Amd athlon slot a: AMD Athlon K7 550MHz Slot A Microprocessor

AMD Athlon K7 550MHz Slot A Microprocessor

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Item # CPU-K7550
Price: $79.95

Key architectural features of the AMD Athlon™ processor include:

The industry’s first nine-issue superpipelined, superscalar x86
processor microarchitecture designed for high clock frequencies:

  • Multiple parallel x86 instruction decoders
  • Three out-of-order, superscalar, fully pipelined floating
    point execution units, which execute all x87 (floating point),
    MMX and 3DNow! instructions
  • Three out-of-order, superscalar, pipelined integer units
  • Three out-of-order, superscalar, pipelined address calculation
  • 72-entry instruction control unit
  • Advanced dynamic branch prediction

Enhanced 3DNow!™ technology for leading-edge 3D performance

  • 21 original 3DNow! instructions-the first technology enabling
    superscalar SIMD
  • 19 new instructions to enable improved integer math calculations
    for speech or video encoding and improved data movement for
    Internet plug-ins and other streaming applications
  • 5 new DSP instructions to improve soft modem, soft ADSL, Dolby
    Digital surround sound, and MP3 applications
  • Compatible with Windows 98, Windows 95, and Windows NT 4. x
    without software patches

200-MHz AMD Athlon system bus (scalable beyond 400 MHz) enabling
leading-edge system bandwidth for data movement-intensive applications

  • Source synchronous clocking (clock forwarding) technology
  • Support for 8-bit ECC for data bus integrity
  • Peak bandwidth of 1.6 to 3.2 GB/s
  • Multiprocessing support: point-to-point topology, with number
    of processors in SMP systems determined by chipset implementation
  • Support for 24 outstanding transactions per processor

High-performance cache architecture featuring an integrated 128KB
L1 cache and a programmable, high-speed backside L2 cache interface

Slot A infrastructure design based on optimized, high-performance

  • Available in processor cartridge with mechanical dimensions
    comparable to Pentium® III
  • Leverages existing physical/mechanical Slot 1 PC infrastructure,
    including mechanical connector, but with different bus protocols
    and electrical definitions
  • Electrical interface compatible with 200-MHz AMD Athlon system
    bus, based on Alpha EV6 bus protocol
  • Supported by a full line of optimized Slot A infrastructure
    solutions (chipsets, motherboards, BIOS)

Die size: approximately 22 million transistors on 184 mm2 die
on 0. 25-micron process technology

Manufactured using AMD’s state-of-the-art 0.25-micron, six-layer-metal
process technology at AMD’s Fab 25 wafer fabrication facility

AMD Athlon Slot A Overclockingcard Review – GFD test

Hardware Reviews, Misc Reviews

Athlon Goldfinger card comparison. Now you can see an AMD Athlon overclockingcard comparison and pictures with updated price.

Company/Cardname Madex / Centurion article no. 786001 – to the pictures !
URL / Email
Price ~ 20 € (excl. shipping costs) – new active gfd ~ 35 €
Delivery time Approx. 1-2 Days in a box
H x W x D 44mm x 49mm x 13 May be too wide for some PCs – see pictures !
Thereby it’s not possible to put this card by the wrong way onto the CPU.
Configuration 8 Jumper and a control LED, without additional power supply
Clock 4 for the clock from 300MHz to 1050MHz à 50MHz
VCore 4 for the Vcore from 1,30 V to 2. 05 V à 0.05 V
Guidance Very detailed guidance on 5 DIN A4 pages with many pictures. Unfortunately relatively badly copies.
Other Soon a new card appears additionally with alarm, Thermal control and overload protection.
Company/Cardname Ninja Micros / FreeSpeed Release 2.2kb – to the pictures !
URL / Email
Price ~ 60 € inkl. dispatch
Delivery time Approx. 1 day, very fast acknowledgement by E-Mail
H x W x D 41 mm x 58 mm x 19 mm
Configuration 16 Dip Switches an LED, additional power supply necessarily. The Switches of the VCore are not separate from the clock.
Clock 8 for the clock from 500MHz to 1050MHz à 50MHz
VCore 8 for the Vcore from 1,45 V to 1.90 V à 0.05 V
Manual Short english manual on one DIN A4 page, which should be read well, in order not to attach the card falsely.
Company/Cardname Overclockcard / Overclockcard Deluxe – to the pictures !
URL / Email
Price ~ 25 € inkl. dispatch, Jumperversion for ~ 20 €
Delivery time Approx. 1-2 days
H x W x D 29mm x 35mm x 10mm – smallest circuit board in this report
Configuration 8 Dip-Switches, without additional power supply
Clock 4 for the clock from 300MHz to 1050MHz à 50MHz
VCore 4 for the Vcore from 1,30 V to 2.05 V à 0.05 V
Manual Most detailed colored manual over 6 DIN A4 pages also many pictures. Additionally on disk.
Other Basic adjustment of the circuit board already on 500Mhz with 1.6 V, so a comparison of the adjustment is very simple.
Company/Cardname Overclockers / Selectcard – to the pictures !
URL / Email Amazon
Price ~ 35 € incl. dispatch
Delivery time Approx. 1-2 days – their homepage displays the current availability of all products.
H x W x D 40mm x 35mm x 10mm
Configuration 8 Dip-Switches, without additional power supply
Clock 4 for the clock from 500MHz to 1050MHz à 50MHz
VCore 4 for the Vcore from 1,60 V to 2.05 V à 0.05 V
Manual Manual on one DIN A4 page with the most important assertions.
Other Basic adjustment of the circuit board already on 500Mhz with 1.6 V, so a comparison of the adjustment is very simple.

The cards are sorted alphabetically by manufacturer !

Please contact me if you want to use the pictures and data on your site.

Another fact about the use of these cards: Before the VCore (CPU Voltage) can be changed by one of these cards, the Vcore Jumper of the mainboard e.g. Asus K7M have to be set to CPU default.

I can’t guarantee any specifications like e.g. price or delivery time. Once again many thanks for the co-operation of all companies involved !!!

This overclocking homepage is available at

Read on in the hardware test area with several hardware reviews …

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AMD Athlon 750 (Slot A)

Processor Search

Athlon 750 (Slot A)

Compare Athlon 750 (Slot A)

Basic Information



Processor Family

A-series 90 005

Processor type




Year of release


Main specifications

Number of cores

1 core

Number of threads

1 thread

Socket (socket)

Slot A

Processor architecture

Pluto | Thunderbird

Base frequency

750 MHz

Auto overclock


Free CPU multiplier




180 nm

Transistors (million)

22 million


46 W

Maximum temperature

70 °C


200 MHz

L1 cache

128 KB 9000 5

L2 cache

512 | 256 KB

L3 Cache

n/a KB


RAM Controller

Uses Motherboard Controller

Athlon 750 Speed ​​Rating (Slot A)

Attention! The general rating calculation method is selected, which means that the rating percentage is calculated relative to the most powerful processor participating on our site.

Rating calculation method:
Overall RatingBy Pluto Architecture | ThunderbirdBy socket Slot AAmong Intel processorsAmong AMD processorsAmong desktop processorsAmong A-series processorsAmong 1-core processorsAmong 2000 processors

Overall performance rating



PassMark CPU Mark



Cinebench 11.5 (64-bit) Multithreaded test



Cinebench 11.5 (64-bit) Single-threaded test



Cinebench 15 (64-bit) Multi-threaded test


(0.0 9%)

Cinebench 15 (64- bit) Single-thread test



Geekbench 4.0 (64-bit) Multi-thread test



Geekbench 4.0 (64-bit) Single thread test



X264 HD 4 .0 Pass 1


(0.1% )

X264 HD 4.0 Pass 2

0. 61


WinRAR 4.0



Positions in the rating

Attention! The general rating calculation method is selected, which means that the percentage of the rating is calculated regarding the most powerful processor participating on our site.

Rating calculation method:
Overall RatingBy Pluto Architecture | ThunderbirdBy Socket Slot AAmong Intel processorsAmong AMD processorsAmong desktop processorsAmong A-series processorsAmong 1-core processorsAmong 2000 processors

Overall performance rating
3291 participating processors

110 place

(out of 3291)

PassMark CPU Mark
3279 processors participate in the rating

107th place

(out of 3279)

Cinebench 11.5 (64-bit) Multi-threaded test
3 participate in the rating 221 processors

108th place

(out of 3221)

Cinebench 11. 5 (64-bit) Single-threaded test
3215 processors participate in the ranking 9 3218 processors participate in the rating

104th place

(out of 3218)

Cinebench 15 (64-bit) Single-threaded test
3217 processors participate in the rating

104th place

(out of 3217)

Geekbench 4.0 (64-bit) Multi-thread test
V 3209 processors

96th place

(out of 3209)

Geekbench 4.0 (64-bit) Single-threaded test

(from 3209)

X264 HD 4.0 Pass 1
3211 processors

101st place

(out of 3211)

X264 HD 4.0 Pass 2
3211 processors

103rd place 9000 5

(out of 3211)

3DMark06 CPU

processors participate in the rating

109th place

(out of 3242)

WinRAR 4.0
3212 processors participate in the rating

91st place

(out of 3212)

902 83

Energy saving technologies Name of technology or instruction Meaning Short description Sleep state Sleep state. Stop Grant mode Energy saving status.
Standard extension set
Technology or instruction name Meaning Short description
MMX (Multimedia Extensions) Multimedia extensions.
3DNow! Optional MMX extension for AMD processors.

AMD Athlon 750 Processor (Slot A) Overview

AMD Athlon 750 Processor (Slot A) Based on the Pluto Microarchitecture Released to hardware stores in 2000.

The maximum temperature of the processor cores when loaded will be 70 degrees. AMD claims that the bus power will be 200 MHz. The AMD Athlon 750 (Slot A) is designed exclusively for Slot A motherboards. It requires a high-performance cooling system due to its TDP of 46 watts. With a 180 nanometer process technology — the total number of transistors is 22 million.

Budget processor in its price group, it is used for tasks and tasks.

Competitors and analogues

Among competitors from Intelligence, Model 750 can be noted among a series of Pentium 3 processors, Model 1.80 on the LGA478 SOCTENEMENT FROM COLERON, Model 733 from a series of Pentium 3 processors, earlier Pentium III 800, Celeron 2.00 2002 2002 issues , as well as Pentium 4 2.0A based on the Northwood architecture. On socket Slot A, AMD models are clearly distinguished from competitors: Pluto, Thunderbird, Athlon 800 (Slot A) based on Pluto architecture, Athlon 1000 (Slot A) of 2000, Athlon 850 (Slot A) based on Pluto architecture, Athlon 700 (Slot A) based on the Pluto microarchitecture.

AMD’s Athlon 900 (Slot A), Athlon 850 (Slot A), Athlon 800 (Slot A) models are the closest in technical characteristics. They run on Thunderbird. If we take into account the entire series of Core processors, then Athlon 750 (Slot A) takes 275th place among them.

Technologies and Instructions

The Athlon 750 (Slot A) supports many new instructions and technologies.

Regular MMX (Multimedia Extensions), 3DNow! instructions applied. It has built-in power saving instructions, in particular — Stop Grant mode, Sleep state.

Similar processors

Pentium 4 1.8

Celeron 900MHz

Duron 750

Pentium III 600

Athlon 700 (Slot A)

Pentium III 600EB

Celeron 850

Duron 700

Pentium III 600E

Celeron 800

Pentium 4 1.7

Duron 650

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AMD K7 history. Part 1 — Slot / Sudo Null IT News

After a thorough excursion into the history of «non-traditional» (today) systems and a long break, it’s time to return to the most popular PC architecture — x86. Today we have a long-awaited series about AMD processors in line. Let’s start it, of course, with K7, but before that I will allow myself a little retrospective. So we will understand what preceded the appearance of the seventh generation processors and why they turned out that way.

❯ Minus one

So, let’s go back to 1997 — the year of the most important section for the history of the PC. To replace the recently released Pentium MMX, which used the Socket 7 construct, Intel releases the Pentium II, which requires a new connector — Slot 1. It seems to be a common story: connectors are now replaced every couple of years.

But if earlier all manufacturers gradually moved to the new connector (and there were much more than two then), this time Intel refused to license the new bus to anyone. The «alternative manufacturers» had no choice but to continue to develop the Socket 7, which was immediately declared obsolete (more on this can be found in the article at the link).

Now it seems like a matter of course that each chipmaker releases its own platform, uses its own bus to communicate with the chipset. And at the level of the internal architecture, the processors differ quite a lot. Up until the advent of the Pentium, competitors mostly copied (in a fair or not so good way) Intel products.

Starting from the fourth generation, the paths of x86 processor manufacturers began to diverge little by little. In the fifth generation, solutions that were really very different from the Pentium appeared (AMD K5, NexGen). The logic was simple — the chipmakers believed that motherboard manufacturers would not develop separate models of motherboards for processors with a different socket, which occupied a not so large market share. Perhaps in some ways they were right, while there were many of them.

AMD welcomed the year 1997 with the revolutionary K6: based on NexGen developments, demonstrating decent results and using the same Socket 7 platform (it only needed a faster FPU). It was a full-fledged sixth generation processor with support for out-of-order execution of instructions (out-of-order execution), a good, albeit inferior to Intel, floating point unit and a RISC core at the core.

The weak point of the platform was the processor bus. At the same 66 MHz as Intel, it was under a much greater load. The second-level cache remained external and all accesses to it went on the same bus as work with memory and peripherals.

A cache operating at the bus frequency was seriously inferior in efficiency to a cache located near the core and operating at least at half the core frequency (Pentium II), or even more so at the full core frequency (Pentium Pro, Celeron and Xeon). The former complete outsider, born without L2 at all, Celeron, after they nevertheless added 128 KB of cache, in some tasks bypassed the Pentium II, equal in frequency, with a four times larger, but twice as slow cache.

Time passed and the platform did not stand still. Basically, the bus frequency grew — first 75 MHz, then 83 and even 100 MHz. To distinguish it from the classic version, its name was changed to Super Socket 7 or, most often, just Super 7. Chipsets changed, the speed of working with memory increased. AMD also tried to solve the caching problem by adding a 256 KB onboard cache to the K6-III. It was at the beginning of 1999 years old, by that time the AGP bus and SDRAM memory with a frequency of 100 MHz were in full use.

One of the latest K6-III chipsets didn’t even support external cache. But these were already the last days of Super 7 — the platform was moving into the deep budget segment. AMD, having learned from the difficulties of its sixth generation, was preparing completely new processors that could compete with the king — the recently released Pentium III (read more in the article).

❯ Child of love and calculation

Of course, the development of seventh-generation AMD processors (at the development stage — AMD K7) started long before the announcement, when Super 7 was, if not a top-end, but quite a relevant platform. And it was from its shortcomings that AMD repelled, preparing the terms of reference for its engineers. First of all, they seriously took up the performance of the FPU. Further more.

Not enough cache? Let’s borrow the idea of ​​the processor cartridge from Intel and place the cache chips on a separate board next to the processor core! Inadequate to the needs of the throughput of the processor bus? we license from Digital its excellent EV6 from Alpha processors of the corresponding generation (more about the history of Alpha processors — part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4).

This bus was one of the first implementations of the DDR principle — Double Data Rate, when data is transmitted twice in one clock cycle (on the rise and fall of the signal). Accordingly, at a real frequency of 100 MHz, the performance of the bus corresponded to 200 MHz of the classic processor bus.

In the same way, it was planned to solve the issue of RAM performance. But it is now DDR memory that is widely known and used (now in which generation) everywhere. But in 1999, it was an expected and very breakthrough novelty, potentially able to squeeze out the fast, but still very expensive Rambus RDRAM memory. By the way, it was Intel that actively promoted it.

DDR support was planned for Socket 7, several times VIA announced this feature for their upcoming chipsets, but each time the adoption of the final specification of the standard was postponed. DDR was not in time for the release of Athlon either — the first chipsets worked with SDRAM PC100 and PC133.

And so, on June 23, 1999, despite all the difficulties, the presentation took place. The newcomer was called Athlon, hinting at its mission — competition in performance with the Pentium III. I must say, he succeeded from the very first day. At frequencies from 500 to 600 MHz, it was faster than rivals operating at the same frequencies. The difference reached 20% — it was a real success. The price was within reason — from $324 to $699. Later, they added options for 650 and 700 MHz at a price of $849.

Interestingly, Pentiums at that moment cost a little less and their older models were a little slower. For example, the August new Pentium III 600 cost $669. That is why accelerated Athlons appeared in August. Thus began the famous «Frequency Race», or rather its first stage — «Chasing the gigahertz».

Despite the fact that the announcement was essentially a paper one and the first processors, as well as systems based on them, began to reach consumers only in early August, the commercial potential of the new product was also realized by AMD. Over the next few years, the company grew its market share from a few percent to over 30% at its peak. This was facilitated by a series of successes — starting with today’s hero and up to the extremely breakthrough K8.

❯ Same black cartridge

An unusual but very reasonable decision was to use the same connector for Slot A as for Slot 1, but turned backwards — this way the boards turned out to be cheaper, and it would no longer work out to make a mistake and install a Pentium III in Slot A or opposite Athlon in Slot 1 . In general, the design of both competitors was similar — a black plastic shell covering the back side of the printed circuit board and the edges, but leaving the blade connector open at the bottom and the front of the board.

But, unlike the Pentium III, the CPU die and cache memory chips are covered with a metal heat spreader plate, which reduces the risk of chipping when installing the cooler. This approach was taken by Intel in earlier Pentium IIs.

There were a minimum of external differences: only a large two-color, then still black and green, logo on a white background in the middle of the plastic part of the AMD product caught the eye (the Intel holographic logo was noticeably smaller, as well as a large inscription on the upper edge of the cartridge). Interestingly, some of the processors of the first series had both the inscription and the logo read “AMD 7th Generation Processor”, and the Athlon name was not mentioned anywhere on the device! In this version, I met versions at 500 and 550 MHz. Engineering samples were marked as AMD K7 at all.

There were a lot more changes inside… but what a change! It was indeed a completely new processor designed from the ground up. The same huge breakthrough as the K6 or Pentium Pro from Intel used to be. The new FPU, the floating point computing unit, finally allowed AMD not only to catch up with Intel, but even to break ahead for the first time.

If AMD and other «colleagues» in the x86 shop managed to do this more than once in integer calculations, then in this discipline Intel lost for the first time. The only bottleneck was the lack of support for SSE instructions, but they had just appeared at Intel and were not yet so in demand. At the same time, in addition to MMX, a proprietary analogue of SSE was also supported — 3DNow instructions, which appeared back in K6-2!

From a technical point of view, this is the same 0.25 micron process technology that has also been used in Intel processors for a year now. Only if Intel stopped at 600 MHz, moving further to 0.18 microns, then AMD was able to squeeze 100 MHz more out of it, albeit at the cost of increased heat dissipation that crossed the 50 W threshold.

There were 22 million transistors on a 184 mm2 chip. The cache of the first level reached as much as 128 KB, and the cache of the second level did not duplicate the information of the first, so the effective cache size was the sum of L1 + L2 volumes. The L2 cache could be as large as 8 MB, but in fact all Athlons released got 512 KB of cache up to the release of models with on-chip L2. For Athlon on the Argon core, the cache worked at half the core frequency.

An interesting feature of the Athlon is the diagnostic connector on the board, accessible when the plastic cartridge is removed or modified. Among enthusiasts, a tool called «Goldfinger» quickly became widespread — a handkerchief with switches that allowed you to control the multiplier and core voltage, and in advanced versions, even supply additional power beyond the specifications of the motherboard.

❯ Platform: no abundance

This time AMD had to develop its own chipset. Digital’s Tsunami/Typhoon series kits were too complex and expensive for a top-end, but still desktop platform. Of the third-party chipmakers, only VIA at that moment responded to AMD’s proposal, but obviously delayed the release of the chipset, wanting to immediately implement support for AGP 4x and PC133 SDRAM memory.

This is how the first proprietary chipset appeared — Irongate AMD 750 (AMD 751 northbridge and AMD 756 southbridge). The chipset was content with AGP 2x and supported only 768 MB of PC100 SDRAM memory, not supporting 256 MB memory chips, but still it was powerful enough for the required level.

The first motherboard was AMD Fester, which was distributed among partners and journalists as a reference system, but it was never intended for mass production, let alone retail sales. Models from Gigabyte, MSI and, at that time, a very well-known company, FIC (First International Computer), which was part of the chemical giant Formosa Plastic, became available to enthusiasts.

The FIC SD11 is considered the first of the three boards that reached store shelves in the summer of 1999. She, in a slightly modified form, under the name Aspen 2, was installed in the finished computers of the Compaq Presario series. An interesting fact: the retail and «Compak» versions, in addition to the installed optional components, also differed in the color of the varnish — ocher and green, respectively.

However, a much more unusual feature of the board was the use of an alternative south bridge — VIA 686A, in contrast to the «native» one, which has AC’97 compatible sound controller and hardware monitoring controller. This is despite the fact that the sound capabilities of the chip in SD11 are not implemented in any way (and for the better). In my personal opinion, for a long time the built-in sound was suitable only for extremely undemanding users.

Surprisingly late, Asus joined the production of boards for Slot A. This is due to pressure from Intel — the board manufacturer really did not want to lose discounts on chipsets. But still, albeit belatedly, Asus K7M appeared, one of the best based on AMD 750. By the way, at first it was delivered in white boxes and without manufacturer’s markings on the textolite.

Like the FIC SD11, it used the southbridge from VIA, had its own design, also not inspired by the reference one. But at the same time, she used a 4-layer rather than a 6-layer textolite, due to which it was significantly cheaper to manufacture. And thanks to the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of other manufacturers, the K7M turned out to be very successful in terms of performance and, especially, overclocking.

But not only Asus remained on the sidelines. Of the second-tier brands, perhaps only Biostar and PC Partner were noted (although this manufacturer is difficult to attribute to the second echelon, it produced and produces most of the products under other brands or under OEM contracts).

It was not until the beginning of 2000 that the first (and last for Slot A) chipset from VIA, the KX133, finally became available. It had the best features — AGP 4x, support for up to 2 GB of PC133 memory (although most were limited to 1. 5 GB with three DIMM slots), did not require a 6-layer board design, and it was significantly cheaper in itself, which greatly affected the availability of based on it «motherboard».

More democratic brands have already caught up here — the second wave of boards has become much more popular. For example, I got my hands on a very high-quality board from Acorp, famous at that time for its inexpensive, but rather unusual and very reliable boards. Some of them have even become legendary, such as VIA85P «Polundra» or 6A815ED/EPD — a dual-processor board based on a chipset that does not officially support this mode.

❯ The race must go on!

AMD plans to release both more affordable Athlon Select models and advanced Athlon Pro and Athlon Ultra for workstations and servers. Perhaps, for them, the possibility of installing huge amounts of cache memory was laid. But history took a different path — due to the relatively high cost of manufacturing slot-based processors, Athlon failed to be mass-produced.

Athlon family evolution plan. 1999

Its advance into the professional segment was hampered by the lack of chipsets for multiprocessor systems (unlike Intel’s approach, Athlon required a dedicated bus for each of the processors) and the difficulty of expanding cache size and performance. Designed for Intel Pentium III Xeon servers with an external full-speed cache, they cost a lot of money by the standards of the PC market, while being limited to a frequency of 550 MHz. The frequency of the more affordable external cache chips installed in the Athlon (and in the Pentium III Katmai as well) was completely limited to 350 MHz.

Intel, meanwhile, switched to the 0.18 micron process technology and integrated 256 KB of full-speed cache into the die itself in the new Pentium III Coppermine. This somewhat delayed the increase in frequencies, but made it possible not to lose performance due to a slower, albeit larger, cache. AMD also had to switch to 0.18 micron technology, but they failed to integrate the cache into the die at the first stage. This is how processors with the code name Pluto appeared (in honor of the planet Pluto, and not the cartoon character of the same name — the dog, known in Russian translation as Pluto).

Pluto received excellent frequency potential and overclocked well, only now the second level cache became the bottleneck. For processors with a frequency of up to 700, it continued to work at ½ core frequency, but already for models 750, 800 and 850 MHz, the multiplier had to be reduced to ⅖. Thus, the 800 MHz Athlon had the L2 cache running at 320 MHz. Some motherboards have the ability to programmatically control the cache frequency divider, which greatly facilitates overclocking.

Frequency 9 became the next frontier00 MHz. In fact, processors for 900, 950 and, finally, a record 1000 MHz (they received a separate code name Orion) came out on the same day — March 6, 2000 and marked AMD’s victory in the first stage of the «Race for GHz». To be able to realize the frequency potential of the core, the manufacturer had to «strangle» the cache even more.

Now it only ran at ⅓ of the core clock, but that was enough to keep parity with Intel at equal clock speeds in most tasks. Meanwhile, heat dissipation has grown even more and reached 65 W for the 1 GHz model. The glory of AMD as the manufacturer of the hottest processors was born (which, of course, was not entirely true).

❯ Flight of the petrel

With the victory in the race, the story of Orion/Pluto also ended. Already in June 2000, they were replaced by processors based on the Thunderbird core, now with a built-in L2 cache. Like Intel, its volume has halved and amounted to 256 KB. But thanks to the exclusive (this is a term that describes the type of architecture, and does not distinguish it from a number of others) cache architecture, its effective size is already 384 KB.

Models with frequencies from 600 to 1000 MHz were presented in two versions at once — Slot A and Socket A, and these were the last slot processors from AMD. The first Thunderbird series practically duplicated the previous Athlon lineup, replacing it — after all, the cost price even in the slot version turned out to be much lower than the previous version.

❯ In the hands of a collector

In the meantime, let’s return to our days and look into the vaults of the Digital Vintage collection. Initially, I planned only one assembly with a Slot A processor, since these processors themselves, and even to a greater extent, motherboards for them are very rare today.

The first assembly was the SERVERGHOST Starliner K7, based on PCPartner’s board with the unpronounceable designation AMD750ASLA-976. It was created around the AMD 750 chipset (751+756) and does not contain additional integrated controllers. The board is quite futuristic (by the standards of those years) and has no ISA slots: only 5 PCI slots and 1 AGP 2x slot. The system is assembled in a huge Big Tower manufactured by Chieftec.

Pluto 800 MHz processor with 512 MB of memory installed. The processor is cooled by a fashionable at the turn of the century and very noticeable Thermaltake Golden Orb SECC II cooler. Other components to match the level are an ATi All-in-Wonder Radeon graphics card with 32 MB of memory and a built-in TV tuner, a SCSI disk subsystem and a Creative Sound Blaster Live! And, of course, a six-speed Panasonic DVD drive is installed, which, as it turned out, cannot read CD-R and DVD-R discs.

The second car appeared by chance and quite recently. The case bought for a different assembly turned out to have a sudden bonus — an early release AMD Athlon 600 based on the Argon core and a FIC SD11 motherboard in perfect condition. The hull left for its intended purpose, and after some deliberation, the machine was assembled in the iconic InWin H500, almost in the dream configuration of 1999.

The processor is decorated with an original cooler with two fans, a 3dfx Voodoo 3 3000 with 16 MB of video memory works as a video card (it will be dropped from its pedestal by GeForce 256 very soon), and the budding Aureal Vortex 2 is responsible for the sound. — of course, SCSI, based on the proven Adaptec 29 controller40U (2940U2 is very much requested here, but this is already the lot of even more powerful and expensive machines).

The assembly received the name SERVERGHOST Starliner K7 Glide and went not to the warehouse, but is located on the combat stand, which evil tongues call the «Altar H500» 🙂

Model SERVERGHOST Starliner K7 Glide SERVERGHOST Starliner K7
Model year 1999 2000
Date of assembly March 2022 December 2021
Processor AMD Athlon 600 MHz (Argon) AMD Athlon 800 MHz (Pluto)
Motherboard FIC SD11 PCPartner AMD750ASLA-976
Hard disk 18 GB SCSI 10k rpm 36 GB SCSI 10k rpm
Optical drive 32x Toshiba SCSI CD-ROM 6x Panasonic IDE DVD-ROM
Video card 3dfx Voodoo 3 3000 16 MB ATi AIW Radeon 32 MB
Sound card Aureal Vortex 2 SB Live!
Additional controllers Adaptec 2940U SCSI, 3COM 905B LAN Symbios Logic 875 SCSI, 3COM 905B LAN
Housing InWin H500 Desktop Chieftec Bigtower
OS Windows 98SE Windows 2000 Professional

❯ Interlude

But the development of the AMD slot platform stopped there. Due to the complexity of the wiring, not a single adapter was released for installation in the slot of socket processors. Faster Thunderbird processors were only available in Socket A.

But where Slot A’s history as a top platform ends, AMD’s huge rise in popularity in all market segments, from the budget level to workstations, and later entering the server market, begins. But we will talk about this in the next articles of the series.

See you soon!

Digital Vintage News

There were no new articles for almost a year. After the completion of the collaboration with Selectel, there was no time at all for large forms of creativity, so to speak about the articles. 🙂 Now the time has finally arrived, and Digital Vintage articles and historical essays are back.

And yet, this year the collection did not stand still, but developed!

First of all, Digital Vintage has a channel in Telegram — @digitalvintage_ru, join, it’s also interesting there! There is also a public of the same name in VK — vk.