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Intel's Pentium Chip Turns 20 Today

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the and-many-moore dept.

Intel 197

girlmad writes "Intel's Pentium processor was launched 20 years ago today, a move that led to the firm becoming the dominant supplier of computer chips across the globe. This article has some original iComp benchmark scores, rating the 66MHz Pentium at a heady 565, compared with 297 for the 66MHz 486DX2, which was the fastest chip available prior to the Pentium launch."

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66MHz? Nice for you Rockefellers (1, Interesting)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | about a year and a half ago | (#43248879)

The rest of us made do with 60MHz versions.

It really had to hurt Intel to have to back down on clock speeds for once. They didn't do that again until NetBurst burst.

Re:66MHz? Nice for you Rockefellers (2, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249015)

The rest of us made do with 60MHz versions.

We couldn't afford the cooling systems for the 66MHz version?

(Or didn't want to live in a wind tunnel...)

Re:66MHz? Nice for you Rockefellers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43249407)

And yet 66MHz P5 had 17.5 max power dissipation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P5_(microprocessor)#P5.

Things do change, indeed.

Re:66MHz? Nice for you Rockefellers (2)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249867)

Also couldn't afford the RAM, IIRC.

The RAM speed was tied to the CPU speed (FSB speed), and since the fast CPUs were expensive to buy, the RAM which was only needed for them was overpriced too even though it was only barely faster than the RAM for the 60MHz models.

Re:66MHz? Nice for you Rockefellers (2)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about a year and a half ago | (#43251093)

I distinctly remember going out and buying a $500 upgrade. I got an additional 4MB of RAM for $250, and upgraded from a 33MHz processor to a 66MHz for $250. That must have been a 486, it was a Compaq IIRC.

Re:66MHz? Nice for you Rockefellers (4, Informative)

erice (13380) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249157)

The rest of us made do with 60MHz versions.

It really had to hurt Intel to have to back down on clock speeds for once. They didn't do that again until NetBurst burst.

And they did it for the same reason. The 60Mhz Pentium was the end of the line for 5V CPU's. It suffered from overheating problems due to its exceptionally high power consumption. The P90, 486DX2 and later Pentiums were 3.3V.

It is also questionable the the P66 dethroned the 486DX2. The 50Mhz 486DX was widely believed to be faster than the 66Mhz 486DX2.

Re:66MHz? Nice for you Rockefellers (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249293)

>

The 50Mhz 486DX was widely believed to be faster than the 66Mhz 486DX2.

That was the theory: 50MHz bus beats 33MHz bus.

In practice: The DX was much more expensive and the extra 16mHz of the DX2 kicked the DX's ass when you were playing Doom. Which you were.

Re:66MHz? Nice for you Rockefellers (2)

LSD-OBS (183415) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249685)

I had a DX4-100 (33MHz x 3) which I overclocked to DX4-120 (40MHz x 3) and it tore the other 486's some new assholes

Re:66MHz? Nice for you Rockefellers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43250015)

If we're in a 486 contest the winner goes to AMD's X5-150 that ran at 50Mhz on a 50Mhz local bus. Some people managed to overclock their 133Mhz part to 200Mhz on a 50Mhz local bus.

50MHz VESA local bus. Fast as a dragon, and about as rare.

Re:66MHz? Nice for you Rockefellers (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about a year and a half ago | (#43251331)

VESA SCSI HBAs were the shit , till you got an EISA box.

Re:66MHz? Nice for you Rockefellers (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about a year and a half ago | (#43251303)

In practice, you were running AutoCAD. and you wanted the DX50.

Re:66MHz? Nice for you Rockefellers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43249609)

Posting AC since I have some mod points. I don't remember any real computer users buying P66, and in fact most companies abandoned it due to code errors from the FDIV bug. The 486dx4 was way faster for math.

Re:66MHz? Nice for you Rockefellers (1)

suso (153703) | about a year and a half ago | (#43251067)

The P90 also had the FDIV bug. I know because I had one. I still have that chip sitting on a shelf as a souvenir. It actually ran my first Linux box.

Re:66MHz? Nice for you Rockefellers (3, Interesting)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249663)

I still have a P90 that I use for old games. It runs Windows 98 like a beast, although my Cyrix P166+ naturally blows it away.
The P90 has a dual 3.5"/5.25" floppy drive and a 2X CD-ROM drive. The part that surprises most people is that there is no cooling fan on the processor heatsink or power supply, just a small one on the back of the case.

Re:66MHz? Nice for you Rockefellers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43250877)

Passive cooling lasted for quite a while after that. I have a G3 (PPC 750) 300 Mhz with aluminum traces (Motorola manufactured), which ran hotter than the IBM-manufactured ones with copper traces. It has an aluminum heatsink that would probably be inadequate for the southbridge in a modern PC. There is no fan on that heatsink. There is a tiny case fan, it looks to be 30mm or so. Given that it's a Mac, it's probably a custom part and a non-standard size.

I ran a Voodoo 3 3000 (flashed with Mac firmware from MESA) in that box for years (about 1998-2002) with no overheating problems.

Re:66MHz? Nice for you Rockefellers (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249539)

At work we still have a Gateway P5-60 running, albeit slowly, as a hardware test machine.

Re:66MHz? Nice for you Rockefellers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43250379)

The rest of us made do with 60MHz versions.

Can't remember ever seeing a 60Mhz Pentium in the field. Seems like most people willing to drop the cash for a Pentium just went for the best.

0.99904274017st post (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43248917)

fdiv bug

Re:0.99904274017st post (2, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#43248991)

I sent my fdiv bug chip back to Intel for replacement. I should have kept it, it'd be worth $5 on eBay.

Re:0.99904274017st post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43249221)

I vaguely remember somebody selling cufflinks made from them.

Re:0.99904274017st post (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249251)

So what you're saying is that it's really the 19.9808548034th anniversary?

Re:0.99904274017st post (1)

rwise2112 (648849) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249323)

So what you're saying is that it's really the 19.9808548034th anniversary?

Yeah, I wonder how many times we'll see that joke here. Probably at leat 19.9808548034 times.

Re:0.99904274017st post (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43250463)

Let me be the first to say f00f [wikipedia.org] .

Re:0.99904274017st post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43250737)

So what you're saying is that it's really the 19.9808548034th anniversary?

LOL. And the rounding issue was really not that big of a deal in processing data, right? At least that was what intel said.

Ahh, Pentium. (5, Interesting)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a year and a half ago | (#43248943)

The 66MHz original Pentium. What a beast.

It ran on a full TTL +5V. So it sucked down power. Lots of power. I've disassembled first generation Pentium chips, removing the golden cover that protects the die beneath. The die is HUGE! Much bigger than any current production CPU.

In fact, the early models produced so much heat that we boggled at the big fans needed to cool them! It was one of the first Intel x86 chips that REQUIRED a fan for cooling. We used to run our 486DX2/66 and below fanless and they worked great.

All this for only less than twice the performance, at three times the cost.

The vast majority of us skipped the first generation Pentium, instead going for more affordable chips as the i486DX4/100 and the Am5x86/133, which was RIDICULOUSLY popular for several years! In fact, the latter was faster than a Pentium 75MHz for anything that didn't require the FPU. And not much needed the FPU back then.

Then of course we laughed our asses off when the FDIV flaw became known. Clearly the Pentium was the #0.9999999998855 processor on the market!

Ahh, memories.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43249043)

In fact, the early models produced so much heat that we boggled at the big fans needed to cool them! It was one of the first Intel x86 chips that REQUIRED a fan for cooling. We used to run our 486DX2/66 and below fanless and they worked great.

Amusing to see how relative 'Big' was...
Pentium I: http://www.pccables.com/images/SOCKET7_PENTIUM_BB_CPU_FAN_4WIRE.jpg
Now: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/pimg/HS-020-AL_41149_350.jpg

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249131)

The "Pentium 1" fan above is for a Socket 7 chip. These were the newer, lower voltage Pentiums. The ORIGINAL Pentiums used much bigger fans.

But yes, it's relative. We went from not needing CPU coolers at all to needing them constantly.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (2)

dingen (958134) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249523)

I just read on Wikipedia the original 5V Pentium 66 MHz had a TDP of 16W. Lol, that's crazy for a chip running at such a low clock speed. There are modern Ivy Bridge Mobile i5's running at 2 GHz with lower power consumption than an original Pentium.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43250085)

I think the Pentium 60 was the first one sold. A friend I knew had one. Wikipedia says the Pentium 66 actually ran at 5.15V.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (1)

RMingin (985478) | about a year and a half ago | (#43250345)

Actually, my Lenovo X220 has a Sandy Bridge i5 mobile at 17W. Two cores, HT, 2.5GHz clock, up to 3.1GHz on Turbo.

i5-3210m

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (1)

RMingin (985478) | about a year and a half ago | (#43250371)

And then I look it up. Sorry. i5-2520m. 35W. 3.2GHz max turbo.

I hang my head in shame.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (2)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249061)

There were rumors that Intel actually looked into alternative cooling methods for Pentium before those big ass fans ended up being the norm. There was supposedly one system that actually used freon.

Also, you're not kidding about the die being huge on those - in those days Intel would take the defective units and encase them in acrylic and give them away as keychains. Now, the actual chip is so small you can't do that anymore.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (1)

m3000 (46427) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249437)

I actually still use one of those keychains today. Got it in my pocket as I type this.

That and my giant Itsakey metal USB stick gets peoples attention when I hand them my keys.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (1)

cusco (717999) | about a year and a half ago | (#43250573)

I used to have a 4mb 32-pin SIMM for a keychain until the PCB finally broke. Thing cost my employer almost $300 new, and you had to buy them in pairs. Of course with 8mb of RAM the server would have been pretty well equipped for its day.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43250457)

I had an old Compaq that was designed for these chips. The cooling was a 3 inch fan which had a shroud pointing at the heatsink. It's funny because compared to a modern desktop it was quite minimal, but apparently not having a passively cooled system seemed like a big deal at the time..

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (2)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249063)

Yeah, I had a P60 machine for years that ran Smoothwall and acted as a firewall, router, hub, and file server, lol.

I don't recall them being uneconomical though. There were plenty of reasons to ditch the 486, it really was a much more limited chip in some ways. You really HAD to have a pentium to do a number of things, and Linux was quite happy with them.

The old AMD K5's were pretty good, but they invariably were paired with horrible pieces of shit Taiwanese Winbond chip sets and other such drek. I had ONE K5 motherboard that was fast as hell and worked great, but that was out of like 5 tries.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (4, Informative)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249185)

For quite a bit of time, Intel and AMD CPUs used the same motherboards and chipsets. You'd get the motherboard you want, and then decide whether you wanted an Intel or AMD CPU in there.

In fact, the whole reason for "Slot 1" with the Pentium II was to put a stop to this. They patented the slot mechanism and locked AMD out. I'm not sure why they couldn't patent the socket type; I'm guessing there was a legal reason why the pin arrangements weren't patentable.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (4, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249273)

No, Slot 1 was to allow them to put the cache on the same board as the processor so they could speed it up. It quickly became unnecessary as later Pentium IIs and all(?) Pentium IIIs put the cache on die, making the slot unnecessary and expensive.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (1)

XanC (644172) | about a year and a half ago | (#43250327)

IIRC, the first round or two of P3s also used the slot design. It was only the "flip chip" versions, I want to say starting with the 733MHz, that integrated the L2 cache on the die and went to Socket 370. This was the time period when the Celerons were often faster than the full-priced Pentiums: the Celerons had less L2 cache, but it was on the die in a Socket 370. Easily overclockable too. Put a couple of those in an Abit BP6 and you're really ahead of your time.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (1)

digitalsolo (1175321) | about a year and a half ago | (#43250725)

That was the "Coppermine". I believe they clocked as low as 500 (5x100) or 533 (4x133), actually. They did steal the Celeron (which already had onboard cache, albeit half as much) socket 370, though most required new chipsets (there were some mainboard manufacturers who setup older chipset equipped boards to run the newer chips; they were generally better also, the early Coppermine chipsets had some production and then other issues.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (1)

MBCook (132727) | about a year and a half ago | (#43251647)

Celeron. I'd forgotten that was how those started. They were just P2s without any external cache (and thus without any actual performance).

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (1)

MBCook (132727) | about a year and a half ago | (#43251637)

You're right that there were slot based PIIIs using the Katamai core, I owned one. When I wanted to buy a second processor years later I had a terrible time finding a non-coppermine version that I could use in my dual slot motherboard. I don't know if the L2 cache was still off-die at that point or not. I think digitalsolo is right that they didn't go on-die until they went to socket 370. That was one of the best computers I ever owned.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43251385)

Wrong and Wrong. it was as the OP said.

STFU ok? Go back to sleep.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (1)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#43251603)

Slot 1 P2s and P3s had the secondary cache running at 1/2 the processor's speed, but the Slot 1 Celerons had full-speed (smaller) cache, which was one reason why the Celeron 300A was such a stupendous overclocker.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249159)

I bought 11th hour, still content with my DX2/66. It played fine, until I got an upgrade. Then it ran awesome. I didn't realize how slow the game was running until then. Friggin amazing. Windows 95 could do things. Not just grind away and sort of do things.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (4, Interesting)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249261)

I wonder if you had a cacheless 486 system. These were very common in the early 90s! There were even "fake cache" chips that motherboard vendors would put in to make it look like you had cache when you didn't.

I suffered with such a system for a long time before realizing that it had no cache. I always wondered why my friend's 486 system felt so much faster, then I finally read about the cache issue in a magazine! Those were different times, when you couldn't just use Google to get an instant answer as to why something sucks.

Being a broke teenager, I suffered with that cacheless 486SX/25 (overclocked to 33) from 1993 until 1996 when I finally got a job and upgraded to a Pentium 166MHz. It was like getting out of slow computer prison. :)

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249463)

Those were amazing times. I got a Dell Pentium 90 mid-1995, and it was over $3000. (To this day it is still the most expensive thing I've ever bought besides a home and cars/motorcycles). But the amazing part is that within a year it was somewhat outdated. But it got me through my CS program and so, I think, repaid itself many times over :)

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43250165)

Heh, the Pentium 75 ran just fine at 90Mhz and was somewhat cheaper. I don't know of any other chip has been as routinely overclocked as that one was. The Pentium 90 was effectively "Pentium 75, Donate Us Money Edition".

Still, don't feel bad, I got a 486, and you will understand what a real mistake that was ;)

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43250439)

I think the next in line for overclocking would be the Celeron 300A. All Celerons at the time were cache-stripped P2s, made to run on a 66MHz bus. However, most if not all 300A Celerons could handily work on a 100MHz bus, giving you a P2-450 with less cache.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (2)

black6host (469985) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249909)

I bought 11th hour, still content with my DX2/66. It played fine, until I got an upgrade. Then it ran awesome. I didn't realize how slow the game was running until then. Friggin amazing. Windows 95 could do things. Not just grind away and sort of do things.

Wow, I remember that game all the time. It seems like once a month or so I'll hear something in a soundtrack in a movie, or a song, that is so close to the very distinctive music in that game.

Of all the memories of my life that get triggered by sounds the 11th Hour (and 7th Guest) are the one that pops up most. I can still see the beckoning finger bones :) A lot of the puzzles in both were cool.

Off topic I know, but since we're reminiscing I'll take the risk of a good mod thrashing :)

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#43250031)

I loved the game as well, as it wasn't only good, but had a special place for me because it was the first game I bought myself. It also helped that CompUSA had mistagged half of the stock for $0.99

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (1)

jest3r (458429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249395)

Those were the good 'ole days. My CPU path was something like this:

486 DX2/66 -> Pentium Overdrive -> Pentium 200 -> Pentium Celeron 300A (over clocked to 450) ......

Video cards went something like:

Matrox Millenium -> Diamond Monster 3D -> 3DFX Voodoo II x 2 ......

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (2)

RatBastard (949) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249981)

Let's see... if we stay just with Intel: 8086 4.7Mhz, 80286 (forgot the speed), 80386SX 20, 80386 33, 80486 DX2/66, Pentium 133, 233, Celery 350 (2, one overclocked to 400), P3 500ish, and a slew of Core X and iX chips, and my Xeon-fueled Mac Pros.

If we open it up to other CPUs, well, how much time have you got?

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (1)

RatBastard (949) | about a year and a half ago | (#43250047)

Getting old sucks... I meant a Celery 333 overclocked to 450. And the P233 is obviously a P266.

As you were.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43250217)

No, you meant celery 300 overclocked to 450. 66mhz bus @ 4.5 multiplier from factory (=300mhz), upped to 100mhz bus (and down to 2/3 agp multiplier) gave 450.

And there were p2 233s and 266s.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (1)

chrysrobyn (106763) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249801)

It ran on a full TTL +5V. So it sucked down power. Lots of power. I've disassembled first generation Pentium chips, removing the golden cover that protects the die beneath. The die is HUGE! Much bigger than any current production CPU.

It may have run on a TTL +5V, but it was BiCMOS. Weighing in at 300mm2 [wikipedia.org] , it's less than a Westmere Xeon's 500mm2 [wikipedia.org] and I think that's a pretty fair comparison of potential customers.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (1)

dj245 (732906) | about a year and a half ago | (#43250483)

The 66MHz original Pentium. What a beast.

It ran on a full TTL +5V. So it sucked down power. Lots of power. I've disassembled first generation Pentium chips, removing the golden cover that protects the die beneath. The die is HUGE! Much bigger than any current production CPU.

These old chips have a non-insignificant amount of gold in them. according to this page [ozcopper.com] , the original Pentiums have about $20 worth of gold in them.

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43250829)

It ran on a full TTL +5V. So it sucked down power.
A bit misleading. The original Pentium ran on a +5V power rail, but is was implemented as BiCMOS at a 800nm node. If the whole thing was bipolar transistors, it would have melted...

Re:Ahh, Pentium. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43251585)

I think I just had a big ass heatsink with a copper pad under it... And a case fan in the front.

Was the Pentium really that much faster than? (2)

dingen (958134) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249009)

This article has some original iComp benchmark scores, rating the 66MHz Pentium at a heady 565, compared with 297 for the 66MHz 486DX2, which was the fastest chip available prior to the Pentium launch.

I'm amazed by these scores. I remember having a fairly fast 486 DX4 @ ~100 MHz (probably by Cyrix or AMD perhaps) at the time the Pentiums started to become popular. I got the impression that a Pentium 66 or 75 would actually be a downgrade for me, but maybe that hadn't been the case.

I eventually switched when the Pentium Overdrive came out, so I could keep my 486 mainboard but still have a faster Pentium chip in my machine. That was a pretty sweet deal.

I can't believe this is all 20 years ago, it feels like only yesterday.

Re:Was the Pentium really that much faster than? (2)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249095)

The Pentium's biggest strength was its FPU. It completely outclassed the 486's (per clock cycle) by a ridiculous margin.

The problem is back then very few applications actually used the FPU, because there were still so many systems on the market without them. The 486SX was an insanely popular chip, and it lacked an FPU. There were still 386s floating around, and competitor CPUs as well.

Once games like Quake started coming out, which used the FPU heavily, the Pentium became a lot more alluring because it was no longer an integer-math world. Quake ran like pure shite even on the 5x86/133, which would trample early Pentiums easily on integer math.

Re:Was the Pentium really that much faster than? (2)

jest3r (458429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249443)

Diamond Monster 3D pass through card.

That's was the ticket to Quake Awesomeness.

Re:Was the Pentium really that much faster than? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43250509)

We loaded Quake on the first Pentium Pro system which came into the office. Ran at 1280x1024 @ nice frame rate on the CPU only. "HD Gaming" in 1996!

Re:Was the Pentium really that much faster than? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43250531)

A DX4-100 was nearly the same speed as a Pentium 60 for most tasks. Intel didn't introduce a high end 486 in part because it would have embarassed them by being faster than low end Pentiums.

There were actually different kinds of DX4. The second revision was somewhat faster as it had faster write-back cache. Adittionally, while some had locked x3 multipliers, others did not and were intended to run at 50Mhz x2 where possible.

A DX4-100MHz with write back cache and 50Mhz local bus would be substantially faster than one with 33Mhz local bus and no write back.

I eventually switched when the Pentium Overdrive came out, so I could keep my 486 mainboard but still have a faster Pentium chip in my machine. That was a pretty sweet deal.

The DX4-100 was usually faster than the 83Mhz Pentium Overdrive so I guess you were hitting that Pentium FPU alot

Re:Was the Pentium really that much faster than? (1)

freeweed (309734) | about a year and a half ago | (#43250717)

Your 486DX4-100 was most certainly faster than a Pentium 66, and on par with a 75 if not a bit better. At least for the vast majority of software out at the time. My DX4 lasted me well into 1997, but by that point the affordable Pentiums were into the 200Mhz+ range and MMX was all the rage, so it became a more obvious upgrade.

The only people who ever ran 66s and 75s when they were current were those with money to burn.

Man, I miss how simple things were back then. When clockspeed actually meant something, and there was a pretty linear relationship between it and performance. I haven't cared about CPU performance in nearly a decade. I just get whatever $100 gets me, and I'm ALWAYS I/O- or (less these days) RAM-bound.

Quake! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43249027)

Let's not forget the floating point speed improvements that led to Quake running like a beast on Pentiums, but like a dog on 486s.

In all seriousness, the Pentium wasn't the real tipping point imho. Intel didn't really get things perfected until the Pentium 2, if I recall.

Re:Quake! (1)

dingen (958134) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249147)

The Pentium MMX was really popular with gamers. I actually skipped the Pentium II because AMD's K6 was imho a much better deal. I only switched back to Intel when the Pentium III came out.

It's all about the pentiums, baby! (4, Informative)

Kemanorel (127835) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249055)

From his royal Weirdness...

All About the Pentiums [youtube.com]

Wait... There's something faster than a Pentium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43249097)

Not sure I'm interested in such things. My 486SX 25 is just fine for playing Police Quest 2.

Re:Wait... There's something faster than a Pentium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43249177)

Overpowered, you mean. Those old games ran on 8086's...

Re:Wait... There's something faster than a Pentium (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249343)

Well you wanted the EGA Graphics.

Re:Wait... There's something faster than a Pentium (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249219)

I had a 486SX/25... overclocked to 33MHz!

I was a total badass. You can feel the badassery radiating from my body! Mwahahaha.

Re:Wait... There's something faster than a Pentium (1)

dingen (958134) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249301)

My dad had a 486 SX while I had a mere 386... but it was a DX running at 40 MHz, so it was actually better for playing Doom! Muahahaha.

Re:Wait... There's something faster than a Pentium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43249841)

My dad had a 486 SX while I had a mere 386... but it was a DX running at 40 MHz, so it was actually better for playing Doom! Muahahaha.

Ahh, the AMD 386DX 40, friend of mine back then introduced me to DOOM running properly on one of those, which he had at the time. His lawyer father presented him with a brand new Intel 486DX33 and he told me I could have his AMD 386DX 40 with a then mind blowing 16MB of RAM to take home with me and keep so he would have room to set up the new one. Had just finished re-installing DOS, Windows, DOOM etc and grabbed a backpack when he called saying he wanted his AMD386DX40 back. He brought it back to me after later getting 486 DX2 66 with VLB video. My son loved it when I handed it over to him.

Re:Wait... There's something faster than a Pentium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43250805)

If only he had realised he could've overclocked his 486 DX33 to 40Mhz ;)

Re:Wait... There's something faster than a Pentium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43250579)

I put 8MB of 30-pin SIMMS into a (then old) 386-DX40 with no math coprocessor and got it to launch Quake under Linux.
It was unplayable, but didn't crash, so I launched a 2nd instance.

The OS churned away at about 30 seconds per frame - still no crashing and easy task switching to other shells.
Linux is solid as a rock.

Re:Wait... There's something faster than a Pentium (1)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249305)

I had a machine with one of those Pentium-83 Overdrives that plugged into an SX-33's socket. Unfortunately this computer didn't have any secondary SRAM cache so it ran approximately like a DX2-66.

Back in the day, it took about 90 minutes to compile a 2.0.36 kernel, but it ran Duke3D and Descent well (dual boot).

Re:Wait... There's something faster than a Pentium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43249387)

I had a 486SX/25... overclocked to 33MHz!

I was a total badass. You can feel the badassery radiating from my body! Mwahahaha.

Well, there is SOMETHING radiating from your body but it sure isn't badassery. :P

Re:Wait... There's something faster than a Pentium (1)

BobNET (119675) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249311)

A 486SX 25? Are you made of money!? My Tandy 1000SX is just fine for playing Police Quest 2!

Re:Wait... There's something faster than a Pentium (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#43250019)

That's way too fast for Police Quest 2. Hell, that's probably too fast for Wing Commander. But not fast enough for DOOM, at least for someone who is used to smooth frame rates on modern FPS. I find DOOM barely playable on my 486dx2/66 with 256k cache. Gets around 25fps.

Any old timers remember the Pentium 50 Mhz? (1)

BLToday (1777712) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249331)

I remember seeing them but I can't track down the official release.

Re:Any old timers remember the Pentium 50 Mhz? (1)

dingen (958134) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249427)

I don't think that was every officially released. I remember 60 and 66 MHz were the original clock speeds, with 75 MHz and 90 MHz added not much later.

Re:Any old timers remember the Pentium 50 Mhz? (1)

Great Big Bird (1751616) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249955)

The 60/66 MHz versions were rather special ones, because starting with 75MHz they had a new socket. Not sure why.

Re:Any old timers remember the Pentium 50 Mhz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43249537)

No, I dont remember those.

It was: 60, 66.
Then 90, 100.
Then 75.
Then above.

Re:Any old timers remember the Pentium 50 Mhz? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#43250297)

I do. I remember watching the march of cpus... hent they hit 100 and math-co pros on the same die we started creamin' our jeans...

Re:Any old timers remember the Pentium 50 Mhz? (1)

stox (131684) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249591)

I'm fuzzy on this, but I seem to remember those were distributed as engineering samples prior to the official release of the Pentium 60's.

Re:Any old timers remember the Pentium 50 Mhz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43249599)

Yeah, P5 engineering samples were produced running at only 50MHz. They were called the Q0335 but were never officially released.

Peter.

Re:Any old timers remember the Pentium 50 Mhz? (4, Funny)

TuringCheck (1989202) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249687)

I remember one of my teachers arriving in class and saying "I have a '486 in my pocket!"

We all went "Wow!", "Cool!", "Can I see it?"

So he extracts a 7486 IC from his pocket.

Some people are mean...

No tributes (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43249715)

No tributes should be paid to this abomination of micro architecture. The x86 ISA should have been shot dead and discarded of 20 years ago already. Porting code is more and more turning into a matter of just selecting a different architecture before you build. Will we ever move on? It's time to let go of your 30 year old corpses of x86 object code.

But it's no P6 chip! (1)

sdguero (1112795) | about a year and a half ago | (#43249767)

Re:But it's no P6 chip! (1)

freeze128 (544774) | about a year and a half ago | (#43250909)

That doesn't hold a candle to the 1286 processor from LawnmowerMan II...

Perspective (5, Interesting)

Paperweight (865007) | about a year and a half ago | (#43250113)

If you performed a calculation that took a week to complete on a modern Core i7 2600k, you'd still be waiting for your Pentium 1 to finish the same calculation even with a 20 year head start!

Source [wikipedia.org]

20 years ago! (2)

fishbonz (246374) | about a year and a half ago | (#43250115)

I feel so old now :(

Re:20 years ago! (1)

Psyko (69453) | about a year and a half ago | (#43250903)

You and me both brother... When I saw that article that's the first thing I said... 20 years? F*** I feel old :(

But actually... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43250121)

The post fails to mention the real reason that this line was significant: The Pentium and its successors were the first computer chips designed by the marketing department rather than the engineering department!

The name (2)

LiavK (2867503) | about a year and a half ago | (#43250679)

There's a nice New Yorker podcast from a couple of years ago that discusses what went into picking the name: http://www.newyorker.com/online/2011/10/03/111003on_audio_colapinto [newyorker.com] . It was done by Lexicon Branding, who actually write code to break up words into phonems and then remix those sounds into new words. The program spits out lists of candidates that are then vetted by the linguists at Lexicon. I found it a really interesting discussion.

20 years old? wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43250901)

i didn't realize that the Pentium processor is this old. I had a Pentium 4 that ran about 2.6 Ghz or something before I bought a new computer. The Pentium 4 chip ran hotter than my dual core processor too. The P4 ran at 140 degrees F. Yes, the CPU and case fan were running. lol Yeah, 140 degrees was hotter than my old IDE drive running at 110 degrees.

Oh yeah, the P4 had hyper threading and MMX. Fun stuff. Motherboard had an AGP x4 video card, no PCI express. I don't think it even had USB 2.0. interesting how different older computers are compared to the new dual and quad core and eight core computer systems.

never heard of a 486 until now. thanks for posting.

Re:20 years old? wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43251509)

never heard of a 486 until now. thanks for posting.

WTF...I remember the 486s (as a kid we had a lowsy 486SX) but I know what an 8088 is. Please turn in your geek card at the nearest Frys.

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