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3. CPU Hacks > Hacks #19-29

Hacks #19-29

“How fast can I make it run?” is likely the first question from any PC hacker. In the good old days of the original IBM PC, the answer was a breathtaking 8 MHz, up from 4.77 MHz—but only if you replaced the system’s processor, an Intel i8088 CPU, with an NEC V20 chip. (Intel eventually beefed up the i8088 to run at 8 MHz.)

The PC has gone through numerous and tremendous performance improvements, starting with the CPU. At one time, 12 and 16 MHz were the top speeds; then 25 and 33 MHz; then 50 and 66 MHz; then 100, 150, 200, 266, 500 MHz, 1 GHz, and 2 GHz. After 24 years of technological advances, now 3 GHz, nearly 630 times faster than the first PCs, is an everyday, ho-hum, state-of-the-art PC standard.


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