Socket 7 into 2011

Off topic chat and stuff that doesn't fit elsewhere.
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jsc1973
Veteran K6'er
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Post by jsc1973 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:12 am

It seems like AMD didn't make good choices back then; to be expected considering they had K7 architecture already. I wonder: if AMD bothered to add the new 3D Now! instructions to the plus series why didn't they bother to complete i686 compatiblity?
The reason they didn't do that is because AMD didn't actually design the K6 architecture. The AMD K6 was actually designed by NexGen, a smaller CPU manufacturer that had developed a Pentium clone a few years before, but used a proprietary socket to avoid paying royalties to Intel. AMD had a K6 project of its own, but it was behind schedule and not working well.

To get back into the game, AMD purchased NexGen right before that company was going to come out with its own sixth-generation processor. Since AMD had a license for Socket 7 already, they simply took the NexGen design that was already completed, changed the interface to Socket 7, and sold it as the AMD K6.

Adding the CMOV instruction and what Intel called the "dual independent bus" to the design would have caused major delays, if it had even been possible. AMD didn't have the time for that; they needed an answer to the Pentium II and the Cyrix 6x86 right away. Plus, at the time, it was totally unnecessary. That instruction is non-essential (although widely used) even today, and the de-coupling of the memory and cache buses isn't necessary until you get over 400 MHz. AMD solved that problem another way--the full-speed L2 cache on the K6-III.

By the standards of 1997, the K6 architecture was fully i686 compatible. It's only future, out-of-era software that breaks its compatibility.
FIC VA-503+, Rev. 1.2, AMD K6-III+ 450@550MHz, 80GB Seagate ATA-100, 3dfx Voodoo3 3500 TV, TB Montego II Quadzilla, Win98se, 384MB PC100

Compaq Presario 1273, AMD K6-III+ 450@400MHz 1.8v, 40GB Samsung 5400RPM, extremely hacked Win98SE, 288 (yes, 288!) MB RAM
(Also an AMD FX-8350, which does the heavy lifting these days...)

mikemex
Newbie K6'er
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:00 pm
Location: Mexico

Post by mikemex » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:22 pm

I conviced myself that keeping the first machine is a bad idea. I just plain don't use it, it occupies space and when in use it delivers very little peformance for the energy it consumes. So I upgraded the best I could and gave it away. I wouldn't surprise me if it ends up collecting dust in a corner but I don't blame people for being sincere; it's glory days are gone for everyone except us.

As for the other machine, I've been having issues with some software under XP so I'm currently testing Linux. After careful examination I determined Puppy Linux would be the best distro for it although I'm open to suggestions. I installed it, everything seems to be working right, even the issue I had with cache is resolved automatically.

The only complain I have at the moment is that it feels way slower. You can see how windows redraw. And this is with the radeon driver with acceleration.

By the way, I'm using a Maxtor SATA PCI card with a 7K160 hard drive so the machine is getting quite a bump in performance when it comes to disk.
5EHM / K6-3 AHX 400 / 512MB PC133 / Radeon 7500 / Wireless / SB Live! / CD-RW / SATA-PCI + 7K160
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mikemex
Newbie K6'er
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:00 pm
Location: Mexico

Post by mikemex » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:40 pm

Incompatible software under XP:

Prime 95:

Version 2.66 and up. They don't even bother to check if there is support for the used instructions (SSE, etc); it just crashes.
5EHM / K6-3 AHX 400 / 512MB PC133 / Radeon 7500 / Wireless / SB Live! / CD-RW / SATA-PCI + 7K160
Stuff

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