … Continue reading

Posted in 386, Books, Cyrix, Intel, PC architecture, PC history | 6 Comments

ICEBP Finally Documented

After more than 30 years, Intel finally documented the INT1 instruction, also known as ICEBP (opcode F1h), in the latest (May 2018, -067) edition of the SDM. This was probably forced by security concerns, because from a security standpoint, having … Continue reading

Posted in 386, Documentation, Intel, Undocumented | 14 Comments

Undocumented RDTSC

The other day I wrote a simple DOS program which used the RDTSC instruction in order to obtain precise time measurements (of how long it takes a PS/2 keyboard to send data; more about that some other time). The 16-bit … Continue reading

Posted in Documentation, Intel, Pentium | 15 Comments

Undocumented 8086 Opcodes, Part I

This is a guest post by Raúl Gutiérrez Sanz This multi-part document is about undocumented 8086 processor opcodes and their behavior. Most of the document will likely apply to the 8088 processor as well, but this has not been verified. … Continue reading

Posted in 8086/8088, Intel, Undocumented | 13 Comments

How Apple Created Hackintosh, Part II

There is every indication that throughout the early 2000s, Apple internally built and ran all of OS X on x86 PCs (it’s also something Steve Jobs himself mentioned in 2005). Otherwise why would Apple have x86 drivers for AC’97 audio … Continue reading

Posted in Apple, Intel, OS X, PC history, Pre-release | 10 Comments

HTT Means Hyper-Threading, Right?

In a logical, ordered world, the HTT bit in CPUID would indicate a processor with Hyper-Threading Technology enabled. But of course the world with Intel inside is anything but logical. The actual meaning of the HTT bit changed several times … Continue reading

Posted in Documentation, Intel, Pentium 4 | 13 Comments

How Apple Created Hackintosh, Part I

At a developer conference in June 2005, Apple announced that OS X will transition from PowerPC to Intel processors. The first Intel Macs (sometimes nicknamed “Mactels”) were introduced several months later, in January 2006. The announcement generated significant interest in … Continue reading

Posted in Apple, Intel, PC history, Pre-release | 10 Comments

SYSENTER, Where Are You?

It has only recently been brought to my attention that Intel’s SYSENTER/SYSEXIT instructions have rather unusual past, and their origin is shrouded in mystery and confusion. One facet of the usage of these instructions is also a little unorthodox. Depending … Continue reading

Posted in Intel, PC history, Undocumented | 23 Comments

SGDT/SIDT Fiction and Reality

PSA: Actual hardware behavior takes precedence over vendor documentation. Or, as they say… trust but verify. A reader recently complained how Intel and AMD do not implement the SGDT and SIDT instructions the same way. AMD documentation states that these … Continue reading

Posted in 286, 386, AMD, Documentation, Intel | 39 Comments