The Altair 8800 was a computer using the Intel 8080 processor. Why the difference in numbers?

  • 4
    There was the Intel 8008, the Intel 8080. The number 8800 logically follows, perhaps?
    – StarCat
    Mar 24, 2021 at 7:33

1 Answer 1


The name of the complete package (here a particular computer) has no relation to the name of the parts (here CPU). It may go as far as being legally risky to use the same name (moot if e.g. IBM or DEC did it with their CPUs and machines).

  • 5
    Your logic fails with the IMSAI 8080. Same CPU, one year later.
    – UncleBod
    Mar 31, 2021 at 22:54
  • 2
    In practice, names of computers in the early x86 era often included part or all of the CPU name (e.g. Deskpro 286).
    – Armand
    Apr 1, 2021 at 12:58
  • @Armand, "often included" is the point. Others had no relation whatsoever (IBM PC, Apple ][, ....).
    – vonbrand
    Apr 1, 2021 at 22:15
  • @vonbrand I guess I'm not grasping your point here. I understood your answer's meaning to be "the name will never be related to the parts" - did you mean "the name will not necessarily be related to the parts"?
    – Armand
    Apr 2, 2021 at 21:30

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