Microsoft Versus
Dissecting Microsoft | Directory

Microsoft Windows & Linux/Unix Supported Processors

Linux supports a much larger range of processors.

Microsoft Windows NT

Microsoft Windows 2000 Pro

Microsoft Windows XP Pro

Linux kernel v2.4

Maximum Supported Processors for Symmetric Multi-Processing (Per Computer)

Microsoft Windows

Each version of Windows within each family (2000, XP) comes with the same kernel and related software, but is limited by settings. The OS is effectively crippled to support less processors if a smaller licensing fee is paid.

GNU/Linux 2.4

64-bit Server Processor Architectures

Architecture Type Current Server OS Support History Future
Intel IA-64(Itanium) EPIC Linux, Microsoft Windows, HP-UX, HP NonStop, BSD, Runs Win32 at reduced speed Launched in 2001, but seen as disappointing. Much improved Itanium 2 ("McKinley") launched in 2002 Architecture designed to last until 2020. Future dual-cored versions incorporate HP-PA technology
AMB x86-64(Opteron, Athlon64) CISC Linux now, Windows planned, Runs Win32 at full speed Opteron launched April 2003, aimed at high-end and mid-range servers May bring 64-bit computing to the masses when Athlon64 is launched
IBM Power RISC Linux, IBM AIX, IBM z/OS, IBM VSE Designed in 1990s for IBM mainframes. Latest dual-core Power4 also used in servers Power5 due soon. Architecture also incorporated into PowerPC 970 chips for lower-end servers and Apple Macs
HP Alpha RISC Linux, HP-UX, BSD Developed by DEC in 1980s. Latest EV-7 still used in high-end servers New version (EV-9) due in 2004. Then, migrate to Itanium
HP Precision Architecture (PA) RISC Linux, HP-UX, HP NonStop Developed by HP in 1990s. Latest dual-core 8800 used in mainframes New version (8900) due in 2005. Then, migrate to Itanium
Sun UltraSPARC RISC Sun Solaris, Linux, BSD Developed in 1990s as proprietary system, UltraSPARC III now open Dual-core UltraSPARC IV due later in 2003, UltraSPARC V planned
Copyright © 2004-2007 Matthew Schwartz