So many CPUs... and all of them seem to be messed up in one way or another.
- The Pentium-60 and Pentium-66 were one of a kind, and of course 2 + 2 is 5.
- The Pentium-Pro is the fastest x86 processor, especially since it runs Windows95 slower than a Pentium-100.
- Sure, the 6x86 can beat the Pentium of same clock speed in the Winstone tests, But isn't nice how the FPU is only half as fast as the equivalent Pentium? Maybe Cyrix should call the 6x86-P150+ the '6x86-P75+ if you do the math!'.
- And what about AMD? The K5 (5k86) was only released a few quarters late. And what about all this performance hype? The Cyrix 6x86-100Mhz is faster than the Intel Pentium-120Mhz, so how good is AMD's K5? ... The 5k86-100Mhz is just as fast as Intel's 100Mhz! Wow, look at that speed!
So of these new CPUs, which one is the best?
If you are currently using 16-bit code (Windows 3.1), or a mix of 16 and 32-bit code (Windows95), and plan to upgrade to only 32-bit code, with a little 16-bit (WindowsNT, Windows97, Unix, etc.) then the Cyrix 6x86 series of chips is probably the best choice. If you also want a faster FPU, then the Intel Pentium series would be better. For TRUE 32-bit operating systems (Unix, Unix, and Unix) then you would want Intel's Pentium-Pro, or better yet, a true RISC chip such as Sun's high-performance Sparc. If you want an alternate to these chips, consider AMD's K5 (5k86).
I have a 486, and it is getting slow... what should I do?
Option #1) Buy a new computer!Option #2) If you bought your computer from a major systems manufacturer, call them and ask about upgrade options!
Option #3) Give up on computers, go watch TV the rest of your life.
Option #4) Read and agree with the disclaimer...
The author of this page is in no way responsible for any actions you take, replacing whatever you broke, any personal injuries that may incur, or anything else such as loss of time at work and other bad stuff. I am NOT responsible for anything that you did because you have read this page, not before you read this page, not while reading this page, not after reading this page. If you do not understand, do not continue.Option #5) By reading this option, you state that you have read and agreed with the disclaimer above.
- 5.1) Determine WHY it is getting slow.
- Some common hardware based reasons...
- CPU is an SX type. (No FPU) DX type chips have a built-in FPU and are faster. (floating point unit)
- CPU has a low clock speed. (I consider anything less than 50Mhz slow.)
- L2 cache is too small. (a 486 should have at least 256K of L2 cache.)
- Not enough memory, or slow memory speed. (memory should be at least 80ns for 33Mhz or slower, and 70ns for 50Mhz or faster.)
- Note: the problem may be in the video (graphics card) or storage (hard drive) subsystem.
- 5.2) Upgrade to fix the problem. Some upgrade options are...
- Overclock your current CPU. I do not recommend this, as it will void your warranty and quite possibly cause you to fry your CPU, and/or other system components.
What is overclocking? The clock speed of a CPU is usually physically based on a crystal osc. on the motherboard. (Just as the digital watch on your arm is based on!) For example, a 486DX-33 has a 33Mhz crystal on the motherboard, so you could physically replace the 33Mhz with a 40Mhz crystal, and then the CPU would run at 40Mhz, hence a 486DX-40. Intel rates their CPUs to the highest possible speed that the CPU can handle without producing large amounts of heat and/or causing errors. The 486DX2 CPUs run twice the external clock (crystal) rate. So a 486DX2-66 runs with a 33Mhz crystal. If you replaced the 33Mhz one with a 40Mhz one, the CPU would run at 80Mhz, if it actually ran at all. Overclocking can also be done on a Pentium, usually by changing jumpers. The Pentium produces much more heat than the 486, so it is not a very good idea even to consider.
- Add more L2 cache. Read the manual that came with the motherboard.
- Upgrade your memory. Again, to the manual. When upgrading, you must consider that there are two different basic kinds of SIMMs. Some are 30-pin, and must be installed in banks of 4 SIMMs at a time on a 486. Others are 72-pin, and are only 1 to a bank on a 486. You need to check to see what type (30 or 72-pin) you have.
- Upgrade to an 'overdrive' CPU using your current motherboard. There are many types of overdrive CPUs available. I've seen DX2-66 CPUs for as cheap as $40 each. You need to check what clock speed your current system is running at. (DX2 CPUs are clock doubled. That means a 66Mhz DX2 is running a 33Mhz clock. DX4 CPUs are clock tripled. If you are running a DX4-100, you have a 33Mhz clock. (usually)) Next, you need to check if your CPU socket is 5 volt or 3.3 volt. Most 'overdrive' CPUs are 3.3 volt, so if you have a 5 volt socket you need to get one with a special voltage regulator. So now you need to find an 'overdrive' CPU that is made specially for your clock rate (25Mhz (DX2-50), 33Mhz (DX2-66), 40Mhz (DX2-80), or the RARE 50Mhz (DX2-100?)) and your socket voltage (5 or 3.3 volt). You should get a heat sink and/or fan for the 'overdrive' CPU.
- Upgrade to a new CPU and motherboard. This is a very hard thing to do. If you are capable of doing it (rewiring your system...) you will know how to do it, and if you don't know, then it's too complicated too explain.
I have a 586, and it is getting slow... what should I do?
- SPEC- The Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation was established in 1988 to have, well... STANDARDIZED BENCHMARKS! hehe.
- ZDBOp- The Ziff-Davis Benchmark Operation provides benchmarks for Mac, Windows, MS-DOS, and a few other systems. Also- the popular Winstone benchmark is part of the ZDBOp.
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