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PC Systems, Installation and Maintenance, Second Edition by R. P. Beales

By R. P. Beales

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2 shows a list of old CPUs and their corresponding co-processors. Several of today’s applications including games, feature advanced 2D and 3D graphic rendering effects that are very maths intensive. For example some 3D appliances use floating-point routines to calculate points in the Z plane (image depth). So there is often a great performance boost when a high-performance FPU is used. 2 Old CPUs and their corresponding co-processors Main CPU Floating-point maths unit 8088/86 80286 80386SX 80386DX 80486SX 80486DX, Pentium and beyond Separate 8087 co-processor required Separate 80287 co-processor required Separate 80387SX co-processor required Separate 80387DX co-processor required 80486DX (used in place of old CPU) Built into the CPU confronted with such tasks.

Maths co-processors – floating-point units Up to the launch of the 80486 CPU, there was no built in floating-point maths capability in any of the foregoing CPUs. So maths intensive applications ran very slowly. To improve this situation, a separate maths co-processor could be linked to the main CPU. To accommodate this option, motherboards designed for any CPU prior to the 80486DX had a separate socket alongside the CPU socket for an optional maths coProcessor IC. Unfortunately these ICs often cost more than the CPU and motherboard combined so they were not a popular upgrade option.

If you build a system based on a current Intel CPU, for example a Pentium (PIV), you must use a motherboard specifically designed for that CPU range. The same applies to AMD CPUs. 4 Again there was no standardization. ) Socket 462). 19). 18 Typical Socket 7 motherboards: (1) Baby-AT, (2) Baby-AT with AGP and (3) ATX. Key of the major system components: (A) CPU socket, (B) RAM (DIMMs), (C) RAM (older SIMMs), (D) ISA slots, (E) PCI slots, (F) AGP, (G) system ROM and (H) rear I/O panel As well as the differences in CPU design, motherboards for Intel and AMD CPUs now tend to support different RAM technologies.

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