Windows 10: Kernel Question Intel vs AMD

Discus and support Kernel Question Intel vs AMD in Windows 10 Drivers and Hardware to solve the problem; Good Afternoon All, I have been on W10 since it's beginning. I came from 14 years in the Linux world. In Linux, we were able to build kernels... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Drivers and Hardware' started by dcbdbis, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. dcbdbis Win User

    Kernel Question Intel vs AMD

    Good Afternoon All,

    I have been on W10 since it's beginning. I came from 14 years in the Linux world. In Linux, we were able to build kernels specifically for an Intel or an AMD CPU to take advantage of all the hardware features of a given CPU family.

    Now we don't build kernels for Windows - but - does W10 use a different kernel if it is installed on an AMD CPU vs an Intel CPU?

    Or is the entire W10 kernel a generic x86_64 build without CPU specific optimizations? Or something else? I am ignorant on how W10's kernel takes advantage of a given CPU's hardware features, and would like to replace my ignorance with knowledge.

    Google is not coming up with any answers.



    dcbdbis, Jan 16, 2018

  2. Windows 10 Home 64 Inaccessible Boot Device after update


    AMD64 is the name for the 64-bit instruction set the x64 Windows runs on. It just happens to be AMD who invented the 64-bit x86 instruction set. It is unrelated to the AMD vs Intel CPU hardware.

    Rolando Vil, Jan 16, 2018

    Hi Elliot. I'm Greg, an installation specialist and 8 year Windows MVP, here to help you.

    I'd just sort my files into their User folders and then copy or drag them to an external or flash stick, then reverse the process on the new PC. This is easier and less risky. Just make sure they all copy before going to the next User folder. Or you can copy
    the entire User folder. But you don't want to reimport the hidden AppData files because those defeat the purpose of a fresh new PC.

    Take your time setting it up and reinstall your programs slowly over time to see how they affect performance.

    HP makes great hardware but the factory install is the worst in the industry, larded with bloatware like utilities that duplicate and cause issues with better versions built into Windows. I would uninstall anything that came preinstalled you don't need or want,
    especially the bloated anti-virus it will try to get you to pay money for. Use built-in Defender which always offers best Windows performance with least issues, and is from Microsoft who knows how to protect their OS best.

    Then go over this checklist to make sure the install is set up correctly, optimized for best performance, and any needed repairs get done:

    Start with Step 4 to turn off Startup freeloaders which can conflict and cause issues, then Step 7 to check for infection the most thorough way, then step 10 to check for damaged System Files. Then continue with the other steps to go over your install most

    There is also an automated Refresh that reinstalls WIndows while shedding corrupting factory bloatware, saves your files, but doesn't clear the drive to get it cleanest:

    I hope this helps. Feel free to ask back any questions and let us know how it goes. I will keep working with you until it's resolved.
    Greg Carmack - Windows MVP, Jan 16, 2018
  4. CountMike New Member

    Kernel Question Intel vs AMD

    I don't think so, I changed disks with same windows installation form AMD to Intel and other way round so many times and it mostly worked if drivers were available.
    CountMike, Jan 17, 2018
  5. I don't know exactly how the Windows kernel components are built but I'm assuming that they are compiled with Microsoft's own compiler.

    Most likely they use generic optimizations for all CPUs. Any performance-dependent code, of which I don't know if there's any in the kernel itself, could use runtime detection of the CPU.

    PolarNettles, Jan 17, 2018
  6. dcbdbis Win User
    Thank You for the info.

    dcbdbis, Jan 17, 2018
  7. LMiller7 Win User
    I very much doubt there is a separate kernel for Intel and AMD processors. Maintaining multiple versions of the kernel introduces complications that developers would prefer to avoid.

    This is not to say that the kernel is unaware of the differences between Intel and AMD or the special features each has to offer. They are very compatible at the application level but are far from being clones of each other. There are significant differences which must be handled differently.

    When the system boots the kernel detects whether the CPU is Intel or AMD and the special features of each. Modern CPUs provide extensive facilities for this purpose. Even within Intel and AMD there are important details such as the number of cores, whether or not Hyperthreading is enabled, and much more. As far as possible the differences would be confined to the portions of the kernel where these differences matter. This allows most of the kernel to be identical for the different CPUs. I have noticed that in Windows 7 there are amdppm.sys and intelppm files that are loaded as appropriate.

    Prior to Vista there was a separate kernel for single and multicore CPUs. The multicore kernel would work with a single core but the single core kernel was optimized for this. But by the time Vista was released the differences had largely disappeared and single core systems were much less common so the single core kernel was dropped.

    Do understand that some this is guesses based on what I have read over the years. Don't expect to see much official documentation regarding this. Some things are best left undocumented. Once something is documented developers will take advantage of it and that makes it very difficult to make changes without breaking compatibility.
    LMiller7, Jan 17, 2018
  8. dcbdbis Win User

    Kernel Question Intel vs AMD



    I understand. Linux and Windows are worlds apart - and considering that Linux is devolving (from my perspective as a 61 year old sys admin), I just got tired of fighting with it - especially since SystemD screwed myself, and a bunch of my clients servers - who are now running Windows server 2012 R2.

    W10 is being good to me, after I remove the juvenile junk from it that is. It does what I need it to do and I don't have to fight with it.

    Thank You very much for your post.


    dcbdbis, Jan 17, 2018
  9. CountMike New Member
    There must be separate kernel for phones and other portable devices though.
    CountMike, Jan 17, 2018
  10. EdTittel Win User
    My go-to reference for this kind of stuff comes from Mark Russinovich and a rotating passel of co-authors -- namely, Windows Internals (Part 1, 7th edition, in this case). Here's a diagram of what it calls a simplified Windows architecture that shows the kernel. None of the attendant discussion or other sources I can find talk about creating different kernel versions. All that stuff is handled by the HAL and Device Drivers, as far as I can tell.

    Kernel Question Intel vs AMD [​IMG]
    EdTittel, Jan 17, 2018
  11. jimbo45 Win User
    Hi there

    actually if you stick to the 3 major Linux distros used by professional Internet providers and cloud servers used over the world you'll probably find 3 incredibly stable versions where networking runs just fine and maintenance is considerably easier than any Windows system I've ever laid my hands on including W10 ---they are READ HAT (nr 1) with its CENTOS open source off shoot, SUSE with its off shoot OPENSUSE and UBUNTU / debian derivatives. These work 100% for enterprises and if you don't want latest and greatest newest stuff then all are fine and current releases of all 3 have long term support until around 2022.

    They work fine on Desktop or home as Nas server OS'es too. Things like Linux Mint etc are great for testing new hardware / software but with any bleeding edge technology you will come up against problems - but great strength of Linux is the open source nature so literally 100,000;s of developers / hobbyists from around the world can work on problems -- of course this is not without risk which is why businesses go for the "big 3". Even Ms cloud services uses Red Hat infrastructure and it has people in its own service sector who work on this -- not everybody in Ms works on Windows. !!

    That said Windows is still fantastic for desktops -- just think of all the different hardware and software thrown at it that just works --- I'll bet there's a few Linux admins around when trying to sort out a piece of hardware plug it into windows to see what it says -- C'mon guys be honest !!!!. Windows Networking though IMO was and still is a dog -- but you can't have everything.

    main difference is that Linux kernel is highly modular where modules can be dynamically inserted / removed (depmod etc etc) so can easily be compiled for different hardware - whereas windows is a bit more integrated.

    What I suspect is that some sort of "meta code" is designed to design the OS in Windows and then this is re-compiled to take specific advantage of the particular items of hardware being used. Linux has another advantage over windows in that a user can't run any privileged code - sudo or root user only can do that whereas in Windows even if a user can'r execute certain commands you can (if you know how) cause "privileged" programs to run which can wreak all sorts of havoc. Also Windows programs can (although they shouldn't) directly access hardware without using published api's (application interfaces) and can access memory too which is often where hacks start from..

    jimbo45, Jan 18, 2018
  12. dcbdbis Win User

    Thank you for your post. I do appreciate it.

    I've done a lot of custom kernels for proprietary hardware to include device drivers I wrote. I am very familiar with Linux/FreeBSD kernels - and the CPU optimizations I can pass to GCC/CLANG. I am not familiar with Windows - thus my post.

    SystemD caused my clients too many issues, and caused me too much time remedying issues that SystemD caused. For technical reasons all over the web that I will not rehash here - I will not use it.

    Until SystemD goes away, I will not install Linux on a clients machine again. I am so finished with it. It caused me way too much frustration. I do not appreciate an "init" system shutting down a daemon that I launched without warning. I don't like alarm calls @ 03:00 in the AM.

    Linux - Nope - I am done with it.


    dcbdbis, Apr 5, 2018

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