I need to pick out 4 x86 instructions and explain the encoding that is used with each one. It's suggested that I find "Intel's Programmer's Reference Manual" to do this with. I had another similar problem for Sun SPARC where I found this was helpful: http://www.sparc.com/standards/V8.pdf Pages 90 and 91 gave a very concise explanation of various commands like ldsb, ld, ldd, and so on. I found this for Intel, http://download.intel.com/products/processor/manual/325462.pdf I'm not sure if it's for the correct chip, and it seems to be anything but concise... I can't find anything in that manual that explains the encoding used for any instructions. Does anyone have a more helpful manual to look at (something that resembles the Sun SPARC manual I found, but for X86?) Edit: Volume 1, Chapter 5 gives a list of instructions and brief explanations of what the instructions do, but then fails to explain the syntax that the person writing assembly code should use or the binary encoding that'll be used.