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Last summer I decided that I wanted to upgrade my Pentium 1 233, as it was very slow, what was I to but on my limited budget of 300. After looking around I decided on the AMD K6 3 450 MHz. As it was half the price of the Intel Pentium 3 450, and looked just as good, from looking at tests on the Internet. So for my £300 I got a PC case, motherboard, ram and the AMD processor. At first I was a bit worried that this processor wouldn’t perform. This processor is as fast as any Pentium process running at 450 MHz it is a brilliant chip at an affordable price, and ideal for games. This processor may be a bit rare now but if you can find one then get one. Specification of the AMD-K6-III processor The AMD-K6-III processor with 3DNow! technology incorporates AMD's TriLevel Cache design to enable leading-edge performance for today's consumer PC enthusiasts and business power users. The innovative TriLevel Cache design maximizes the overall system performance of AMD-K6-III processor-based desktop PCs by delivering one of the industry's largest maximum combined system caches. This larger total cache results in higher system performance. The TriLevel Cache design includes a full-speed 64KB Level 1 (L1) cache (a standard feature of the AMD-K6 processor family), an internal full-speed backside 256KB Level 2 (L2) cache, and a 100-MHz frontside bus to an optional external Level 3 (L3) cache on the Super7™ motherboard. With a total of 320KB of combined L1 and L2 cache, the AMD-K6-III processor has more internal cache memory than any other x86 CPU available today. The 21.3-million transistor AMD-K6-III processor is manufactured on AMD's 0.25-micron, five-layer-metal process technology using local interconnect and shallow trench isolation at AMD's Fab 25 wafer fabrication facility in Austin, Texas. The AMD-K6-III processor is packaged in a 100-MHz Super7 platform-compatible, 321-pin ceramic pin grid array (C
PGA) package using C4 flip-chip interconnection technology.
If you already have a socket 7 M.B. then a K6-3 450 can really kick the butt off any other compatible chip. All my bench marks showed an increase off about 50% or better including Hard Drive benches. Compared this to a K6-2 450 on my daughters system. Swapped chips between systems for a fair comparision. Recently prices for the K6-3's have dropped considerably and are now reasonable, saw one for $68 last week,new.Sandra showed benches higher than a cel.600. in cpu, memory, and every other bench. The K6-3 450 smooted out the jagged frames in my games, the 256k on board cache really flies. If dont have a socket 7 or your going to buy a board then forget this and get a socket 'A' instead. Durons are so easy to overclock and the prices are comparable. Also note new Athlons, just bought an 800, clock to cache ratio is 1/1. mod 4. tried the pencil OC, NO GO, tried conductive pen and OC to 1 GIG on ABIT KT7 Raid with ease.
Its not a major suprise that AMD pulled the plug on this chip because the Athlon had not long been released and there was probably not as much difference as they may have liked between performance of the original Athlon and the K6-III apart from the clock speed. The K6-III was a little bit on the dear side but then again at the time of its release it was the quickest chip AMD had and was certainly a worthy challenger to Intel who had the quickest chip at that time. I think that it would have been interesting if they had phased out the K6-2 instead and started pitching the K6-III at the low end at cheap prices because it was certainly very similar in terms of performance to the Celeron 1 so could have been interesting if they could have pitched it as their entry level CPU especially as they have now got the Duron which is beating the Celeron quite comfortably. These are still very respectable CPU's and if you can find yourself one at a cheap price especially with SS7 motherboards being so cheap at the moment, you can have yourself a nice little system.
There is one simple reason why AMD stopped making the K6-III processor chip. that reason is that the chip was just too good. Yes seriously the K6-III was too good for AMD to sell. Strange you think that AMD would not sell such a good chip. Well the reason behind it was that AMD was about to release the Athlon at the time which would be its new intel beating power chip. To make the Athlon such a succsess they had to make the gap between its last chip and this new one as big as possible. AMD feared that if the K6-III was still on sale it would eat into the profits of the Athlon and so make the Athlon not appear as good. Image is just as important as the profits. The K6-III 450 would be about the equivalent power or a k6-2 550-600 in my opinion. With a decent graphics card it would suit any mid range system. The K6-III was expensive to produce though as everytime the cache on the chip failed (or even one byte) the whole chip had to be discarded because of the way it was manufacured. This as well made the decision to disband the production of the K6-III an easy one for AMD to make. If you ever find one of these chips they are a very good buy and if you want a quick upgrade to a socket 7 board then get this one its great.
The K6-III with it's larger (than the K6-2) secondary cache brought a level of performance comparable with an Intel celeron processor but at half the price. It allowed owners of older socket seven motherboards to virtually keep up with the more expensive pentiums. While the K6-2 was hampered by the relatively slower (66Mhz) bus speed of socket seven and really needed the 100MHz bus speed of the super socket seven boards the K6-III was not so badly affected. The extra on-chip cache meant that the amount of mobo cache did not now dictate how much RAM you could use in your system before you experienced a performance hit. It may not have had the raw power of an Intel chip but it's superior (IMHO) design meant it could keep up quite admirably. Measured in bangs per buck it and the K6-2 delivered far more than any Intel processor and meant that people could hang on to their ageing motherboards and EDO RAM for a little longer. Sadly it became too expensive for AMD to produce and was killed off meaning any you find now will probably have lost their edge in the price/performance ratio due to their rarity value. Mine (a 400MHz) is still going strong surrounded by other quality components to help it along a bit. It will soon be replaced along with the motherboard for a Duron/K7T combo and will be handed down to replace a lesser K6-2. Products such as this meant that Intel had to reduce the cost of their processors to compete bringing a smile even to die-hard Intel fans. Inevitably the competition it helped to promote was it's downfall.
.... in my opinion! My super socket 7 motherboard is happy with intel processors. It can chew them up and spit them out with no bother, they rpesent it no meat to get working with. the K6-III however gives it quite possibly more meant than it can handle. My travels have led me to the AMD K6-2 processor and then Like my K6-2 machine I've added an AGP graphics card to tihs machine to make it a gaming machine on my home netwrk. Performance is excellent! Standard apps provide it no barriers and many of the programming tools I use are handled with ease. If you're looking for a good processor which can compete and win against Intel then go AMD, it's just superb! (3D Instruction sets can aid gaming performance when part of a calorie controlled multimedia experience!)
Well I don't either (I have a K6) but have used computers of very similar specs running both a 450 MHz celeron and a 400 K6 III. To be honest I did not notice much difference in speed under a windows 95 environment but I can say that the AMD did handle games a bit better. I saw Unreal Tournament and played x-wing alliance on both and the AMD could run slightly higher resolutions although did take longer to load. I believe that the AMD is not quite as fast in pure power but is a better designed chip so therefore can perform better. But please this is just my view of two similar systems. Before making a final decision read professional reviews and look at benchmarks. This will give you a true idea of the chips.
Back before the AMD Athlon and before the Celeron was available the AMD K6-II and K6-III processors were pretty much the only choice for high-powered systems that didn't cost a bundle. I ordered my computer mail order with a 400MHz AMD K6-III processor (at what seemed like a fantastic deal back then). The mail order man tried to convince me to buy the same computer with a Pentium II processor, which at the same price would have been only around 250MHz. It seemed to me that he was just trying to get me to spend more money so I shrugged it off, even though he told me that the K6-III was really slow, despite magazine reviews and benchmarks that stated otherwise. Anyway, I received my computer and wasn't too thrilled with the performance. I've been using it about 9 months now and I really feel like I need a new computer. My old computer was a Pentium 150MHz (not a Celeron) with 64mb of RAM compared to my current 400MHz AMD with 128mb RAM and almost all superior components. It still takes me about 1.5x as long to boot up this computer as my old one! I still have similar wait times opening programs etc. While it's hard to blame it completely on the processor (the hard drive might also be to blame), the other components, such as video card, are all much better than my old components. While I haven't used an AMD Athlon (the high-end AMD processor), I've heard that it's much higher quality than the K6-series. Also, make sure you DON'T compare the K6-3 directly to the Pentium 3, and the K6-2 with the Pentium 2. Both of them are more like Celerons than either of the high-powered Pentiums. That isn't necessarily bad, but it can be much different than what you expect. Also, don't be at all excited about the "3DNow" aspect of the K6 processors. This was a gimmick that had 3D games run a little faster than their Pentium counterparts, but only games specifically built to take advantage
of it, of which there are maybe two or three that are a couple years old. I recommend the K6-3 only for those who are looking for a cheaper computer and find a really good deal with a K6. Otherwise, go with an Athlon or a Pentium 2 or 3.