Getting a handle on caching
Posted May 21, 2008 2:40 UTC (Wed) by giraffedata
In reply to: Getting a handle on caching
Parent article: Getting a handle on caching
The weakness of MTRR is that there are only 7 or 8 of them.
And a whole bunch are initially set up by the bios (usually 6 or 7, sometimes more)..... and
those are both needed and untouchable.
Again, it's confusing to say that the fact some are initially set up by the BIOS is a problem. The fact that they're needed and untouchable is the problem, and it would be regardless of who set them up. So if you really want to explain why MTRRs are in short supply, you have to give an idea of what those 6 or 7 are for.
Are SMM mode and suspend/resume etc. etc. BIOS functions? If so, I guess the clear way to say it is that a whole bunch are used by the BIOS.
BTW, I found on my system, I had to free up some MTRRs by combining ranges, making a few more uncacheable pages than there would ideally be. A big reason all 8 were used is that each one must cover a power of two size block of memory, so it takes 5 registers to describe 31 pages of memory, but only one register to describe 32 pages.
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