The date? April 2, 1997. The place? Advanced Micro Devices' Homepage. The occasion? The release of the AMD K6 Microprocessor. The K6 was AMD's last chance at redemption, the delays the K5 blessed the market with combined with the too-little too-late performance the K5/166+ boasted left AMD with one and only one chance to get back into the game. Slowly losing their ground against the Pentium II, which was released just about a month later, AMD went back to work on a revision to the K6. Originally expected for a much more practical release in November '97, AMD planned on releasing a 266MHz
|version of the K6 followed by a 300MHz part before the arrival of the new year.|
Once again delays, fabrication problems, and much more delayed the release of the 266MHz addition to the K6 line. Now, almost a year later, the first K6/266 parts are finally being made available to the public and not just OEMs that had been granted the privileges for the past few months. This new processor doesn't come without its drawbacks, the main downside to going with the K6/266 would be that you're funneling money into a dying world, Socket-7. The phrase "would be" is used because a few steps by some bold manufacturers have prevented the Socket-7 market from fading into oblivion.
AMD has announced yet another addition to the Socket-7 K6 line, the K6-3D 300. The K6-3D will not only be the first Socket-7 Processor to officially support the 100MHz Front Side Bus Frequency but it will breathe more life into the existence of the Socket-7 Motherboard by setting a new standard known commonly as the Super7 Motherboard Standard.
In order to be classified as a Super7 Motherboard, a board must meet these three requirements:
100MHz Front Side Bus Support with Support for 33MHz PCI & 66MHz AGP Bus Speeds
Support for all Super7 processors, particularly the AMD K6-3D (Core Voltage - 2.2v, clock multipliers up to 4.5x)
What is the point of mentioning the K6-3D now? The K6-3D will essentially be the K6/266 that is available for purchase today, with the addition of the AMD 3D Instruction Set, designed to improve 3D Geometry and Floating Point Calculations. If you are looking for a processor now, and simply can't wait for AMD to crank out the K6-3D, then the K6/266 is your obvious choice. So how about a closer look at the K6/266?