Intel's Pentium II soon got competition from AMD and Cyrix. Both companies have launched several good processors, sometimes giving Intel a hard competiton.
AMD's K6 is from April 2, 1997. In 1996 AMD produced the K5 processor which was not very impressive, however very cheap. The company was put back to business by Mr. Atiq Raza, who brought in the technology from NexGen. This lead to the very successful model K6, which saved AMD from ruin.
The market soon discovered that the K6 performed a lot better than Pentium MMX, which it shared the Socket 7 motherboards with. Here are the data:
K6 is (like K5) compatible with Pentium. Thus, it can be mounted in a Socket 7 on a regular Pentium motherboard, and this soon made the K6 very popular.
Cyrix 6X86MX (MII)
Cyrix was a company with another high performance chips, placed somewhere between 5th and 6th generation. The first models were positioned against the Pentium MMX chip from Intel. Later models can be compared to the K6. I have to admit, that I quite seldom saw these processors in my country, but they did exist.
Cyrix powerful P6-classed processor was announced as the "M2". Introduced on May 30, 1997 the name became 6X86MX. Later it has been named MII again. There has always been some confusion about the identification of the Cyrix CPUs.
The 6X86MX has 64 KB internal L1 cache, which is very impressive. Cyrix also utilizes technologies which are not found in Pentium MMX. These chips are named to compare them with genuine Pentiums, although their internal clock speed is lower than corresponding Intel processors.
The 6x86MX was unique compared to the other 6. generation CPUs (Pentium II and Pro and K6) since it does not work upon a RISC kernel. 6x86MX executes the original CISC instructions as does the Pentium MMX.
The 6x86MX has plenty of internal registers placing it in company with other 6th generation CPU's:
32 bit CPU registers
|6X86MX||Internal speed||External speed|
|PR166||150 MHz||60 MHz|
|PR200||166 MHz||66 MHz|
|PR233||188 MHz||75 MHz|
|PR266||225 MHz||75 MHz|
|PR300||233 MHz||66 MHz|
|PR333||255 MHz||83 MHz|
|PR433||285 MHz||95 MHz|
|PR466||333 MHz||95 MHz|
It was evident that Cyrix intended to continue this line of processors, and this definitely was a positive trend. Intel got competition, and it keept the well tested and inexpensive Socket 7 motherboards in the market. In 2000 the VIA Joshua processor will hold designs originating from Cyrix - ported into socket 370 design.
Two brands of 6x86MX and MII
The 6x86MX processor was produced by National/Cyrix as well as by IBM. The architecture were the same, but the chips were built at different plants.
On April 14, 1998 the Cyrix MII (M-two) version was launched. It was exactly the same chip as the 6X86MX just running at higher clock frequencies. Later the voltage will be reduced to 2.2 Volts.
IBM used a new technology for their PR333 chip. It is patented and called Flip-Chip. The die is soldered directly to the ceramic casing and this causes less induction.
The next AMD "model 8" version of the K6 had the code name "Chomper".
This processor of May 28, 1998 was marketed as K6-2, and like the model 7 version of the original K6, it is manufactured with 0.25 micron technology. These chips run on just 2.2 Voltage. They became an immense succes, in many situations competing very successfully with Intel's Pentium II.
K6-2 is also improved with an MMX performance twofold better compared to the original K6.
The good thing is, that games do not have to include special programming to benefit from 3DNow!. Support is included in DirectX 6.0 (and newer) for Windows . DirectX is a so-called multimedia API (in fact a hardware abstraction layer) for Windows . It is some programs that can enhance the multimedia performance within all Windows programs.
3DNow! is not compatible with MMX, but the K6-2 holds MMX as well as the 3DNow!. Also Cyrix and IDT launch CPUs with 3DNow!. Read more on 3DNow!
||4.0 X 66 MHz|
||3.0 X 88 MHz|
||3.0 X 100 MHz|
||3.5 X 95 MHz|
||3.5 X 100 MHz|
||4.0 X 95 MHz|
|400 MHz||100 MHz||4.0 X 100 MHz|
Two of the CPU's in the table must be the same. AMD calls it a 350 MHz version, but in Denmark e.g it was sold as a 380 MHz version.
April 6, 1999. A 475 MHz version of the K6-2 was introduced. The latest version is 533 MHz.
AMD had 39% of the market with K6-2 in 1999!
Read about chip sets on the motherboard in module 2d
Read more about RAM in module 2e
Read module 5a about expansion cards, where we evaluate the I/O buses from the port side.
Copyright (c) 1996-2005 by Michael B. Karbo. . Click & Learn .