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A History: CPU to Cloud [INFOGRAPHIC]

Many server class CPUs have appeared over the years. As you can imagine, new technologies along the way completely transformed the way we looked at CPU performance. This article and the infographic below can help you understand CPU and weigh the purchase of cloud services.

Since the launch of the PC in the early 1980s, CPU performance has been defined and measured by the clock speed and front side bus of the processor. To better understand this, clock speed is the speed at which a microprocessor executes instructions. Two CPUs with the same clock speed will not necessarily perform equally, however, depending on their internal architecture. The front side bus is the digital pathway connecting the CPU to the motherboard. Higher bus speed means faster communication with the rest of the system.

The original Intel Pentium shipped in March 1993. The name Pentium is originally derived from the Greek word Pente, meaning five—the original Pentium processors used Intel’s fifth generation microarchitecture, the P5. The original Pentium featured a clock speed of 60 MHz and front side bus speeds that ranged from 60-66 MHz. The AMD 5K86 was released in 1995, and it featured a clock speed that ranged from 130-150 MHz and front bus side speed that ranged from 50-66 MHz. In 1996, the Pentium II marked a breakthrough in performance. It boasted a clock speed that ranged from 233-450 MHz and a front side bus speed that ranged from 66-100 MHz. A few years later, the Pentium 4 boasted a clock speed of 1.3 GHz and a front side bus speed of 400 MT/s.

In the early 2000s, the advent of the X86 server virtualization in 2001, VMware and other virtualization technologies enabled multiple operating systems, and their related processes, to run in parallel on a single CPU. The industry experienced another shake-up in 2006 with the release of Amazon’s EC2 and Cloud Computing 1.0. Amazon actually changed the definition of CPU capacity. Amazon’s definition was more ambiguous, which made it even more difficult for customers to know what they were really getting. Introduced in 2012, Cloud Computing 2.0 adopted a clearer definition of CPU, restoring transparency and strong, consistent performance to the market.

It’s important you know your cloud performance. Always ask to see benchmarks or run your own benchmarks of the cloud you are buying.

To learn more, check out the infographic below!

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