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gerrydoire
January 12th, 2009, 12:06 PM
A rather silly question, but with so many CPUs on the go over the past 25 years or so, which CPU for whatever reason - pratical or not
would you pick as your favorite CPU?

For me the i386.

Why? .... a game called DOOM was all the talk, I was on a 286 and was told I needed to upgrade to a 386 to play the game, which at that time was unlike any other game ever made before it...

When I received my 386 MB, I was impressed by the size of the CPU, the biggest I've seen so far and all the CHIPS around it, it looked so futuristic and heady duty killer motherboard, it ran at 25Mhz, a real computer at last it seemed.... :rolleyes:

Ole Juul
January 12th, 2009, 01:04 PM
The i386 has also been my favorite for a long time. I like being able to do things with low resources and the 386 is the lowest that will do a lot of cool stuff. I don't know a lot about code, but to me this is the first "modern" chip that will run almost anything, and it was an important turning point.

I suppose that some people would say something similar about the 8088 and in a way I would agree. I like that one too. :)

For practical purposes I like the early pentiums. As a doshead the P133 or P166 is about as good as it gets and I'm currently running a P133 just because thats what I had available and I don't think the 166 would be noticably faster with DOS, considering that the bus speed is the same. Those can also run without a fan, so slowing down my PS fan, using ramdisks, and shutting off my HDD when not needed, things are nice and quiet when I'm writing and trying to think. Anything faster or newer is just noisier.

From an emotional point of view I must add that the P60 gold tops are my favourite, specifically the Intel A80501-60 SX835, with or without the "processor" logo. Those are pretty. :) From a purely collectors standpoint I guess the SX753 or even a 50MHz engineering sample would be better. Actually the Pentium pro is pretty (perhaps even gaudy!) - and it also will run without a fan so you get to see it - especially if you have a distaste for closed boxes.

patscc
January 12th, 2009, 01:20 PM
I think the 386 was also the first one where they got protected mode running properly.

I'd have to say my favourite CPU is the Zilog Z8000, but mainly because it was on the first sbc I built. Second favourite, the MC68008, again largely sentimental reasons. The MC68008 was the on the second sbc I built ( actually, more of a plug-in bus sort of affair, I think it was detailed in the old German magazine MC, I think it was called) and because it was in the first computer I bought for myself, a Sinclair QL.

patscc

wmmullaney
January 12th, 2009, 01:26 PM
My favorite CPU is the MOS 6502 by a long shot. Mainly because of the early apple machines.

:)

Merlin
January 12th, 2009, 01:36 PM
For me , it has to be the Motorola 68000, from the Amiga. The Amiga was the first computer that blew me away with what it could do at the time, all on a lowly 7Mhz 68000 CPU. Compared to what PCs could do at the time, it was astonishing. I used my A500 (then an A600) for games, word processing, scanning, BBS stuff, it was my Swiss Army Knife.

That's why I have a home full of Miggies now....A500s, Pluses, 600s and 1200s. I would like to eventually get a big box A2000, like my Dad had at the time (actually it was an A1500, but had the A2000 badge underneath the A1500 one, for some bizarre reason, a lot of them were like that).

:mrgreen:

barythrin
January 12th, 2009, 01:43 PM
I'll agree that the Amiga was the first to blow me away with it's capabilities .. well ok.. it's games (I was young lol). What "pluses" are you referring to? (curious since I do collect Commodore/Amiga but don't recall a plus on any of the numbers unless that was a euro thing).

I haven't had the time I've wanted to get deep into too many architectures with assembly so I guess my favorite would still be an 8086. It's simple, I like the pinouts that are easy to use and access. I wish I had more time with the 6502, I think I'd like it but I still have yet to really sit down with a 6502 ML book and get deeper into it.

per
January 12th, 2009, 02:15 PM
I'll agree that the Amiga was the first to blow me away with it's capabilities .. well ok.. it's games (I was young lol). What "pluses" are you referring to? (curious since I do collect Commodore/Amiga but don't recall a plus on any of the numbers unless that was a euro thing).

I haven't had the time I've wanted to get deep into too many architectures with assembly so I guess my favorite would still be an 8086. It's simple, I like the pinouts that are easy to use and access. I wish I had more time with the 6502, I think I'd like it but I still have yet to really sit down with a 6502 ML book and get deeper into it.

The only system I've used with an 6502 is the Atari Lynx II. It uses the CMOS variant with Static memory (hence, clock speeds lesser than 2MHz is made possible).

However, even though the Atari Lynx is a great system, my choice falls on the 8088. This is because I got my XT, and I really focused learning to write programs for it. That's why I allways use pure x86 code in my programs. so far... (what's the point in writing for 386'ses and newer when it is about impossible to find information about Windows-program headers. I know they released some kind if 5000 pages programmers reference for Windows back in the early 90's, but nobody really cared to buy it. How compiller-programmers get low-level referance information about Windows therse days is a mystery to me.)

gerrydoire
January 12th, 2009, 03:01 PM
My favorite CPU is the MOS 6502 by a long shot. Mainly because of the early apple machines.

:)

God Bless Commodore, they around anymore? :sarcasm:

gerrydoire
January 12th, 2009, 03:03 PM
For me , it has to be the Motorola 68000, from the Amiga. The Amiga was the first computer that blew me away with what it could do at the time, all on a lowly 7Mhz 68000 CPU. Compared to what PCs could do at the time, it was astonishing. I used my A500 (then an A600) for games, word processing, scanning, BBS stuff, it was my Swiss Army Knife.

That's why I have a home full of Miggies now....A500s, Pluses, 600s and 1200s. I would like to eventually get a big box A2000, like my Dad had at the time (actually it was an A1500, but had the A2000 badge underneath the A1500 one, for some bizarre reason, a lot of them were like that).

:mrgreen:

Technically speaking the Amiga was the best computer ever made...It took the PC world how long before a graphics subprocessor became mainstream? Voodoo me!!!! :confused7: I still have my A500..

MaTel
January 12th, 2009, 03:46 PM
On my Amiga 500 I have made my first steps in assembler-programming. For me are the Motorolla 68k CPUs the best..ever!

The second was the fist AMD Athlon Slot CPU...

Chuck(G)
January 12th, 2009, 03:53 PM
Since this is posted under "Later PCs", do you mean x86 CPUs? Do the CPUs have to be on a chip or can they be spread across a few cabinets?

Ole Juul
January 12th, 2009, 04:43 PM
Since this is posted under "Later PCs", do you mean x86 CPUs? ...

I had the same thought but ignored it because I don't have any practical experience with pre 8088 processors. There must be a number of them and no doubt some lovable ones. What did the setun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Setun) use?


... Do the CPUs have to be on a chip or can they be spread across a few cabinets?

None of my computers have one those... I checked. :p I guess you would need a pretty big mother board!! lol

Anyway, at some point you would have to stop calling it a Central Processing Unit.

gerrydoire
January 12th, 2009, 06:27 PM
Since this is posted under "Later PCs", do you mean x86 CPUs? Do the CPUs have to be on a chip or can they be spread across a few cabinets?

A CPU that doesn't require a gerbel and a wheel...

patscc
January 12th, 2009, 06:39 PM
gerrdoire said...gerbel and wheel
I betcha if you rigged a little motor as a generator to the wheel, you could probably run a BasicStamp or PIC off of it...

patscc

Ole Juul
January 12th, 2009, 06:47 PM
I betcha if you rigged a little motor as a generator to the wheel, you could probably run a BasicStamp or PIC off of it...
patscc

Awlright! I can see another "$100 laptop" project comming up. This one being truly green (TM) because it needs no landfill unfriendly batteries and runs on BIOFUEL. There's a little hopper on the side where you pour pellets when the screen gets dim ....

patscc
January 12th, 2009, 07:06 PM
Ole Juul said...$100 laptop

The thought occurs to me that to make it truly vintage, we should probably try to run a TRS-80 PC1 or a Sharp PC-1500A off the gerbil...

patscc

cosam
January 13th, 2009, 01:12 AM
The thought occurs to me that to make it truly vintage, we should probably try to run a TRS-80 PC1 or a Sharp PC-1500A off the gerbil...
To make it truely vintage, you'd need a period gerbil too. Unfortunately I don't think there will be many left that are still in working order, although I suppose you could use a modern part (unless you're some kind of gerbil purist).

Back on topic, I don't think I could pick a favourite from the x86 line. Give me a PDP-11 any day ;-)

paul.brett
January 13th, 2009, 01:50 AM
I like the original Pentium with it's FDIV bug (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium_FDIV_bug). Mostly because of the public outcry, and general all round 'ball dropping' and attempted obfuscation by Intel.

I was working for the post office at the time, and there was a push to move forward from the 486-DX2/66 and 486-DX4/100 machine we were using at the time, but upper management didn't want to spend money on something that had already been declared 'flawed'.

My futile attempts to convince them that it was unlikely to ever affect their MS Word 2 usage on their largely Windows for Workgroups based machines brings back fond memories. We were paying MORE to continue to source those 486 machines, while they dithered.

Some funnies (http://www.netjeff.com/humor/item.cgi?file=PentiumJokes) for you.

Paul.

curtis
January 13th, 2009, 05:16 AM
Guess my favorite would be the 486DX2-66. Good speed, high stability, and didn't generate TOO much heat.

Chuck(G)
January 13th, 2009, 08:52 AM
I have a soft spot for the IBM 1620. Straightforward, easy-to-use decimal architecture. Simple I/O and a cycle speed slow enough that things didn't get away on you before you finished your lunch.

NeXT
January 13th, 2009, 09:28 AM
I like the Pentium PRO however it's not really of any vintage so I'll go with my second fav, the Intel Overdrive DX4 75. I got that dropped in a system right now and running at 100Mhz!

gerrydoire
January 13th, 2009, 09:57 AM
Guess my favorite would be the 486DX2-66. Good speed, high stability, and didn't generate TOO much heat.

Forget about the technical aspects good or bad...


Think about the CPU that had the most physiological effect on you in a positive manner.

:D

SteveH
January 13th, 2009, 11:18 AM
Think about the CPU that had the most physiological effect on you in a positive manner.:D

Well, in that case for me it was the humble Z80. It was at the heart of my first kit computer - the Sinclair ZX81 (I think you guys on the other side of the pond called it the Timex-Sinclair 1000 ;)). It was my first foray into assembly language and the beginning of my career in 'computers'.

nige the hippy
January 13th, 2009, 11:42 AM
A toss up between 6502 and 68000,

I did my first assembler programming on 6502s and Z80s, and found the 6502s instruction set just NICE, and the Z80s awkward, with awkward bits bolted on in an awkward way. The X86 architecture has followed the same path.

68000 again for it's lovely instruction set (and that it ran the Amiga!)

Ole Juul
January 13th, 2009, 11:56 AM
I like the original Pentium with it's FDIV Mostly because of the public outcry, and general all round 'ball dropping' and attempted obfuscation by Intel..
I agree that is a good one to collect, and the FDIV doesn't make it any less usable either. IIRC the "flaw" was available in both the plain and "gold top" spreader versions.

Some funnies (http://www.netjeff.com/humor/item.cgi?file=PentiumJokes) for you.
Paul.
Thanks for the reminder.

At Intel, Quality is Job 0.99989960954
That's funny! It's also funny (in a recursive kind of way) how the person that put up that site couldn't figure out how to write a text file. lol

gerrydoire
January 13th, 2009, 12:19 PM
A toss up between 6502 and 68000,

I did my first assembler programming on 6502s and Z80s, and found the 6502s instruction set just NICE, and the Z80s awkward, with awkward bits bolted on in an awkward way. The X86 architecture has followed the same path.

68000 again for it's lovely instruction set (and that it ran the Amiga!)

I can remember when the Arcade Game Gauntlet came out, and the word 68000 was thrown around, at that time I think most arcade games were z80 based..

Merlin
January 13th, 2009, 12:24 PM
What "pluses" are you referring to? (curious since I do collect Commodore/Amiga but don't recall a plus on any of the numbers unless that was a euro thing).

There was the original 1/2Mb Amiga A500 with Kickstart 1.2 or 1.3, then Commodore brought out a 1Mb Amiga A500 Plus with Kickstart 2.04; was this not released in the USA?

barythrin
January 13th, 2009, 12:36 PM
If it's the system with most impact on my life, I'm still sticking with my answer, though technically it'd be the 8088 which is what our first family computer had. That was definitely the beginning of my amazement with computers and what they could do.

tezza
January 13th, 2009, 01:17 PM
Forget about the technical aspects good or bad...


Think about the CPU that had the most physiological effect on you in a positive manner.

:D

Ok, from a purely emotional and subjective point of view it would be the Z-80. It was at the core of my System 80 (http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/system-80/index.htm)and I dabbled with some assembly language on that machine hence learned a little about it.

Second would be a 486-DX66. I had one of these boxes running win95 for a few years, and eventually it was running Win NT. I discovered DOOM, it ran MS Flight Simulator well and I learnt about servers with it. Although not directly linked to the processor, that machine (a locally assembled clone) was 100% reliable.


Tez

JDT
January 13th, 2009, 03:11 PM
My favorites:

8088, nostalgia for my IBM 5150 I had as a kid (and still have!)
i486-DX4 100 was my first real gaming machine, it and I spent many many hours together.

Chuck(G)
January 13th, 2009, 04:30 PM
Well, if we're talking monolithic, single-chip CPUs...

National PACE or GI CP1600? Shows just how s-l-o-w a 16-bit CPU can be. Or the schizoid NSC800? Z80 CPU with an 8085 personality.

patscc
January 13th, 2009, 04:51 PM
Or the TMS 9900 & NS16032 ?
Did the Nat. Semi. NS16032 ever make it into a "personal" pc ?
patscc

Chuck(G)
January 13th, 2009, 05:19 PM
You mean the 32016? Yes, the Acorn Cambridge. Siemens put one in the PC-MK2.

patscc
January 13th, 2009, 05:28 PM
Chuck(G) said...You mean the 32016
Appearantly I do. Looks like the renamed the thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NS320xx

Goody. More computers to want. Just what I need.
patscc

Terry Yager
January 13th, 2009, 09:22 PM
I don't believe I have a favorite CPU, but if I did, it'd prolly be the i8080, simply because I've taken the time to learn all I can about it, so I understand it (somewhat), which is more than I can say 'bout any other. The rest really are black boxes full of majikal smoke, AFAIK.

--T

Terry Yager
January 13th, 2009, 09:33 PM
I like the original Pentium with it's FDIV bug (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium_FDIV_bug).

Paul.

But, the original '386 (without sigma) had a math bug of some kind too...

--T

Ole Juul
January 13th, 2009, 09:40 PM
... The rest really are black boxes full of majikal smoke, AFAIK. --T
That's why I like the Pentium gold tops! They're so .... approachable ... they make you feel like you understand them ... It was a brilliant attempt by Intel to make processors appeal to a wider crowd ... a forshadowing of web2.0 if you will ...

pontus
January 13th, 2009, 10:42 PM
I thought the discussion was only about "later PCs" but it seems to have drifted somewhat :) So I'll chime in with my favourites.

My first real computer experience with a C128 so I'll have to say that the 8502 is a favourite just because of that. (There was a Z80 in there to, but I never used it much)

But my true love is with the DEC cpu's. A Straight-8 with all discrete components is just mind blowing. I've had the fortune to work with a PDP-11/70 which is just an awesome experience.

http://www.pdp-11.nl/pdp11-70/pdp11-70-inside-25.jpg
A fully loaded PDP-11/70

Terry Yager
January 13th, 2009, 10:42 PM
That's why I like the Pentium gold tops! They're so .... approachable ... they make you feel like you understand them ...

Pentium? Ain't that Greek...? Or Latin...?? Or...??? What's it mean?:confused:

--T

Chuck(G)
January 13th, 2009, 11:08 PM
Always wondered why there wasn't a Quintium ^H^H^H Pention^H^H^H Pentagram^H^H^H Pentium 5...

http://www.thecraft.com/pentaclemeanings.jpg

Ole Juul
January 13th, 2009, 11:13 PM
Pentium? Ain't that Greek...? Or Latin...?? Or...??? What's it mean?:confused:
--T
You know... the one they put bugs in. That was another very clever marketing stragedy from Intel. They got great news coverage all over the world and by handling the situation in a unique way, they managed to keep people talking about it for a long time. Probably the most famous chip of all time. Just brilliant! :p

Terry Yager
January 14th, 2009, 12:03 AM
No such thing as bad publicity...

--T

Micom 2000
January 14th, 2009, 03:17 AM
I also have to go wth the 68000. But I'm amazed that no one piped up for the Atari ST or even the Mac. The Amiga with it's Kickstart and awkward interface couldn't compare to the ease of use of the GEM GUI, with OS in ROM, 1 meg ram and midi capabilities. I have an Amga 3000 but my Mega-ST is a treat in comparsion. And the Atari Falcon obviously out-classes the Amiga and is still in use by many professional musician. The Amiga Toaster did raise the bar for most multimedia but was an expensive add-on.

As far as the greatest computer, the NEXT blew every one of them out of the water with it's UNIX OS and DSP sound interface. Just too costly however and sales never caught up to manufacturing costs.

Lawrence

gerrydoire
January 14th, 2009, 04:06 AM
As far as the greatest computer, the NEXT blew every one of them out of the water with it's UNIX OS and DSP sound interface. Just too costly however and sales never caught up to manufacturing costs.

Lawrence

NEXT lives on as OSX :D

TandyMan100
January 14th, 2009, 06:00 AM
8085 and the Zilog Z-80.

What were used in the Olivetti M-10, Model 100, Kyo 85, and PC8201a.

Also in the SBC computer kits.

Iconclass
January 14th, 2009, 03:40 PM
Amd dx40.

eXTended8088
January 14th, 2009, 04:31 PM
Intel 8088 :)

billdeg
January 15th, 2009, 04:03 AM
I believe that the Intel 386 was the death blow to the Z80, and it really brought PC-type systems into the next era. The 68000 line did the same thing to the 6502. There are probably a million exceptions, this is just my general overall opinion.

i386 and 68000

tezza
January 15th, 2009, 09:12 AM
I believe that the Intel 386 was the death blow to the Z80...

Yea, only in PCs though. Apparently that little wonder microprocessor is still going strong and can be found in many electronic boards of dedicated-use appliances/machines everywhere.

Tez

Chuck(G)
January 15th, 2009, 09:49 AM
I believe that the Intel 386 was the death blow to the Z80, and it really brought PC-type systems into the next era. The 68000 line did the same thing to the 6502. There are probably a million exceptions, this is just my general overall opinion.


Besides, how many CPU chips beforehand were distributed as keychain fobs?

patscc
January 15th, 2009, 11:27 AM
tezza said... little wonder microprocessor is still going strong and can be found in many electronic boards of dedicated-use appliances/machines
Don't forget video games. Some arcade games used Z80's, the Sega Genesis used it as a I/O processor, and the Nintendo Gameboy used an "almost" Z80.

patscc

gerrydoire
January 15th, 2009, 01:20 PM
I believe that the Intel 386 was the death blow to the Z80, and it really brought PC-type systems into the next era. The 68000 line did the same thing to the 6502. There are probably a million exceptions, this is just my general overall opinion.

i386 and 68000

I tend to agree... :D

Anonymous Coward
January 15th, 2009, 05:22 PM
Overall, I'm going to have to go with the 68k. All the best machines in the 80s used those things...and let's face it, CISC just plain stinks.

My favourite x86 CPU is going to have to be the IBM Blue Lightning. Not the rebadged Cyrix, but the clock tripled 386DX with 16kb cache on steroids.

patscc
January 15th, 2009, 06:06 PM
Isn't the 68k CISC, as well ?
At least Wiki thinks so.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/68000

patscc

gerrydoire
January 15th, 2009, 06:31 PM
Isn't the 68k CISC, as well ?
At least Wiki thinks so.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/68000

patscc

68000 is cisc, Power PC is risc, Apple switched to Intel not because the CPU was better or worse, it was because of the Intel Brand Name,

something called: M A R K E T I N G...

The CPU in a PS3 is far more sophisticated than anything we run windows or osx on!

patscc
January 15th, 2009, 06:38 PM
gerrydoire said...Apple switched to Intel
Actually, what I heard was Apple switched because IBM didn't want design a new generation for Apple if Jobs was only going to pay peanuts for it.

patscc

pepst
February 27th, 2009, 10:37 AM
1st place - definitely Zilog Z80. :mrgreen:
2nd - Motorola MC68000
3rd - MOS 6510
4th - Intel i8080
5th - Motorola MC68EC020

EddieDX4
March 2nd, 2009, 03:34 PM
68000 is cisc, Power PC is risc, Apple switched to Intel not because the CPU was better or worse, it was because of the Intel Brand Name,

something called: M A R K E T I N G...

The CPU in a PS3 is far more sophisticated than anything we run windows or osx on!

The CPU in a PS3 is more closely related (in architecture) to a modern GPU. For general purpose computations (e.g. desktop computing, database servers, etc.), it is actually not very efficient.

I was a fan of the Power architecture, but let's get real. The Core/Core 2 evolution from the old Pentium III is very well thought out and plain fast.

Apple switched for several reasons, not a single one as it's being mentioned here. One of them was supply. IBM was simply not equipped to supply the demand that Apple was hoping for their systems. IBM has been developing new versions of the Power platform for some time, so I don't necessarily believe the reason they went with the Core/Core 2 was due to IBM's unwillingness to revise the architecture.

The MOST important reason why Apple switched was cost. This doesn't immediately translate to lower performance, it's just that Intel pushes more CPUs out the door than IBM does, and, with the smaller micron size manufacturing process, the cost:performance ratio was just a no-brainer choosing the Core platform.

My favorite processor of all time is the R10K.

A second favorite is the R5K.

Then the Pentium Pro, just because the chip itself was so massive and intimidating looking. :cool:

gerrydoire
March 2nd, 2009, 03:41 PM
Actually, what I heard was Apple switched because IBM didn't want design a new generation for Apple if Jobs was only going to pay peanuts for it.

patscc

Well as Steve Jobs once said, IBM is the enemy.... Big Brother and all that crapola :rolleyes:

chuckcmagee
March 2nd, 2009, 04:12 PM
Mine is a split between the Z-80 and the 6502.

Never, never MANUALLY disassemble an Apple II game, if you like the game that is. I spent around 6 months, off and on, spending time in the back room at work, after the shift was over, manually disassembling Space Invaders. I figured out where the graphics where stored, how they were rendered, what most of the calls did. I was totally totally sick of that game by the time I had most of it figured out. It was more than 15 years until I again was able to play the game.

I had one of those HUGE posters of a super closeup of the 8080A cpu on my wall for a long time. I can still disassemble some Z-80 code from memory, almost like reading braille. The REP and LXI ones I am fairly weak on, so I do studder as I go thru the machine code.

Unknown_K
March 2nd, 2009, 07:33 PM
68040 probably, followed by the 486 and the Pentium Pro.

Dwight Elvey
March 2nd, 2009, 07:54 PM
My favorite is the Novix NC4016. I wrote low level drivers
for it to use with some old XT boards that I connected to
its bus. It is a Forth processor. Once I had the hard drive
working, I could recompile the CMForth in about 12 seconds.
It was about 5K words of code. I'd blow new code with a
programmer that I ran through a home made parallel port.
Dwight

Raven
March 7th, 2009, 06:56 AM
Intel 8088. It's simple, x86 compatible, and happy to be alive.

Second favorite I'd say is the 486, though the 386 is a close third.

luckybob
March 7th, 2009, 07:29 AM
my favorite has to be the pentium pro, with the origional gold top pentiums a close second. my first computer i owned was a p90. i still have the cpu somewhere...