CPU architectures are still most of the time communicated in terms of "x86" and "x64" as opposed to numbers of bits. I have an idea as to why this is, but I'm not entirely sure. I'd like to ask if there is a single answer or multiple possible answers, and if so, what it/they is/are.

Is this type of question on-topic for Super User? If not, what site would this be appropriate for?

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    the only site that doesn't allow that kind of question is stackexchange sites.. any other tech forum would permit it. – barlop Jun 9 '15 at 17:25
  • Helps if you make the question you want to ask clear – Ramhound Jun 9 '15 at 22:38
  • AT Ramhound. I don't know if you are trying to say that you find something unclear, but if you're going to say that, then say what it is you find unclear. You talk about what helps.. you write "Helps if you make the question you want to ask clear" Well, yeah it does. And it helps if you state what it is you think is unclear. – barlop Jun 9 '15 at 23:21
  • Might be something that would work great in chat IMI – Journeyman Geek Jun 10 '15 at 0:01
  • @barlop: Yeah, I don't fully get why that is... – user402879 Jun 10 '15 at 3:39
  • @Ramhound: I was pretty clear with what I wanted to ask. I was very direct with it. So, what are you talking about? – user402879 Jun 10 '15 at 3:40
  • @JourneymanGeek: Thanks. I'm not too familar with chat on SE sites, so I'll just probably try an external source or something. Thanks, anyway. – user402879 Jun 10 '15 at 3:41
  • @SarahofGaia: Its pretty simple - and quite a lot of the more interesting, vaguely off topic conversations happen there. root access is the main room for this site, and we're a friendly bunch. – Journeyman Geek Jun 10 '15 at 3:47
  • Cool. Thanks, I'll check it out. đź‘Ť – user402879 Jun 10 '15 at 3:52
  • @SarahofGaia - You don't even say what your question would be, thus, what you want to know would be a good question wasn't clear to me – Ramhound Jun 10 '15 at 10:44
  • @Ramhound: Oh, that question. I thought you meant the question I was asking here in meta. Sorry about that. – user402879 Jun 10 '15 at 18:52
  • @SarahofGaia - I am saying this question. Its not clear what you wanted to know, would be a good question, I have read it multiple times and still have no clue. I know it has something to do with computer architectures, and why they are named they way there are, but that seems like a question for a forum not a Q&A website. – Ramhound Jun 10 '15 at 18:56
  • @Ramhound: - "CPU architectures are still most of the time communicated in terms of "x86" and "x64" as opposed to numbers of bits." In other words, most people tend to call CPU architectures as "x86" or "x64" instead of "32-bit" and "64-bit", respectively, instead – user402879 Jun 10 '15 at 19:12
  • @Ramhound: - "I have an idea as to why this is, but I'm not entirely sure ..." In other words, before asking this question, I already had an idea as to why the above might be the case. However, as I said, "I'm not entirely sure". – user402879 Jun 10 '15 at 19:12
  • @Ramhound: - "I'd like to ask if there is a single answer or multiple possible answers ..." This means that I would like to ask if there is 1 answer as to why the above is true or if there may be multiple things causing it. (And if it's not known for sure, then I'm fine with that answer, too.) – user402879 Jun 10 '15 at 19:12

Seems a little opinion-based to me.

Why are people calling a certain thing this way and not another?


I think the answer is this and that — am I right?

That's something I'd rather discuss on chat. Questions for the main site should be about actual problems that can be solved. Or, if you're asking for an explanation, it should be apparent that answers will be based on facts and not personal opionion.

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  • Aye, why do we call it this is not S.E. That does not mean it is not very interesting to know though. As a question it is very interesting. Just maybe not on S.E. – Hennes Jun 9 '15 at 17:37
  • It's not that interesting, we call them x86 and x86 because of the historical name of the products and the fact it's the x86 architecture and the x64 extension of the x86 architecture. – Ramhound Jun 9 '15 at 22:40
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    Aye. I know amd64 is the extention to x86. But there is a whole world of architectures (MIPS, Alfa, Arm, x86, M68K, ...) and a lot of different widths (e.g. a 68000 is a 16 bit CPU with 24 address lines and 32 bit internal registers). Those things can be both fun and confusing. – Hennes Jun 9 '15 at 22:55
  • @slhck: I was saying that I have an idea just as an aside. If you read on, you'll see I continued to say, "but I'm not entirely sure. I'd like to ask if there is a single answer or multiple possible answers, and if so, what it/they is/are." In other words, I was just saying I'm not entirely sure about my own personal speculations, and so that's why I'm asking here what others may think. – user402879 Jun 10 '15 at 3:44
  • @Hennes: That's why I asked here. I wasn't sure if it was on-topic. Isn't that part of what Meta sites are for? To help users find out if a topic is appropriate before they make the mistake of posting it? – user402879 Jun 10 '15 at 3:46
  • @Ramhound: Do you have a problem with being rude or something? Who cares if you don't find it interesting. The fact is I was asking because I find it interesting, and would like to know what others may think. Besides, just because you don't find it interesting doesn't mean others may not. Just because you don't find it interesting doesn't give you the right to insult me for posting. >:I – user402879 Jun 10 '15 at 3:46
  • @Hennes: That's quite interesting. Thank you. :) – user402879 Jun 10 '15 at 3:46
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    I'd also add, X86_64 is also called AMD_64 (by amd, and in linux, since they invented it) or EMT_64T by intel. Names are hugely arbitrary. IA32 was x86_32 but IA64 was itanium, an entirely different architecture (VLIW, as opposed to CISC or RISCy CISC). – Journeyman Geek Jun 10 '15 at 3:51
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    @SarahofGaia - I never once insulted you. I pointed out your question as written isn't clear and a discussion on why architectures are named they way they are is not that interesting. – Ramhound Jun 10 '15 at 10:44
  • @Ramhound: Exactly what I mean. Such a discussion wouldn't be interesting to you. But just as I would find it interesting and clearly Hennes seemed to have found it interested, others most certainly would. Maybe not a lot of people, but some would, and this question would be for them. Not every question is going to interest the majority, let alone everyone. So whether it's interesting or not is hardly relevant to whether or not it should be posted. (It sounded to me like you were saying it's not an interesting question, so it shouldn't bother being posted.) – user402879 Jun 10 '15 at 18:56
  • @SarahofGaia - Superuser isn't the place for discussion. The reason Intel calls their architecture x86 is because of their internal part numbers. iI still maintain I don't even know what the question, you wanted to know, if you should ask or not was. Hopefully it wasn't something explained in a wikipedia article. – Ramhound Jun 10 '15 at 19:00
  • I was using the word "discussion" loosely. I didn't mean it as a discussion. I just wanted to know if someone here knew why. – user402879 Jun 10 '15 at 19:14

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