Friday, 17 Aug 2018

figuring out CPU capabilities

I recently got an IBM eserver xseries 226 from somebody, they only do HP in that shop, and it was a leftover from a takeover they did a little while back. Since he wasn’t going to use it, he gave it to me. Thanks a lot buddy! 🙂

After some investigation, I found out it had the following specs:

  • 512MB DDR2 ECC (pc-3200)
  • 3x 146GB SCSI320 hard disks (raid-5 configuration)
  • a XEON CPU (it has one, but room for two)
  • gigabit Ethernet (broadcom chip)
  • PCI-E and PCI-X slots
  • An IBM Raid controller with battery backed cache.

Okay, since I wanted to install FreeBSD on it, I immediately downloaded 6.2, and installed it. But right after that, I was wondering, is this a XEON that does EM64T (or as intel likes to call it now: intel64)? It wasn’t easy to find out. IBM sells these boxes with both a normal 3.0 GHz and a 3.0GHz that does EM64T. Normaly, I would just check what FreeBSD writes in /var/run/dmesg.boot. It said the following:

CPU: Intel(R) Xeon(TM) CPU 3.00GHz (3000.12-MHz 686-class CPU)
Origin = “GenuineIntel”  Id = 0xf34  Stepping = 4  Features=0xbfebfbff<FPU,VME,DE,PSE,TSC,MSR,PAE,MCE,CX8,APIC,SEP,MTRR,PGE,MCA,CMOV,PAT,PSE36,CLFLUSH,DTS,ACPI,MMX,FXSR,SSE,SSE2,SS,HTT,TM,PBE>
Features2=0x641d<SSE3,RSVD2,MON,DS_CPL,CNXT-ID,CX16,xTPR>
AMD Features=0x20000000<LM>
Logical CPUs per core: 2

Mmm, no sign of anything 64-bit there. But that line with AMD features did turn me a little suspicious.
A little asking around on #fifo didn’t yield any results either, but then I found a cute little tool called cpuid in /usr/ports/misc/cpuid. And guess what that one came up with:

Extended feature flags: 20000000:
EM64T Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology

So yay! I got myself a 64-bit capable XEON 🙂 (now to reinstall the box with the amd64 version of FreeBSD).

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