AMD K6-2

by Anand Lal Shimpi on May 27, 1998 2:30 PM EST
AMD K6-2 Processor Review
Just about a year ago, around this time, Intel stepped up to the challenge their long time competitor Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) proposed in the microprocessor industry.  For a month prior to Intel's release of their Pentium II processor AMD had taken all of the glory with their high performing and low cost alternative, the K6.  Looking to crush the competition with one swift blow Intel struck back just over 4 weeks later with the even higher performing Pentium II processor, making the statement, as clearly and as well spoken as possible, "Welcome to our world." 
Now fast forward to the present day, approximately one year later, Intel had just released the next installments in their Pentium II processor family, the Pentium II 350 and 400 and surprisingly enough, just about a month later, AMD took the world by surprise with the release of their new low-cost, high performing microprocessor, the K6-2.  This time around, with the position of the microprocessor giant in limbo, AMD has proudly held their heads high and managed to respond to Intel's statement made over a year ago with the skillfully placed response: "We're back."

From a performance perspective, AMD was the 'April-Fool' of 1997, their K6 release on April 2nd was plagued by chip shortages and supply problems; missing both the expected shipping dates, and the "fools-day" AMD had a success on their hands but knew more was necessary to combat Intel, especially after the mammoth Pentium II processor made its debut in May of that year. 

AMD let Intel take the early glory this year, in hopes of shaking off the reputation of not being able to deliver on time.  First it was the K5 that was off shipping schedule, then the K6/233 which made its appearance in retail channels over 2 weeks after its release, followed by the 266MHz part that was too little too late.  Ecstatic over their move to the 100MHz Front Side Bus frequency, has Intel become the 'April-Fool' of 1998?  Has AMD managed to breathe life back into the dying Socket-7 market?  Is the threat of the K6-2 as great as many have anticipated it to be, or is the processor's release simply a way of stalling users from completely migrating to the Slot-1 standard?  Let's answer those questions as AnandTech takes a look at the AMD K6-2 Processor...

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