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Reply 20 of 42, by Cobra42898

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From an assembly perspective, I love Slot1 processors and the 286/386/486 era because theyre so easy to buuld. Not so many fans necessary, no worried about thermal paste and heatsinks.

Pentium 133-166 were a "golden era" it seemed like, to me. In the groups of people I knew, a lot of people seemed to buy PCs at that era. A lot of x86 stuff was becoming slow enough to "need upgrading", and 133-166 seemed like just enough cpu to run win95 when it came out without a huge lag. I have a a P200mmx now, and it runs win98se fairly well for basic things.

Marketing hype was real. people "had to have" a win95 PC at that time. Why buy a p200-233 when there were P2's available?
same thing 6 years later.
XP? gotta have!

Searching for Epson Actiontower 3000 486 PC.

Reply 21 of 42, by Jo22

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Cobra42898 wrote:

Pentium 133-166 were a "golden era" it seemed like, to me. In the groups of people I knew, a lot of people seemed to buy PCs at that era.

I think the same, since the Pentium/Pro/MMX was the highest evolved CPU in the 1993 to 1997 time frame, in which DOS/Win3 still mattered and many Super VGA titles were released (ST: A Final Unity, Descent, Normality, Toonstruck, Zone Raider. .)
Clones included (NexGen, MediaGX etc).
At least for the initial generation, 585 mainboards often were professionally made.
Lots of gold and blocking caps, voltage regilulators, heatsinks, etc were installed on these boards.
In short, quality instead of cost-saving measures..
In respect to DOS-based emulators, the Pentium II and III also mattered still, I think.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 22 of 42, by creepingnet

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Intel 486 DX4 - any clock speed. I don't know whether it's the L2 cache (doubled to 16K) or certain version's ability to use Writeback Cache but to me the DX4 is that perfect gap bridge between retro and modern - it's just too old and just too new at the same time. It runs Links in DOS comfortably enough for me to use for things like downloading files and reading text documents, but it's capable of running a modern browser (I once had Firefox 10 in Win2000 running on one, once it came up it was not that horrific in most cases). I have booth an AMD and an Intel version, and the intel DX4 that runs at 25 MHz less than my AMD Desktop seems to be a little bit snappier for some reason. It's got me thnking I should throw a DX4 in the desktop too. Gaming is also a blast because I'm getting closer and closer (with more tuning and tweaking) to having a wider range of games that will run on just one "retro-box". 486 DX4's handle most throttled stuff from the 80's perfectly while being able to run Windows stuff as new as 1999.

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My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet
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Reply 25 of 42, by bloodem

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My absolute favorite has to be the AMD Athlon "Thunderbird" 1333 MHz. The speed bump that I felt when going from the K6-2 500 MHz to the Thunderbird was simply mind-boggling. No other subsequent CPU upgrade ever felt the same since then.
Other honorable mentions: the Athlon XP, Athlon 64, Core 2 Quad Q8300. And, I'm pretty sure that my current daily driver (the Ryzen 5 3600X) will make it to this list in 5 to 10 years 😀

From a retro-passion perspective, it's impossible for me to decide. I love too many CPUs/platforms 😁

2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Socket 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Socket 370 / 8 x Socket A / 2 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: Core i7 7700k

Reply 26 of 42, by Miphee

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I can't stay faithful to just one CPU. It's fun playing with them for a few weeks but then I get bored and want something new and exciting.

Reply 27 of 42, by VileR

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Don't really have a clear favorite from a technical standpoint. But I gotta represent for the mighty iAPX 88, aka the 8088.

Of course it launched the PC as a platform, but it's still an underdog in a sense. Almost all discussion, information, technical analysis, reverse-engineering etc. focuses on its elder brother the 8086, and the 8088 is treated as merely a cut-down budget version that isn't worthy of attention on its own. After all, it's 100% code-compatible. But the timings and the BIU are still different, and the lack of data has delayed 100% accurate emulation for way too long.

Plus, it was designed in my country, and it's also the only CPU I've ever really coded low-level stuff for. The protected and virtual modes in later x86 processors launched a huge revolution, but real mode "feels" nicer to program: you have the entire machine to yourself.

You gotta love the marketing too.

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[ WEB ] - [ BLOG ] - [ TUBE ] - [ CODE ]

Reply 28 of 42, by jesolo

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Difficult to just choose one CPU, so here are the ones that stood out the most for me:

  1. AMD 386DX 40 MHz - was the second PC we got after upgrading from an XT clone. Quite a leap and I played a lot of my old DOS games on this PC.
  2. Intel/AMD 486DX2 66 MHz - although I never owned one back in the day, I think this was probably one of the most popular 486 CPU's back in the mid 90's (until Windows 95 arrived).
  3. AMD Athlon XP - bought my first Athlon XP PC back in 2002 and I used that as my daily driver until 2008. Played a lot of Doom3 & Need for Speed on this one.
  4. Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 - upgraded to this one in 2008 and only recently decommissioned it (upgraded to a Core i5). This is probably the CPU that served me the longest as my daily driver.

Reply 29 of 42, by leileilol

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-08-15, 09:26:

Well if you ask what CPU made the BIGGEST impact on the computer market it would have had to have been the first gen. Pentium.

Cyrix 6x86's a much bigger wrecking ball than that. 6x86 destroying the 5th gen luxury gatekeep in the mid-late 90s (despite how flaky and sucks-at-quakey they may be) is still a ripple effect felt today. There's also 6x86's patented architectural innovations that the Intel P6 lineage (currently relevant) lived on. The real what-if's are if National Semicon hadn't prioritize MediaGX., and had UMC defended their Green CPUs better...

apsosig.png
long live PCem

Reply 30 of 42, by Jo22

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VileR wrote on 2020-08-16, 13:15:

Don't really have a clear favorite from a technical standpoint. But I gotta represent for the mighty iAPX 88, aka the 8088.

Cool, thanks for the ad!
- I've seen a similar one recently, but with the 8086. 😉

Source: https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/2012/08/31 … -ad-for-86-dos/

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"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 31 of 42, by liqmat

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I'm more a visual person so I really loved the Slot 1, Slot2 and Slot A processors and their boxy appearance. Especially Slot 2 for its sheer size. A large flat black brick you could weaponize if you really wanted to. They were so impressive looking back in the day and so was the price of course.

(っ•́。•́)♪♬

Reply 32 of 42, by Jasin Natael

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Socket 7 era is my favorite.

I'll go with a K6-III+ simply because it's the "ultimate" Socket 7 chip IMHO, and I always wanted one back in the day to upgrade my K6-2.

Reply 33 of 42, by Roman555

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I'm always fascinated with mainboards. So for me it's any CPU that makes a motherboard alive 😀

[ MS6168/PII-350/YMF754/98SE ]
[ 775i65G/E5500/9800Pro/Vortex2/ME ]

Reply 34 of 42, by BSA Starfire

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I'm going to be weird as always, and old. The 6502 was the one for me, it powered my first ever interaction with a CRT in the Atari VCS/2600,this showed me the worlds that could exist inside a computer and that I could interact with, then my first ever computer the commodore VIC 20, this showed me I could create those world myself and make them however I wanted them to be, then the best 8-bit computer ever made the BBC micro, this made achieving those ideas easy. Then when I first went to Japan the Nintendo Famicom and all the thousands of other peoples ideas and dreams that we could all share together. Those were amazing and influential times.
Next would be the Motorola 6800, first the Atari ST, then the Amiga, a quantum jump(OK we'll add uncle Clive's QL here as a "should have been").
After than it was more 6502(Nintendo Super Famicom/SNES & NEC PC Engine) and 6800 in Sega Megadrive. Bigger, shinier worlds to experience.
First x86 CPU that really impressed me was the Cyrix 6x86 PR 200+, I'm not sure why this stood out for me, but it gave me a lifelong love of Cyrix CPU's.
The next great was the humble intel "Mendocino" Celeron, a marque that has never been good again, but there was time where that CPU was by far the best for any smart buyer and has no down sides, fast cheap and solid.
Then it'd be the "Spitfire" AMD Duron, took over from the "Mendocino" in just the same way, perhaps a fraction slower, but a ton cheaper and easier to handle, brilliant stuff.
Then it's fairly obvious, the AMD 64 line was a no brainer against the rubbish intel "netburst" crap, but it was also here where computers lost some magic and became consumer communication devices, so that's where I'll leave this topic.

286 20MHz,1MB RAM,Trident 8900B 1MB, Conner CFA-170A.SB 1350B
386SX 33MHz,ULSI 387,4MB Ram,OAK OTI077 1MB. Seagate ST1144A, MS WSS audio
Amstrad PC 9486i, DX/2 66, 16 MB RAM, Cirrus SVGA,Win 95,SB 16
Cyrix MII 333,128MB,SiS 6326 H0 rev,ESS 1869,Win ME

Reply 35 of 42, by SherbertWest

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leileilol wrote on 2020-08-19, 02:11:
Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-08-15, 09:26:

Well if you ask what CPU made the BIGGEST impact on the computer market it would have had to have been the first gen. Pentium.

Cyrix 6x86's a much bigger wrecking ball than that. 6x86 destroying the 5th gen luxury gatekeep in the mid-late 90s (despite how flaky and sucks-at-quakey they may be) is still a ripple effect felt today. There's also 6x86's patented architectural innovations that the Intel P6 lineage (currently relevant) lived on. The real what-if's are if National Semicon hadn't prioritize MediaGX., and had UMC defended their Green CPUs better...

I would not know nearly as much as I do now about computers and tweaking configs to get stuff to run if the PC I used throughout high school hadn't contained a Cyrix 6x86-P90+GP (yes, I know I'm dating myself). The fact that it constantly threw me curveballs forced me to learn a lot.

Reply 36 of 42, by mrwho

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For me it would be Celeron line of the Pentium 2 era - they were insanely overclockable with stock cooling (I had one Cel 366mhz working at 600mhz)...

“Hey, you sass that hoopy MrWho? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is."
My home retro drivers repository: ftp://retro:drivers@mrwho.duckdns.org

Reply 37 of 42, by Caluser2000

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Anything I can get these grubby wrinkled old hands on.

Why? Because....

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 38 of 42, by Bladeforce

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I know its not a cpu but the mos 6581 changed my computing world.
6502 was my guess for best cpu. If it wasnt for that chip i dont think we would be here talking about it today

Long live SID!

Reply 39 of 42, by ncmark

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I'd have to say the one that made the biggest impact for me was pentium 166 mmx. I am sure many will argue, but that was the one that made windows 95 practical. In graduate school, I had one with a 4.3 gigabyte drive and a 2X CD burner.

To this day I have p3 650 and 850 machines that are in many ways souped-up versions of that computer - windows 98se instead of 95, but more or less the same suite of software installed 25 years later.

If you asked which chip I've run the longest, it would be the socketed coppermine p3. The above-mentioned systems have been together for like 10 years with almost no changes at all