- The current situation

- The future of the memory: PC133, RDRAM, DDR...?

- i810: a too economic (?) chipset

- i820: a chipset (and a mike) late

- You tackle for AMD K7 Athlon

- The ROUTE chipset for Pentium III

- Conclusions

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Juan Herrerías Rey

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Hardware for the summer - autumn 1999


i820: a chipset (and a mike) late

If i810 it had a few good qualities, darkened for almost obsession of "providing it" with a video checker (as we have seen, slightly completely unnecessarily, when not counter-productive), i820 Way is the good-looking certification of future of Intel as for chipsets.

I820 it seems to be that it is going to have everything good of the advanced version of i810 (architecture AHA, UltraDMA66), in addition to AGP 4x for the transmission of video, a speed of 133 MHz bus for the CPU and support for the controversial memory RDRAM.

AGP 4x will allow a speed of transference of information of up to 1 GB/s between the videocard and the CPU; this will allow to low the price of the cost of the videocards, which will not have to include big quantities of memory of video so when it is needed they will be able to use principal memory for the textures 3D... although the memory integrated to the cards is usually even more rapid.

Pentium III

More interesting seems the speed of 133 MHz bus for the CPU, although it will only be used by the new variety of mikes Pentium III, the Coppermine, which will differ from the current ones for:

  1. to use 133 MHz of speed of bus;
  2. to have 256 KB of cache memory of the second level (cache memory L2) at the same speed as the mike, instead of 512 KB to half of this speed;
  3. to be made by 0,18 microns technology instead of 0,25, what redounds to a consumption and a generation of heat very much minors.
On the Coppermine we might speak length and laying, but for the time being let's say only two things: the first, the use of less I caught but more rapid is much better than something the current system, and this is precisely what does that Celeron Mendocino works so well like a Pentium II despite having only 128 cache memory KB; and second, it is very probable that, despite this progress, the K7 Athlon of AMD is much better than the Coppermine. Well, already we will see...

Returning to i820, we have also the use of RDRAM like "favorite" memory of video, although also we will have grooves DIMM for memory PC100 and/or PC133 (typically, two RIMM and two DIMM). Leaving apart that the RDRAM is better, his use is completely unnecessary if it is not used together with a mike with 133 MHz bus and a card AGP 4x.

I820 he has suffered many debts, for problems of manufacture, problems with the RDRAM, marketing doubts... but very little stays already for the presentation of this chipset in society (only three weeks), although the badges equipped with him perhaps are late until November, more or less when it will come to the market Pentium III Coppermine (that is even more late that i820) and the AMD K7. He waits for us an autumn - winter movidito...


You tackle for AMD K7 Athlon

The new AMD microprocessor breaks all the records, overcoming to ALL THE REST mikes of the market in ALL the aspects. It has like principal characteristics:

  • 128 KB of cache memory of the first level (L1), against only 32 KB in current Pentium III;
  • system bus to 200 MHz or more, against 100 MHz in the K6-2 and current Pentium III;
  • from 512 KB to 8 MB of cache memory of the second level (L2), against 512 KB in Pentium III and a 2 MB maximum in the very expensive ones and professionals Xeon;
  • mathematical unit of floating comma completely renewed (FPU), very superior to those who incorporate the mikes of Intel, AMD or Cyrix at present;
  • speeds over 500 MHz;
  • and of course, support for MMX and 3DNow!
AMD K7 Athlon

Physically, it looks alike very much to a Pentium II or a Pentium III with the classic black plastic cartridge. He settles in what a groove is named "Slot A", physically identical to the Slot 1 of Intel but incompatibly electrically, since it uses another bus of system, the EV6 of Digitalis. This provides to him better services, at the cost of which he needs badges specially designed for the K7. AMD perhaps had preferred being compatible with the Slot 1, but Intel has not sold to him the license, so...

The badges for K7 (that thing about "Athlon" I refuse to use it for the time being, it looks like to me a ridiculous name) they will look alike very much physically to those of Pentium III (although, I insist, they are completely incompatible) and will have the same characteristics as these. They will not be with chipsets of Intel (they are not going to favor the "enemy"), but yes of the same AMD, ROUTE, Ali or SiS. Two chipsets prepared to go out already to the market are those of AMD and ROUTE, being the last one the most advanced:


AMD 750 Irongate

ROUTE Apollo KX133

Speed bus máx.

Up to 200 MHz

Type of memory


PC100, PC133

Memory máx.


2 GB

Hard disk



AGP 2x

AGP 4x


2 ports USB

4 ports USB
Integrated hardware monitoring

Since we see, nothing that to envy to i820 I Travel, and even in some detail better than this one. There is no support for RDRAM, but: for whom does it matter?


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