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The History Of Pentium

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the get-yer-geek-on dept.

Intel 301

yootje writes "ArsTechnica is running a story about the history of the Pentium processor. It starts with the original Pentium back in 1993, but it also handles the Pentium II and III. The article goes deep about how the processors are designed and work."

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Does it mention... (5, Funny)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674762)

F00FC7C8 ?
I remember exploding many systems running many OSes with that...

Re:Does it mention... (1)

Anonym1ty (534715) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674786)

Heh I still get a kick out of my old Pentium 60MHz I once had. BOOM!

Re:Does it mention... (5, Funny)

perly-king-69 (580000) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674790)

Does it mention... F00FC7C8 ?

Shall I RTFA for you to find out? ;-)

Re:Does it mention... (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674844)

I just did :)
I stopped when it reached the P6...
I guess this history was mostly an ad for Intel...

BTW there were loads of other funny bugs such as, in the P2 something like : "if the temperature is around 32 (oC) and the proc is executing inst. lambda then it'd crash...

I understand the reason they have begun to switch to other sub-architectures.

Re:Does it mention... (2, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675029)

I particularly liked how the author continually said how a more complete article would be better, for every topic, and how he had written such articles in the past, but provided no links. I just love articles that sum up other articles in vague terms, without any links. That was as informative as watching an Intel TV commercial.

Re:Does it mention... (1)

SavvyPlayer (774432) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674938)

FirstPost & RTFA are mutually-exclusive concepts on /.

Re:Does it mention... (2, Funny)

baywulf (214371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674854)

Good thing it was not the C0FFEEA55 or DEADBEEF bug. The FOOF bug has a nicer ring to it.

GNAA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9674768)

HOLY FUCK BATMAN

Where did the name come from? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9674769)

Really, who came up with the name "Pentium"?

Re:Where did the name come from? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9674885)

Five guys drinking fifths around a pentagram on the 5th floor of the pentagon on the pentecost.

Re:Where did the name come from? (-1, Troll)

RPI Geek (640282) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675013)

Alright, who's the moron who modded the parent "Informative"?

Re:Where did the name come from? (2, Funny)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675059)

One of the five guys mentioned above?

Re:Where did the name come from? (4, Informative)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674886)

IIRC, another opponent(was it NexGEN ?) had issued a blah-586.
That's why they changed its name from i586 to that less numeral one.

Re:Where did the name come from? (3, Informative)

Polkyb (732262) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675295)

I was under the impression that Intel tried to copyright "586" and lost the case

They then decided to call it by a name that they could copyright.

Re:Where did the name come from? (1)

Kainaw (676073) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674917)

I always thought it was obvious.


And yes, for the mega-geeks, I do know that I'm mixing the Greek Penta prefix with the Latin Sex prefix, but Hexium just isn't as funny.

Re:Where did the name come from? (4, Interesting)

Kainaw (676073) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674932)

Damn. Hit a single < as you submit and you lose a whole paragrah... What I meant was:

I always thought it was obvious.

286... 386... 486... 586... No, Penta=5, so Pentium. Now, why didn't they call the Pentium II Sexium?

And yes, for the mega-geeks, I do know that I'm mixing the Greek Penta prefix with the Latin Sex prefix, but Hexium just isn't as funny.

Re:Where did the name come from? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9675078)

Damn. Hit a single as you submit and you lose a whole paragrah... What I meant was:

I LOVE MALE GENITALIA!

Re:Where did the name come from? (1)

k98sven (324383) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674981)

Why not from Ununpentium [wikipedia.org] ?

Some think it is UFO fuel [gravitywarpdrive.com] , so obviously the Intel engineers are in on the conspiracy! Obviously, they must be after using some of those top-secret UFO secrets in their chip design!!

.. Or perhaps they just realized that you can't trademark a number?

Re:Where did the name come from? (2, Insightful)

Cutriss (262920) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675071)

Well, obviously, the name means "five", right?

Basically, Intel wanted something they could trademark, because their legal team had told them that "586" wasn't trademarkable any more than 486 was, and Intel wanted a way to distinguish themselves from AMD and Cyrix.

Re:Where did the name come from? (2, Insightful)

jemnery (562697) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675156)

I Don't know who it was, but the reason was that although the next logical name was "585", you can't trademark a number, so they called it Pentium instead (the "pent---" relates to the 5 in 586).

In Soviet Uniont (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9674774)

Processors design you!

Re:In Soviet Uniont (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9675048)

Way to go! You can't even get a 'Soviet Russia' post correct!

TEH SUX (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9674777)

crap (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9674781)

all crap i tell you

Now I feel old (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9674784)

It makes me feel old that they now have a histroy for things I was around for the beginning of.

Re:Now I feel old (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675263)

LOL!

Yeah, and I remember one of my buddies loading a P66 on his brand new motherboard and - oops, forgot the heat sink!

I love the smell of melted plastic in the morning...

My First Pentium. (3, Interesting)

justkarl (775856) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674794)

I remember back in the day when my family got a brand new computer with this strange device called a Pentium...And it had Windows 95 installed! This was huge, considering our previous computer had a version of Windows from the mid-80's...Anyway, excuse the rant, it's what I think of when I hear "Pentium 1"

Re:My First Pentium. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9674815)

Windows from the mid-80's

You must be from an alternate universe.

Re:My First Pentium. (2, Informative)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674866)

windows 1.0 was released in 1985

Re:My First Pentium. (1)

justkarl (775856) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674891)

Windows from the mid-80's

You must be from an alternate universe.


That, sir, is why you are an AC.
linky linky [fortunecity.com]

Re:My First Pentium. (3, Informative)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674896)

An alternate universe? Why, which one are you from?

according to this page... [fortunecity.com] The development was delayed several times, however, and the Windows 1.0 hit the store shelves in November 1985. The selection of applications was sparse, however, and Windows sales were modest.

Re:My First Pentium. (1)

John_Renne (176151) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674828)

When I hear Pentium I just think of all those who had one while I still had to struggle with a 486SLC-50. A Pentium 60 was so much faster but my parents didn't buy my excuses why I needed one :(

Re:My First Pentium. (1, Funny)

SnowDeath (157414) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674879)

You lucky BASTARD, all we had was a 486SX-33. Yes, that's right, no math-coprocessor and no way to play Quake1 when it came out! At least we were able to upgrade from 4 megs of ram to 8

Re:My First Pentium. (5, Insightful)

millwall (622730) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674919)

You lucky BASTARD, all we had was a 486SX-33.

Anyone else but me feel old when they read a comment like this? To me 33Mhz still feels like yesterday, not like some ancient processor speed.

I guess I'm the one getting ancient here.

Re:My First Pentium. (1)

Organized Konfusion (700770) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674949)

I feel the same, I remember when the low pentiums came out and how in some situations 486 was faster! I remember getting quoted 2000 pounds for a P1 166. I remember paying 1400 pounds for P1 166mhz no MMX, 32mb ram and 4 gig hard disk later that year.

Re:My First Pentium. (1)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675243)

Christ I feel old. My first PC was an old XT, and i remember when VGA cards and monitors were about 5000 each.

Re:My First Pentium. (1)

arose (644256) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675279)

A BK-0010 feels like yesterday to me, but I don't feel old because of that. Now if only I could get our BK-0011M back...

Re:My First Pentium. (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674961)

Once the Linux binaries came out, you could have used the kernel's x87 emulation. :)

I remember being shocked when a friend told me they ran a qtest server on a 386.

Re:My First Pentium. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674970)

I had the SX-25 because our local whitebox shop had recieved a heck of a deal on them as the DX2-66 had come out and my dad only wanted to spend $1,500 that christmas. I also remember mowing a LOT of lawns to be able to afford the upgrade from 4MB to 16MB, it was like $250! Btw rendering in POV-Ray was WAY slow without a math coprocessor =)

Re:My First Pentium. (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675253)

Luxury! I had to make do with a 386DX33, which took about twice as long to execute each instruction. And 4 megs was the best you were likely to get, 'cause the slots were all filled with 1 meg simms by the cheap computer shop, and the idea of taking a couple out to upgrade was just ludicrous...

Re:My First Pentium. (2, Funny)

bwthomas (796211) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675004)

I remember when my mother brought home a 486 DX-2 66MHZ Packard Bell with something like 8 or 12 megs of ram.

we thought we were descended from kings, that day.

Re:My First Pentium. (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675142)

I remember when my mother brought home a 486 DX-2 66MHZ Packard Bell with something like 8 or 12 megs of ram.

we thought we were descended from kings, that day.


Yeah, that was the machine I got halfway through college, and felt the same...ahhh, Wing Commander 3...

Then we got the dorms wired for the 'Net. And I got my ass HANDED to me in Duke Nuke'Em 3D by those punk-ass frosh and their new shiny pentiums...I'd almost hold my own 'til the underwater levels, then my framerate dropped to about, I dunno, .25 or something FPS.

Re:My First Pentium. (1)

crossconnects (140996) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675068)

My first computer was a tandy coco
My first "IBM Compatible" was an Amstrad PPC-640 Lugable with no HDD
then I got a Packard Bell 386sx
Finally a pentium MMX 200

when is 786 comming? (0, Offtopic)

stonebeat.org (562495) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674806)

in my universities days, we used to read that 786 will come soon, and it will seperate the floating point processor from the main CPU. Did that ever happen?

Re:when is 786 comming? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9674882)

Yeah, they called them the 80386 and 80387.

Re:when is 786 comming? (1)

ad1c (591741) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675245)

If I remember right, the 386SX and 486SX did not have a functional floating point processor, but there was a socket on the board for an outboard one. I don't think this ever made it to Pentium.

other sites: (5, Informative)

RainbowSix (105550) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674808)

Here are some other cool CPU reference sites:
www.sandpile.org
Sandpile lists electrical specs for lots of CPUs and has links to lots of CPU documents.

http://users.erols.com/chare/elec.htm
Lots of info here about pinouts and electrical specs. I like this one because it lists the initial selling price for the CPUs as well.

Good link from the Inq. (4, Informative)

plopez (54068) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674838)

Got this from the 'Link of the Day' from "The Inquirer". A good comparison of various architectures.

http://www.microprocessor.sscc.ru/great/s5.html# AL PHA

Author has "no idea what was responsible for name" (5, Informative)

crimson_alligator (768283) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674840)

The reason Intel broke with tradition and gave this chip a non-numeric name is because numbers cannot be copyrighted/trademarked.

Anyone could sell a "586 Chip": competitive chip makers like AMD and Doritos.

They switched to Pentium so nobody else could use the name.

Re:Author has "no idea what was responsible for na (5, Informative)

the real darkskye (723822) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674883)

Author also seems to believe that the P1 went up to 300Mhz, maybe with N2 cooling but I was under the impression it stopped at 233Mhz, with AMD taking SuperSocket 7 speeds to the 500Mhz mark

Re:Author has "no idea what was responsible for na (1)

sindarin2001 (583716) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675052)

I've seen only one P1 that was a 300Mhz, and that was a laptop (currently sitting in my backpack). It's the only one I've ever heard of being faster than a 233.

Re:Author has "no idea what was responsible for na (1)

barawn (25691) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675211)

Author also seems to believe that the P1 went up to 300Mhz

It did, just only in its mobile incarnation. But it was the same core (with MMX stuck on).

Re:Author has "no idea what was responsible for na (1)

mst76 (629405) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675216)

According to sandpile.org [sandpile.org] the P1 topped at 300mhz, the last model introduced in 1999.

Re:Author has "no idea what was responsible for na (1)

JCOTTON (775912) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674925)

competitive chip makers like AMD and Doritos
"Doritos" is a trademark of the advanced chip-maker Frito-Lay Company. Jay Leno is their main number-cruncher spokesman.

Geek History (4, Informative)

killdashnine (651759) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674855)

Ahhh, ArsTechnica ... what a refreshing way to start a Monday than to relive my geek heritage. I still have my first Pentium computer in my closet at home. Large paperweight, I presume, but it may still run Linux. I've been thinking of making a wall-mounted collection of all my used processors for posterity.

I could stand to forget about Win95 though ... (shudders). Nothing worse than having to reformat one's hard drive every 3-6 months!

Re:Geek History (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675032)

My first pentium (a P120MMX) is currently serving adequately as a file, print, web and e-mail server for my small office. The only upgrades since I acquired it in '97 have been RAM and hard disk space.

Re:Geek History (1)

daltec (674408) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675070)

I am sure you have rec'd OT comments similar to mine already - however, I must say that your Pentium *can* run Linux, at least a lightweight version of it. And I am not talking floppy-based. My wife has a Pentium 100, 16mb ram, that still performs yeoman service as a gateway/router, running SuSe 7 (no X). So if you want to have some fun, dust off that old machine and put it to work! I have come to love working on that old box. Learning a lot, too.

Re:Geek History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9675235)

I could stand to forget about Win95 though ... (shudders). Nothing worse than having to reformat one's hard drive every 3-6 months!

Funnily enough, despite all the legends, I've never actually met in the flesh anyone who actually had to reformat their hard drive, not with Win95, Win95b, Win98, Win98SE, or even WinMe. Never. Not ever. Not once.

But then I hardly ever saw any BSODs, either. Maybe I was just lucky...

PI, PII, PIII ... same chip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9674892)

It starts with the original Pentium back in 1993, but it also handles the Pentium II and III.

You mean they're not the same chip, with various overclocking inhibitors enabled?

Re:PI, PII, PIII ... same chip? (0)

yootje (770109) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675016)

No, where do you read that?

Sadly (2, Funny)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674893)

the article doesn't tell us when we should expect the Hexium.

Re:Sadly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9674953)

I always preferred Latin numerical prefixes [50megs.com] .

I must say, "Sexium" has a nice ring to it.

Re:Sadly (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674995)

I know, but if they had planned to have Sexium computers, they would have named the preceding chip "Quintium".

My first x86-based PC was the P60 (3, Interesting)

Exocet (3998) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674901)

Although I grew up on an Atari ST520, later upgraded to a 1040 (eleet) a Packard Bell-produced P60 with 8MB of RAM and a 420MB HD was my first computer, obtained in late 1993. Windows 3.11. Lotta fond memories, even if some of them involve a lot of cursing and head-scratching, most at Windows. Occasionally some weird piece of proprietary Packard Bell technology would rear its head but on the whole it wasn't too bad of a computer.

That computer was eventually donated to FreeGeek [freegeek.org] - I still have the Atari, though.

Dusty (5, Interesting)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674905)

Geez, I'm starting to feel old.

Back in 1993

Was that sooooo long ago? I never had an original pentium, as I usually find the cost/performance not usually worth the upgrade and I therefore usually skip a processor generation or so.

  • 8086 or was it 8088
  • Mac II (i know, it's not a PC, but it kicked ass, and even though I don't have an apple now, I still believe that they are some very nice machines)
  • 486 dx-2 66 (now that was a cool sounding name)
  • Pentium II (300 mhz)
  • Pentium 4 (1.7 & 3.2 Ghz)
Thing is, why do most of us need all of this power? The only thing that has really driven my upgrades has been the ability to play games. Excel worked fine on a PII (even usuing features most 'business' users don't like regression analysis, formulas, etc)

Word processors worked fine as well, in fact I miss some of the older processors that didn't try to autoformat every damned thing

Web browsers as well

I know there are security issues with alot of older softwares, etc, but can't they produce a fast low cost computer, w/o all of the bloat. Then everyone could afford a decent computer to do 99.9% of the things they wan't to.

My cousin just bought a $2000 computer and all he want's to do is occasionally surf, rip mp3's and DVD's - could this be done on a pentium or pentium II platform.

Did, I go way offtopic, it's monday.

Re:Dusty (2, Insightful)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674963)

Thing is, why do most of us need all of this power? The only thing that has really driven my upgrades has been the ability to play games

You should see some of the "text" documents that come across my desk... full of craptastic inserted art, embedded graphics, and so on.

I'm using a P4 at work right now, and when I had a PII, I remember having to extract all the text content just to be able to work on it, and copy-paste it back into the graphically enhanced version.

Re:Dusty (2, Funny)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675117)

I'm using a P4 at work right now, and when I had a PII, I remember having to extract all the text content just to be able to work on it, and copy-paste it back into the graphically enhanced version.

I hear ya on that one, but I seem to remember (keep in mind I'm an old geezer in computer terms - 33) that to alleviate that, you could just upgrade the 'graphics accelerator'. I may be wrong, but couldn't a PII with a good ole' Diamond Viper V550 or V770 do the trick?

Plus the fact, that every new OS or software version magically requires more and more power. GRanted some of this is necessary, but how much is really necessary? Some people use ALL of the features of a package, but most don't even scratch the surface. Alot of folks consider me a computer 'Guru', and though I probably know more than most, I am far from it. It's like buying the Hyabusa [suzukicycles.com] , when all you want to be capable of doing is riding on two wheels [honda.com]

Re:Dusty (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675160)

do you know of many workplaces that allow their employees to upgrade the company's computer? or employees who'd even want to pay for the upgrades on their work computer?

I don't.

Re:Dusty (1)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675196)

True, very very true.

Re:Dusty (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675184)

when I had a PII, I remember having to extract all the text content just to be able to work on it, and copy-paste it back into the graphically enhanced version.

Then the software you're using for editing is badly implemented. I've used MS word and OO.o writer on a 400MHz celeron to edit documents with layouts about as complex as you'd ever expect to see, and both coped fine (although OO.o was showing signs of stress).

OTOH, using the editor in mozilla's mail client to edit anything with more than a few graphics or tables slows to a crawl.

Re:My speed benchmark for DVDs & MP3s (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9674990)

I work with a lot of old Intel machines and my general rule of thumb is:

You need something running at 75Mhz to play an MP3
You need something running at 100Mhz to encode an MP3 in less time than it takes to play it.

You need something running at 500Mhz to play a DVD
You need something running at 1Ghz to encode video on the fly.

(note: I know I've played a DVD on a 466Mhz machine, but there are some "complicated" DVDs that take just a little bit more horsepower, so that's why I chose 500Mhz as the cutoff point)

My gut feel is that Mac's can probably do these things with a little bit less (10%?) Mhz since their processor arch. seems to be a bit more efficient.

Re:My speed benchmark for DVDs & MP3s (2, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675132)

You need something running at 75Mhz to play an MP3
I've found this highly dependant on the input bit rate. With a 120MHz processor, I used to be able to play up to 160kb/s flawlessly, but anything over that would occasionally stutter, and 256kb/s was unplayable.

You need something running at 100Mhz to encode an MP3 in less time than it takes to play it.

What encoder are you using? I use LAME, and that seems to need ~200MHz to encode in real time.

You need something running at 1Ghz to encode video on the fly.
Again: what encoder are you using? With TMPGEnc Plus encoding mpeg2 with the default setting for the motion search precision, performance on the aforementioned celeron suggests I'd need about 1.6 - 2GHz to get it up to real time (for high quality PAL DVD -- should be about the same for NTSC DVD, which has lower resolution but higher frame rate).

Re:My speed benchmark for DVDs & MP3s (1)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675218)


You need something running at 75Mhz to play an MP3

You'll need more than that to actually do something with the computer while the MP3 is playing.

I was forced to upgrade from a Pentium 120MHz because Winamp was sucking 70% of the CPU while playing music. IM and web surfing was slow and the music kept pausing.

Re:Dusty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9675089)

Yeah I'm old too. Computers owned:

Atari 800XL

Atari 520ST

Mac IIsi (agree that was a cool system for the time, haven't owned a Mac since then)

75Mhz 486- IBM Thinkpad 701C - The butterfly (the first X86 system I ever owned!)

133Mhz Pentium MMX

300Mhz Pentium II

Several Pentium III from 750Mhz to 1 Ghz (Still in use now)

2.53 Ghz Pentium 4

1.5 Ghz Pentium M

I guess people like me have fueled the fire for the whole computer industry! I've bought a DOZEN computers over the years- not upgrades, full systems (Most of my purchases have been notebook computers).

Reason for all this power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9675162)

Excel worked fine on a PII (even usuing features most 'business' users don't like regression analysis, formulas, etc)

Yes, but what version of Excel? Excel 97 (or earlier) I'll believe, but I highly doubt Excel 2003 would work fine, by any reasonable definition of fine.

You need all this power because software developers keep adding features...because you have all this power. It's a vicious cycle. I personally don't want a lot of these features, but nobody from Microsoft has called me to ask.

Re:Dusty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9675283)

Thing is, why do most of us need all of this power?

Speaking purely for myself, I kind of like being able to compile fairly large projects quickly. Maybe I'm too young to appreciate the true glories of coming back the next day to see how far your build got overnight...

Don't Divide, Intel Inside (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674930)

Ah yes, the old original Pentiums... The things had terrible heat issues, and couldn't even do simple math! Despite all this, however, I still have my first Pentium chip (p150) sitting on a shelf at home. Some day I'll get sick of looking at it and take it out to the shooting range to "put it down".

Pantent Infringement (1)

eluusive (642298) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674937)

Does anybody have any information on the patents/trade secrets intel violated with the Pentium I. I had heard this mentioned that they settled a fairly large lawsuit with another company in order to continue manufacting the Pentium. Is this rubbish or fact?

Re:Pantent Infringement (1)

farzadb82 (735100) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675025)

Kinda, but I believe it was in regards to the Pentium Pro/ Pentium II architectures. If memory serves me correct, Intel "stole" IP from DEC's Alpha processor for the PPro and PII architectures. The suite was settled out of court using cross licencing, etc.

Pentium history minus nasty things? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9674977)

It's not a complete history as it didn't mentioned:

- How Intel handle the Pentium bug. When the FP bug surfaced, Intel grudgingly agreed to replace Pentium chips if it affected a user significantly. My fellow grad student found out the hard way that his Pentium 90MHz he bragged about yielded wrong results in Matlab for his project. He complained to Intel and Intel wouldn't replace it since it was not important. He was a grad student in an engineering school... how was it NOT important to get accurate results? It took a long time and persistence and a threat to complain to BBB to get it replaced. I never trust Intel since.

- Intel v. DEC. The article made it sound as all the architectural "innovations" in Pentium were the result of Intel's brilliance. What about the 10 patent infringements from Alpha that prompted DEC to sue Intel? There was a thread of this in another /. article about MS employee cracking AltaVista computers.

First POST (1)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674984)

My first PC used to tick while checking ram (First POST - geddit? Oh, never mind.)

I graduated from a ZX81 in 1982, to a Sinclair speccy in 1984, to assorted Atari STs until about 1995 when I finally bought a 90mhz Pentium with a whopping 16 megs of ram.

I pulled that PC out of retirement 5 years ago and set it up as a file/print server running Linux. It was only replaced with a new PC about 18 months ago. I really believe in getting value for money out of old hardware...

Re:First POST (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675281)

My first PC used to tick while checking ram

Heh! My 286 used to do that.

I really believe in getting value for money out of old hardware...

So, what're you doing with the speccy? :)

What's going on... (1)

CowsAnonymous (697884) | more than 10 years ago | (#9674985)

Is it History Day on Slashdot or something?

figuring "out of order" dependencies (3, Insightful)

kisrael (134664) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675000)

Is there any way of "easily" understanding how a chip handles out of order dependcies? I've done some 6502 programming (Atari 2600) but the idea seems pretty amazing to me...I guess each instruction can only affect a certain # of registers and memory locations, and if another instruction doesn't rely on those, it's ok to run it prematurely, before the the first instruction...

Well, maybe I've answered my own question, but it seems pretty amazing that you can get improved performance with that, and not having to rollback all the time.

Re:figuring "out of order" dependencies (1)

bile (169020) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675173)

It's not difficult per-say... it's something better left to a computer thats for sure. Try taking some cpu design classes and having to trace some instructions through even the easiest out of order, superscaler setup. One of those tests which require tons of scrap paper, 1-2 questions, and 3-4 hours. Tomasoulou algorithm comes to mind but I know that spelling is incorrect.

Re:figuring "out of order" dependencies (1)

addaon (41825) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675220)

Google [google.com] for Tomasulo [umd.edu] 's algorithm [umass.edu] .

Intel_Dominance == Smarter_Marketing (4, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675037)

Intel brought us ...the deliberately misleading "the P-III makes your Internet faster!!"

God I remember the hype and FUD those B******ds stirred up with that bloddy ad campaign. I can still hear people walking up to me and asking: "Do you have a PC? What's your pentium?". Calm, calm, think happy... "Two OK!! It's two! And tell all your friends you need a pentium or your computer won't work! BEGONE EWES!!" It hurt to hear that again and again. I just gave up correcting people. They looked at me like I was crazy. Geeze listen to this guy, he dosen't know what a pentium is.

If Intel learned anything in those last few years of the P6 core's life, it learned that clock speed sells

It certainly does, and that's still the one thing that keeps me from buying AMD. When I configure a PC I can choose between a Pentium 2.2GHz, or an AMD 2400. Now how fast is the 2400? I don't know, It didn't say, and that's why AMD is No. 2. That and Intels hugely successful campaign of intel inside, making consumers believe that if hasn't got an intel chip, it won't work. They expect it, like they expect a monitor. Let them pay for their ignorence.

Re:Intel_Dominance == Smarter_Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9675168)

Now how fast is the 2400?
As fast, for all purposes you will encounter, as a 2.4GHz Intel chip. That's what the "24" in "2400" is for, see?

It is impossible to say exactly which one is "faster" as it depends on many factors other than the clock speed.

Re:Intel_Dominance == Smarter_Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9675179)

So will you be more or less likely to buy AMD chips now that Intel has dropped the clock speed info in favor of product numbers? AMDs numbering scheme may actually be a better descriptor of performance than Intel's new one!

Re:Intel_Dominance == Smarter_Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9675204)

"Now how fast is the 2400?"

It is comparitive to if not faster than a processor running at 2400MHz. Or 2.4GHz. Not to mention the processor is much cheaper than a Pentium of similiar processing speed and should be easily overclocked. Amd is well known for that.

Granted the processor itself is not running at 2.4GHz, but at a lower clock speed... which is kind of amazing if you think about it.

The Blue Man Group is smarter marketing? Heh, whatever man.

Old Pentium Pro chips (1)

EssTiDee (784920) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675040)

Found an interesting thing that Intel's been doing with their old Pentium Pro chips...

Making them into keychains for their employees. You can find similar items on Ebay, where someone has just taken an old Pentium and speared a key ring through it, but that's not the same thing...

I have the core and the L2 cache removed from the chip, and embedded into some kinda plated gold mounting.

It's really kinda cool --- if anyone can track down where to get more, I'd love a few other chips...

Wonder how long till my brand new P4 EE (cost almost as much as a used car) shows up on 5 dollar keychains...

Those were the days... (5, Funny)

supersam (466783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675046)

[nostalgia]
... when I used to lust, in equal measures, for the hottest girl in my class and the soon-to-be-launched Pentium!!
[/nostalgia]

*sigh*

Explosions and fire (5, Funny)

WizzleWizzleWizzle (697435) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675064)

I had only been in the PC-building business for a few months when the Pentiums came out. I was always really nonchalant when it came to building computers and was certainly not gentle. However, everything I had built up to that point either had the CPU soldered onto the motherboard or someone else had done it because I had never seen a separate CPU.

When the first Pentium-based system arrived at my workstation to build I mounted the motherboard to the case and then put the CPU in place, but it didn't go in very well. I pulled it out and bent the pins back into place and put it in again. It felt like it went in okay.

I took the little arm thing and pulled down to secure it in place and heard a sound, but I thought it was okay... I had never done this before.

I put in the cards, drives and memory and fired the system up... blank screen and then... POP!!! and some smoke.

I didn't realize the CPU had a dot that corresponded with a notched corner indicating how to put the thing into place. From then on I started paying attention to things like that.

The Pentium made me mature as a technician... for about a week; then it was a contest to see how far we could launch them in the air. (kidding)

Re:Explosions and fire (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9675106)

Yep. Been there, done that. I write it off as the cost of learning -- paying the "street" tuition. Someone who has never ever buggered a piece of hardware has never built anything.

Re:Explosions and fire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9675266)

It's not just true of CPUs. Most chips denote which pin is Pin 1 so it's not soldered on backwards. You also had Pin 1 denoted on non-keyed ribbon cables most of the time.

Pentium Pro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9675126)

Why do people always forget this one???

Very Brief History (4, Funny)

Epistax (544591) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675217)

1978: 8086 processor is released
1979-Present: Regret

I think many of you will know exactly what I mean.

The History Of 68000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9675231)

Amiga
AtariST
MegaDrive/Genesis
Mac
SUN
Sharp X68000
Canon CAT
Alpha Micro 1000 series
Altos ACS-8000 series

Yup more versitile than Arnold Rimmer or a Pentium!

Quake (5, Insightful)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 10 years ago | (#9675260)

The article neglects to remember the killer app for the Pentium - namely Quake 1. It was specifically optimized for the Pentium 1, and I remember it ran much much faster on a 66 MHz Pentium than on a 100 MHz 486 DX-4.

Rich.

Pentium = Quake (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9675300)

I remember my poor friends with 486/66's, and even DX4-100's

They all laughed at my 2MB 386/25 when it couldn't run Doom.

Then, Quake came out. I had just gotten a new Packardbell 100Mhz Pentium. Guess who was laughing then!

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