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History of the x86 Processor (Page 7/10)

Posted: February 26, 2001
Written by: Dustin "TimmyC" Jones

AMD's K5 and K6

1996: AMD's next venture into the Intel controlled market came in the form of the AMD-K5. This little processor ranged from 75 to 166MHz and was packed with the usual 'faster and more of it' motto.

Late 1996: The next logical step after the K5 was of course, the K6; which was what AMD released. This was truly a ground breaking event for AMD. Not only did it have the regular speed increases, it was also packed with MMX technology, which put the K6 in direct competition with Intel's Pentium MMX chips. The K6 came in 166 to 233MHz speeds, and was offered as a significantly lower price than Intel's offerings.

The K6 gave Intel and Cyrix stiff competition.

1998: Next up for AMD was - no, not the K7 - the K6-2! This low priced, medium-high performance processor came in speeds of 300 to 450MHz. Not only was the processor a pretty good performer, it also featured a great new technology to try to break down the MMX craze, known as "3DNow!". Games with 3DNow! support were very fast compared to games without it. There was a Quake II 3DNow! patch released, which took full advantage of what it had to offer, and let me tell you; the boost in speed was impressive to say the least. Unfortunately, this technology fell victim to lack of interest from developers, and Intel's great advertising campaigns. Shortly after, AMD released the K6-3, which added more on-die cache and increased the clock speeds to 500 and 550MHz, not adding much of anything else.

Finally, a cheap chip that rocked at 3D -
now, if only the bugs were fixed...

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