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The Mother of All CPU Charts Part 2

The Mother of All CPU Charts Part 2
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Check out our overview of CPU history in Part 1, with Part 2 detailing AMD's path to Athlon64, plus 3,300 benchmarks for CPUs since 1995. Now, we've updated the benchmarks to include the Intel Pentium 600 series and Extreme Edition.

Slot A: August 1999 To May 2000

Athlon 500 to 1000: August 1999 to May 2000

Almost one year after Intel's Slot 1 CPU debut, an epic event took place: Dirk Meyer of AMD debuted the Athlon at the 1998 Microprocessor Forum, which shook up many, including Intel execs who witnessed the event. The Athlon worked with the Alpha EV6 bus protocol and offered numerous innovations that the competition did not offer.

Intel was shocked by the high speed of the CPU and the share price of AMD then began its meteoric rise. THG published the key specs for the so-called "Gold Finger," which made it possible with the help of an additional card to set the voltages and multiplier of AMD's Athlon. However, to do this, the CPU had to be opened, which meant violating the warranty.

As with the first Intel Pentium II/III processors, the cache could be adjusted on the slot board with 1/2, 2/3 and 3/4 of the processor speed. The first boards were supplied with AMD's own chipset, because VIA did not yet have any chipsets in the final stage. After some time, the cache moved from the board into the CPU core, making Slot A obsolete. At the same time, the ground was broken for "Fab 30" in Dresden, Germany. Also at this time, for the first time, users put together water cooling systems in their living rooms for their AMD processors. In the last stage of development of the Slot A Athlon, the manufacturing process was converted to 180 nm. In this CPU, which was primarily supplied to OEMs, the cache was already integrated into the CPU die.

AMD Athlon with Orion core and externally connected L2 Cache with 256 kB

The back of the Athlon with cache

The last Slot A processor from AMD with the cache integrated in the die.

The back of the Slot Athlon

The "Goldfinger"

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