[arch-dev-public] Processor Generation++

Simo Leone simo at archlinux.org
Mon Mar 17 03:26:42 EDT 2008

Let's start off by saying that this is just me floating an idea out there,
it's not so serious (yet...).

I've been toying around with the idea of starting to build our
packages with --march=pentium2 instead of i686. This would mean that our
binaries would make use of the MMX instruction set, and that our
packages would no longer run on PentiumPro or older processors.

My logic here is that we are comitted to being a bleeding edge distro,
so I think it very much fits our philosophy to phase out older
processor families when they are hardly used anymore. Intel hasn't
manufactured PentiumPro's since roughly 1998. The number of users
running Arch on 10-year-old boxes must be something very close to zero,
so I don't think we'd be disappointing anyone. Also making use of the
MMX instruction set would give our multimedia apps a boost, and might
make some other software inperceptibly snappier (gogo placebo effect!).

What do you guys think?

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