AMD K6 Retail Box New

AMD K6 Retail Box New

Amd K6 Retail Box New
Amd K6 Retail Box New
Amd K6 Retail Box New Rear
Amd K6 Retail Box New Rear

This is an example of a retail-boxed version of a fairly common AMD K6 CPU, running at 300Mhz.

The K6 was an absolute turning-point for AMD. The preceding release; the AMD K5 was late, slow and much too hot. The K5 was AMD’s first attempt at a Pentium class CPU, sharing the Intel Socket 5 system. In many ways it was an extremely advanced design, but it didn’t clock anywhere near as high as the Pentium did. In short, AMD were in serious trouble.

And the along came NexGen!

NexGen came out of the desire by some in the industry (manly Compaq) at the time to break Intel’s strangle hold on CPU prices and thus the price of PCs. After a false start (the first 80386 class CPU was so large it needed fabbing in 8x different chips at the time), NexGen started to make some progress with the Nx586 CPU range.

Below is a photo of my NexGen motherboard. As you can see, it has an odd for the time setup, with no PCI sockets, instead using 486-class VLB technology (the pair of brown sockets), but on a Pentium class processer.

Img 6479 1

Even more strangely, the Nx586 did not have a built-in FPU, something that even the 486 class preceding it had. As a final blow, the Nx586 used a non-standard socket, something at the time was a beyond-brave choice. Overall, this all made NexGen a hard sell, even if you hated Intel.

It wasn’t all bad, however. NexGen had some pretty amazing (for the time) technology under the hood. For the first time, a CISC class CPU like the x86, used RISC tech to ‘disassemble’ the complex instructions into the component parts, making them much more compatible with the much faster RISC technology. This was a massive turning-point in the history of CISC CPU design, and is the jewel in the crown of NexGen.

So, we have NexGen who have a CPU that’s failing, on the market, even though it has some epoch-changing tech built into it. And we have AMD, who’s offering in the Pentium class is too late, and hot running. A match made in heaven, and $850 milion later in 1996, AMD had taken over NexGen. The AMD K6 is the result, what the Nx586 should have been, but never could be, mainly due to the shortcomings in NexGen’s VC money.

As Cyrix would find also, the Pentium class CPUs were just becoming too much for companies to get into and keep up with long term against the leviathan that was Intel. Happily for nowadays, the plucky little AMD kept up and survived, keeping Intel honest. We’d be using 2Ghz PIII equivalent that cost us £1000 ea without the competition that they provide.

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