40 years ago, Intel released the 8086, arguably the most influential CPU since the dawn of modern x86 computing. This tiny CPU (by today’s standards) housed 29,000 transistors and would go on to shape the future not only for Intel, but for millions of people worldwide, literally defining desktop computing.
This year, Intel decided to celebrate four decades since the 8086’s introduction with the announcement of a limited-edition Core i7 8086K, and I for one couldn’t have been more excited about it. Not because I have fond memories of using the 8086 (I wasn’t even around when the 8086 was released), but simply because Intel decided to celebrate this occasion by giving a nod to overclockers – and at the same time, mark an important milestone for them with their first 5GHz CPU. They’ve gone from a company which at some point discouraged overclocking, to one that now actively supports it by designing their products around this small, but important demographic.