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Yesterday when I turned off the splash of Ubuntu, I saw some interesting messages were printed on the screen when the system was booting.

xor: automatically using best checksumming function: pIII_sse

  pIII_sse  :  5651.000 MB/sec

I did search google, but I still couldn't find what pIII_sse definitely is.

I know it's a checksuming function, so what it is checksuming for? What does 5651.000 MB/sec mean?

And I use athlon, why kernel uses pIII_sse?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

It's referring to the assembly language implementation; the checksumming function's result is the same in all cases. In this case, it means the version originally written for the Pentium 3 using the SSE extended instruction set.

The speed printed is the average number of megabytes of data it can pass to the checksumming function per second, a measure of the function's efficiency.

(And the kernel tries all the versions it knows about and uses the one with the highest MB/s; this doesn't necessarily mean one named after your particular CPU. It is, after all, in AMD's best interests to be at least as fast as the equivalent Intel CPU.)

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Thank you:) Is there any other checksuming functions? For example, the one is written for AMD CPU? –  Vayn Jul 4 '11 at 0:21
    
Not counting the generic versions, for 32-bit x86 there is also p5_mmx and pII_mmx (both of which target older instruction set extensions compared to pIII_sse). Presumably AMD CPUs are served well enough by these three assembly implementations not to need a custom implementation. –  James Henstridge Jul 4 '11 at 1:28
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