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Intel's 15 Most Unforgettable x86 CPUs

The 486: An FPU And Multipliers Too

The 486 is emblematic of a certain generation who were first discovering computers. In fact, the very famous 486 DX2/66 was long considered the minimum configuration for gamers. This processor, released in 1989, ushered in several interesting new features, like an on-chip FPU, data cache, and the first clock multiplier. The former consisted of an x87 coprocessor built into the 486 DX (not SX) series. An 8 KB Level 1 cache was built into the processor (write-through type, then write-back with slightly better performance). There was also the possibility of a Level 2 cache on the motherboard (at the bus frequency).

The second generation of 486s had a CPU multiplier, since the processor operated faster than the FSB, with DX2 (2x multiplier) and DX4 (3x multiplier) versions. Another anecdote: the “487SX” sold as an FPU for the 486SX was actually a full 486DX that disabled and took the place of the first processor.

Code nameP4, P24, P24C
Date released1989
Architecture32 bits
Data bus32 bits
Address bus32 bits
Maximum memory4096 MB
L1 cache8 KB
L2 cacheMotherboard (FSB frequency)
Clock frequency16-100 MHz
FSB16-50 MHz
FPUOn chip
SIMDNo
Fabrication process1,000–800 nm
Number of transistors1,185,000
Power consumptionN/A
Voltage5 V–3.3 V
Die surface area81 - 67 mm²
Connector168 pins

The DX4 had a 16 KB cache and a few more transistors: 1.6 million. This processor, using a 600 nm process and measuring 76 mm², consumed less power than the original 486 (at a voltage of 3.3 V).

  • Arkz
    great article with only a few slight errors (like saying the core2duo has 1-4 cores... i don't think there's a 1 cored version lol)

    Looking forward to the AMD article.
    Reply
  • aleluja
    To correct you. Core 2 Duo has ONLY 2 cores, not more, not less.
    Core 2 Quad, has 4 cores and Core Solo has 1 core.
    Reply
  • @Arkz

    Yes there is a singal core,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Core_2_microprocessors#Single-Core_Mobile_processors
    Ok it is not under the same branding but it is part of the same microarchitecture
    Reply
  • Yuka
    I might be wrong, but i resemble that the Pentium 166 (32bits adress bus and all) had support for 4Gb of memory. I remember IBM sold it's top line (at that time) with 64Mb support (even with SDR PC100/66 support). Correct me if i'm wrong please.
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    The core 2 does supply 1-4 cores - 2 cores per die, where one might be disabled, and one or two dies on a socket. It's no less right to call a core2duo a cpu with 1-4 cores, than it is to put the pentium d on the same page as a single core prescot, as it's the very same principle.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    Arkzgreat article with only a few slight errors (like saying the core2duo has 1-4 cores http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coree ... i don't think there's a 1 cored version lol)Looking forward to the AMD article.
    Thanks for the heads-up! I tweaked that passage to better represent the Core 2 architecture's available configurations!
    Reply
  • randomizer
    vosesterOk it is not under the same branding but it is part of the same microarchitecture Exactly. The article says:

    ArticleThere are many versions of the architecture, resulting in configurations with a different number of cores
    There is no mention of the branding, so there is no actual error there, just misinterpretation.
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus
    Arkzgreat article with only a few slight errors (like saying the core2duo has 1-4 cores... i don't think there's a 1 cored version lol)Looking forward to the AMD article.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116039
    Yes, it isn't called a "Core 2 Duo," but it uses the Core architecture and only has a single core enabled.

    But I will have to say, there aren't any 3 core models...
    Reply
  • magicandy
    Good to hear you're not only doing an AMD article, but an ATI one as well (in response to the Nvidia article you did earlier, assuming). A sign of class from the new Tom's is a welcome one.
    Reply
  • harrycat88
    I wish they would get rid of those stupid SNAP Linkbubless and Inteltex misguiding links. Who ever invented those stupid annoying double lined text popups should have been burned at the stake
    Reply