Intel x86 documentation has more pages than the 6502 has transistors (2013)

Microprocessors have evolved into complex beasts over the years, making it increasingly difficult to fully comprehend their inner workings. In contrast, the 6502 microprocessor was relatively simple, allowing for a deeper understanding of its functionality. However, the sheer complexity of modern processors has made it a monumental task to grasp their architecture and instruction sets. Delving into reverse-engineering the 6502, I’ve discovered that it contains 3510 transistors. Interestingly, Intel’s documentation for their x86 processor series contains a whopping 4181 pages, surpassing the number of individual transistors in the 6502. It’s important to note that transistor counts can vary depending on different factors, making it challenging to determine an exact number. Overall, the x86 boasts more documentation pages than the 6502 has transistors, but the count depends on how one approaches the measurement.

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