Why Intel Stopped Using Processor Numbers [Byte Size] | Nostalgia Nerd

Why Intel Stopped Using Processor Numbers [Byte Size] | Nostalgia Nerd


The
IBM Personal Computer, model number 5150. It’s a machine I often start with, and for
good reason, because it’s the forefather of every IBM PC compatible we have today. Created in 1981, using mostly off the shelf
parts, the central processor chosen to be the core of this technology was Intel’s 8088,
clocking in at an impressive 4.77Mhz. Itself a descendant of the Intel 8008, which
itself was the successor to the Intel 4004, released in 1971; Intel’s first commercially
available microprocessor. Even before this, Intel had used numbering
for it’s components which correlated to an in house code. The first digit indicated the process technology
used, the second it’s generic function and the final two digits, the sequential number
identifying the component’s development. Intel’s new microprocessors would break from
this norm a little, with designer Federico Faggin leapfrogging a few numbers to avoid
disrupting the numbering applied to groups of compatible components, after all, this
was a micro-processor and could handle many tasks by itself. To form it’s own compatible family of components,
the 4001 control memory, 4002 data storage and 4003 bus expansion chips were also created. This numbering would continue with Intel’s
subsequent microprocessors; the 8086, 80186, 80286, 80386 and 80486, with each new design
jumping 100, to indicate the ushering in of a new phase but after that, things changed. Why? Both Intel and Advanced Micro Devices were
setup by ex-employees of Fairchild Semiconductor; a company which started in 1957 and ruled
the Silicon Valley roost throughout the 1960s, so when Intel started creating Microprocessors
in large numbers it created an industry standard “second source” programme whereby AMD would
assist in the production of their processors. A deal was instigated where both companies
could have access to technology and act as second sources for each other, so in exchange
for access to their processors, Intel wanted something equivalent in return from AMD, but
by the time the Intel 386 was ready, Intel decided AMD seemed to have little on the table,
and actually rejected their Quad Pixel Display Manager chip, somewhat breaching their good
faith. From 1985, Intel took the decision to manufacture
all 386 chips completely under their own initiative, bypassing the second source deal. This exclusivity meant that protecting their
processors from infringement, was suddenly more pertinent. This was especially true when AMD successfully
managed to create their own 386 clone through reverse engineering of Intel’s chip a few
years later. Intel got wind of this through a tale stranger
than fate. AMD’s marketing manager, Mike Webb was checked
into a hotel in Sunnyvale California, awaiting a package. Curiously, an Intel engineer, also by the
name of Mike Webb was staying at the same hotel, and lo and behold, the package was
accidentally delivered to him, rather than the AMD Mike. The literature in this package gave away the
386 game and Intel quickly sought to sue AMD for infringement. To me this sounds like an intentional plant
by Intel, and AMD would later query the integrity of this course of events. In the mean time, it meant AMD had to delay
their processor release until, in March 1991, the Judge sided with AMD, having created their
chip using their own process and declaring the 386 trademark itself as too generic. AMD also argued that due to the earlier contract
between the two companies, they had the right to use Intel’s microcode for subsequent x86
chip generations. This created further lawsuits until the end
of 1994, and also lead to Intel creating the “Intel Inside” marketing campaign to enforce
brand identity. AMD would release their Am386 competitor in
1991, some 6 years after Intel and begin to capture their own portion of the x86 market. Intel would try and register both 486 and
586 but abandoned it’s applications, even attempting i586 but only seeking approval
on the grounds that no exclusive claim to use 586 stand-alone is made. Enter Lexicon, a marketing company Intel gave
the task of creating a name, which sounded integral to the computer. CEO David Placek initially thought up Pentagon,
referencing the Greek number 5, indicating this was the fifth generation of processor. “Agon” was then changed “Ium”, sounding more
like Scientific – like an element, and in March 1993, the Pentium brand was born, a
brand name which by the late 90s would become more recognisable than Intel itself. Although not everyone appreciated it. Other manufacturers would conveniently tow
the 586 and 686 line in the wake of this, before following suit with their own brands. It was clear that there was power in the word,
given that words are just easier to remember. It’s also clear that Intel do still like numbers,
having resorted, in part at least, to using them in their more contemporary range of processors,
alongside specific usage guidelines, of course. And that’s it for this Byte size. There’s some links below if you fancy a bit
more information on this. Otherwise, have a great evening.

100 thoughts on “Why Intel Stopped Using Processor Numbers [Byte Size] | Nostalgia Nerd

  • September 18, 2017 at 3:00 pm
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    FIRST Boiiiiiiiii

    Reply
  • September 20, 2017 at 8:10 pm
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    Would have loved a 'Pentium' as my first PC, sadly the models on offer at the time were out of my price range. So I went for a Cryix 586. Hmmmm….Cyrix!

    Reply
  • September 20, 2017 at 8:23 pm
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    i3, i5, i7, i9, g4560, e5450, right they stopped using numbers.

    Reply
  • September 20, 2017 at 8:31 pm
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    8086, not 80806. (There is a not-well-known 80186 too, though…)

    Reply
  • September 21, 2017 at 12:19 am
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    It's all about the Pentiums!

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  • September 21, 2017 at 2:39 am
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    i lived through it an i think there was a lawsuit against amd and the court said you cant trademark a number

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  • September 21, 2017 at 4:01 am
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    As far as I know, AMD never made any graphics hardware themselves, they purchased ATI and inherited it.

    Reply
  • September 21, 2017 at 5:21 am
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    A bonus fact to this vid should've been where the intel jingle came from

    Reply
  • September 21, 2017 at 12:37 pm
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    One of these guys composed the Intel jingle
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edelweiss_(band)

    Reply
  • September 21, 2017 at 2:32 pm
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    "No mishaps or confusion…"
    R3, R5, R7 haha

    Reply
  • September 21, 2017 at 4:18 pm
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    Can you please do an episode on the history of ATI? I'd love to see that, miss all the old big red ATI boxes with the ironically named second party Sapphire distribution.

    Reply
  • September 21, 2017 at 6:43 pm
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    Somehow, now instead of names the processors have turned into lakes…

    ^.^

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  • September 21, 2017 at 7:57 pm
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    Do you also remember when AMD named their processors with the suffix "XP" during the early days of Windows XP?  I think they also attached numbers that were not related to but looked like they could be clock speeds and I don't know for certain but I think Microsoft and various advertising standards orgs told them to stop.

    Reply
  • September 21, 2017 at 9:40 pm
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    Debian 9 refers to dual core 32bit intel cpus as 686

    Reply
  • September 22, 2017 at 12:10 am
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    I was surprised to see recently that Intel are still using the Pentium name for their "crappy" line of CPUs. Also, is it just me, or does anyone else cringe at the Intel "bo, do, du, dum" jingle?

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 1:11 am
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    When you really think about it, Intel is still using a number system. i3, i5, i7 and i9, along with the 4-digit model number and a modifier (K,U,X, etx). It's simple to follow, but a little funky if you're not familiar with it.

    That being said, their 'lake' names are a little silly after a while. They should eventually retire that.

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 11:31 pm
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    Did you skip 8088 and 80188?

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  • September 24, 2017 at 5:17 pm
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    Love that bit of Music

    Reply
  • September 24, 2017 at 11:43 pm
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    i have a 586 ??? lol it says that its a pentium 100 but the lable on the front reads 586 lol

    Reply
  • September 24, 2017 at 11:53 pm
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    cyrsus had a 6×86 & 5×86
    with ibm

    Reply
  • September 25, 2017 at 10:57 am
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    I can recall Intel producing a server grade Ethernet card named the PC586, which was based on an Intel 82586 Ethernet controller chip. This would have been several years prior to the introduction of the Pentium processor.

    Reply
  • September 25, 2017 at 1:47 pm
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    Growing up, I thought it was called Pentium because it was a 500.

    Reply
  • September 25, 2017 at 5:56 pm
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    an intel 9369721574 doesn't sound as catchy as an core i7. 🙂

    Reply
  • September 25, 2017 at 9:58 pm
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    The 'Pentium II' should have been called the 'Sextium'.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2017 at 2:10 am
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    pent = 5

    Reply
  • September 26, 2017 at 9:01 pm
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    I didn't know the youtube audio library had porno music.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2017 at 4:37 pm
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    AMD didn't get sued due for Reverse Engineer Intel CPU… because anti monopoly ?

    Reply
  • September 27, 2017 at 11:18 pm
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    Intel – assholes from the start.

    Reply
  • September 28, 2017 at 12:45 am
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    Why do you make so many great videos!

    Reply
  • September 28, 2017 at 3:48 am
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    Ah good info. I always wondered this but always at times when I was discussing with friends so it wasn't convenient to try searching online for it. Many years later …… curiosity satisfied.

    Reply
  • September 28, 2017 at 9:12 pm
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    Marketing.

    Reply
  • September 29, 2017 at 2:32 am
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    hmm…wasnt it just named after Vladimir Pentkovski? https://www.theregister.co.uk/1999/06/07/intel_uses_russia_military_technologies/

    Reply
  • September 30, 2017 at 2:15 am
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    em core i7 7700 isnt a number?

    Reply
  • September 30, 2017 at 6:19 am
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    You forgot the 8-bit 8080 which was the soul of every CP/M machine which really was the first microcomputer, but neither which made it in the IBM pc!

    Reply
  • September 30, 2017 at 5:24 pm
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    Because, lawsuit.

    Reply
  • September 30, 2017 at 6:51 pm
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    So basically, all you're saying is that words are easier to remember than numbers?

    Reply
  • October 2, 2017 at 7:52 am
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    Ahhh so there was an 80186. I was always under the impression that Intel went 8086 then skipped to 80286.

    Reply
  • October 4, 2017 at 2:25 am
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    This just made it more confusing.

    Reply
  • October 4, 2017 at 3:07 pm
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    Why is everyone always leaving the 80186 out?

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  • October 7, 2017 at 3:09 pm
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    They changed to names. Because the lost a lawsuit on the copyrighting numbers

    Reply
  • October 20, 2017 at 5:41 pm
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    Aaaaw, that "Time For A Change" cartoon is so adorably 90s. =D

    Reply
  • October 23, 2017 at 7:50 am
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    Wow, I only just realised that "Pentium" contains "Pent" (5). 😮

    Reply
  • November 18, 2017 at 6:49 pm
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    So, i've been in PC tech since 1995.
    Only know it has come to my attention that AMD mens 'Advanced Micro Devices '.
    Thumbs up

    Reply
  • January 19, 2018 at 7:11 pm
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    Video wastes the first 2 minutes. Skip to 2:02

    Reply
  • February 8, 2018 at 5:49 pm
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    Fun fact : to this day intel still numbers their chipsets with 5 digits

    Reply
  • February 23, 2018 at 1:14 am
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    I have a 686 🙂 (thanks cyrix)

    Reply
  • March 22, 2018 at 5:13 pm
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    Do new Intel CPUs still carry over some old unwanted legacies from the past generations?

    Reply
  • March 24, 2018 at 4:48 pm
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    Funny enough, the Pentium D would often register as a "Pentium 5" in Windows XP

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  • March 28, 2018 at 7:30 pm
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    Pentium is the placeholder name for boron

    Reply
  • May 14, 2018 at 10:01 pm
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    Makes me wonder why 32-bit software is called x86 when intel stopped the "x86" thing after 486? 486 isn't 32-bit as far as I know.

    Reply
  • May 17, 2018 at 7:26 am
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    2:10 What? Silicon Valley was already a thing in the sixties? Most interesting thing I've learnt this week, I guess.

    Reply
  • May 17, 2018 at 3:24 pm
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    the name is pronounced f AA j ee n , it's an Italian surname, you pronunce it like Fagin the guy from Oliver Twist

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  • May 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm
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    It’s all about the pentiums!

    Reply
  • May 18, 2018 at 4:50 am
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    Interestingly even today if you run Linux and do a cat of /proc/cpuinfo it's a 586.

    Reply
  • May 19, 2018 at 4:35 pm
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    Intel Inside Idiot on the Outside

    Reply
  • May 20, 2018 at 10:05 am
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    So why did we stop at Pentium (5)?

    Because the next one will be called Sextium.

    Reply
  • May 21, 2018 at 4:40 am
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    The 386 trademark is too generic.
    But neither are 7-11, Apple, or Windows.
    hmmmm

    Reply
  • May 27, 2018 at 6:25 am
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    Because Altos 586 already existed. It was an 8086 processor equipped computer and using 586 would have created confusion.

    Reply
  • June 2, 2018 at 11:56 am
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    Same reason there is no windows 9, marketing!

    Reply
  • June 2, 2018 at 2:07 pm
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    20 years later and AMD are giving all of their chipsets the same numbers or incredibly similar ones to Intel's, in the hope that they will confuse consumers into accidentally buying their products. Some things never change.

    Reply
  • July 15, 2018 at 10:00 pm
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    its going to happen again considering that Intel is now behind AMD

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  • October 18, 2018 at 4:40 am
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    Here in Brazil was pretty common some vendors calling his Pentium PCs as 586. Mostly because people used to call Pentium this way. But with Pentium MMX and Pentium II, people started to call this processor by it's name.

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  • October 24, 2018 at 4:43 pm
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    It couldn't be it's easier to support under copyright and patent laws could it?

    Reply
  • October 29, 2018 at 9:26 pm
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    Around 3:57 you mention the “Mike Webb” story. That is such a load of crap (from Intel, not you). I cannot believe Intel is still going with the “We had no idea AMD had a clone chip in the works. We thought they started making toasters, like the ones they give away free at the bank for opening up an account (Banks, not AMD) nonsense.

    Reply
  • January 24, 2019 at 5:25 pm
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    Wat bout the ibn 5100 thou

    Reply
  • January 25, 2019 at 10:56 am
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    Anyone got the music list?

    Reply
  • January 25, 2019 at 6:29 pm
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    Ummm.. I'll guess before I watch the video, because a judge ruled they couldn't copyright a number.

    Yep, I guess it helps to have watch it happening while selling 386, 436, and Pentium computers. Of course that meant the Intel was helpless to stop Cyrix's fraudulent " 486 " chips from entering the market.

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  • January 26, 2019 at 5:58 am
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    I've definitely heard of the Pentium referred to as a 586.

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  • January 28, 2019 at 5:35 am
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    After Intel went from 486 to Pentium, didn't Motorola have a bit of fun by jumping from the 68040 to the 68060?

    Reply
  • January 30, 2019 at 6:29 pm
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    Intel was told they couldn't trademark or copyright a number. Could have told us in the first 30 seconds.

    Reply
  • February 2, 2019 at 9:31 am
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    ,,intel core 2 QUAD"

    Reply
  • February 2, 2019 at 1:21 pm
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    So, if Intel had continued using the same processor numbering, what would today’s Intel processors be at?

    Reply
  • February 4, 2019 at 5:46 am
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    5:16 Why can’t I get away from BFDI Assets. They’re everywhere now

    Reply
  • February 6, 2019 at 5:40 pm
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    the 86 line technically continued because when i try to run feren os on a 32 bit pentium it says that it needs an x86 or x64 processor while i have an i686 processor

    Reply
  • February 9, 2019 at 8:14 pm
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    intel have never stopped using processor numbers they still use them today all they did was change the form of the numbering.

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  • February 10, 2019 at 6:23 pm
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    Wait, there are people who say "two-eight-six" instead of "two-eightysix"?!?

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  • February 17, 2019 at 6:41 pm
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    you're literally the only person on the entire planet that pronounces the numbers of the Chips sperately

    noone else does it. it's 80-88 not 8-0-8-8 same with every other Chip… why do you do this… it sounds so strange and needs so much time to pronounce
    and there you suddently do it right 1:43

    Reply
  • March 7, 2019 at 9:50 am
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    80806 ? lol. basically 2 reasons: 1 numbers are not trademarkable, 2: they gave a license to some other company to clone 'any xxx86 cpu' back in the 8086 days to fulfill some military contracts, ofcourse that kinda becake a pain in the ass by the time the 586 came around so they simply gave it another name to make the license invalid for those.

    Reply
  • June 14, 2019 at 10:25 am
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    so,2019 update:
    Why did Intel stop using Processor numbers.
    Becouse they couldn't afford to make something they can give a number to after the 10nm fail and 3rd gen ryzen lunch event.

    Reply
  • September 22, 2019 at 3:38 pm
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    Pentium 2: Bad
    Hexium: Good

    Pentium 3: Bad

    Heptium: Good

    i3: Bad

    Octium: Good

    i5: Bad

    Ennium: Good

    i7: Bad

    Decium: Good

    i9: Bad

    Hendecium: Good

    Reply
  • September 30, 2019 at 8:13 am
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    OK getting too old to bother with the hardware hype
    What CPU should I get to replace my i7 4790k gtx1080ti 1050w PSU
    I'm getting about a 20% ish bottleneck as I moved from a gtx980
    Say there's a way to keep my mobo lol I bet there isn't… Hammer ?

    Reply
  • October 4, 2019 at 12:56 pm
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    What 8xx86 generation are we in now?

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  • October 11, 2019 at 12:35 am
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    And then there is part of the reason for the split between Intel and AMD – tied to AMD giving bare die versions of the 80286 to HP for use in emulators. Intel wanted that market for themselves and were ticked off by that. I've got a bare 80286 chip stuck to the back of my HP name badge from that time.

    Reply
  • October 12, 2019 at 11:50 pm
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    I have an actual Intel 8008!

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  • October 13, 2019 at 1:07 am
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    A number cant be patented

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  • October 13, 2019 at 1:56 pm
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    Boi

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  • October 15, 2019 at 1:13 pm
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    There may have been another, much simpler, reason; Intel already had a chip called the 80586! In the mid 80's I worked on a project developing networking equipment. This used an 80188 processor, and an 80586 ethernet controller. I remember thinking when the 80386 came out that they would have naming problems in a couple of generations. Sadly I can't find a datasheet or any other details on the web for the 80586 ethernet controller.

    Reply
  • October 17, 2019 at 1:39 am
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    is there a video on why IBM chose Intel chips over other processors like the z80 or 6502 or etc?

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  • October 19, 2019 at 6:26 am
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    my lovely 486 dx4

    Reply
  • October 21, 2019 at 1:02 pm
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    I'm sorry to say, I was in the Intel train, then switched to AMD for a while… But what won me over is an i686 compatible useful in a tablet (Surface X has no market, sorry).

    Reply
  • October 22, 2019 at 3:53 am
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    4:04 GreatScott music starts playing

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  • October 22, 2019 at 11:43 am
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    Thankfully Intel continued with their simple, easy to understand product naming scheme like the "Intel Core i7 10710U 25W"

    Reply
  • October 26, 2019 at 4:26 pm
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    Shame we never had a 7 007

    Reply
  • October 30, 2019 at 3:39 am
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    numbers cannot get patent.

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  • November 18, 2019 at 5:58 am
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    in 95 & 96, 486 pc still common in Malaysia than Pentium

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  • November 18, 2019 at 9:18 pm
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    Cant wait for a new i7086

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  • November 20, 2019 at 11:34 pm
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    It was a smart move on Intel's part to name their new CPU Pentium. It imeadeatly obsoleted any 586, 686, etc naming convention

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  • November 21, 2019 at 10:40 pm
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    586? More like 585.999999

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  • January 1, 2020 at 3:30 pm
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    lots of informations but missed point. The real difference between ixxx and Pentium is generaly changes in processors transistors mode. The iXXX were working in transistor switching mode where 0Volts were 0 and 5Volts were I binary. in Pentium and further transistor swithing in semiconductor mode where binary 0 were at 3Volts and binary I were 4.5Volts. alltrough in needed more cooling as the processors transistors are ALWAYS ON. So it work that way since today.

    Reply
  • January 25, 2020 at 10:37 pm
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    Add for air defence sistem?…are you ok you tube?
    Ps: rafael spyder on special sale

    Reply

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