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- Generalities


- Parts of a microprocessor

- The MHz and the index iCOMP

- Brief (?) history of the microproc.

- Ancient Microp.

- Modern Microp.

- Current Microp.

- The Overclocking

- False mikes

Updated page
6/18/2001


Author:
Juan Herrerías Rey
 

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What is... the microprocessor?


 

Modern microprocessors

Modern inside an order, since at present they neither the majority nor make. Anyway, there are quite decent mikes, of the class that should not be changed except into death or pure vice (understandable vice, undoubtedly).

"Classic" Pentium

did the awaited one 586 come finally? No, and it would never come. Intel got fed up that were copying the name of his mikes, it dusted his Latin and realized that 5=Pentium (or something like that), and it registered it with all kinds of Copyrights. Classic Pentium

The first Pentium, those 60 and 66 MHz, were, purely and simply, experiments. Of course, they were selling them (well expensive) as finished, although they warmed up like demons (they were going to 5 V) and had a mistake in the mathematical unit. Pero Intel was already INTEL, and one could allow it.

Then they purified them, lowered the voltage to 3,3 V and it began again the marketing. 66 MHz fixed the frequencies of the basic badges in 50, 60 ó, and they extracted, more or less for this order, chips to 90, 100, 75, 120, 133, 150, 166 and 200 MHz (that 66 were going internally to 50, 60 ó x1,5, x2, x2,5...). An absurd, proper situation of the motto "Intel Inside".

The case is that many of the variants were remaining, since 120 (60x2) it was not much better than 100 (66x1,5), and between 133 (66x2) and 150 (60x2,5) the difference performed the order of 2 % (or minor), due to this difference at badge level. Also, the "neck of bottle" was doing that 200 it was looking alike dangerously to 166 in the good day.

But the case is that there were good chips, efficient and mathematically unbeatable, although with these mistakes in the first models. Also, they were you will superclimb, or in Christian: they were admitting more than one order simultaneously (almost as if there were 2 together mikes). So the competition put the penitent's habit, and suffered, and suffered...

K5 of AMD

Logo of AMD

... Until AMD got tired of suffering and extracted his "clonal Pentium", which neither was such, since it neither could call it Pentium (copyright, boys) it was not even copied, but it cost him blood, perspiration, tears... and several years of delay.

The K5 was a good chip rapid for office works but with worse mathematical co-processor than the Pentium, by what there was adapted neither for CAD nor for certain games type Quake, which are the only applications that use this part of the mike. His advantage, the relation services / prices.

Technically, the models PR75, PR90 and PR100 were formed just as his equivalent PR (his Performance Rating) in Pentium, while the PR120, PR133 and PR166 were more advanced, therefore there needed to go at least MHz (only 90, 100 and 116,66 MHz) to reach this equivalent PR.

6x86 (M1) of Cyrix (or IBM)

A gentleman advances of Cyrix. A chip so good that, to the same MHz, it was something better than a Pentium, therefore they were calling them by his PR (an index that it was indicating what his equivalent Pentium would be); AMD used also this method for three of his K5 (the PR120, 133 and 166). According to Cyrix, one 6x86 P133 it was going at least MHz (in particular 110), but it was giving good results so much or more than a Pentium to 133. Very well, more or less; not always it was like that.

In fact, some Cyrix calculations were benefiting him a little, since more of the real ones were giving him a pair of points; but this was insignificant. The authentic problem was taking root in his unit of floating, frankly bad comma.

6x86 (also called M1) it was a fantastic election to work rapidly and to well price with Office, WordPerfect, Windows 95... but bad, worse than a K5 of AMD, if it was a question of AutoCAD, Microstation or, especially, games. To play Quake in one 6x86 is a horrible experience, up to the point of that a lot of games of high scale do not start if they detect it. A sorrow...

Another problem of these chips was that they warmed up very much, therefore they made a version of low voltage called 6x86L (low voltage). Ah, Cyrix does not have proper factories, by what IBM is done, that a chip of every two remains. That's why sometimes it appears as "6x86 of IBM", that it seems that it scares less the buyer.

Pentium Pro

While AMD and Cyrix were enduring his particular Way of the Cross, Intel decided to introduce the computer area and extracted a "super - micro one", to which it had the original idea of calling Pro (fesional, we suppose).

This mike was more to superclimb that the Pentium, a more elaborate nucleus had, was including an even more rapid mathematical unit and, especially, it had the cache memory of the second level in the encapsulated one of the chip. This does not mean that it was a new internal cache memory, term that is reserved for that of the first level.

A Pentium Pro has a cache memory of the first level along with the rest of the mike, and also one of the second level "in the room of nearby", only separated from the heart of the mike for one centimeter and at the same speed as this one, not to that of the badge (lower); let's say that it is semi-internal. The mike is quite big, to be able to lodge to the cache memory, and called socket 8 goes on a rectangular socket.

The only problem of this mike was his professional character. In addition to being very expensive, he needed to cover software only of 32 bits. With software of 16 bits, or enclosed a miscellany of 32 and 16 bits like Windows 95, his yield is minor than that of a classic Pentium; nevertheless, in Windows NT, OS/2 or Linux, literally flies.

Pentium MMX

Gentle Intel logotype

It is a proper mike of the philosophy Intel. With a big chip as Pentium Pro already on the market, and 3 scarce months before extracting the Pentium II, he decided to stretch a little more the already obsolete technology of the classic Pentium instead of offering these new solutions at a reasonable price.

So a new set of instructions was invented for mike, which to be modern had to do with the yield of the multimedia applications, and called them MMX (Multimedia eXtensions). They were promising that the new Pentium, with the MMX and the double of cache memory (32 KB), could have: up to 60 more % of yield!!

Forgive if I answer: and a few nostril! Sometimes, the advantage can come to 25 %, and only in applications much optimized for MMX (neither Windows 95 nor Office the son, for example). In the rest, not more than 10 %, which also owes almost exclusive to the increase of the internal cache memory to the double.

advantage of the chip, then? That his final price ends up by being just as if it was not MMX. Also, it consumes and warms up less for having voltage reduced for the nucleus of the chip (2,8 V). Certainly, the model to 233 MHz (66 MHz in badge for 3,5) is so strangulated by this "neck of bottle" that produces little more than 200 (66 for 3).

Pentium II

new super - extra-chip? Since not completely. In fact, it is a question of the old man Pentium Pro, retired before time, with some changes (not all for better) and in a new and fantastic presentation, the cartridge SEC: a supernice black box that instead of to a socket gets connected to a groove called Slot 1.

The changes with regard to the Pro are:

  • optimized for MMX (it does not serve as much, but it is necessary to be in the wave, boys);
  • new encapsulated and connector to the badge (to eliminate to the competition, as we will see);
  • improved yield of 16 bits (now yes it is better that a Pentium in Windows 95, but at the cost of wasting it; his 32 pure bits are);
  • secondary cache memory encapsulated along with the chip (semi-intern, as if we were saying), but to half of the speed of this one (a regression from the Pro, which was going at the same speed; it lows the price of the manufacture costs).
Interior of Pentium II as soon as it be opened the cartridge SEC; the mike in itself is the central octagon, the rectangles are the cache memory

We go, a chip "Pro 2.0", with many lights and some shades. The biggest shade, his method of connection, "Slot 1"; Intel patented it, what it is something like patenting a plug squared instead of the round one (saving the distances, let's not become purist). The case is that the move was thinking about how to achieve that the PCs were all it marks Intel; and they were saying that the proprietary systems were an Apple thing!

Of course, during enough time it was the best chip of the market, especially since one stopped making the Pro.

AMD K6

The AMD K6

A meritorious chip, much better than the K5. It was including the "magic" MMX, apart from an incredibly innovative internal design and an internal cache memory of 64 KB (it does not do too much, the external cache memories had this size; almost it scares).

It "pricks itself" in a socket of normal Pentium (a socket 7, to be precise) and the secondary cache memory has it in the motherboard, to the classic way. Despite this, his yield is very good: better than a MMX and only slightly worse than an II, whenever it is proved in Windows 95 (NT is an area paid for Pentium II).

Although it is something worse as for calculations of floating comma (CAD and games), for office it is the option to choose in the whole world... except Spain. Here we have loved that thing about "Intel Pentium Inside", and the people do not buy anything without this phrase, therefore almost anybody sells it and much less at the ridiculous places prices like the USA or Germany. Supply and demand, like everything; a good idea is not enough, it is necessary to convince. Anyway, even IBM uses it in some of his teams; for something it will be.

6x86MX (M2) of Cyrix (or IBM)

Cyrix 6x86MX (M2)

Nothing to add to the above mentioned on 6x86 outstanding figure and the K6 of AMD; since that, a very good chip for office work, which MMX includes and which must never be chosen for CAD or games (worse than the AMD).

As earlier, his advantage is the price, but unfortunately not in Spain...

Celeron (Pentium II light)

Shortly: a Pentium II without the secondary cache memory. Thought to liquidate the market of basic badges type Pentium not II (with socket 7, which is said) and to liquidate definitely AMD and other annoying companies that use these badges. These Intel people have no compassion, undoubtedly...

Very little advisable, yield much more under than that of Pentium II, almost identical to that of the Pentium MMX (according to what the same Intel dixit, not I). To know more, consult between the Related Topics the paragraph of articles about basic badges.

AMD K6-2 (K6-3D)

Consist of a review of the K6, with a similar nucleus but adding capacities to him 3D in what AMD calls the technology 3DNow! (something like MMX for 3D).

Also, generally it works with a 100 MHz bus towards cache memory and memory, what it makes him produce just as a Pentium II in almost all the conditions and even much better that this one when it is a question of games 3D modern (since they need to be optimized for this chip or to use the DirectX 6 of Microsoft). To know more, look between the Related Topics at the paragraph of articles about microprocessors.

 


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