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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to A+ (Core Hardware)
 9  Chapter 0010:  CPUs
      9  III RISC versus CISC

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RISC
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IV  Older CPUs (80386 and 80486 Class)
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CISC

RISC CPUs were an idea of the 1980's because hardware was getting less expensive, while coding was becoming increasingly more costly. CISC was a term created to mean Complex Instruction Set Computing, giving a name to the existing processor designs that were not RISC. Today, your authors prefer CISC to mean Conventional Instruction Set Computing.

[spacer]RISC Verses CISC

The argument between CISC and RISC has reached religious fervor.

CISC = BAD. RISC =GOOD. Don't fall into this trap. It is an outdated thought. The RISC philosophy made a great deal of sense at the time up its inception, in the 80's. At that time, 1MB of RAM carried a cost of about $5,000.00. In 2001, current cost for 1MB of RAM is about $0.50. When RAM was that expensive, copying the micro code, from a ROM to a much faster RAM was too expensive. Today, this is a common technique used to increase the speed of a CISC based computer. The process of copying a ROM’s micro code to RAM is known as shadowing. Shadowing greatly improves performance of any CISC based CPU.


Before beginning a deeper review of the popular CPUs, one more thought is in order in the RISC/CSIC debate. Today's CPUs, from any manufacturer is actually a hybrid of the RISC/CSIC philosophy.


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RISC
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IV  Older CPUs (80386 and 80486 Class)
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