For a brief moment, the Cyrix Corporation, with its popular 6x86 (M1) line of processors, was a big contender in the CPU race of the late 1990s. Typically, the chips were named to reflect their slightly less powerful Intel Pentium counterparts. They also fit within Intel-designed sockets. The vendor had a following of computer shops and gamers, more than likely because it was an option besides Intel and AMD. Cyrix originally tried to charge a premium for the 6x86 CPUs. However the popularity of first-person shooters and other 3D games at the time eventually forced the company to lower its prices.
Despite its seemingly faster performance, the 6x86 was inferior with regard to its math coprocessor. Because it lacked instruction pipelining, 3D games like Quake choked in performance.
Cyrix merged with National Semiconductor in 1997, and the last processor bearing the Cyrix brand was the MII-433GP. Clocked at 300 MHz, the chip performed better than AMD's K6-2 300 on floating-point unit calculations, however it couldn't contend against processors that actually ran at 433 MHz. After its release and the negative feedback from "unfair comparisons," the merger dissolved with National Semiconductor leaving the CPU market and VIA Technology purchasing the remaining portions of Cyrix.