4.2. Architectures and Processors

4.2.1. Does FreeBSD support architectures other than the x86?
4.2.2. Does FreeBSD support Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP)?
4.2.3. What is microcode? How do I install Intel® CPU microcode updates?

4.2.1.

Does FreeBSD support architectures other than the x86?

Yes. FreeBSD divides support into multiple tiers. Tier 1 architectures, such as i386 or amd64; are fully supported. Tiers 2 and 3 are supported on an if-possible basis. A full explanation of the tier system is available in the Committer's Guide.

A complete list of supported architectures can be found on the platforms page.

4.2.2.

Does FreeBSD support Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP)?

FreeBSD supports symmetric multi-processor (SMP) on all non-embedded platforms (e.g, i386, amd64, etc.). SMP is also supported in arm and MIPS kernels, although some CPUs may not support this. FreeBSD's SMP implementation uses fine-grained locking, and performance scales nearly linearly with number of CPUs.

smp(4) has more details.

4.2.3.

What is microcode? How do I install Intel® CPU microcode updates?

Microcode is a method of programmatically implementing hardware level instructions. This allows for CPU bugs to be fixed without replacing the on board chip.

Install sysutils/devcpu-data, then add:

microcode_update_enable="YES"

to /etc/rc.conf

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