I have been asked on many occasions what i think of the cyrix chips, my answer is always the same ,DONT USE THEM!!!.The simple truth is they are a very slow processor, the title of the chip ie cyrix 333 has no real meaning as the chip is not 333mhz it is 249mhz if it is the 83 x 3 chip.A lot of games struggle when using this type of chip, the only ones that are okay with it seem to be dos based games. When you compare current prices of the cyrix and the AMD chips you have go to go for the AMD every time because of reliability, speed, and general stability. I build computers for a living and i would not call myself an expert, but doing what i do every day i get to see how these products perform, and what comes back time and again with problems. To be quite honest the cyrix MII should be laid to rest with the other dinosaurs and cyrix concentrate on producing a durable, fast , and reliable competetor to the AMD which is at present the top processor. so to finish for a slow , unreliable computer chose cyrix, and stay in the dinosaur age!!!
I had a Cyrix for a while, it din't impress. I suppose it's there for people who want to do basic stuff with PCs. It can handle wordprocessing and can do internet stuff, but multimedia games aren't not what it is good for. I tried to love it, but it just couldn't cope. Buy this processor if you are looking for something cheap that will do basic tasks. There are much better processors on the market that will fit into a socket 7 board. I would recommend an AMD K6-2 or K6-3, they are also cheap but can perform as well.
Cyrix have been around quite a few years now plugging away at the low end of the CPU market. They take a bad press for being slow for games with their MII chip but this isnt where its targeted, its targeted at the business and budget end where masses of FPU power isnt required. This is why you normally see them in machines with onboard sound and video which isnt much good but does the job for basic tasks like word preocessing. Also all MII's made now have a v on the end hence making them MIIv's. This v means that it has extended FPU from the original MII and has extra multimedia instructions. Cyrix make the MII upto PR433 and this runs at a core speed of 300 MHz as Cyrix use PR or performance rating which shows it equivalent to a Pentium II in integer or business application performance. They can be picked up very cheap with the 333 going for around £22-00 now and the 433 for around £40-00. If you dont play many games this chip can still do a job for you.
Many people say dont buy the MII its got poor performance, its slow at games and its multimedia floating point performance is pathetic. Well then people who read those reviews think why does anyone buy this chip. Well let me give you one little example. Suppose you work for a large company or even a school. You need to buy 200+ computers. They are only going to be used for spreadsheets and word processing etc. You look at the people who say spend an extra £50 and get a decent Intel or AMD system, now lets look at the maths in that respect. £50 extra per machine 200 machines £50x200 = £10,000 Now you look at it and you know why the Cyrix MII chip is there. The power of the other chips is not needed and to save £10,000 you really need to look at what you need. Maybe you are on a budget and you have to save every penny, again if you only need it for basic applications then why buy a more expensive chip. There is no reason for it. I no longer use the cyrix chip because my needs have changed, I play alot more games now so a more powerful system is needed. I have used the chip before though when I was at school. This was because it did the job I wanted and I didnt have much money. I just dont accept these people who think that just because the chip doesnt do exactly what they want it to that makes it a poor chip.
I have very strong views on the computer processor market and even though the big-guns like AMD and Intel are expensive, their products are clearly a lot better! I have to say that anyone buying a PC with a Cyrix chip in it should seriously recommend looking into spending as little as another £50 to get an AMD or possibly Intel Celeron based system. It would be a worthwhile investment! The cyrix chips tend to struggle when an average AMD or Pentium would be just fine, and although people ar esucked into the Mhz "Black hole" there is more to it than the speed! It is here that the divide between "Fast and capable" and "Fast but don't make it too hard" is clearly shown. It is the fact that Cyrix chips are constantly battling to perform adn make them REALLY work and the system tends to get too stressed and pack up! Not that I have any grudge against Cyrix, just that some pople are captured by sales persons who will feed you anything to hype them up but really would make more money if they were to show the customer that an extra £50 spent could possibly double their computer's performance! So, there you have it - think hardly before you rush into it! There are better fish on the market!
My first computer system was powered by a Cyrix MII 300MHZ Processor and for the first year I was very satisfied and it served me well. It wasn't until I started to play games that I noticed a that the games were chugging along and were barely playable. When I enquired at a few shops I was told that even the processor was qouted as being 300MHZ it was really a 266MHZ because Cyrix don't use industry standard speed ratings but rather their own. As I played games more and more I decided to upgrade the processor and bought an AMD K6-2 500MHZ with 3DNOW and even though the processor isn't top of the range and didn't cost me a lot of money (£49.99) the speed increase was very noticable, not only in games but in everyday use as well. In conclusion I would say that, as with most things these days, you really do get what you pay for. If you would like to purchase one a bare 300MHZ Cyrix can be purchased for around £29.99 from various mail order retailers.
The Cyrix MII was effectively the 686mx (which once ruled the CPU market for speed) this chip had a job to do and it did it well. It was certainly aimed at the Bussiness user or the low end home user. I used the Cyrix MII for about a year and I was impresses by the overall speed, however I started to get a little annoyed at the low FPU performance, it was very low performance on that account. At the time only a few games seem to be affected by it so I stuck with it for a while. For the price I paid I dont think I have had a better value chip then the MII but eventually I had to go to AMD in order to get the smoothness back in my games. I am a system builder and I am amazed how many budget Cyrix systems people actually want. it seems that the average user wants a different type of performance than the power user. The Cyrix MII offers this type of value performance and it shows in the sales. Places like dixons have started to stock machines based on the MII at speeds of 400 and 433 PR Mhz. This is a big step for VIAcyrix because it seems the big market has reconised the right for them to be there, because the demand is there. This and the fact that socket 7 motherboards are cheap this type of system, can be very cheap to build.
Having used Cyrix cpu's all of my computing life, around 4 years now, starting with the 486 sx-40 through to the Cyrix MII-433 now, I have a good knowledge of them. Contrary to popular belief Cyrix CPU's can handle games. Although not the best FPU on the market, being 2 generations out of date, it actually can handle games. I will give you three examples. I play a hell of a lot of Half Life, Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 originally on my Cyrix MII-333 (3 x 83) (my 433 is going in when my new motherboard comes)with originally my Diamond Savage 4 video card, and now with my Diamond Viper II Savage 2000 video card and I get very respectable performance. In Half Life it is the quickest with the eyes reconisable difference between my machine and my mates K6-2 450 with TNT2 M64, very minimal. The next best of the games to run is Quake III, this again runs very acceptably, certainly when your paying half the price of a K6-2 chip its worth it, I clock up on the time demo 22 fps on my 333 with Savage 4 so very respectable. Unreal is a little patchy with some levels like Facing Worlds running really smooth but others running not so well. Overall though around 14 fps on the slower levels and 22 fps on the quicker levels can be expected. The point of this being, if you stick a reasonable video card with an MII it will give acceptable performance and remains the king of the Price/Performance processor ratio. Especially if you get one of the later MII's, the 400 and 433 I believe, because these are labelled as MIIv, and have extra instructions onboard to boost FPU performance which I shall report on when my MIIv-433 is up and running. And thats not to forget the excellent business application of the MII which is what its performance rated on, a PII in business applications. Retail prices: MII-300 = £18-00 MII-333 = £20-00 MII-366 = £34-00 MII-400 = £40-00 MII-433 = £42-00
When you're evaluating this product please don't forget that it's probably only costing you £15/£20 pounds and it IS a budget processor. There is speed to be had in this processor but it's NOT 333 Mhz of speed. It's a cleverly multiplied low-end processor which has a very high effective speed. The best situation for this chip is where you could normally only fit a P166 Mhz chip. Older machines. Once excellent place for this chip is in network servers. Laugh all you will but .... You can pick-up a rack-mountable Compaq Proliant server which support 4 processors (P166) for about £250. Buy four of these and fit them and you've got an awesome little server for under £350. Add extra memory and a good HD system and you've got a VERY capabale multi-function server capable of sevicing over 1000 users on a LAN. I know this as I've done it to great effect.
Can you believe it? New CPU is slower than new CPU!!! This is exactly the case for the new Cyrix III. Cyrix is no longer "Cyrix" as in the days of Pentium 166 where it is product of a company called Cyrix. VIA bought Cyrix in 1999. Some months later, VIA bought another x86 CPU company called IDT, which makes the IDT WinChip. With is VIA marks it entrance to the x86 CPU market, competing with Intel and AMD. At that time, Cyrix's next generation design was called Joshua, and IDT has their own next generation design as well. Since both designs now belongs to VIA, a decision has to be made on which one to use. As a result, Cyrix's design was rolled out first, then followed by IDT's. The thing is IDT's design can't beat Cyrix's. To add more confusion, both designs are dubbed VIA Cyrix III. The current Cyrix III is based on Joshua design. Later version of Cyrix III will be based on IDT's design, which will boast higher clock speed. Tests shows that Joshua 400Mhz beats IDT 533Mhz!!! The reason VIA opt for IDT's design is that it could scale all the way to the 700Mhz region, which Joshua can't. For more info, visit http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/00q2/000630/index.html Good luck.
The name deceptively suggests that this is a 333mhz based chip but due to the way in which it works it is only actually clocked at 266mhz. Since it achieves this speed using a 66mhz bus it is by all means not a high end chip. Notoriously unreliable and cumbersome these chips won't last long under intensive use. Under windows 98 this chip can produce a lot of crashes and blue screening when pushed to their limits and are undependable. The only situation one should choose a cyrix is if you have a sub 266mhz based processor and want to upgrade without changing your motherboard.
I have a Cyrix MII-PR300, which means it is roughly equivalent to an Intel 300MHz processor. However, the truth is this is a rubbish processor, especially for games such as Porsche 2000. However, I manage to get fairly good framerates in the demo of Quake 3:Arena, it is very playable in 800X600. However, the processor is pretty slow at running IE5 but quite good at Lotus Smartsuite 97. Overall, this processor is just not worth buying, even though it is very cheap brand new at around £20, you can get an AMD K6-2 500MHz for around £40 which is a far, far better buy, not only in terms of pure speed but also a better CPU in terms of extensions such as 3DNOW!