A computer operating mode in which the processor can directly address up to 1 megabyte of memory. In contrast, protected mode allows the computer to access more memory and allows the processor to run faster. Real mode was the operating state of the original 8088/8086 central processing unit. Later processors in the 80X86 family run in protected mode by default, but support real mode. In this latter case, they function similarly to 8088/8086 processors, only faster. See also Protected Mode.