In the spirit of the 40th anniversary of the moon landing and my own computer science background, I found a very interesting article ...
How powerful was the Apollo 11 computer?Take Intel's venerable 8086 for example -- you might know it better as "x86". Released in 1979, just a decade after Apollo 11's trip to the Moon, the 8086's cousin, the 8088, formed the basis for the IBM PC we all know and love. When the IBM PC "XT" was released in 1981, the lowest end configuration had 8 times more memory than Apollo's Guidance Computer -- 16k, vs the Apollo's 2k. The read-only storage of the AGC was 32k,
The IBM PC XT also ran at a dizzying clock speed of 4.077MHz. That's 0.004077 GHz. The Apollo's Guidance Computer was a snail-like 1.024 MHz in comparison, and it's external signaling was half that -- actually measured in Hz (1/1000th of 1 MHz, much as 1 MHz is 1/1000 of 1 GHz).
Internally, the 8086 had 8 16-bit registers available to work with -- for those not familiar with the internals of a processor, a register is much like the numbers you'd keep in your head while doing math, and "memory" is more like scratch paper where you write things down for later use. The 8086 could keep track of 8 of those, the Apollo Guidance Computer held just 4. (The AGC also had a host of other non-general purpose registers, ranging from 1 to 16 bits in width, but it's difficult to compare those with the architecture of the 8086)
It can get very geeky ... but some of you might be into that sort of thing.