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Old 11-07-2012, 03:46 PM   #1
Shephard
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Default Best and worst CPUs since 1998

What were the best CPUs ever made and the worst?

Everyone says the Netburst architecture were Intel's worst CPUs. But I had the original Pentium 4 when it came out and I remember it being one of the best CPUs. I had 2 Pentium 4s and a Pentium 3 at that time.

I also had the AMD 64 3600+ and that was a really good gaming CPU.

I think the AMD X2 4400+ was the first AMD dual core and one of the best CPUs. I never had that one.

AMD Bulldozer was a step backwards from AMD Phenom II.

What are the best and worst in your opinion.

I say 1998 because CPUs started chaning a lot since then.

Last edited by Shephard; 11-07-2012 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:59 PM   #2
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Worst in what regard? Price? Performance? Power usage? Color? Shipping weight? Human rights in the origination country or assembly country? Stability? Bugs? Longevity?

Combos or ratios of those metrics?

I can't think of a "worst" cpu per se, just less ideal and more ideal cpu's for given tasks and objectives.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:03 PM   #3
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ok sorry then I mean performance. I guess you can say power usage too.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:09 PM   #4
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Best in my purchase history was a Celeron 300A, and a couple years later I stumbled across a high clocked (factory) PIII, in the garbage at work, that I clocked further, that showed nice performance. The worst was a Pentium overdrive CPU , I bought for a machine that came with a Cyrix 486dx2 50mhz originally. The m/b, might have been the bottleneck stopping much cpu performance increase. It was over 250 dollars!
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:10 PM   #5
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I can't speak for companies like Cyrix, but Intel's Willamette P4's and later Prescott and its derivatives were all subpar. The P4 based Celerons were horrible. I don't think Intel has made an arguably bad chip since they discontinued Netburst though.

AMD's entire Athlon line was pretty strong until Core came out, and their budget Duron line were definitely superior to Celerons of the day.

I wasn't fond of the AXP Palomino cores but they weren't "bad" per se.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:16 PM   #6
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If we're sticking to x86.. the original L2-less Covington Celerons should definitely get a vote. Transmeta's Crusoe and Efficion processors were pretty disappointing too. Atom in its netbook and nettop incarnations has been pretty craptacular, especially the old Diamondvilles like N270, with a single core and no 64-bit.

I never owned one but I've heard reports that K6-3 was a very nice processor for a time - AFAIK AMD was selling them for a lot less than the first Athlons sold at. They had an interesting setup, since they had both on-die or on-package full-speed L2 cache (can't remember which, but Pentium 2s and Pentium 3s had neither), and also had the motherboard cache that was on Socket 7 boards, which acted like a separate L3 cache that it could access in parallel.

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Old 11-07-2012, 04:36 PM   #7
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My favorite chip from the past decade or so is IBM/Motorola's PowerPC 7410. A very stout CPU with a 4-stage pipeline that punched far above its weight. It just scaled atrociously. But that doesn't take away from how efficient it was.

Worst has gotta be the first generation Willamette Pentium 4s. No redeeming qualities whatsoever, even compared to what had already been on the market from both AMD and Intel, let alone the stuff that arrived over the following year.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:37 PM   #8
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considering pricing and life of the platform I think Pentium 4 Willamette s423 deserves to be called the worst...

best? Core 2 Duo maybe...

k6 3, specially the 3+ was nice I think, but it had the weak FPU like any k6.
I'm also not a big fan of socket 7, it had to many bad chipsets and MBs,
the L2 cache on the Pentium II and early Pentium 3 (up until 600MHz) Katmai, was working at half the clock of the CPU, (UP to 300MHz), and was much faster than the L2/L3 onboard cache.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:44 PM   #9
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ok why the first generation Pentium 4. I had one and I thought it was really good. I am pretty sure it was first generation because it was around 2000. I had a lot of Pentium chips until 2004.

I think the chip was gold colored too, not silver like most CPUs. Maybe that was the Pentium 3 though.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shephard View Post
ok why the first generation Pentium 4. I had one and I thought it was really good. I am pretty sure it was first generation because it was around 2000. I had a lot of Pentium chips until 2004.

I think the chip was gold colored too, not silver like most CPUs. Maybe that was the Pentium 3 though.
because it was slower than Pentium 3 in many things, slower than Athlon,
and it was originally limited to RDRAM, it was just to expensive and slow

now Northwood was a great improvement, and later the platform improved with more chipsets, DDR support, high FSB, HT and all of that...
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:00 PM   #11
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Worst - P4 Willamette on an SDR motherboard. Those things were so slow!

Best - Kentsfield Core 2 Quad, cause you can still game respectably well on them even 6 years after their introduction.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:03 PM   #12
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Q6600 as the best. Still respectable today.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shephard View Post
ok sorry then I mean performance. I guess you can say power usage too.
Bulldozer obviously has power-usage issues when you compare to the performance in a competitive landscape. It is hard to blame bulldozer though, for all we know the power usage issue is static leakage that is the fault of GloFo and their 32nm process.

Prescott was also a cpu that had power-issues and it could hardly hold its own against a comparably clocked northwood.

Willamette was not good compared to a P3 or the Athlon XP. But it wasn't the end of the world either, so I don't think it should be labeled the worst cpu "ever".

When I think of "worst" cpu I think of things like the pentium with its FDIV bug, or the 1.13GHz P3 that could barely run stable at stock. I had a cyrix P150+ chip that was like that, at stock it was buggy as hell and routinely crashed in the summer when it was naturally running hotter versus the winter.

And in the end, to me anyways, that is what makes a cpu the worst. When you've been up all night pounding away on the keyboard typing out a report for your semester term project and the damn computer borks on you and corrupts your file (even though you've been diligently saving it every 10 minutes) then that elevates that cpu to the podium of "worst cpu ever" in my book.

Cyrix P150+, consider yerself nominated, ya POS
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:30 PM   #14
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Cyrix P150+, consider yerself nominated, ya POS
I actually had one of those. Never had any stability issues but it was slow as ****.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I actually had one of those. Never had any stability issues but it was slow as ****.
Could have been my mobo too, platform issue. At least I think it was the P150+, it was the one that ran on that funky bus speed (75 or 83 MHz?).
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I actually had one of those. Never had any stability issues but it was slow as ****.
it was probably a low cost option compared to what Intel was offering, the worst experience I ever had was with a VIA C3 700MHz, but I never really expected much from that thing,
Willamette was supposedly the best thing ever and (you could only expect that from Intel, as a successor to P3)....

as for the CPUs with problems like the P3 1.13GHz, I don't see that as a big deal, it was solved quickly I think, and it wasn't the entire "p3 line" with issues...
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:38 PM   #17
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well some of these chips you guys talk about I have never heard of.

My first computer was a Commodore 64 and I also had a 486. I don't know much about those guys even though I had them. It was too long ago.

I'm interested in the stuff since the turn of the century. It seems like a lot of the big changes happened then, like 64 bit processor and dual core.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
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considering pricing and life of the platform I think Pentium 4 Willamette s423 deserves to be called the worst...

best? Core 2 Duo maybe...

This.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:23 PM   #19
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inb4 Bulldozer bitchfest
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Cyrix P150+, consider yerself nominated, ya POS
You should have seen the issues with that CPU, combined with an MWAVE IBM software-driven sound card/modem. (It was essentially a DSP board.)
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:43 PM   #21
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Quote:
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I actually had one of those. Never had any stability issues but it was slow as ****.
I had a P166. Not a great CPU, but it was loads cheaper than an Intel unit. Also COAST.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:46 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shephard View Post
well some of these chips you guys talk about I have never heard of.

My first computer was a Commodore 64 and I also had a 486. I don't know much about those guys even though I had them. It was too long ago.

I'm interested in the stuff since the turn of the century. It seems like a lot of the big changes happened then, like 64 bit processor and dual core.
Well, on the C64 you could do this on a 0.985 MHz (PAL) / 1.023 MHz (NTSC) 6510 CPU:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzvMYE3PUn4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fiul1Xu9wbg

Also, the Amiga 500 using a 7.09379 MHz (PAL) / 7.15909 MHz (NTSC) Motorola 68000 CPU could do this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPoYzwib7JQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CGOh-jb4QM

With the help of some co-chips of course, but still.

In some sense with today's chips where you have so much raw CPU performance it's kind of boring. It was more magical back in the days...
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:48 PM   #23
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Worst CPU I can remember is the AMD K6. Granted, everyone and their brother had them, but they had next to no FPU performance and had some of the worst chipsets I've ever used.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:55 PM   #24
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The statements "ever made" and "since 1998" are incompatible :/
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
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The statements "ever made" and "since 1998" are incompatible :/
lol I know. When I made the topic I was thinking best CPUs ever made, but I changed my mind to 1998.

Doesn't seem like anyone followed the 1998 part. oh well.
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