Alan Freedman -- The Computer Language Company - Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Longest-Running Tech Reference on the Planet

A CDE Definition

You'll love The Computer Desktop Encyclopedia (CDE) for Tech Term of the Day (TTOD)


x86 PC

A computer that uses an x86-based CPU. The term generally refers to Windows desktop and laptop computers. See x86.


(1) x86 generally refers to definition #2 below; however, the term may also be used to differentiate 32-bit hardware and software from their 64-bit counterparts in Windows PCs (see x64). See Program Files x86.

(2) The world's predominant personal computer CPU platform. Used in Windows and Linux PCs, Macs and Chromebooks, the x86 line was developed by Intel and includes the Core, Xeon, Pentium, Atom and earlier 286, 386 and 486 models (hence, the "86").

AMD is also a manufacturer of x86 CPUs with brands such as Athlon, Sempron and Opteron. Although Intel and AMD are the primary sources, x86 chips are made by others, and x86 CPUs are used in embedded systems, not just desktop and laptop computers. See x86 compatible, x86 chip platform and embedded system.

x86 Lineage
The x86 architecture, which has been enhanced numerous times, comes from the Intel 8088, the CPU in the first IBM PC in 1981. The 8088 was a slower version of the 8086, which begat the 80186, 286, 386, 486, Pentium and subsequent CPU families. See 8088, Pentium, Intel Core and x64.

Personal Use Only

Before/After Your Search Term
x86-64x86 personal computer
x86 basedx86 platform
x86-based computingx86 smartphone
x86-based CPUx86/x64
x86-based systemx87
x86 chip platformXA
x86 cloneXA-Core
x86 compatibleXaaS
x86 emulatorXACML
x86 laptopXAML

Terms By Topic
Click any of the following categories for a list of fundamental terms.
Computer Words You Gotta KnowSystem design
Job categoriesUnix/Linux
Interesting stuffPersonal computers
InternetIndustrial Automation/Process Control
Communications & networkingAssociations/Standards organizations
HistoryDesktop publishing
ProgrammingHealthcare IT
System design