Worst CPUs ever, now with poll!

What's the worst CPU ever? Please explain your choice.

  • Intel iAPX 432

  • Intel Itanium (Merced)

  • Intel 80286

  • IBM PowerPC 970

  • IBM/Motorola PowerPC 60x

  • AMD K5

  • AMD family 15h

  • AMD family 10h


Results are only viewable after voting.
Oct 10, 1999
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#1
1. Intel iAPX 432
2. Intel 80286
3. IBM PowerPC 970

Honorable mention: Intel Itanium for removing Alpha and PA-RISC from the market (although that makes it a pretty good CPU for Intel).
 
Jun 14, 2012
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#2
Pentium 4 in the history of microprocessors.
 

Red Hawk

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2011
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#5


This will end well. Anyways, I happen to have fond memories of Pentium 4, cppguru. :colbert:
 
Jun 14, 2012
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#6
-1: Pentium 4

This will end well. Anyways, I happen to have fond memories of Pentium 4, cppguru.
So do I but memories don't serve a scientific measure. It is known to be the least efficient cpu intel has ever made.

Bulldozer
Nah not quite. Keep in mind AMD designed the bulldozer to take advantage of multi-threaded apps. Pentium 4 remains as all time worst cpu ever made in the world (thanks to Intel being douchebag thinking frequency alone = performance).
 

Red Hawk

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2011
3,197
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#7
Nah not quite. Keep in mind AMD designed the bulldozer to take advantage of multi-threaded apps. Pentium 4 remains as all time worst cpu ever made in the world (thanks to Intel being douchebag thinking frequency alone = performance).
Sure. It didn't beat Intel's quad core processors with hyperthreading at that goal, and it was worse than AMD's own Phenom II processors in single threaded tasks. At least Pentium 4 wasn't a step back from Pentium III in practice when it was released.

Intel went after the gigahertz, because why not? Things like leakage power weren't a problem at the turn of the century and Intel saw no reason that they would become a problem. They had been doubling clockspeed like clockwork (no pun intended) for decades. Had Intel carried out its goal of taking Netburst to 10 GHz and beyond, the performance would have followed and been fantastic.
 
Jun 14, 2012
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#8
Intel wanted to keep on extending pipelines to reach higher frequency (heck this was mentioned in one of anandtech's articles). Intel made that tradeoff knowingly only to realize the tradeoff they made was not in the right area which is WHY they couldn't reach the goal they set out for themselves due to power/heat issues. AMD knew this (read their white papers from early 2000s - and try to gain your knowledge from outside of forums). But that will be too complicated for you because you're yet just another technical fool.


It's a sticky right here in this very forum that you are posting in, as well as a sticky in the PFI subforum where the global AnandTech Forum rules are located, NO INSULTS OR PERSONAL ATTACKS.
1) No trolling, flaming or personally attacking members. Deftly attacking ideas and backing up arguments with facts is acceptable and encouraged. Attacking other members personally and purposefully causing trouble with no motive other than to upset the crowd is not allowed.
We want to give all our members as much freedom as possible while maintaining an environment that encourages productive discussion. It is our desire to encourage our members to share their knowledge and experiences in order to benefit the rest of the community, while also providing a place for people to come and just hang out.

We also intend to encourage respect and responsibility among members in order to maintain order and civility. Our social forums will have a relaxed atmosphere, but other forums will be expected to remain on-topic and posts should be helpful, relevant and professional.

We ask for respect and common decency towards your fellow forum members.
Administrator Idontcare
 
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Red Hawk

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2011
3,197
0
106
#9
Intel wanted to keep on extending pipelines to reach higher frequency (heck this was mentioned in one of anandtech's articles). Intel made that tradeoff knowingly only to realize the tradeoff they made was not in the right area which is WHY they couldn't reach the goal they set out for themselves due to power/heat issues. AMD knew this (read their white papers from early 2000s - and try to gain your knowledge from outside of forums)...You're indeed a fool without any knowledge of past or present to the point of no return.
I just so happened to have read a couple Anandtech articles literally last night, such as this one. In which Anand Lal Shimpi says this about Netburst: "In fact, the philosophy behind the enhanced Netburst architecture is very innovative and even brilliant," while going over just what made it fall short. So yeah, please shut up and don't make assumptions. I mean, did I kill your cat or something?


It's a sticky right here in this very forum that you are posting in, as well as a sticky in the PFI subforum where the global AnandTech Forum rules are located, NO INSULTS OR PERSONAL ATTACKS.
1) No trolling, flaming or personally attacking members. Deftly attacking ideas and backing up arguments with facts is acceptable and encouraged. Attacking other members personally and purposefully causing trouble with no motive other than to upset the crowd is not allowed.
We want to give all our members as much freedom as possible while maintaining an environment that encourages productive discussion. It is our desire to encourage our members to share their knowledge and experiences in order to benefit the rest of the community, while also providing a place for people to come and just hang out.

We also intend to encourage respect and responsibility among members in order to maintain order and civility. Our social forums will have a relaxed atmosphere, but other forums will be expected to remain on-topic and posts should be helpful, relevant and professional.

We ask for respect and common decency towards your fellow forum members.
Administrator Idontcare
 
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greenhawk

Platinum Member
Feb 23, 2011
2,031
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#11
Gee, and no one wants to mention the cacheless celerons? shame on you nerds :p

though in the areas of "oops" which I think would make an honourable mention would be the Pentium D and it's hype of being a dual core when it was just two high powered cpus in the same package (sharing the FSB just like normal dual cpu units).

or the pentium bug that intel down played as being "pointless" to the masses.
 
Feb 1, 2000
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#12
wait what was wrong with the 286? it was a perfectly good cpu... 16bit bus, 16bit operations ... very fast for its time. and you could even get a 16mhz or maybe 20mhz one from some of the clone companies like harris semiconductor at the time.

i'd say the cyrix 6x86 was horribly poor especially with its fairly exaggerated PR ratings, and 10000 variants with slightly different bus speeds. national semiconductor mediaGX might be the worst.


and most people here probably won't remember (unlike most sane children i spent my 8 year old years reading pc mags like byte) the 80186 was an actual cpu that only a few companies adopted...
 

Riek

Senior member
Dec 16, 2008
409
0
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#13
Intel wanted to keep on extending pipelines to reach higher frequency (heck this was mentioned in one of anandtech's articles). Intel made that tradeoff knowingly only to realize the tradeoff they made was not in the right area which is WHY they couldn't reach the goal they set out for themselves due to power/heat issues. AMD knew this (read their white papers from early 2000s - and try to gain your knowledge from outside of forums). But that will be too complicated for you because you're yet just another technical fool.
Its prescott that extended the pipelines further beyond what they could at that time. Northwood derivatives were pretty good cpu's. They also were the better choice until A64 came.. and even than it could trade blows pretty well depending on the application. To say it was the worst cpu ever would be an injustice to history. You can mention prescott though...
 
Dec 3, 2011
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#14
I've foreseen what this thread will turn to..
BTW why is PowerPC 970 on the list?
 
Dec 3, 2011
105
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#15
Pentium 4 remains as all time worst cpu ever made in the world (thanks to Intel being douchebag thinking frequency alone = performance).
Not..Northwoods is excellent. Prescott sucks, Cedar Mill still OK.
 

KompuKare

Senior member
Jul 28, 2009
585
1
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#17
Ok, Intel is a monster now but I think if it wasn't for the huge revenue they got from IBM's pretty poor decision to chose 8088 (to think the 68000 was around back then and had 32-bit data and address registers) and they would likely be much much smaller today.

1. 8086. For all those who have struggling with 64KB segmented memory, DOS memory managers, 640KB limits (and millions did) there can be no other #1
2. 80286. For not fixing the above properly and introducing more confusion address modes.
3. Pentium 4. For being slower than the Pentium 3 and using more power plus who could forget RAMBUS.
4. Bulldozer. For almost the same reasons as #3...
5. Itanium. VLWI sounds good but $billions later: maybe it wasn't such a good idea.
 

Idontcare

Elite Member
Oct 10, 1999
21,126
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#19
Ok, Intel is a monster now but I think if it wasn't for the huge revenue they got from IBM's pretty poor decision to chose 8088 (to think the 68000 was around back then and had 32-bit data and address registers) and they would likely be much much smaller today.
Intel owes its success to key people who were involved in managing its business - Gordon Moore, Robert Noyce, Andy Grove.



Each of those individuals went on to become titans in their respective areas of Intel's business, with a legacy that transcends Intel as their contributions became defacto industry standards.

We had a few titans of our own at Texas Instruments - Pat Haggerty, Gordon Teal, and Jack Kilby. While matched in technical prowess (Moore/Teal/Noyce/Kilby), there is no question that the difference between Intel and TI was the timing of their business leadership (Haggerty's reign very early, Grove came to prominence in the late eighties in a way that propelled Intel to the top).

As we've seen with tech businesses over and over again - be it Ellison at Oracle, Gates at Microsoft, Jobs at Apple, Chang at TSMC, Grove at Intel, or Huang at Nvidia - it is the drive and moxy of the person at the top that makes these things become billion-dollar empires or duds.

IBM didn't make Intel any more than DELL broke AMD, the people who were key decision makers at Intel and AMD were different in ways that turned out to critically matter to the long term success of their employer. Grove was "only the paranoid survive", Ruiz turned states evidence to convict the very people he was giving insider trading info to.
 

KompuKare

Senior member
Jul 28, 2009
585
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#22
@IDC. Well certainly individuals matter. If only Motorola had seen where PCs were heading and had done anything to get the PC deal. I still think millions of people would have been grateful to have had a 68K PC and never having had to deal with a x86 CPU.
 

rickon66

Golden Member
Oct 11, 1999
1,802
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#23
If I recall correctly, back in the mid to late 90's the 300 and 400 Celerons were the budget gaming chips of choice, they were monster overclockers and ran games as well as more costly chips. Of course the were not great general computing chips

My nomination for worst chip = 386SX any
 
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KompuKare

Senior member
Jul 28, 2009
585
1
91
#24
If I recall correctly, back in the mid to late 90's the 300 and 400 Celerons were the budget gaming chips of choice, they were monster overclockers and ran games as well as more costly chips. Of course the were not great general computing chips
Indeed, for instance I voted for the Celeron 300A as one of the best CPUs in the other thread.

Also, don't forget that until Intel locked out all FSB overclocks the Celeron E1200 and Celeron 430 for instance (both Core2 based) were great overclocker some of which could OC by 100%.
 
Jun 14, 2012
26
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#25
Its prescott that extended the pipelines further beyond what they could at that time. Northwood derivatives were pretty good cpu's. They also were the better choice until A64 came.. and even than it could trade blows pretty well depending on the application. To say it was the worst cpu ever would be an injustice to history. You can mention prescott though...
Prescott indeed extended pipelines further but that's also part of the story. ALL Pentium 4 still employed a write-through cache policy which is known to be a poor algorithm. As I recall my Athlon XP @ 1.8 Ghz was equivalent or sometimes faster than a Pentium 4 NORTHWOOD @ 2.4 Ghz. So from pure efficiency point of view - even at the time of north wood we had better alternatives. And don't forget the 8 and 16 K L1 cache on Northwoods vs 64 K L1 on Athlons (that's 4 and 8 times as much respectively!!!). And for the early Pentium 4, don't forget they performed worse than their Pentium III counterparts which is a shame considering they were clocked much higher than Pentium III (and in contrast Bulldozer didn't boost frequency much compared to Phenom IIs).

Half of Fame: The entire lineup of Netburst Microarchitecture which means ALL pentium 4s. None of the earlier CPUs were bad CPUs because with every iteration, we saw doubling of frequency but the trend clearly did not continue.

Reminds me of this very famous video at the time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKF9GOE2q38
 
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