The Cyrix III from what I can gather was going to be based on a rather promising looking design from Cyrix, however VIA stepped in and seemingly ruined this by putting the design from the Centaur or Winchip team in. This has had disasterous consequences with the CPU becoming a laughing stock because of its very poor benchmarks. Its the one CPU that makes my Cyrix MII look speedy!!!!! I am trying to find a reason to reccommend this CPU to you and thinking about it I can only think of 1 and that is price. However I then think that you can get a 600 Duron for only slightly more and this is supposed to be a lot quicker than a Celeron and yet the Celeron leaves the Cyrix III trailing in its dust. However the one thing the Cyrix III has in its favour over the Duron is that you can pick up cheapish socket 370 motherboards particularly ones with onboard sound and video etc for around 60-00 and yet a decent Duron board can set you back easily 100-00 and thats without sound and graphics. Overall if your doing no extensive FPU work then one of these Cyrix chips combined with a cheap onboard motherboard could serve you well in internet machines and business machines and also in school machines. However if your contemplating a game at all then steer clear really unless you want some very jerky performance!!!!
Well, it was definitely cheap!!! To reflect of this, the quality cant be that good, but it is worth. Honestly, not everyone need that fast speed, soer, Cyrix is the best choice for them. Especially, when you most use your PC to write up your essay, why do you need a PIII or Athlon? Just a waste of money. Believe me, if you dont play 3D games, buy a cyrix! It is not that bad, especially it is now produced by Chinese rather than American, should be better now! I used MII b4, and it was 2 years ago, when i could not afford a PII, and it never crashed down, (apart from the cases I was trying some 3D games). Anyway, believe me, as you try it, you will find it worth.
With the MII, Cyrix aimed at the budget market and at the applications and the business market, there stratagy was correct aand the chip had its purpose. With the Cyrix III I cant see what they were aiming at. They have increased the speeds of the chip so it looks as if theyare trying to compete with the like of the AMD K6-2 and the Intel Celeron, but this particular chip will not make a dent on sales as far as I am aware. The Cyrix III still has an FPU major problem, so it cant really be aimed at the mid range market. The price is still very acceptable, but I feel its about time that Cyrix made a more competative chip. I have heard that the Cyrix Samual 2 will be released next year and will be reaching 1GHz and will have a redisgned FPU, maybe then Cyrix will get back in with a chance in the CPU market. The Cyrix III is made with .18 Micron technology and now has MMX and 3DNOW! but unfortunatley I dont think that this will make too much of a difference when it comes to the overall performance. If you still want a cheap option for business then this will be your answer. But when its priced the same as the K6-2 and slightly less than the Celeron maybe the others are what you shouldbe looking at.
Suppose you had a choice between a car that looks like a Ferrari but runs like a Skoda or a car that looks like a banger in comparison but has some decent performance behind it. This is the decision that VIA had to face with its Cyrix III processor. They had to Choices, they could use the Cyrix version of the Cyrix III with its lower clock speeds or the highly scalable IDT version of the chip. Since VIA now own both of these companies, they could choose which they thought was the best and start to produce it. The launce was delayed a number of times as VIA chose which to use and it ended up being the IDT version. BIG MISTAKE!!!, the chip is slow, it has high clock speeds but no performance, tests show that the lower clock speeds of the Cyrix version thrash the higher speeds of the IDT in all the benchmarks. To me that seems to really stupid. Why market the lesser of the to chips, the only reason I can think of is that VIA think people are so shallow that they dont look past the clock speed and they think they will get more sales by simply marketing a clock speed. Well I'm sorry but I cant go for a company (or at least the chip) that has been marketed in such a way. They may of been able to seriosly threaten the celerons market share, but as far as I am concerned they blew it.
The VIACyrix III has proved to be a bit of a dissapointment although it wasnt always this way. Id readied myself since Christmas to get one of these. Up until recently the CyrixIII was based on the Joshua core from Cyrix. This was reasonably quick for the area that it was aimed at. It had a stonking great 64k L1 and 256k L2 cache with 3DNow! and was to be released at PR ratings of between 433 and 566 and be expected to ratchet up to around PR700-800 depending on how far the core could be pushed. However not long before relesase VIA chose to use the Winchip 4 core from Centaur and to be frank this core doesnt have a patch on Joshua, in fact its crap. The benchmarks have come out and based on the benchmarks I saw, comparing the NewCyrixIII-533 and the NewCyrixIII-666 and the Cyrix MII-333 and the JoshuaCyrixIII-PR433 the new Centaur core is shown to be an absolute joke. In some of the benchmarks the MII-333 (a more 3 year old design) is only just behind the CentaurCyrixIII-533, and in all the benchmarks, the Old JoshuaCyrixIII PR433 (only running at 333 I think or it might be 300) thrashes the Centaur CyrixIII running at genuine 533. VIA could have had a nice little chip in the Joshua one which would have had pretty decent gaming performance coupled with the famous excellent integer/business performance that all Cyrix CPU's offer but quite frankly, VIA blew it.
If you remember, Cyrix popped in the days of Pentium 166 as an alternative to Pentium CPUs. It offers better performance in mainstream application for lesser money. The catch is "mainstream applications" because these refer to Office apps that do not make use of floating point like Word, PowerPoint, etc. The critical weakness of Cyrix is it's slow FPU. Cyrix's FPU is not even half as powerful as Pentium's, though it's integer unit is on par. This makes Cyrix's very unattractive for gamers. Try playing Quake III on a Cyrix PC, you'll find even a Cyrix 1000Mhz (no such CPU, yet) is beaten by Pentium III 500Mhz. Subsequent release of Cyrix CPU boast higher speed, but the weakness remains. Although running at higher frequency, the FPU is TWO generation behind Pentium III's design, which is an improved version of the Pentium Pro's. The only solution is to redesign the FPU. AMD did this, and the Athlon is now on with Pentium III. Before that the AMD K6 is miles behind Pentium III.