Amd k6 3: AMD K6-2 vs K6-2+ vs K6-III+

The Red Hill CPU Guide: mainstream 1999

1999 brought the last and greatest of the sixth generation chips: faster K6-IIs and Celerons, the K6-III and the Pentium-III. As so often happens with the last of the line, they were honed to near-perfection: fast, cheap, and very easy to work with.

It was also the year that finally saw Intel’s stranglehold on the high-end, cost no object chip market decisively broken. The Athlon, as a seventh-generation part, is covered on the following page, here we are interested in the less glamorous but far more common mainstream parts for 1999: faster K6-2 and Celeron versions, more Pentium IIs, early Pentium IIIs, and our choice as the best all-round CPU since the 386DX-40, the wonderful K6-III.

AMD K6-2/550

A dog of a chip. In reality, often slower than a 450 or a 500. We have no idea why this should have been so, but not the slightest doubt about it: the 550MHz K6-2 was a 24 carat dud.

To be sure, the K6-2 design was running out of steam as multiplier increases had progressively less effect — something that happens to ever chip family in time — but the lack-lustre performance of the K6-2/550 was a real surprise.

Even more surprising was its instability. The K6-2/550 was as troublesome as the old and unlovely 486DX-2/80. We set them up to factory spec to begin with, of course, and when that didn’t produce a stable system we tried upping the voltage to 2.4 and higher (which made them overheat and didn’t help much anyway), and tried dropping the voltage to 2.2 and 2.1, which left them cool but still unstable), and we tried various different motherboards. There were not many to choose from, as very few boards had BIOS support for the 550, and none of the several that we tried were really to be trusted with it. (We obtained the least worst results with those two wonderful old faithfuls, the Gigabyte 5AA and the FIC VA-503+. )

To rub salt into the wound, we ended up with quite a lot of them. In about May 2000 the industry-wide CPU shortage reached new heights: Intel products had been scarce for months, K6-IIIs had disappeared, Athlons were available but still too expensive for most buyers, and even the usual plentiful supply of K6-2 450 and 500 chips was absent. We ended up with trays of K6-2/550s and nothing much else to sell, and the 550 gave us nothing but trouble.

In the end, we set them all back to 2.2 volts instead of the factory-marked 2.3, clocked the multiplier for 5 instead of 5.5, and sold them at a loss as K6-2/500s.

At 500MHz, they were rock solid, exactly like a real K6-2/500. On those rare occasions when we trade one in now (there weren’t all that many of them made), we immediately set it back to 500MHz, and it runs just fine.

Form Design Manufacture Introduction Status
Super 7 AMD AMD February 2000 Legacy
Internal clock External clock L1 cache L2 cache Transistor count
550 MHz 100 MHz 64k at 550 MHz *1MB at 100 MHz 9.3 million

AMD K6-III 400

It seemed that AMD could do no wrong in ’98 and ’99: the K6-2 had been a great success, and this improved version of it was better yet. (The unlovely K6-2/550 was not until mid-2000.) The concept was very simple: take the existing K6-2 and add 256k of on-chip, full-speed secondary cache. That recipe sounds rather like a Pentium Pro or a Celeron-A. But the K6-III had motherboard-mounted tertiary cache as well. In combination with a standard Super 7 motherboard, the K6-III had 64k of primary cache, 256k of full-speed secondary cache, and between 512k and 2MB of 100MHz tertiary cache too. Like the Celeron-A, the K6-III was a huge single chip (21 million transistors!), where the old Pentium Pro used two chips bonded together.

Three levels of cache was something only seen previously in very high power systems like the DEC Alphas. To everyone’s surprise (even AMD’s) the performance improvement was quite a bit more than expected. It seems that the combination of the two different sorts of cache (the 256k secondary was direct-mapped, the tertiary cache set associative) resulted in a broader spread — what the secondary missed the tertiary hit and vice-versa. (There are several excellent articles which go into some fascinating detail on this at Ace’s Hardware.) Adding to this, the K6-III was dual ported: it could read from the 64k primary cache and the 256k secondary cache at the same time.

The result was a very serious performer indeed, one full speed-grade faster than the Pentium-II/III: a K6-III/400 was faster than a Pentium-III 450. Best of all, so far as public awareness went, the K6-III lived in the shadow of the K7: it was little known and this made it great value for money. For a long, long time, the K6-III 400 was our second-favourite CPU. (Second only to the magnificent K6-III/450, of course.)

Form Design Manufacture Introduction Status
Super 7 AMD AMD Feb/May 1999 Legacy
Clocks L1 cache L2 cache L3 cache Transistor count
100 & 400 MHz 64k at 400 MHz 256k at 400MHz *1MB at 100 MHz 21. 4 million

Intel Pentium-III 500

Intel’s answer to AMD’s 3DNow extensions was SSE; another variation on the single-instruction, multiple-data theme introduced by MMX. (Or, indeed, by the Z-80, if you want to look at it that way.) SSE and 3DNow were broadly similar: programmers said that, all things considered, SSE was marginally more powerful but considerably more difficult to use. (Intel never were any good at instruction sets — consider the 286.)

Like MMX and 3DNow, SSE only worked with specially written programs and was mainly of interest to gamers and multi-media users. Game developers, mindful of Intel’s still enormous market clout, took on the complex task of writing for SSE as well as 3DNow — though in reality, it is probably fair to say that they mainly relied on Direct X to do it for them. In a curious and rather silly move, Intel declined to add SSE to their fast selling Celeron line, so only the Pentium-III and the Xeons had it. (The SSE enabled Celerons finally arrived much later, in August 2000. )

The Pentium-III also introduced an embedded hardware serial number, supposed to be an aid to secure Internet transactions. This was met with scorn by Internet security experts, and with a storm of protest from people concerned about privacy — so much so that Intel had to agree to switch it off by default when the chip was shipped to OEMs. This does not mean that your Pentium-III system will not disclose your identity unless you ask it to: it means that it is up to your computer manufacturer to decide. After early thoughts that they might follow suit, AMD and Cyrix hurriedly decided not to implement hardware identity numbers. After the masses of bad publicity endured by Intel on this issue, the other makers would have been crazy to make the same mistake.

As for the chip itself, it was unchanged from the Pentium II. It had a process shrink, but Intel was stretching our credulity giving it a new name when it offered no real performance gain over the Pentium II. The new fabrication technology did at least allow lower power consumption and slightly greater clock speeds, and it is this alone which rescued the Pentium III from being a technical non-event.

Form Design Manufacture Introduction Status
Slot 1 Intel Intel May 1999 Legacy
Internal clock External clock L1 cache L2 cache Transistor count
500 MHz 100 MHz 32k at 500 MHz 512k at 250MHz 9.5 million

AMD K6-2+ 500

A little-known chip that was essentially a «poor man’s K6-III». Made primarily for notebook use, the K6-II+ ran at 2.0 Volts rather than the usual 2.4 or 2.2 Volts and, like the K6-III, had on-chip secondary cache as well as the mainboard-mounted tertiary cache. The difference was the size: 128k where the K6-III had 256k.

Performance for most tasks was all but indistinguishable from a K5-III/450: the extra 50MHz was balanced by the missing 128k of secondary cache. (Though this is from our own testing on 1MB cache mainboards: on a 512MB cache board the K6-III would have pulled ahead, we assume. ) In more detail, the clockspeed advantage of the K6-2+ could be an advantage for FPU-intensive tasks, while the bigger cache of the K6-III saw it win out in multi-tasking environments.

Although it was only ever publicised as a notebook part, we were able to buy desktop-packaged K6-2+ parts with very little difficulty and sold a reasonable number of them until supplies dried up around the end of September 2001.

By the way, the transistor count of the K6-2+ seems to be one of the best kept secrets in the industry. The figure below is an estimate derived by simply halving the difference between the 0k on-chip L2 K6-2 and the otherwise almost identical 256k L2 K6-III. That puts the K6-2+ at 15.3 million. In reality it is probably a little higher than that, because of the added high-tech power management system — which, of course, is not relevant in desktop use.

Form Design Manufacture Introduction Status
Super 7 AMD AMD April 2000 Legacy
Clocks L1 cache L2 cache L3 cache Transistor count
100 & 500 MHz 64k at 500 MHz 128k at 500MHz *1MB at 100 MHz 15. 3 million

AMD K6-III 450

One of the all-time great CPUs. It was the long-time unchallenged king of business CPUs, and a capable all-rounder too. It is astonishing that the K6-III was so little known: it comprehensively outperformed all other contenders in its MHz range. Indeed, for a while it was quicker than anything else on the market at any clock speed.

Originally only fair so far as value for money was concerned, it moved right into the sweet spot before too long. During its reign it was our favourite CPU by a big margin: an excellent games platform and for business tasks better than a Pentium-III 500. It was, of course, in the psychological shadow of the AMD K7 which was due out not too much later and then ran alongside the K6 family for quite some time. The K6-III was almost forgotten in amongst the Athlon hype. All the better! This made it affordable as well as desirable.

Alas, the K6-III’s life was fairly short. Around the end of 1999 Intel introduced the revised «Coppermine» Pentium-III parts, which were much improved performance-wise, but very difficult to manufacture. Massive shortages resulted, and the flow-on effects washed across the whole industry: Intel parts were hard (Celeron, P-III 550) or impossible (faster P-IIIs) to get, and demand for the equivalent parts from AMD, already strong, was more than AMD could really cope with. Naturally, AMD focussed on the most profitable lines: Athlon (high transistor count and high price) and K6-2 (low transistor count and low price) at the expense of the K6-III (high transistor count but low price). With over 21 million transistors, a K6-III took almost as many production resources as an Athlon, and it got pushed back to third priority. In reality, this meant that the K6-III/450 became unavailable after February 2000. The K6-III/400 (a slightly different chip and a little easier to manufacture — it was not just a different speed grade) was merely hard to get. Plans for 500MHz and faster K6-III versions were quietly dropped. As an AMD business decision it made sense, but it was a sad blow for consumers wanting high performance at a bargain price.

Form Design Manufacture Introduction Status
Super 7 AMD AMD Feb/May 1999 Legacy
Clocks L1 cache L2 cache L3 cache Transistor count
100 & 450 MHz 64k at 450 MHz 256k at 450MHz *1MB at 100 MHz 21.4 million

Intel Pentium-III 550 ‘Katmai’

Like the AMD K6-2/475, these were mainly for show. They were pushed out before the manufacturing process was ready in order to have an on-paper faster part than the K6-III/450, which had just taken the lead as the fastest X86 of all. Early release P-II 550 parts had significant heating and stability problems. Intel’s production engineers, with their usual amazing efficiency, had the part running smoothly before too long. Nevertheless, the writing was on the wall: Katmai was at its limit, and any further speed increase would require a substantial redesign of a chip which had, after all, been largely unchanged since it debuted at 233 and 266MHz as the Pentium-II.

Form Design Manufacture Introduction Status
Slot 1 Intel Intel June 1999 Legacy
Internal clock External clock L1 cache L2 cache Transistor count
550 MHz 100 MHz 32k at 550 MHz 512k at 275MHz 9.5 million

Intel Celeron 566 and 600

With these, the Celeron finally gained some multi-media instructions. Also, and perhaps more significant to most users, it got most of the advanced cache design from the «Coppermine» Pentium-IIIs — though only 128k, not the full 256k.

Alas, the announcement in March 2000 was followed almost immediately by a statement that production would be delayed for some months. It took until about August before they were available in volume, and by that time the Duron had arrived.

Against the K6 family the Celeron was still almost competitive, but up against the Duron it was comprehensively outclassed. There was no rational reason at all to consider buying a Celeron once the Durons arrived: Celerons were more expensive, had no particular upgrade path, and were much slower. We didn’t expect to sell very many, quite possibly none at all, and that is exactly how it panned out.

We did buy three or four very cheap remaindered Celeron 600s a year or two later, to use as substitutes for second-hand K6 machines (which were in short supply at the time) and for us this served only to underline how far off the pace the Celerons of this period had been. The excellent Celerons of 1999 were just history by the turn of the century. For Intel, the future was clear: it was P-III or bust.

Form Design Manufacture Introduction Status
FC-PGA Intel Intel March/August 2000 legacy
FC-PGA Intel Intel March/August 2000 legacy
Internal clock External clock L1 cache L2 cache Transistor count
566 MHz 66 MHz 32k at 566 MHz 128k at 566MHz 19 million
600 MHz 66 MHz 32k at 600 MHz 128k at 600MHz 19 million

Intel Pentium-III 600 ‘Katmai’

Originally, the 600 was to be the «real» next generation Pentium-III, as opposed to the rushed out, clocked-up 500 that was released as the P-III 550. But the new process still wasn’t ready and Intel needed the PR value of being first to 600MHz, so the old process was pushed up one last speed grade. P-III 600s ran very hot indeed. They were also very expensive indeed: for the price of one of these things, you could have bought an air ticket to anywhere in the world, and probably back as well.

It was, however, unmistakable evidence that fierce competition from AMD, and maybe just a touch of Athlon panic, was having an effect. Stop and think for a moment: count up the times that Intel’s near-monopoly has been most threatened: late in 386 days (AMD 386DX-40), late in 486 days (AMD 486DX2/66 and DX/4-100), just before the Pentium Classic/Pentium MMX changeover (Cyrix 6×86-166 and 200 Classic), when the Athlon was due, and when the Thunderbird passed 1000Hz and kept on rolling. And count up the Intel parts that were released just a touch too early and ran too hot: 486DX-50, Pentium-66, Pentium Pro, P-III 600, P-III 1133. Is that a pattern we see emerging?

In the original entry on these, written late in 1999, we wrote: «Given Intel’s excellent record in these matters, we expect that the problems will be short-lived. In any case, they have a new and high-tech production process in the pipeline and by the time you read this it will probably be already fixed.»

To our great surprise (and to the surprise of most of the rest of the world too), we were wrong: the fix took things from bad to worse. Where the first P-III 550s and 600s had quality problems but were at least available, the next batch, on the new process, had massive production problems. From late 1999 through until about April or May 2000, all Intel CPUs were in short supply, and Pentium III production problems were so acute that only the 550 was available on the general market — and even that was hard to get most of the time. This was quite a shock: over the years we had seen Cyrix have production problems (486DLC-40 with Texas Instruments and then 6×86 with IBM) and AMD have production problems (K5, K6 Classic), but never Intel.

When the Coppermines arrived the original 600, last of the Katmais, disappeared without trace.

Form Design Manufacture Introduction Status
Slot 1 Intel Intel August 1999 legacy
Internal clock External clock L1 cache L2 cache Transistor count
600 MHz 100 MHz 32k at 600 MHz 512k at 300MHz 9. 5 million

Intel Celeron 633, 666, 700, 733 and 766

The forgotten Celerons, and justly so. These grew up in the shadow of the AMD Duron, still crippled by a stone-age 66MHz bus speed and utterly unable to compete. No-one bought them.

Well, no-one who knew anything at all about computers bought them; they were outclassed in every department: price, integer performance, floating point performance, upgradability, and longevity of platform. It did not matter which of these factors you judged the most important, the last of the 66MHz Celerons were poor seconds to the Duron. Even at 766MHz the fastest Celeron was slower than the slowest Duron 600.

There was nothing wrong with the Celeron’s actual processing power. It was, after all, essentially the same chip as the still-formidable Pentium IIII Coppermine. But the ability of the system to get data in and out of the Celeron’s 66MHz bus was sadly insufficient. With its very small 128k cache, the Celeron depended more on RAM speed than any other processor on the market — but it was the only processor still in production that ran its RAM at 66MHz: half the speed the PC-133 RAM of 2001 was designed for.

On a small data set these last of the 66MHz Celerons could still perform competently, particularly given their excellent Pentium-II derived NPU performance. But on the ever-growing datasets that the normal mix of even light duty applications was throwing up as routine by this time, the Celeron’s tiny cache and crippled bus was out of its depth.

If you have one handy — any one of them, for the 66MHz board sees to it that there is very little difference between the 633 and the 766 — try it out with an ordinary home user’s desktop. Don’t strip the system down for benchmarking, leave it as it is: complete with virus scanner and desktop animations and email package running in the background; slowed by the typical assortment of power-sapping micro-apps that clutter up the average user’s taskbar: a scanner driver, let’s say, and some of those popular but useless utility apps like the Norton System Doctor. Now see how the Celeron copes, and then compare it to a chip that is uncrippled: a Duron 700, a P-III 600EB, or a Thunderbird. Even an old K6-2/500 is not disgraced, and a K6-III/450, despite its modest clockspeed, can outpace any of the 66MHz Celerons with ease.

Was there anything nice to be said about the last of the 66MHz Celerons? Well, yes: they had very low power consumption, so they were good for notebooks, which by virtue of their size and many design compromises never have very good performance anyway.

Form Model Design and Manufacture Announced Status
FC-PGA 600 to 700 Intel June 2000 legacy
FC-PGA 733 & 766 Intel November 2000 legacy
Internal clock External clock L1 cache L2 cache Transistor count
633 MHz 66 MHz 32k at 633 MHz 128k at 633MHz 19 million
666 MHz 66 MHz 32k at 666 MHz 128k at 666MHz 19 million
700 MHz 66 MHz 32k at 700 MHz 128k at 700MHz 19 million
733 MHz 66 MHz 32k at 733 MHz 128k at 733MHz 19 million
766 MHz 66 MHz 32k at 766 MHz 128k at 766MHz 19 million

AMD K6-III+ 450

It is a little naughty of us to list these 450MHz chips here, rather than further up the page. They were designed for notebooks really, running at 2.0 Volts (instead of 2.4) and requiring a BIOS flash. But no matter! AMD had them available, unpublicised but in stock at very reasonable prices — barely more than a K6-2/500, and we were delighted to get our hands on them.

In theory, the performance was all but indistinguishable from the older 2.4 Volt K6-III Standard. (Unlike the K6-2+ which had a bigger cache than its namesake.) But in practice, they overclocked like crazy. We ran a 450MHz K6-III/450+ at 560MHz for a year or so in our main accounting machine, and this was something you could do as mere routine. These were the most overclockable chip since the Celeron 300A. With the 1MB cache and PC-133 RAM clocked up to 112MHz (instead of the design 100) and the multiplier at 5 instead of 4.5 it ran like an express train, and remained perfectly cool to touch. We should really have tried a still higher clocking. No matter. For the purely business tasks that we used it for, it was superior to several of the CPUs we replaced it with (including a Duron 700 and a Thunderbird 900) and roughly the equal of the Thunderbird 1000 that replaced them.

Tired of seeing higher clockspeeds and more expense but no real advantage in performance, we plugged the K6-III+ back in for another few months. Those massive K6-III caches took a lot of beating if you multi-tasked extensively. Eventually, we went to an Athlon 1400C for a while, which was faster on the whole (but still inferior in some things), and finally to an Athlon XP 1700+ with DDR. And here, finally, we had a CPU and main board combination that was faster in all respects than the old K6-III+.

There was a 500MHz version too, but very difficult to get hold of, and possibly even a 550. We never saw either one, but sold a lot of the 450MHz ones. We also replaced all the CPUs in our office machines with K6-III/450+ parts and overclocked them as routine. Two of them remain in daily service even now (May 2004).

Form Design Manufacture Introduction Status
Super 7 AMD AMD April 2000 legacy
Clocks L1 cache L2 cache L3 cache Transistor count
100 & 450 MHz (more if desired) 64k at 450 MHz 256k at 450MHz *1MB at 100 MHz 21. 4 million

K6-iii — Academic Kids

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AMD-K6-III. The Future Starts Today

AMD introduces a new processor that could change the world. The new TriLevel Cache technology implemented in AMD-K6-III, which increases the performance of Windows 95/98/NT, is quite capable of bringing AMD to the leading position in the processor market.

On February 22, 1999, AMD introduced the most powerful x86 generation PC processor to date, the AMD-K6-III with integrated 3DNow! technology.

AMD has launched a large-scale attack on the consumer market, literally throwing huge batches of 400-MHz AMD-K6-III processors onto it, and is already supplying 450-MHz AMD-K6-III to OEMs. Desktop systems based on AMD-K6-III chipsets will be sold by all major computer vendors, including the monster Compaq.

According to Ziff-Davis Winstone’99 Benchmarks, AMD-K6-III is at least an order of magnitude faster than Pentium III in popular office applications.

Atiq Raza, AMD Chief Technology Officer and co-chairman of AMD’s board of directors, stated that «the AMD-K6-III processor with embedded 3DNow! and computer specialists, which, of course, include gamers. «By combining the AMD-K6-III’s advanced 3DNow! instruction set with the revolutionary TriLevel Cache technology, the AMD-K6-III processor dramatically improves the performance of Windows 98/NT and has a dramatic effect on the visual side of 3D applications. and narrow trench isolation.The chip itself uses a 100MHz socket-7 platform and features a 321-pin ceramic grid array architecture (CPGA) connector using C4 flip-chip interconnect technology.

3DNow! is an important addition to the processor. 3DNow! uses SIMD (Single Instruction Multiple Data) technology and many other improvements to the architecture itself , designed primarily for resource-intensive programs that process graphics in a larger volume.0005

In addition, the very technology of graphics acceleration in the processor was first implemented by AMD in processors starting from K6-2, and therefore processors supporting 3DNow! had time to come and be recognized in the market, go through all stages of testing , unlike other hardware manufacturers, who will have to, one way or another, include an extended set of instructions for processing graphics in the processor.

It is also important that the 3DNow! supported by a significant number of computer software vendors and, importantly, exists in application programming interface (API) standards, including Microsoft DirectX 6.x and the SGI OpenGL API.

Accolade, Activision, Criterion Studios, Digital Anvil, Eidos, GT Ibteractiv, Gremlin, id Software, Interplay, Psygnosys, Rage, and 3DO have recently announced support for the standard in upcoming titles for gamers.

Most importantly, the list of those who can no longer refuse to use technology is constantly decreasing — manufacturers and software publishers are switching to using a really convenient and modern architecture. Many software vendors have already begun releasing programs that support the standard (which in itself speaks of the recognition of 3DNow! as a standard).

New and increasingly sophisticated software applications for home, business and the Internet continue to demand ever-increasing system performance. Photo and video editing software, Web design and development tools, DVDs, real-time speech recognition, and 3D games require particular processing speed. The multithreaded applications and multitasking of the Windows 95/98/NT operating environment all place an additional burden on the CPU and load the sometimes necessary RAM.

For the most part, x86 processors struggled to keep up with growing user demands that greedily demanded more and more features. This was mainly due to evolutionary changes in the architecture and the constant increase in the clock frequency of the central processor and data buses. Later, another method was discovered — increasing the speed of access to data that has been processed in the processor or only arrives there.

So the cache was created — a kind of RAM, located so close to the central processor itself, that access to data, of course, was carried out much faster than to data located in RAM directly.

Traditionally, the first level cache was on the processor silicon itself, and the second level cache was either on the motherboard or on the processor slot itself.

There is a general rule of thumb in designing the cache subsystem: the larger and faster the cache, the better the performance (i.e., the faster the CPU receives instructions and processes data). Recognizing the benefits of a large and fast cache for demanding PC applications AMD has evolved into an innovative cache architecture that extends the capabilities of PCs based on the Socket-7 platform.

A new AMD-developed technology called TriLevel Cache, debuting in AMD-K6-III processors, dramatically improves overall computer performance by providing the most powerful and fastest cache for both the Windows environment and its applications. The very essence is that the most modern multi-stage combined cache is used. Let’s consider its structure.

TriLevel Cache includes a full speed 64 KB Level 1 (L1) cache (standard on all AMD-K6 family processors), an internal full speed 256 KB additional cache (L2) and a 100 MHz communication bus with an optional optional level 3 cache (L3) installed directly on the motherboard with Socket-7. The 320 KB (L1+L2) shared memory cache gives the AMD-K6-III an advantage over other processors currently on the market — no other x86 processor supports this amount of internal cache yet, and besides, no other supports external L3 cache on the motherboard.

Naturally, the question of comparison with the Pentium III will arise. Comparing a full 544KB Pentium III cache (32KB — L1 + 512KB maximum half-speed external L2 cache) and an AMD-K6-III with a fully stocked 1,344KB cache (64KB L1 + 256 L2 + 1,024 external L3), the latter not only has a larger cache, but also communicates with it at a faster speed, giving PC users two and a half times the speed of its rival.

Continuing the theme, it should be noted that, of course, the AMD-K6-III cache is not the largest (which is not as important as in that saying about size) — it is the fastest. The built-in 256 KB L2 cache runs at the full speed of the processor, and not at half, as is customary in Intel.

For example, an AMD-K6-III 450 MHz L2 cache runs at 450 MHz and no other, and provides nine times the bandwidth of an external L2 cache running at 100 MHz. At the same time, the maximum bandwidth of the external L2 cache operating at 100 MHz is 800 MB / s, while the internal L2 cache at a speed of 450 MHz issues a maximum of 3600 MB / s to the portal.

As a result of the AMD-K6-III L2 cache having two portals for simultaneous reading and writing, peak throughput is increased to 7200 MB / s (i.e. nine times more than an external 100 MHz L2 cache ).

In addition, the benefits of TriLevel Cache don’t end there. The cache technology itself is well developed and predictable. TriLevel Cache offers multiport caching. This flexibility is realized through parallel 64-bit writes and reads in both caches — the first and second levels. In addition to everything, access to both caches (again L1 and L2) can be carried out simultaneously from the processor, which, of course, speeds up data exchange.

Utilizing the unique TriLevel Cache technology, the AMD-K6-III executes instructions much faster and therefore offers a higher performance class at the same clock speed as the AMD-K6-2 and PentiumIII. The tests carried out show that the performance of the processor itself is so high that it easily outperforms a PentiumIII running at 500 MHz.

«Compaq welcomes the introduction of the 450MHz AMD-K6-III processors with 3DNow! technology, which we are going to use in the new Presario series, with plans to make this series the fastest Internet computers,» Mike Larson, vice -President of Compaq «Given the use of all the new technologies in the AMD-K6-III processor and TriLevel Cache design, AMD is sure to attract the attention of potential buyers.»

In addition, AMD-K6-III significantly reduces the cost of systems based on Socket-7, allowing, instead of expensive processors from Intel, to use less expensive processors from AMD that better meet modern requirements.

I would like to believe that with the advent of AMD-K6-III, the «war of processors» will reappear, which has completely died down recently — in the market, and especially in this one, there must be competition, but now it exists.

Cyril Sedai KALITA

Computer newspaper. The article was published in issue 14, 1999 under the heading hard :: processors

233 MHz — 500 MHz

You know
Are you that SIMD instruction set known
as «3Dnow!» stands for «Single Instruction,
multiple data. These instructions are known
most like «vector instructions» —
vector processing instructions.

AMD K6-3

in the K6 line, AMD’s K6-3 was announced in
early 1999 as the last processor
for motherboards with Socket 7. But K6-3 is not
had a chance to soak up the rays of success, so
how Intel released the new Pentium processor
III in just a few days. Significant
step forward in K6-3 were 256 KB secondary
cache and more than doubled
increased number of transistors — from 9.3
million to 21.3 million. K6-3 was a successful development,
but it was quickly forgotten as AMD released
Athlon series.

Year of manufacture: 1999 Clock frequency: 350 MHz — 570 MHz ?

You know
did you that the codename K6-3 was
«Sharptooth» («sharp tooth»).

Intel Pentium III and Pentium III Xeon

1999 Intel releases the Pentium III. Additional
SSE instructions allowed to execute up to
four single precision calculations
floating point at the same time that
improved processing efficiency
3D images, streaming video and more
multimedia tasks compared to
Pentium II.

Intel released the Pentium III
coppermine. Coppermine had integrated
256 KB secondary cache working
with core frequency, double pipeline and
other improvements that have led to
performance improvement by several
times compared to the first Pentium III.

The PIII chip, called Tualatin, had a higher
clock frequency, larger volume
cache memory, smaller die size and
lower energy consumption.
Tualatin provided the initial structure
Intel mobile processors
Pentium-M, which later led to the emergence
core i7.

and for Pentium III Xeon, Intel processor
for servers did not differ fundamentally
from analogues for desktop computers,
although later for the PIII Xeon the cache was
increased to 2 MB and was implemented
support for quad-core configuration.

Year of manufacture: 1999 Clock frequency: 450 MHz — 1.4 GHz

You know
Are you that the original Xbox from Microsoft
used a variant of the Pentium processor
III Celeron in Micro-PGA2 form factor.

Amd Athlon (Classic and Thunderbird)

most notable series of central
processors in AMD history, and definitely
most important in recent history
company became the Athlon line, which
dealt Intel pretty crushing
hit. Dirk Meyer, who later became
chief executive of AMD, led
the team that developed Athlon with
512 KB secondary cache. Having started
with 500 MHz, AMD overtook Intel and was the first to conquer
an important milestone at 1 GHz.

some time AMD even more
improved Athlon and gave a new version
Thunderbird name. New kernel revision along with
L2 cache performance improvement
and a number of other improvements, made a new
the processor is even better. Together
with this AMD introduced Socket A (462) — one of the most
all-time successful sockets in
system boards.