48 votes

How can I tell whether a DOS-looking exe. requires a 32-bit CPU to run?

Plain DOS executables, in either COM or MZ format, don’t provide this information in their headers (when there is one — COM format doesn’t have a header). The only reliable way to determine whether a ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
37 votes
Accepted

What was the rationale behind 32-bit computer architectures?

there some particular design theory or constraint that made a 32-bit word size attractive for IBM to migrate to? It all comes down to the most basic data type, addressing constrains and, less ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
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17 votes

How can I tell whether a DOS-looking exe. requires a 32-bit CPU to run?

There is no easy way. The original DOS "MZ" type executable header do not contain such information about what kind of code it contains or what CPU type it needs. It just contains a binary ...
Justme's user avatar
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9 votes

How can I tell whether a DOS-looking exe. requires a 32-bit CPU to run?

Is there some simple method for determining if a DOS binary (.exe or .dll) is 16-bit or 32-bit? For one, DOS doesn't know about 32 bit, it's a strict 16 bit system. Second, .DLL are not DOS ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
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9 votes

What is the most performant "32-bit only" x86 CPU?

Likely the 80376. None of the CPUs you list are "32-bit only" because they also support execution of 16-bit code.
pndc's user avatar
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6 votes

What was the rationale behind 32-bit computer architectures?

One small reason is that you can access memory as a bit array without needing to divide (or do a modulo). Just use the bottom N bits for the byte or word or data cache line position or shift, and the ...
hotpaw2's user avatar
  • 8,183
5 votes

What was the rationale behind 32-bit computer architectures?

Worthy of mention is the rise of the microprocessor- notably the 4004 which was designed for mostly numerical operation in calculators. Whether the step to 8 bit architecture was inevitable is open ...
Frog's user avatar
  • 1,385
2 votes

What is the most performant "32-bit only" x86 CPU?

You're likely to get a lot of debate on this: Athlon XPs had a tendency for better performance per clock than a Pentium 4 (really everything here does), especially if something wasn't making heavy use ...
davolfman's user avatar
  • 663
2 votes

How can I tell whether a DOS-looking exe. requires a 32-bit CPU to run?

Even within "16-bit mode", various 8086-compatible processors that have appeared over the years have extended the 8086 instruction set with instructions that weren't supported by earlier ...
supercat's user avatar
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1 vote

How can I tell whether a DOS-looking exe. requires a 32-bit CPU to run?

For reference, I am posting the .txt and .ini files from the exetype program. ********************************************************************* EXETYPE 1.0 is a tool to determine the nature of an ...
Tomas By's user avatar
  • 2,082
1 vote
Accepted

How can I tell whether a DOS-looking exe. requires a 32-bit CPU to run?

There is in the windows nt resource kit, a program called 'exetype'. The 3.1 version is a DOS program, while liter ones, like 3.51, is a win32 program. You type exetype filename.ext to get its type. ...
wendy.krieger's user avatar

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