A Brief History of Computing

© Copyright 1996-2000, Stephen White

Last update: 29/5/2000

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A Microprocessor is a single chip (integrated circuit) that contains the entire central processing unit of a computer - it does the bulk of the processing and controls the rest of the system.

For comparison here is a list of common microprocessors, along with their approximate speed in MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second). This is a bit inaccurate since different manufacturers have used different measures at different times. This measure also completely ignores other improvements, such as the greatly improved floating point arithmetic support in modern processors.

ProcessorApprox. speed (MIPS)
Pentium II 333MHz770
Pentium II 233MHz560
Cyrix 6x86MX PR233510
AMD K6 233MHz480
Pentium Pro 200 MHz440
Pentium 233MHz MMX435
AMD K5-PR166260
Pentium 133MHz240
Pentium 66MHz100
486 DX4/100 100MHz60
486 DX 2-50 50MHz35
486 DX 25MHz20
68030 40MHz10
386 DX 33MHz10
68030 25 MHz6.3
386 SX 20 MHz6
68030 16MHz3.9
80286 12MHz2.7
68020 16 MHz2.6
68000 16 MHz1.3
8086 8MHz0.8
68000 8MHz0.7
8080 2MHz0.5
4004 108 KHz0.06

© Copyright 1996-2000, Stephen White My homepage - email:swhite@ox.compsoc.net