Slideshow: The 11 most influential microprocessors ever

In the wide field of microprocessors, some chips have stood out for the influence they've had technologically, culturally, and economically. They aren't necessarily the most successful, the best selling, or the most powerful, but they each started an important and persistent trend - an architecture, a marketing concept, or a whole new use for computing.

11. Intel Pentium (1993)

Breakthrough application: Brand-name processors

After a court rejected trademarking "386" in a 1991 ruling, Intel realized that it would need to move beyond mere numbers in naming its widely anticipated new processor, which had been known as the 586. So the processor giant devised a unique, easy-to-trademark identity: Pentium.

Initially critics ridiculed the name, but in fact the Pentium opened a new era in consumer-microprocessor marketing. No longer were CPUs referred to solely by numbers such as 286, 386, and 486; instead they carried a brand name that resonated in the public consciousness.

That brand gave Intel processors a certain cachet that computer owners could easily brag about. Rival manufacturers could no longer produce clones and call them "486" or the like--a chip was either a real Pentium or a knock-off. The trademarked CPU became a status symbol, and it remains so today.

Photo: CPU-World.com

9 of 11
VIEW ALL THUMBNAILS

Comments on this image

There are currently no comments for this image.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the Good Gear Guide comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Related Slideshows

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?