The Pentium processor's 18th birthday

We chart the ups and downs of Intel's best-loved processor

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The [[xref:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P5_%28microarchitecture%29|first Pentium processor]] hit the market on March 22, 1993. Its big difference from the i486 architecture that preceded it was <i>two</i> data pipelines, allowing it to effectively complete two instructions per clock cycle &#8212; multitasking in a way earlier processors couldn't. In 1996, the [[xref:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium_MMX#MMX|Pentium MMX]] was introduced, allowing the processor to more efficiently handle certain tasks like multimedia decoding and encoding.

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The Pentium processor's 18th birthday

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