Intel Pentium has turned 20

Friday the 22nd of March has been the 20th anniversary of the Intel Pentium processor, a chip that was first introduced on March 22, 1993. The first product in the line, the Pentium P5 (the 5 standing for 5th generation x86 microarchitecture) was available in 60 MHz and 66 MHz versions, included 3.1 million transistors, had a TDP of up to 16 W, and used an 800nm manufacturing process.

By comparison, today's Intel Ivy Bridge processor - which is still technically a Pentium chip, despite being primarily branded as "Ivy Bridge" or "3rd-generation Core iX" - includes 1.4 billion transistors, includes clock speeds of up to 3.90 GHz, has a max TDP of 77 W and uses a 22nm process; how times have changed!

Be sure to check out one of the original Pentium adverts from 1994 above (look at how smooth those planet animations are!) and maybe crack open a beer this weekend to say thanks to one of the most prolific CPU lines of all time.

Via: Engadget

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The 66 was too slow for me. I waited for the 100Mhz in my 70lb Gateway PC. They even threw in a HP laser 4L printer for the sweet sum of $4000. I WAS KING!!!!!!!!!!!

Our 1st comp was custom built by a local company. I knew it was 100MHz but wasn't til years later I tore it apart to find a CYRIX processor. I remember buying Dark Forces just to have a cool CD because it ran at probably 5 FPS..

Next was Pentium II 266 MHz machine, what a beast!

I remember when my parents got the I think it was the Gateway P5-60 and then our local church got the p5-100 and OMGZ it was soooo fast.

I also remember I installed some ram turbo software on it and it caused the computer to bluescreen, it wouldn't boot. they had to get it fixed

Riva said,
I bought a PC with a Pentium 75Mhz and 8MB RAM with Windows 95 preinstalled

Our family got one in 1996 with a 120Mhz processor, 8MB RAM, 1GB hard drive and Windows 95... Was £1600 or something ridiculous like that lol

First day...as we had no internet connection...ENCARTA cd rom...OMGWTFBBQ

technikal said,

Our family got one in 1996 with a 120Mhz processor, 8MB RAM, 1GB hard drive and Windows 95... Was £1600 or something ridiculous like that lol

First day...as we had no internet connection...ENCARTA cd rom...OMGWTFBBQ


haha yes we used to get Encarta and Microsoft Works xD

If the Chief of Engineering on board the USS Enterprise is flogging them, you know it was good enough for your home computer.

I remember that you could buy the pentium 90MHz and then use it as the 100MHz processor by simply changing a jumper on the motherboard.
That's what I call easy overclocking.

YouWhat said,
All that pops into my head when I read the title is the old divide by zero error lol

Really? because when I hear Pentium I think the horrible error they had with floating point precision (how close to accurate it was not length) (aka the FDIV bug)

neufuse said,

Really? because when I hear Pentium I think the horrible error they had with floating point precision (how close to accurate it was not length) (aka the FDIV bug)

I think you're talking about the same thing.

The divide by error was the FDIV bug.

boo_star said,

I think you're talking about the same thing.

The divide by error was the FDIV bug.

FDIV wasn't divide by zero, it was a problem with floating point lookup tables that caused rounding errors

when I replaced my PC XT turbo with a 386 (with VGA 256 colors graphics!), I thought it was all that I needed... how times change....

My first computer was a 486DX. Came with a whopping 16MB memory which I instantly upgraded to 48MB's!! Never thought it was very fast, but sure was expensive!!

I don't think I've paid as much for the 8 computers I have now altogether, as I did that first one!!

It often seems to be the way that a new technology starts out inferior to an old one. More often than not if anything. Changing things seems to mean taking a step back before it's possible to take advantage of the better design.

Intel got it majorly wrong with the Pentium 4 architecture (NetBurst) to the point that they actually had to go back to Pentium M, a variant of Pentium III, in order to develop the line that led to today's Core series.

Yep, I remember the Tualatin core Pentium IIIs blew away the first Pentium IV systems in performance. They also went with that RDRAM or whatever while AMD stayed with standard DDR.

singularity87 said,
Intel got it majorly wrong with the Pentium 4 architecture (NetBurst) to the point that they actually had to go back to Pentium M, a variant of Pentium III, in order to develop the line that led to today's Core series.

The funny thing is that they thought that they could bring the P4 up to 10GHz - what were they thinking?!

Pentiums? I remember reading about the new 486 computers and thinking how awesome they were and how I'd never be able to afford such a powerful PC. Now I feel old.

Kenny Kanashimi Chu said,
If you're still use this chip, you're doing it wrong!
I know some people may still use it.

I was touring a data centre in Sydney recently and spotted a few racks sporting AMD K5's and Intel 486's.