On one of our internal HPC aliases an evangelist from Japan asked whether Visual Studio 2008 (VS) can optimize code for Barcelona. Barcelona as in the AMD processor, not the beautiful city of Gaudi in Catalonia, Spain.

Important question especially for high performance applications where you want to squeeze every bit of perf. out of your HW. So, what's the answer?

VS have a /favor: compiler (cl.exe) switch which favors either AMD or Intel processors. We don't have any further granularity than this, and still many features on newer chips have to be accessed via intrinsic because of backwards compatibility. Obviously we cannot break with "older" AMD and Intel architectures.

Here's also a document about AMD64 processors. Page 28 explains how to use Visual Studio 2008 to generate optimized code for AMD Family 10h processors. This press release from AMD from Nov 2007 says that Visual Studio 2008 could use SSE4a and ABM and generate optimized code.

You can find more information about "Develop Blazing Fast Code with Microsoft Visual Studio® 2008 (code-named 'Orcas') and AMD Tools" on the AMD developer website.