Windows reports AMD on Intel hardware

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 3 July 2007 / Last Updated on 3 July 2007]

How Windows reports 64-bit hardware.

So you buy a nice, new 64-bit Intel EM64T box and you install Windows Server 2003 64-bit Enterprise Edition on it. Then you happen to be browsing the registry and find PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE under HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment and notice that it has the value AMD64 instead of EM64T. What’s going on?

Well, it turns out (for somewhat mysterious reasons) that *all* 64-bit hardware on which you install Windows Server 2003 displays AMD64 as the processor architecture, regardless of whether it’s x86-64, x64, AMD64, EM64T or whatever. So don’t get confused and think that Intel has suddenly been acquired by AMD!

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Mitch Tulloch was lead author for the Windows Vista Resource Kit from Microsoft Press, which is THE book for IT pros who want to deploy, maintain and support Windows Vista in mid- and large-sized network environments. For more information see www.mtit.com.

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