We have already covered the worst processors never builtit seems time to turn around and talk about the best. Of course, the question is how to define "the best".
In order to qualify for this article, a processor had to do more than just introduce significant new features or support a new set of instructions. The Pentium Pro, for example, was a very important chip. This innovative technology, still in use today, has shown that messy performance and micro-op conversion were viable techniques for next-generation high-end processors. At the same time, however, the Pentium Pro had problems. The 16-bit code execution was slow and its FPU performance was only about half of the comparable RISC cores at that time. In other words, the Pentium Pro was a very important processor core, but it does not meet our criteria to make a list of the best processor cores ever invented.
To see which kernels to measure, see the slideshow below. Over the last 40 years, we've looked at the entire industry, with processors for mobile, servers and desktops. all represented Our selections were based on various factors, including all of the features, the impact on the market, the total strength of the product and the long-term performance.
Writing in the "Best processors" list inevitably means that many very good processors will be excluded from the list. Processors such as the Intel 8086 or Motorola 68000 processors are often conventional staples such as this one, due to their transformation of the computer industry (launching the IBM PC in one case, running the Macintosh as well as the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga in the other). We process a lot of Intel chips in more detail in our Intel product history, first part and two.
The honorable mentions for the excellent chips that have not been removed from our list will include the Intel 4004, Pentium Pro, Pentium III, Intel Pentium 4 Northwood, AMD K7 and Core i7-8700K processors.
Finally, there is the recent launch of AMD by Ryzen. I did not want to try to choose a single processor model to be in this list – the third-generation Ryzen processors have only been released for a few weeks. But one of our criteria for processors is that this one must have transformed the market – and although we can not define a specific Ryzen model above, the competitive position of the family has forced Intel to radically review its product positioning. Before the launch of the Ryzen 7 1800X, an Intel eight-core processor would cost more than $ 1,000. Today, an eight-core Core i7-9700K costs $ 365, while the eight-core / 16-threaded Core i9-9900K runs between $ 485 and $ 500.
Given that the impact of the market is one of our main criteria, we wanted to recognize the collective impact of Ryzen.