Believe it or not, your terrifically fast Core i7 fresh off Intel's assembly line contains DNA that dates back over three decades. The same is true if you roll with AMD's latest silicon, the Phenom II X4. We're of course referring to the longstanding x86 microprocessor architecture that has dominated the desktop and mobile scene since before some of you were even born, and will probably be a mainstay still yet for many more years to come.
Invented by Intel in 1978, the x86 architecture has evolved through the ages, not only getting faster, but increasingly flexible as more and more extensions and instruction sets accompany each new release. It's been a wild ride the past 30 years, and whether you lived through it all or have only recently picked up your first processor, we invite you to join as we look back at not only the most popular x86 CPUs in its history, but ones you may never even have heard of.
Buckle up, sit back, and join us after the jump for a look back at the x86 timeline.
I built my computer about a month ago—it’s nothing special. I’m running an Intel Pentium D 820 on an Asus P5W DH Deluxe motherboard. For a videocard, I’m rocking a BFG 9800 GTX.
I stumbled upon the System Information at the bottom-left corner of the Nvidia Control Panel recently. When I clicked it, I took note of the plethora of information on the 9800 GTX. What caught my eye was the very last line: BUS: PCI Express x4. That seems off, given that my card uses an x16 interface. What gives?