Intel 8088: The Chip That Gave Birth To The Borg

This is the Intel 8088. A beast with 29,000 transistors that could be clocked up 8MHz in its 1979 heyday, it was the second chip to use the x86 architecture, and the brains inside the original IBM PC.

Following the original 8086, it cost $US100 when it was released in June 1979, which is about $US300, adjusted for inflation. Today, $US300 will buy you a Core i7 processor with 731 million transistors. How much more powerful is that than the 8088?

Immeasurably. Even Intel couldn't tell us. Meaning if you took a Core i7 back in time to 1979, and Miles Bennett Dyson was an Intel employee, he would fuck the human race in ways you can't even imagine. Or, you know, we just would've had Xbox in 1983.

With the ascendance of Windows, the x86-based PC would eventually take over the world in its own way.

[Intel, Top image: Wikipedia, Thanks to Intel for their help!]

Gizmodo '79 is a week-long celebration of gadgets and geekdom 30 years ago, as the analogue age gave way to the digital, and most of our favourite toys were just being born.

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