Best CPU's of all time?

Camaroz06

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Hello All,

sort of a light hearted usless thread. What do you feel are the best CPUs of all time? Can be any producer.

I'd have to throw my hat in for the Q6600 and E6600 from the core 2 duo line, and even the i7920.
 

cyclone3d

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K7 - wiped the floor with Intel.
Athlon 64 - again, wiped the floor with Intel... first consumer processor with IMC. The X2 was also the first consumer processor that had 2 cores on a single die. The Pentium D doesn't count because it had two seperate dies.
Core2 - Intel caught up and surpassed AMD.
i7
And heres to hoping that AMD can once again regain the performance crown. Bulldozer... Yay for no more cheapy Hyperthreading junk. Even if they only match the IPC of the i7, the better multithreading should bring them above Intel since it looks to be way better than HT.
 

Camaroz06

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What was the AMD processor that everyone seemed to blow their load over 10? or so years ago. It might have been the first consumer chip to hit 1ghz. Was it code named Thunderbird? Cant remember the architecture.
 
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/dev/null

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Best?

386 -> Protected mode starts here, right?
Original AMD64 -> 64-bit with backwards compatibilitiy, onboard memory controller
 

valtopps

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i love my q9550 oc at 4ghz w/1.25v and also my e8400 oc at 4.2ghz 1.25v .
 

Dan_D

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K7 - wiped the floor with Intel.
Athlon 64 - again, wiped the floor with Intel... first consumer processor with IMC. The X2 was also the first consumer processor that had 2 cores on a single die. The Pentium D doesn't count because it had two seperate dies.
Core2 - Intel caught up and surpassed AMD.
i7
And heres to hoping that AMD can once again regain the performance crown. Bulldozer... Yay for no more cheapy Hyperthreading junk. Even if they only match the IPC of the i7, the better multithreading should bring them above Intel since it looks to be way better than HT.

The K7 was a good CPU. However the motherboards that you had to use with it, especially the initial boards were all pretty much crap. I don't remember it totally wiping the floor with Intel's offerings. At least not to the same degree as the Athlon 64 did.

Here is how I rank them:

Top 10 processors of all time in order of influence and relevance:


#10 Core i7

This CPU really only makes this list because it's performance right now is truly unmatched. While it's a remarkable piece of technology, it was probably badly timed as the market didn't really need it when it was introduced. It has always been expensive and has shown a very slow adoption rate. Its never enjoyed the success of lesser models. (Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core i5/i7 LGA1156 CPUs) It says goodbye to Intel's FSB and hello to integrated memory controllers. It also is notable for being the fastest CPU at the time of this writing in the form of the 32nm Gulftown (6 core) CPU better known as the Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition 980X.

#9 Core 2 Duo

The Core 2 was certainly amazing for one reason. It blew everything that had come before out totally out of the water. Priced competitively it saw a fast adoption rate and still powers many enthusiast rigs today. While long in the tooth now this CPU took seemingly forever to be equaled much less surpassed. This is also the final Intel CPU to use a traditional front side bus and an off die memory controller.

#8 NexGen Systems NX586

Notable as being the first real competitor to the Intel Pentium even managing to surpass it in some areas while running at lower clock speeds. While not commercially as successful as the Pentium or even the Cyrix/IBM 6x86 CPUs this company and it's processors gained AMD's attention. In fact NexGen's designs for upcoming processors were worked into the K6 family of processors (and beyond depending on who you ask) which were a commercial success for AMD. It is for this reason that the NX586 makes this list.

#7 80486

While not the first 32bit CPUs these were certainly prolific. The Intel 80486 was often copied with varying degrees of success. It's clock speeds ranged from a mere 25MHz to an astounding 133MHz. This CPU also sparked litigation over copyright and processor model numbers. The decision that numbers couldn't be copyrighted forced Intel to name their processors from this point on. These processors also shared the market with their successor, the Pentium for some time.

#6 Athlon X2

This processor beat Intel to the punch by being the first widely available dual core CPU on the market. This CPU essentially launched SMP into the mainstream. It can also be argued that this design was more elegant than the dual core implementation used by Intel which featured separate dies instead of a single dual core integrated die.

#5 Athlon 64


Notable for being the first real decisive victory against Intel CPUs, which couldn't be questioned by even the most fanatical Intel fans. Though many consider the original K7 to be Intel's first true equal, I find this disputable. There is no disputing the Athlon 64's performance when compared to Intel CPUs of the day. Additionally it is the first consumer based CPU to house an on die memory controller which is common place today.

#4 Pentium 4

The Pentium 4 was many things. It represented a huge gamble for Intel and although successful from a sales and financial stand point it's performance was sub-par in most areas compared to AMD's Athlon 64 processors. This CPU had a bad reputation in most of it's forms. This CPU had a long reign and went through many changes, some of which were good, and some bad. It had almost as many sockets as the Pentium did and produced a laughable amount of heat and used a ton of power for its day. Its variants included the ever popular "A" and "C" processors as well as some EM64T variations as well. This CPU can also not be forgotten as Intel's tactics to sell these monsters are very much in question in both the moral and legal sense. This CPU also has the distinction of having been sold at the highest stock clock frequency to date by any x86 processor maker at 3.73GHz. While such speeds are easily surpassed through overclocking, none have been offered at such high frequencies out of the box.

#3 Pentium

The first major technological leap forward since the 386. It was much more powerful than the 80486 CPUs despite being clocked much lower at first. Scaling from 60MHz all the way to 233MHz, this CPU architecture really had it all. The competition took forever just to equal low end Pentiums. Additionally this CPU is notable for it's initial FPU bug and being Intel's most major recall and as such, probably their greatest failure. Despite the initially bad reputation, this CPU had a long reign at the top with few competitors. Even AMD and Cyrix's best only managed to match this CPU some of the time and at serious cost in other areas. Truly this CPU was never surpassed until Intel's Pentium Pro went mainstream in the form of the Pentium II.

#2 Pentium Pro

The number 2 CPU in this list has to be the Pentium Pro. The P6 Micro-architecture is undoubtedly the most influential since the original 8088. This architecture gave us Pentium Pro, Pentium II, III, and Pentium M. It was also a CPU that the competition never could surpass until well after the Pentium II was launched.

#1 8088

This CPU makes the top spot only because it was the first to use the x86 instruction set. Although this instruction set is hardly the same anymore, it's influence is still present in today's microprocessors. This instruction set remains firmly entrenched and has been for the last three decades. There is no signs of it going away anytime soon either.
 
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jadams

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I ran my Prescott P4 hard for many years. Longer than I did any other cpu.
 

sirmonkey1985

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my all time favorite was my pentium 2 300 because it was my first processor i ever learned how to overclock on and got it to 500 mhz.. it was also my last intel processor i ever owned.. coming up a close second was my athlon xp 1700+ that i had overclocked to a 2000+ with a friggin jet engine heatsink/fan..
 

Jeremy C

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It's a tough call for me, but any of the slot 1 pII/III/celly chips (and their s370 brethren) still hold a warm fuzzy in my memories. My first try at OC'ing was a pII 333 using the A21 pin tape trick to get the magic 400MHz mark. Then came the celly 300A, dual celly 333's on a BP-6, pIII 450 that went 600MHz, and my final big bump forward was dual pIII 700e's that would run 1050 all day (and one tested separately I had one that would come just shy of 1200MHz).

All the P6 processors have really, truly been amazing chips over the years.I can't think of another processor line that has had as long of a reign as those did.
 

stockwiz

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q6600 of course... great lasting value. processors out years later still don't have huge leaps in performance over this if you got one that overclocked to 3.6 or more.
 

AltTabbins

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Specific cpus..
Intel Celeron 333 (MEGA overclocker)
Pentium 90 (Best pentium imo)
AMD 64 +3400 (Easy to overclock. Beast for its time)
AMD X2 +3800 (This was a bread and butter cpu. Everybodys owned one at some time).
Intel Core 2 Duo e6400 (This specific one was hard to pick. The C2d series finally put Intel back on top).
Intel Q6600 (Bread and butter quad)
AMD 955 X4 (SUPER value).
Intel Core 2 Duo 8400 (4.0ghz on air anyone?)
Intel Core i7 (Quickly becoming another icon intel chip).
 

Dan_D

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Specific cpus..
Intel Celeron 333 (MEGA overclocker)
Pentium 90 (Best pentium imo)
AMD 64 +3400 (Easy to overclock. Beast for its time)
AMD X2 +3800 (This was a bread and butter cpu. Everybodys owned one at some time).
Intel Core 2 Duo e6400 (This specific one was hard to pick. The C2d series finally put Intel back on top).
Intel Q6600 (Bread and butter quad)
AMD 955 X4 (SUPER value).
Intel Core 2 Duo 8400 (4.0ghz on air anyone?)
Intel Core i7 (Quickly becoming another icon intel chip).

I've got to disagree with some of this. The Pentium 200MHz was probably the best of the standard Pentiums. It was unequaled for a very long time and no other CPUs broke that 200MHz barrier until Intel came out with their Pentium MMX CPUs.

As for value, the list is pretty simple:

Intel 486 DX2 66 (A long time standard of computing power.)
Pentium 133MHz (Easily capable of 150MHz-166MHz.)
Pentium Pro 180MHz -Cheap (for a Pentium Pro) and easily overclocked to 200MHz
Celeron 300A (450MHz easily)
Celeron 533MHz (Especially on an ABIT BP6)
Pentium 4 2.0A (One of the first of the awesome Northwood CPUs)
Pentium 4 2.4C (Easily one of the most overclockable of it's day.)
Pentium 4 Model 550 (Another super overclocker. Mine went to 3.85GHz on air.)
Pentium D 820 (Another great overclocker, at a great price.)
Athlon 64 3200+
Athlon X2 3800+
Core 2 Duo E6400
Core 2 Duo E6600
Core 2 Duo E8400
Core 2 Quad Q6600
Core i5 750
Core i7 920

However, the most awe inspiring CPUs were probably these:

Pentium 200MHz
Pentium Pro 200MHz
Pentium II 400MHz
Pentium III 1.0GHz
Athlon FX-51
Athlon FX-55
Athlon FX-57
Core 2 Extreme Edition X6800
Core 2 Extreme Edition QX9770
Core 2 Extreme Edition QX9775 (Because of Skulltrail)
Core i7 975 Extreme Edition

I say this because each of these held their ground for either a really long time, represented a clock speed barrier which seemed to take forever to break, or offered something no other CPUs of their time did. So while there are more top end choices over the years, certainly many worth mentioning I think these are the ones that stood out the most.
 

[Spectre]

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Not best necessarily (although the 100mhz bus and super socket 7 interface were great) but under appreciated......AMD K6-2's. Ahh the days of 3DNow vs. MMX.
 

baleedit

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What was the AMD processor that everyone seemed to blow their load over 10? or so years ago. It might have been the first consumer chip to hit 1ghz. Was it code named Thunderbird? Cant remember the architecture.

Yep, I remember that. AMD 1700+. I could have sworn it was the thunderbird, but when I googled it I just came up with Thoroughbred. I don't remember the exact specs or my O/C, but I do remember friends coming to my house because they refused to believe how fast I got this processor, and it was stable. Like so many others, I miss the days when AMD dominated the processor market, unfortunately, it looks like it may never happen again.
 

Redmist

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It's hard to define "best", but I'm particularly fond of the Intel E2140. I had one that I overclocked all the way up to 3.4GHz. It was a nice chip to hold me over until I could afford my Q6600, which is another great processor. It was affordable (for a quad core at the time) and was also a decent overclocker.

but before all of that, I had an AMD Opteron 148 Venus in the first computer I ever built. I wasn't very used to overclocking back then, so I never pushed the chip to it's limits. I got it to 3GHz from 2.2GHz stock very easily, and left it there as long as I owned it. I sold that rig to a friend when I upgraded, and it's still running strong, though I set it back to stock when I sold it to him.
 

86 5.0L

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You young kids and your fancy multi-core processors. :p

AMD FX55 Sandy core, was infact a single core chip, cranked that sucker to 3.0Ghz :cool:

I still have my Pentium 1 somewhere around here, thought about making it in pendant or something :D
 

Cat1yst

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Its all about the pentiums baby.
Got a 286 dont make me laugh, windows boots up in what a day and a half?

haha.

My heart still sticks to the a64. It was a shift from MHZ -> CPU design.
 

SonDa5

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Q9550 E0 from microcenter for $169.99
i7-930 from Microcenter for $189.99

Both easily over clocked to stable 4GHZ.
 

Synful Serenity

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No love for 8086? It predates the 8088 and supported full 16-bit bus too.....AMD 386DX40 was also one of my favorites.

I always laughed at the 486SX....it was really a full 486DX with the math coprocessor disabled, yet you could upgrade by adding in a separate math coprocessor, the 80487...which was a full CPU + math coprocessor that completely disabled the first processor! Nice economies there Intel!
 

neeyo

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Any list that doesn't have the Celeron 300a isn't a complete list.

Any list that has the P4 way up high is a horrible list. Intel reducing the amount of work the cpu's did per cycle just to crank up the ghz in order to have greater appeal to Joe DumbassPCBuyer was just garbage. That move brought back the PR ratings, rather than cpu's just flat out advertising their real speed.
 

RamonGTP

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I probably had the most fun with my mobile Barton 2600+ (socket A) much of this may be due to the fact that BF2 came out when I was running this chip and that is my all time favorite game.

My "best" CPU has been my current Q6600 which I've owned longer than any other CPU since I've started building my own machines.
 

Matthew Kane

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No particular order from personal experience and use

Pentium Pro 100 or 133MHZ w/e it was
Pentium 1 90MHZ (jumper overclock 90 to 133MHZ ftw)
AMD K6 233
Pentium 3 550
Pentium 3 1GHZ
Celeron 666
Pentium 3 Tualatin
Pentium M Dothan (fsb overclock anyone?)
Pentium 4 Northwood (<1.7v = SNDS, but was fun pushing them)
AMD 3200+ Newcastle 754
Pentium D 915 (bsel mod to 3.73GHZ in a OEM w/o voltage bump)
Core 2 Duo Q6600
Pentium Dual Core E5300 (50% oc stock volts)
Hopefully Core i9 makes it on the list when it comes out
 

Gio

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I would have to say Barton 2500+ and the Q6600. Like others great CPU and longest one I've owned without really needing to upgrade
 

Cschill1290

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My favorite CPU I've ever owned has to be my Athlon X2 7750. It lasted me so long. I think I ran that one for like 3 years. My favorite older ones to play around with are the socket A athlons. I still have 3 of them kicking around my house.
 

Dan_D

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Not best necessarily (although the 100mhz bus and super socket 7 interface were great) but under appreciated......AMD K6-2's. Ahh the days of 3DNow vs. MMX.

The Super-7's were trash. AGP compatibility problems and a host of other issues. Mainly shitty drivers. On it's best day I hated the Super 7's. Let's not forget it was home to the worst motherboard of all time. The FIC VA503+.

AMD FX55 Sandy core, was infact a single core chip, cranked that sucker to 3.0Ghz :cool:

I still have my Pentium 1 somewhere around here, thought about making it in pendant or something :D

I'm well aware of the single core nature of most of the FX line. Good CPUs. The FX-55 had a particularly long and lonely life at the top.

No love for 8086? It predates the 8088 and supported full 16-bit bus too.....AMD 386DX40 was also one of my favorites.

I always laughed at the 486SX....it was really a full 486DX with the math coprocessor disabled, yet you could upgrade by adding in a separate math coprocessor, the 80487...which was a full CPU + math coprocessor that completely disabled the first processor! Nice economies there Intel!

Yeah the 486SX was stupid. I never quite understood what they were thinking back then. They had to have most of the hardware of a dual processor motherboard but boards that supported the 80487 saw none of the benefits of SMP. Wasteful and stupid.

Any list that doesn't have the Celeron 300a isn't a complete list.

Any list that has the P4 way up high is a horrible list. Intel reducing the amount of work the cpu's did per cycle just to crank up the ghz in order to have greater appeal to Joe DumbassPCBuyer was just garbage. That move brought back the PR ratings, rather than cpu's just flat out advertising their real speed.

My list had the Celery 300A. ;)
 

Archmage

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Here's my list of the best deals, and I've owned them all except for the q6600 g0:

- Celeron 300a and 366a mendocino. I would use these on a slotket converter for slot1 in the era of the BX-boards. The 300a would commonly clock to 450-504mhz, and the 366a was often at 567mhz. Using Alpha and/or GlobalWin FDP-32 heatsinks, I ran my 366@ 616mhz on air. I remember taking it to 744mhz on chilled water, and feeling that even when the P3 katmai and its successor were out, my CPU was still damned fast.
- Athlon 64 line (I'm just going to group them all together because the standouts aren't so obvious or famous, but s939 was KING for a while).
- Q6600 g0, e8400 (either revision), core2 architecture in general...
- i7 920 early d0 batches (better than what we have now with the exception of gulftown x6)
- unlockable AMD Phenom 2 x2 550-560BE

I remember being annoyed that my Pentium 120mhz featured a 60mhz bus speed as opposed to 66 or higher. That was when I became an overclocker. :)
 
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MrkXCeL

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I gotta say I had most good gaming memories on my celery 300A and Pentium 90
Duke 3D. Shadow Warrior. UT. NFS 1. NFS HP and Porche. Wargasm.

thumbs up for the couple posters that got into details of each CPU. good read
 

Dan_D

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What's funny is that you guys keep talking about the Pentium 90. I've seen very, very few of them. I've seen more Pentium 75's and Pentium 100's than I ever did the 90's.
 

hmz

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Sure my E6600. Felt like a light years away from a Northwood.
 

Roman79

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Although I've never owned one, my vote goes to the Q6600. If I could go back in time to when they first came out, I'd just fork out the extra initial cash and I'd probably have saved money over the 2 or 3 AMD platforms I've had since.
 
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