Difference Wiki

8085 vs. 8086: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on February 24, 2024
The 8085 is an 8-bit microprocessor by Intel with a 5MHz clock speed, while the 8086 is a 16-bit microprocessor with a clock speed up to 10 MHz, also by Intel.

Key Differences

The Intel 8085 is an 8-bit microprocessor introduced in 1976, primarily used in 8-bit computers. The Intel 8086, introduced in 1978, is a 16-bit microprocessor that marked the start of the x86 architecture. Both processors represent significant advancements in computing technology for their time, with the 8086 laying the groundwork for future PC development.
The 8085 operates at a clock speed of up to 5 MHz, while the 8086 offers a higher clock speed, ranging up to 10 MHz. This difference in speed reflects the technological advancements between the two, with the 8086 providing better performance and efficiency. Both processors have played crucial roles in the evolution of personal computing, with the 8085 being suitable for simpler tasks and the 8086 for more complex operations.
The 8085 uses a 5V power supply, making it compatible with many 8-bit systems of its era. In contrast, the 8086 requires a 5V and a 12V power supply, accommodating its more complex circuitry and higher performance needs. Both microprocessors demonstrate the evolving power requirements in computing technology from the late 1970s to the early 1980s.
In terms of architecture, the 8085 is based on a NMOS technology while the 8086 uses HMOS technology. This transition in technology from NMOS to HMOS with the 8086 led to improvements in speed and efficiency, showcasing the rapid progression in microprocessor design within just a few years. Both the 8085 and 8086 are significant for their respective technological advancements.
The 8085 was widely used in systems that required simple control and interfacing, such as educational kits and basic computers. The 8086, with its higher processing power, was more suited for the early personal computers that demanded more complex operations and multitasking. Both microprocessors have left a lasting impact on the field of computing, each serving different but important roles in the evolution of technology.

Comparison Chart

Bit Architecture


Clock Speed

Up to 5 MHz
Up to 10 MHz

Power Supply

5V and 12V



Use Cases

Simple control systems, educational kits
Early personal computers, complex systems

8085 and 8086 Definitions


A component of early 8-bit computers.
Many 8-bit home computers were built around the Intel 8085.


A processor with up to 10 MHz clock speed.
The higher clock speed of the 8086 enabled more complex computing tasks.


A processor with a 5 MHz clock speed.
The 8085's 5 MHz clock speed was suitable for basic computing tasks.


A microprocessor using HMOS technology.
The 8086's HMOS technology represented an advancement over earlier NMOS processors.


A microprocessor requiring a 5V power supply.
The 8085's 5V power requirement made it compatible with numerous devices.


A microprocessor requiring both 5V and 12V power supplies.
The dual power requirement of the 8086 accommodated its enhanced capabilities.


An 8-bit microprocessor by Intel.
The 8085 microprocessor was widely used in early computing education.


A 16-bit microprocessor developed by Intel.
The 8086 laid the groundwork for the modern x86 architecture.


A microprocessor using NMOS technology.
The 8085's NMOS technology was a standard in the late 1970s.


A foundational component in early personal computers.
The 8086 was crucial in the development of the first IBM PC.


What was the clock speed of the 8085?

The 8085 had a clock speed of up to 5 MHz.

How fast is the 8086 compared to the 8085?

The 8086 has a higher clock speed, up to 10 MHz.

What type of microprocessor is the 8085?

The 8085 is an 8-bit microprocessor.

What architecture does the 8086 use?

The 8086 uses a 16-bit architecture.

What power supply does the 8085 require?

The 8085 requires a 5V power supply.

What are the power requirements for the 8086?

The 8086 requires both 5V and 12V power supplies.

What kind of technology is used in the 8086?

The 8086 uses HMOS technology.

What technology does the 8085 use?

The 8085 uses NMOS technology.

When was the 8085 introduced?

The 8085 was introduced in 1976.

What were common uses for the 8085?

The 8085 was used in simple control systems and educational kits.

What made the 8086 suitable for early personal computers?

Its 16-bit architecture and higher clock speed made the 8086 suitable for early PCs.

Is the 8086 more advanced than the 8085?

Yes, the 8086 is more advanced, with a 16-bit architecture and higher speed.

When did Intel release the 8086?

Intel released the 8086 in 1978.

Can the 8085 handle complex computing tasks?

The 8085 was more suited for basic tasks due to its 8-bit architecture.

Was the 8085 used in personal computers?

The 8085 was primarily used in simple computers and educational systems.

What role did the 8086 play in computing history?

The 8086 played a pivotal role in the development of the x86 architecture.

What is a key difference in memory management between the 8085 and 8086?

The 8086 supports a larger memory space and more advanced memory management than the 8085.

Can the 8086 run software written for the 8085?

The 8086 can run 8085 software with appropriate emulation or compatibility layers.

How do the 8085 and 8086 differ in programming model?

The 8086 offers a more complex programming model due to its 16-bit architecture.

Are the 8085 and 8086 still used today?

While not commonly used in modern devices, they are studied for educational purposes.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons