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Assembly Language

Book Title : How to Optimize for the Pentium Microprocessors
eBook download format(s) : htm
Author(s) : Agner Fog
Section : Assembly Language
Book Review:

Book Description
This manual describes in detail how to write optimized code, with particular focus on the Intel Pentium« family of microprocessors and the assembly language.

Most of the information found inside this manual are based on the author's own research. This manual is therefore more accurate, detailed, comprehensive and exact than other sources of information; and it contains many details not found anywhere else. This information will enable readers in many cases to calculate exactly how many clock cycles a piece of code will take.

There is no claim, though, that all information in this manual are exact. Some timings etc. can be difficult or impossible to measure exactly, and the writing process saw no access to the inside information on technical implementations that the writers of Intel manuals have.

Some disagreement were found with data published by Intel. Reasons for this discrepancy might be that Intel data are theoretical while data gathered in this manual are obtained experimentally under a particular set of testing conditions. It is possible that different testing conditions may lead to different results.

Some of the remarks in this manual may seem like a criticism of Intel. This should not be taken to mean that other brands are better. The Pentium family of microprocessors are better documented and have better testability features. For these reasons, no competing brand has been subjected to the same level of independent research (like the one in this manual) by anybody else. Therefore there is no conclusion of which brand is the best.

Intended Audience
Programming in assembly language is much more difficult than high-level language. Making bugs is very easy, and finding them is very difficult. It is assumed that the reader is already experienced in assembly programming. If not, then the reader is suggested to read some books on the subject and get some programming experience before doing complicated optimizations.

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