In the 45 years since Intel released the world’s first commercial single-chip CPU, Intel has consistently raised the bar on microprocessor architecture, giving birth to the entire PC industry and nurturing it along the way. With that sort of resume, it’s hard to pinpoint just 10 Intel CPU launches that shook things up the most, but with the help of a few friends and PCWorld editors, I believe I’ve narrowed things down to a nice crop of contenders.
The 10 microprocessors you will see ahead innovated with technical triumphs, marketing coups, or both. They kept Intel competitive and pushed the PC industry forward. If you disagree with these choices, that’s just fine—in fact, that makes this subject more fun to talk about, and I hope you will join in the comments when you’re done reading.