Quick Reference Table

We won't be going into much detail as to the architecture of the processors or how they work in this guide as this comparison is intended to be a buyer's tool and not solely a technical reference document.  However, in order to make specification comparison easier, the below table sums up the basic differences between the processors compared here:

  Intel AMD
Celeron Pentium II Pentium III K6-2 K6-III Athlon
Transistors 19 million 7.5 million 9.5 million 8.8 million 21.3 million 22 million
Core Voltage 2.0v 2.8v/2.0v 2.0v 2.2v/2.4v 2.4v 1.6v
MB Interface Slot-1/Socket-370 Slot-1 Slot-1 Socket-7 Socket-7 Slot-A
L1 Cache 16KB Data
16KB Instruction Set
16KB Data
16KB Instruction Set
16KB Data
16KB Instruction Set
32KB Data
32KB Instruction Set
32KB Data
32KB Instruction Set
64KB Data
64KB Instruction Set
L2 Cache 128KB 512KB 512KB 0KB 256KB 512KB
L2 Cache Speed CPU Clock Speed 1/2 CPU Clock Speed 1/2 CPU Clock Speed FSB CPU Clock Speed 1/2 CPU Clock Speed
Available Clock Speeds 300MHz - 500MHz 233MHz - 450MHz 450MHz - 600MHz 300MHz - 500MHz 400MHz - 500MHz 500MHz - 650MHz

The CPUs: What made it and what didn't

There are obviously quite a few desktop x86 CPUs that have been released over the past 2 years, and a comprehensive comparison of all of them would take much longer to perform and would be even more complex than the comparison you're about to read.  The processors that did make it into the comparison were all desktop Intel processors clocked at 300MHz or greater (excluding the Celeron 300A which has since dried up in supply) and all desktop AMD processors clocked at 300MHz or greater (excluding the K6-300, only K6-2 and above processors were included). 

There is one glaring absence from the comparison which would be all contributions from Cyrix over the past 2 years, and unfortunately due to the relative lack thereof Cyrix has been excluded from the comparison.  With VIA's recent acquisition of Cyrix, we can expect to see quite a bit more productivity out of the company that once dominated the Winstone scores with their 6x86 line of processors.

Index The Test

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