RDTSC

Read Time-Stamp Counter

Opcodes

Hex Mnemonic Encoding Long Mode Legacy Mode Description
0F 31 RDTSC A Valid Valid Read time-stamp counter into EDX:EAX.

Instruction Operand Encoding

Op/En Operand 0 Operand 1 Operand 2 Operand 3
A NA NA NA NA

Description

Loads the current value of the processor's time-stamp counter (a 64-bit MSR) into the EDX:EAX registers. The EDX register is loaded with the high-order 32 bits of the MSR and the EAX register is loaded with the low-order 32 bits. (On processors that support the Intel 64 architecture, the high-order 32 bits of each of RAX and RDX are cleared.)

The processor monotonically increments the time-stamp counter MSR every clock cycle and resets it to 0 whenever the processor is reset. See "Time Stamp Counter" in Chapter 16 of the IntelĀ®64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer's Manual,Volume 3B, for specific details of the time stamp counter behavior.

When in protected or virtual 8086 mode, the time stamp disable (TSD) flag in register CR4 restricts the use of the RDTSC instruction as follows. When the TSD flag is clear, the RDTSC instruction can be executed at any privilege level; when the flag is set, the instruction can only be executed at privilege level 0. (When in real-address mode, the RDTSC instruction is always enabled.)

The time-stamp counter can also be read with the RDMSR instruction, when executing at privilege level 0.

The RDTSC instruction is not a serializing instruction. It does not necessarily wait until all previous instructions have been executed before reading the counter. Similarly, subsequent instructions may begin execution before the read operation is performed. If software requires RDTSC to be executed only after all previous instructions have completed locally, it can either use RDTSCP (if the processor supports that instruction) or execute the sequence LFENCE;RDTSC.

This instruction was introduced by the Pentium processor.

See "Changes to Instruction Behavior in VMX Non-Root Operation" in Chapter 22 ofthe IntelĀ®64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer's Manual, Volume 3B, for more information about the behavior of this instruction in VMX non-root operation.

Pseudo Code

IF (CR4.TSD = 0) or (CPL = 0) or (CR0.PE = 0)
	EDX:EAX = TimeStampCounter;
ELSE
	(* CR4.TSD = 1 and (CPL = 1, 2, or 3) and CR0.PE = 1 *)
	#GP(0);
FI;

Flags Affected

None.

Exceptions

64-Bit Mode Exceptions

Same exceptions as in protected mode.

Compatibility Mode Exceptions

Same exceptions as in protected mode.

Virtual-8086 Mode Exceptions

Exception Description
#UD If the LOCK prefix is used.
#GP(0) If the TSD flag in register CR4 is set.

Real-Address Mode Exceptions

Exception Description
#UD If the LOCK prefix is used.

Protected Mode Exceptions

Exception Description
#UD If the LOCK prefix is used.
#GP(0) If the TSD flag in register CR4 is set and the CPL is greater than 0.