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Performance-Showdown between Athlon and Pentium III

Athlon Delivered A Perfectly Stable Performance

It was a very pleasant surprise to find out that our Athlons ran at up to 750 MHz without any additional means of cooling. This shows that the Kryotech-system could possibly run even faster. Athlon ran as stable as a rock, and when I say stable, I really mean it! I am not talking of crazy overclocking and calling a system stable that needs to be rebooted twice daily. Athlon performed really stable and any software I threw against it ran without any crashes for days. The stability-issue brings me to another thing. Many of you wrote me concerned emails, enquiring if Athlon-platforms might have the same compatibility-problems as the Super7-platforms for K6, K6-2 and K6-3. We have four different Athlon-motherboards here in the lab and each platform ran perfectly with any soft and hardware we used. This includes all known graphics cards from our ongoing "33 3D-card" mammoth-test , even the power-hungry 3Dfx Voodoo3 3500, which made several BX-boards cough really hard. This V3-3500 issue is actually not at all 3Dfx's fault, it's due to weak power supplies on several, even well known, BX-boards. Brent is currently working on two articles that follow up on the above said.

Pentium III Was Cranked Up To 650 MHz As Well

Talking about Athlon's scaling alone didn't seem appealing enough to me, so that I decided to put Intel's Pentium III against it. It wouldn't have been fair to run Pentium III at only up to 600 MHz, which is why I also included results of a Pentium III at 650/100 MHz. You can imagine that I was using a Pentium III 600 without multiplier-lock for this. Remembering my comments about failures of PIII 600 CPUs, actually also reported by several other publications in Germany and the UK, should give you an idea how hard it was to run all the benchmarks with an even overclocked PIII 650. Only one PIII 600 in the THG-lab was able to walk through all tests, and I had to use additional fans to keep the PIII 650 alive. This is not how it used to be. I always praised Intel CPUs as highly overclockable, but PIII 600 is different. The PIII 600 at 650 MHz was always just about able to finish the benchmarks, there was no way of running a system stably at this speed for several days.