K6-III+ ATZ

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TA152H

K6-III+ ATZ

Post by TA152H » Tue Jul 15, 2003 5:48 am

Hi all,

I am considering upgrading my K6-2/550 (which only runs at 500 apparently because of the motherboard) to a K6-III+ of some sort, but I am confused by the different models and which would be best.

The motherboard I have is an EPOX MVP3G5, rev 1.1. On a sidenote, I would buy another if I could find one. Does anyone know if they are still sold new?

My main reason for wanting to rebuild this computer is not just for the increased speed; I would get an Athlon (which I already have) for that. I have had a bad time with Athlon hardware, from the perspective of reliability and also from the noise and heat it gives off. Consequently, I find myself using my K6-2 far more often; it is just a more pleasant computer to use when speed is not a paramount consideration.

So, my intent was to make it faster without needing a helicopter for a fan. From what I have seen, the K6-III (.25) is a heat producing fool and not really of much interest to me. The K6-III+ has me a little confused because it seems to come in a lot of different flavors. From the research I have done, it seems that ACZ has a reputation to clock higher than ACR(which, however, is more readily available at 550 MHz, which makes this claim a little dubious), and the odd bird in the nest is the ATZ which is a 1.6v 400 MHz chip. I guess my main question is, can this ATZ be overclocked better vis-a-vis these other K6-III+s on a voltage normalized basis? It is reasonable to expect this chip to run at 550 MHz with 2.0v? Can it be run at higher voltages than 1.6 without problems?

I have looked at multiple sources and have found current availability as follows:
K6-III (2.2v) 380 - $40
K6-III (2.4v) 450 - $75
K6-IIIp(2.0v) 433 - $80
K6-III+(ACR) 400 - $70
K6-III+(ATZ) 400 - $90
K6-III+(?) 550 -$140

I found lots of K6-2+s, but I really see little point in getting essentially 64K more L2 cache (128-64L1). There is an APZ K6-2+ that is 1.7 volts and runs at 450 MHz that might be interesting though.

Anything that you guys can tell me would be greatly appreciated. Money is not really a big issue, so I am really after what is best as opposed to what is best for the price (which is why I am generally disinterested in the K6-2+, which seems to offer a better price/performance ratio). I would be particularly interested if anyone has experience with the ATZ and if it is realistic to expect to overclock this processor to 550 or so without offensive cooling pieces (i.e. noisy).

Also, if anyone is curious about where to get these processors, I will gladly give them the links and a few others I found. Just ask.

Thanks in advance for any help you might have.

rls48j
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Post by rls48j » Wed Jul 16, 2003 9:35 am

I have only tried the ACZ and ACR chips @450 both of which have clocked 550+ without overvolting or requiring more than standard cooling to do so. Here http://www.k6plus.com/modules.php?op=mo ... opic&t=864 is what I was told when I asked about the letter codes for + chips. The highest temp. I have encountered was this past month. Room temp. 34C k6-3+@567 CPU temp.50C standard cooler 1 small case fan. Hope this is some help.I am interested in your list of vendors still carrying these chips.

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Post by TA152H » Wed Jul 16, 2003 9:49 am

Rls48j,

Thanks for responding, the information was helpful.

Hereunder are the links you requested:

http://www.upgradeability.com/K6plus/in ... e=Overture
http://www.computeradjusters.com
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... 2-450P%20C

Thanks again for your help. I think I will just buy the ATZ version, if for nothing else because it is rare :P. At 1.6v and 400 MHz, I may not even need a fan, which would be pretty nice. I will post here and let everyone know how it works out if there is any interest in it. This assumes that the site is still selling them.

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Post by rls48j » Wed Jul 16, 2003 9:53 am

oops. Should have included this before. I also have used these chips in G5 boards and they work just fine. In regards to your k6-2 550 have you tried setting the multiplier jumper to X2. On my K6=2 550(G5 board) this is remapped to X6.However I have never gotten past the windows splash screen at this speed.CPUCool on the other hand will let you choose an intermediate FSB of 103 which on my systems seems to be a sweet spot in regards to speed stability and standard voltages.

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Wiggy
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Post by Wiggy » Wed Jul 16, 2003 3:47 pm

The 2x mult is always read as 6x on all K6-2/3 CXT cores and above, on all SS7 MoBos. :)

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Post by TA152H » Thu Jul 17, 2003 5:07 am

Back in the bad old days when I got this motherboard and a few other Socket 7's, I also ordered a K6-2/550 and for whatever reason had two of them. I tried one of them, and found out that it simply would not work at 550 MHz. Like a fool, I assumed it was the processor that was at fault, it really did not occur to me that the motherboard would cause the processor to fail at a higher clock speed, particularly since it happened on more than one. Of course, the second processor failed the same exact way. Knowing that the K6's were grossly overclocked by AMD to reach 550 MHz (which because of AMD's chronicly bad bin-split mixes were called "manufacturing" problems. In fact it was the design that was pushed very hard to compete with the P6 core), I figured it was the processor. Since getting these dogs to 500 MHz was quite a manufacturing accomplishment, I really did not mind too much anyway. It only bothered me as a stockholder, because I thought their quality control was abysmal.

As it turns out, I later read that the motherboards were not equipped to deal with the voltage peculiarities at that speed. AMD had apparently told them that they expected 500 MHz to be the terminal speed on the .25 process and consequently all the motherboards were caught flat-footed when they went to 550 MHz. I suspect the later revisions of the boards do much better with 550 MHz, but I had since moved to the Athlon and it was immaterial to me. Unfortunately, I have already gone through 2 Athlon motherboards while my Socket 7 is still working as well (and very importantly, quietly) as ever. So, I am done investing in the K7 and will stick with the K6 until the K8 is more generally available.

So, this is my long way of saying that 600 MHz and the clock multiplier are not the problem. I know how to go to 6x, and even 5.5x, but the setup simply will not do it.

As far as overclocking the MB, I am very reluctant to do it. I will only overclock the processor, and then only if it is a fairly natural speed for it (meaning I would not go over 550 MHz with the .18 versions). I am not knocking it for everyone else, but the speed is not so important for me and I really do not want to lower the reliability unduly. The aforementioned problems with the Athlon motherboards, which were run completely in spec, have left me less confident than I used to be in the durability of modern computer equipment. At this point, I like to play it safe whenever possible. Constantly having to rebuild computer systems (mine and family/friends) gets old very quickly and I try to avoid it at all costs. Again, please do not tkae this as criticism of anyone else, this is just a personal choice. I do understand why people overclock, and it is quite fun.

Anyway, thanks for your comments.

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thetempleoflove
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2 x multiplier

Post by thetempleoflove » Sat Jul 19, 2003 2:18 am

Hi Y'all,
What OS do you use?
I experimented with a k6-2 400 at 2 x 66 = 400 (!), but found Win98SE was dead unstable even under applications like Explorer.

Cheers,
Ges.

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Post by TA152H » Mon Jul 21, 2003 8:47 am

Yes, it was Win98SE but if I remember correctly it would sometimes not even POST. The extra 50 MHz was not really worth it for me to work on; the moment I see any instability I back off. With no L2 cache, the processor is probably largely limited by the bus speed in most tasks so getting a couple of percentages of processor speed did not seem worth it to me. I would much rather just get a more efficient processor (with both respect to IPC and power/heat) and use the K6-2 as a cat toy. My main problem with this approach is I have to go get a cat now. I hear Abyssinians are nice pets.

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thetempleoflove
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Oh yeah - the original topic

Post by thetempleoflove » Mon Jul 21, 2003 8:58 am

Hi,
Yeah I was getting a bit off-thread there. :bricks

So.. are you going for a k6-III???

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Post by TA152H » Mon Jul 21, 2003 3:34 pm

Yes, I was planning to get a K6-III+, even though the original K6-III is apparently a little faster at the same clock speed. From rumors, the K6-III 450 MHz is quite hot and also has a pretty firm ceiling of 450 MHz. I was planning on getting a K6-III+ 400 MHz ATZ and trying it without a fan (but with a heat sink) and hoping it would be cool enough. I suspect it should be no problem. I will keep a fan on the heatsink in case I want to go to 550 MHz from time to time. My main reason for this thread was to see if anyone had any experience with this chip, but based on the replies (or lack thereof), no one does. So, I will hope it can hit 550 MHz with an increase of voltage (it is rated at 1.6v at 400 MHz) and if not, I will just use it without a fan at 400 MHz. It should be faster, quieter (with no fan) and use less power than my current K6-2/550 (running at 500). The only downside is the cost, which is around $100 with shipping, but that is really not much and particularly so when considering the electricity it will save.

On a sidenote, I just read an article on VIA's new chip. It is supposedly for a similar market, being relatively slow and very low power, and available in a very small form factor. I suspect there are a lot of people that find the performance of the newest processors a little more than they need, and with it more power use and noise than they want. It is a pity AMD did not make the K6-III on .13, it would be a tremendous processor with regards to power use and performance. It would have been very cheap to make too. I think there is a market for something like this. So does VIA. I think Intel may too; if they move the Centrino to the desktop that surely indicate they do. They are relatively expensive though, so even if they are moved to the desktop it would be a bit different. But, it will indicate they see demand for low power/noise processors on the desktop. I hope we see it.

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Post by TA152H » Sun Aug 10, 2003 11:48 pm

Just a follow-up on this.

I got the processor a couple days ago and installed it today. My motherboard will only go as low as 1.8v (remember it is rated at 1.6v) so I set to that and tried it out. It overclocks to 500 MHz and is completely stable. The temperature is 38 degrees with a heatsink and fan. It also works fine with just a heatsink and no fan operating.

It would not POST at 550 MHz at 1.8v, but it must be kept in mind the motherboard does not support this speed either, so I am not sure which is at fault. My K6-2's would not work at 550 MHz on this motherboard. If I get bored and want to play around with it, I will post here to let everyone know if a voltage increase allows greater speed. I do not really see the need, since the processor is a dog and overclocking it to 550 MHz or 600 MHz will not really change that. For speed there are better choices, but it runs very cool and thus quiet. That is what I wanted.

Overall rating I would give it is excellent. The speed difference is only slightly noticeable, but it worked very easily and is very cool and low power. Not needing a fan is so pleasant, particularly when one is playing music or watching a movie on the computer. I hate ambient noise, and I think I am not alone in this.

If anyone has any questions or wants me to test something let me know. I am very happy with it, and if anyone else is considering one I would be glad to test whatever they need, if I can.

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Post by jsc1973 » Wed Oct 08, 2003 3:44 am

The K6-2 550 WAS a dog. True, a lot of motherboards had problems handling a K6-2 at that speed, but it is also true that AMD's quality control on these chips was awful. Every one of them was a factory overclock to the tune of what Cyrix used to pull.

Even the motherboard issue had a lot to do with AMD. What a lot of mobo manufacturers did to support the 550 was to slacken timings in the BIOS enough to allow stable operation--the same trick that I used on my current motherboard to make an XP 1600+ run at 2200+ speeds. It's also what Intel did when they tried to slip the original P3 1.13 GHz through. Perfectly acceptable practice for a home overclocker, but questionable for a CPU maker.

The best thing to do with a K6-2 550 is lower the voltage to 2.2v and run it at 500 MHz.

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Post by TA152H » Wed Oct 08, 2003 11:47 pm

Actually, I ended up doing something similar, but in retrospect I could have gone with even lower voltages.

I had a K6-III+ in my EPOX that I was running 1.8v, and I moved it to a new motherboard and a new machine (Tyan S1598C2), so I ended up replacing the K6-2 550 back in the EPOX. Being curious, I left the voltage as is and fully expected the processor to not even post at 500 MHz at 1.8v. In fact it booted the OS but had weird errors with Internet Explorer 6.0. That was the only noted instability, but it happened consistently and I did not test too much. Still, I was shocked this processor had so much tolerance for the lower voltage. I jacked up the voltage to 1.9v and tried again, and have been using it ever since and it is completely stable at 500 MHz. It also runs fairly cool. All in all, a nice processor that I completely underestimated.

I tried the K6-2 550 in the Tyan motherboard, and it worked fine at 2.3v and 550 MHz. Nothing I could do, including prayers to all the known gods, could get it to work in my MVP3G5 at 550 MHz. I was very impressed with the Tyan motherboard, which is kind of surprising to me because my only previous experience with them was very negative (an old Intel chipset based motherboard died after 3 months and was difficult even when it was functioning).

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