Retrokloking: overclock AMD Athlon Slot A in the performance or AMD cartridges

  • conclusion
  • Introduction

    Laboratory continues the series of articles about retroklokinge. This time we will talk about AMD processors, form factor which is far from the current reality and more like a cartridge for the old game consoles. We will talk about revolutionary for its time solutions - AMD Athlon performed Slot A, which marked the beginning of a new era in the company's history.

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    It is said that for a long time, I did not pay attention to the AMD processors in-slot form factor. I do not know why; perhaps partly due to the fact that at the time of their occurrence (1999-2000) was against Intel products (at least, this is true of my region). And at this stage I rarely meet an offer to sell AMD processor slot and the more computers based on them.

    But based on the Intel Pentium II and Pentium III - please them and now can be seen on various online flea markets. And after a dive into the maze of slot themes, it was decided that we should still try this platform. But it was not so easy, and if the processor is still possible to somehow find something with the motherboard at all the trouble, a real deficit.

    However, I helped a good friend who ordered for me to charge with eBay global flea market and provide a pair of slot processors. I think, when reading his lines of data will be pleased to know that the output of this article in part to his credit, but back to the topic of the cartridge.

    A little history

    It so happened that since the inception of the mass of the computer industry was in the lead, Intel, and AMD has been continuously catching up. Situation remained this way until the first Pentium III, but since the failure of the legs of both manufacturers and processors in the transition to a different constructive version, with the output of the first slot AMD Athlon processor scales finally bent in the direction AMD.

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    Of course, we can not say that the company has up to this point was not good processor, they were, and even for some parameters were faster (for example, the ALU block in the generation of the CPU microarchitecture K6) competitor products, but against the marketing is no arguing, and with this option "performance" Intel has always been good. And he came to the turn of the millennium, with defeats on all fronts, gathering strength for the last remaining one hits and sold out almost all of the assets, the proceeds of the company has invested in the development of a single perspective - processor seventh generation AMD Athlon. As it turned out, with the choice she was not mistaken.

    If this had not happened, we would now perhaps be able to select from a range of processor of one manufacturer. new CPU success quickly impact on the world market, and in a matter of months, the share of AMD models crept up to around 30 {f1e01dfa3d30bf4c75f4b98a84433067634362a3a84932beb8dab40677543f56}. It was an unequivocal success.

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    If we draw a parallel with what is happening now, history repeats itself partly with AMD Ryzen processors, which quickly gained popularity among users around the world. And with the release of the second generation AMD Ryzen share will continue to increase. Although the situation that was before the advanced CPU microarchitecture Zen, much better than the one in which the company found itself on the threshold of the third millennium. In those days there was no graphical unit that AMD has provided the opportunity to stay afloat.

    What is special about AMD cartridge? If you take a two slot processor manufacturers both hands, it is difficult to feel the difference. Mechanical and physical cartridges are almost identical, the only difference is the mirror Slot CPU socket A. Where the AMD logo - Intel's reverse side with a radiator. The same length, the same number of pins, the same color. Physically you can even set the Intel motherboard AMD CPU; however, when power is nothing good will happen. Models of both CPU manufacturers initially included the cache of the second level, located on the PCB CPU cartridge, and then got rid of it together.

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    Electrically processors differ markedly. The number of used Slot Pin AMD's CPU is much higher: of all the 242 AMD Athlon contacts uses half while the Intel Pentium 3 for only a quarter.

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    The first slot with the new Athlon processor, the name became the CPU to «Argon» core, which introduced June 23, 1999. Frequency range produced models lying in the range 500 to 700 MHz, manufacturing technology - 250 nm, the cache memory of the second layer is located on the CPU cartridge in the form of two chips on both sides of the processor core.

    Later this kernel has been translated into finer process technology 180 nm, and has received the name «Pluto». Frequency band decisions based on it, by reducing the thickness of the transistors grown to 850 MHz. For processors with frequencies ranging from 900 MHz to 1 GHz AMD came up with a special name core - «Orion».

    All of the above nuclei contain a cache memory of the second level in the form of separate circuits, operating at frequencies up to 350 MHz. In other words, the frequency processor cache wondered respective divisors, tied to the frequency of the CPU cores (1/2, 2/5 and 1/3). It was only with the release of «Thunderbird» kernel cache second level ever moved in the CPU core.

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    If we compare the AMD Athlon and Intel Pentium III, the strengths of the first were EV6 system bus with the actual transmission frequency of 200 MHz, capable to transfer twice more data than a tire rival GTL +, and block execution of integer instructions (ALU), carrying out three integer instructions per clock (against two competitor). And that is not all.

    Among other advantages, we note a shorter pipeline execution of integer instructions; pipelined operations unit (the FPU) for floating-point (opponent this block was not pipelined); inclusive cache structure processor, wherein contained within the first and second level data is not duplicated, that gave greater total volume (L1 + L2), whereas a competitor data arranged in L1, duplicated in L2; and a set of instructions 3DNow !.

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    The weaknesses, so to speak, we assign a high enough frequency potential nucleus; a limited number of motherboard manufacturers to produce their products to new processors; availability of only two chipsets AMD 750 and VIA KX133; some minor problems related to policy support systems. If we estimate all together, it is clearly more advantages.

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