Computing Power Unleashed This article mainly deals with the microprocessor chip, which is the computer’s brain. This computer chip is responsible for the majority of the computers functions, it’s commonly referred to as the Central Processing Unit (CPU). It receives and executes your instructions and determines if your computer understands software written for a Personal Computer (PC) or a Macintosh (MAC).
The CPU chip size is small, about half the size of a business card, and just as small as your thumbnail. Intel is the leading manufacturer of microprocessor for IBM PC’s, also other companies manufacture them also. However Apple, IBM, and Motorola have combined to create a power chip designed to be used in IBM PC’s and Macintosh computers. However Intel microprocessors are as follows 8088, 8086, 80286, 80386, 80486, and the Pentium. The prefix 80 is commonly dropped.
Then we look at the CPU package dealing with the electronic circuits. This chip is made of silicon, containing numerous tiny transistors with tiny wire protruding from it. The chip is encase in black plastic and sits on the motherboard which contains all of the computers circuitry. Microprocessors have all different kinds of internal processor speed, commonly known as clock speed. This represents the number of clock cycles a chip can produce per second and how quickly the CPU can execute commands.
The speed is measured in megahertz (MHz) for example 25MHz equals to 25 million clock cycles per second. The CPU also contains the databus (a wire) across of it that moves the information. Which is measured in bits (smallest piece of information). These chips are compared by the Intel Comparative Microprocessor Performance (ICOMP).
They compare a number of industry standards to determine the power of different CPU’s. Nevertheless a breakthrough in the 486 series chips surfaced, Intel offered the 486DX in 1989 better than 386, amore faster CPU with clock speeds up to 33MHz, including 1.2 million transistors compared to the 386’s, and also offered a math coprocessor. The drawbacks was it was to expensive for the common person. In 1991 Intel came up with the 486SX with no math coprocessor and speeds up to 25Mhz which made more affordable. Nonetheless, in 1992 Another breakthrough by Intel by introducing the 486DX2 with clock speeds up to 66MHz with slightly a higher price which made the perfect upgrade tool for people who could not afford it.
Next the fifth generation was introduced by Intel again with high priced CPU, the Pentium processor, the most powerful one yet. Introduced in 1993 and operating between 66MHz to 100MHz. With the Intel’s 3 new plants, prices went down for these chips. However id not stop there, Intel introduce another CPU processor, the 486DX4 with clock speeds of 75MHz to 100MHz with lesser cost than pentiums. Nevertheless, determining the CPU that rights for you must be a decision between the type of power you want and can afford.