Don't Forget Non-Intel Chips
One of Intel's major competitors is Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. AMD has developed a family of processors that compete with the Pentium-class processors. In this section, overview of some of the characteristics of the AMD processors.
The AMD K6 processor was designed to compete with the original Intel Pentium. The K6 has 64K of L1 cache, supports MMX technology, and has built-in branch prediction techniques. This processor has 321 pins, which means that it will fit into a Socket 7-supported motherboard.
The K6-2 processor was designed to compete with the Pentium II chip. It has 64K of L1 cache and 256K of L2 cache. The K6-2 also supports dynamic execution, MMX technology, and superscalar design.
The K6-2 has added 3DNow! Technology - a number of additional instructions integrated into the chip to improve 3-D graphics applications. The K6-2 chip also uses a 100 MHz motherboard speed, which is a big improvement over the 60/66 MHz motherboard speed that the original Pentiums were using. The K6-2 has 321 pins, which means that it will fit into a Socket 7-supported motherboard.
The K6-III processor is designed to compete with the Pentium III chip. This chip shares many of the features of the K6-2, including a 100 MHz system bus. One of its new features is a Tri-Level cache. Not only can it take advantage of an L1 and L2 cache but also an L3 cache that can be included on the motherboard.
The AMD Athlon chip has 128K of L1 cache and 512K of L2 cache. It supports improved dynamic execution, MMX technology, and 3DNow! Technology. The Athlon chip runs at speeds of up to 1.2 GHz and is designed to run on a 200 MHz system bus speed.
Unlike the K6-2 and K6-III, the Athlon is not a PGA-packaged chip that supports Socket 7. It uses its own socket type, called Slot A, because the processor is packaged as an SEC. The Slot A socket is not compatible with Intel's Slot 1, which means users have to purchase a motherboard designed for the Athlon chip.
Later versions of the Athlon moved to the PGA package that has 462 pins. These PGA chips are placed in Socket A.
After the Athlon chip was produced, Intel created the Pentium 4 chip. So AMD wanted to create a competing chip for the Pentium 4, the Athlon XP. The Athlon XP is packaged as a PGA with 462 pins and is placed in Socket A. The Athlon XP runs at 2 GHz or more and contains 128K of L1 cache and 512K of L2 cache.
AMD markets these processors a little differently. Instead of labeling the processor with its speed, AMD labels it with its competitor's speed. For example, the Athlon XP 1800+ is rated at 1.6 GHz but runs as fast as Intel's 1.8 GHz processor.
AMD wanted to create a processor that competed with each version of the Intel processors. So, if the Athlon XP competes with the Pentium 4, what competes with the Celeron? You guessed it - the Duron.
The Duron has 128K of L1 cache and 64K of L2 cache. This processor is packaged as a PGA with 462 pins, which means it too goes into socket A.
Just as the Duron was built to compete with Intel's Celeron, AMD created the Opteron to compete with Intel's 64-bit Itanium processors. The Opteron runs at about 1.8 GHz and contains 128K of L1 cache and 1MB of L2 cache.
The Opteron is packaged with a Micro-PGA, which is made up of 940-pins and is placed in Socket 940. One of the major differences between the Opteron and the Itanium is that the Itanium cannot run 32-bit applications; AMD decided that the Opteron would run in a 32-bit or 64-bit mode, thus allowing it to run 32-bit applications.
In this tutorial:
- Understanding Processor Terminology
- Address bus
- Cache memory
- Math co-processor
- Dual core processors
- Identifying Socket Types
- Looking at Popular Intel Processors
- Pentium Pro
- Pentium II
- Pentium III
- Pentium 4
- Don't Forget Non-Intel Chips
- Installing a Processor
- Keeping a Processor Cool
- Installing a heat sink and fan