Tag Archives: x86

not enough cpus

I found an interesting reference that indicates that for x86, the maximum number of CPUs the Linux kernel can handle is 255. I’d presume that it’s the same for Windows.

I’m curious – right now this is a rather large limit: but it won’t be for long! 16 core CPUs are available from AMD today. I see motherboards that will support 4 sockets (there may be some that go higher). That’s a total of 64 CPUs visible to the OS.

With AMD and Intel pushing the number of cores ever higher, how soon will we hit the practical limits of the x86-64 architecture – or is the limit of 255 not a “core” limitation of the architecture?

I’m curious to find this out – and to see how vendors will handle these upcoming limitations.