Topic K6PERF from CPU FAQ base

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SU.HARDW.PC.CPU (2:5020/299) SU.HARDW.PC.CPU From : Alexander Pivovar 2:5020/677.3 Thu 03 Apr 97 11:01 Subj : K6 ! C , All! subj. review Tomasa Pubsta:) IMHO . === Cut === --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Intel's Enemy No. 1 - The AMD K6 CPU --------------------------------------------------------------------------- For quite a long while we didn't hear too much from the Texan CPU manufacturer, that used to give Intel so much trouble in the days of the 386 and 486. The AMD K5 CPU took too long to get ready and when it was released it was too late and too slow to compete against Intel's fast Pentium CPUs. In the last three years AMD had a tough time, but they were planning smartly when they bought the CPU manufacturer NexGen two years ago. The power of NexGen was meant to be the mother of AMD's upcoming K6 CPU and now the day has come to show the world how well this new CPU can compete with Intel's latest processors. For quite a while the atmosphere at AMD was getting better every day. The expectations into the K6 are high and the computer market wouldn't wish anything more than a real tough competitor to the more and more increasing giant Intel. Intel has lately shown that its practices of ruling the computer industry aren't exactly enjoyable. AMD and Cyrix had already several fights with Intel, but even normal people like Robert Collins or even myself had to face the strong arm tactics of this almost completely ruthless company. Intel is taking over the computer industry bit by bit and it will take more than some hopeful promises to fight off this threat. AMD's K6 could be a serious problem for Intel's sovereignty on the computer market and I am here now to tell you how well the K6 is prepared to take on Intel. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Architecture of the AMD K6 Sorry, this part is unfortunately still under construction. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Performance of the AMD K6 Well this is what really everyone wants to know. Will the K6 be faster than Intel's Pentium MMX or Pentium Pro? What are its strengths and what its weaknesses? I've tested the K6 for complete nine days. That's certainly longer than any other computer journalist on the planet. 9 days and 9 nights I tried everything I could do with this CPU, several OS's, several motherboards and of course several clock speeds. I've got hundreds of results and I'll try to make them as clear to you as possible. 1. The Windows 95 Performance of the K6 Let's say it loud and clear. Under Windows 95 the K6 is the fastest CPU currently available. The K6 233 reaches a Windows 95 performance that's higher than of a Pentium MMX, still higher than of an overclocked Pentium MMX 225, higher than of a PPro 200 and equal to an overclocked PPro 233. Overclocked to 250 MHz (3x83 MHz) and 262.5 MHz (3.5x75 MHz) it's faster than anything else under Windows 95 and even the upcoming Pentium II will have its problems with it. The K6 166 is almost as fast as an Intel Pentium MMX 200, the K6 200 is already faster than this Intel CPU and the K6 233 shows a distance of even 4 Winstone 97 points to the Pentium MMX 200. WINDOWS 95 K6 233 K6 200 K6 166 Pentium MMX Pentium Pro 200 200 Business Winstone 97 54.4 51.9 48.6 50.2 52.4 Highend Winstone 97 23.6 22.2 20.1 22.4 24.8 Business Winmark 97 98.1 89.7 78.5 91.4 84.2 WinQuake 1.09 Timedemo2 640x480 15.5 13.9 12.6 15.9 23.4 As you can see, the Highend Winstone performance of the K6 is at the same level as the Pentium and definitely lower than the Highend Winstone performance of the Pentium Pro. The difference in WinQuake is even bigger. This shows that the FPU performance of the K6 is lower than the FPU performance of the Intel CPUs. The importance of the FPU in normal applications is still very questionable. Even Quake players should have got the message by now, that you rather save some money purchasing a CPU and buy a Diamond Monster 3D instead. This enables you to play GLQuake, which is faster than any 'only CPU driven' normal Quake and it is looking 100000 times better. In terms of the normal business applications under Windows 95 the K6 is the absolute winner. The Pentium II CPU at 233 MHz will probably be just as fast or maybe slightly faster, but for a much higher price. 2. The Windows NT Performance of the K6 Under Windows NT, the K6 is still making a good figure, although the distance to its competitors from Intel isn't big at all. The K6 233 is under Windows NT exactly as fast as a Pentium Pro 200, it's much faster than a Pentium MMX 200, but it's considerably slower than an overclocked Pentium Pro 233 and will most likely be slower than the Pentium II at the same clock speed as well. WINDOWS NT 4.0 K6 233 K6 200 K6 166 Pentium MMX Pentium Pro 200 200 Business Winstone 97 71 67.6 63.3 64.3 71.2 Highend Winstone 97 26.9 24.5 22 24.2 29.2 Business Winmark 97 104 93.5 83.6 87.5 104 Winbench 97 CPU Mark16 465 414 362 423 360 Winbench 97 CPU Mark32 559 513 466 420 554 You can see again, that the K6 166 is giving the Pentium MMX 200 a very good run for its money. The Pentium Pro 200 can still show his muscles with his internal L2 cache and the faster FPU in the Highend Winstone. However, considering that the K6 has to run with slow 66 MHz clocked L2 cache, it's performing quite well. Lots of us would have loved to see the K6 performing even better under NT, because that's the old domain of the Pentium Pro and will be the play ground of the upcoming Pentium II, which is at least as fast as a Pentium Pro at the same clock speed. Hence the K6 will not be faster than a Pentium II under Windows NT at the same clock speed, but it will be much cheaper than the Pentium II as well. 3. The DOS Performance of the K6 Today the DOS performance of a computer system is most likely the least important one. Hardly anybody is still using DOS for any business applications, but there are still several computer games, that mainly run under DOS. For me DOS is really nothing else than a gaming OS anymore and that's the reason why I'm only doing game benchmarks for DOS. In this environment the K6 doesn't really look exactly good. Quake is not one of the K6's favorites and in other 3D applications under DOS it doesn't look well against the PPro at all. DOS K6 233 K6 200 K6 166 Pentium MMX Pentium Pro 200 200 Quake 1.06 Timedemo2 640x480 14.2 13.4 12.2 15.7 21.9 PC Player DOS 3D Benchmark 26.4 25.1 23.1 23.1 31 3DBench 250 250 200 166.6 333.3 Chris Dial's 3D Bench 38.4 35.3 31.7 40.7 49.6 I can only stress again, that I personally wouldn't give anything about the Quake issue, because there's a Monster 3D and GLQuake, which is faster and much nicer. However the K6 is compared to the Pentium Pro definitely the worse DOS gaming CPU. 4. The MMX Performance of the K6 I have to admit it, that because of the lack of decent MMX benchmarks, I had to use the Intel Media Bench, which of course is written by Intel and hence produced to show off Intel CPUs best. However the K6 MMX performance doesn't even under this benchmark look bad at all. The video and image processing performance of the K6 is better than of the Pentium MMX, which I would currently consider as the most important of all these mystical MMX topics and the video performance will most likely even be better than of a Pentium II. Intel Media Pentium MMX Pentium Pro Benchmark K6 233 K6 200 K6 166 200 200 Overall 246.52 214.46 181.58 246.57 194 Video 308.54 269.14 228.71 252.07 160.22 Image Processing 697.16 605.07 527.55 684.98 219.7 3D 141.07 122.15 102.77 159.78 211.55 Audio 273.22 238.11 200.79 326.58 232.32 It is obvious, that the MMX performance of the K6 is much better than of the Pentium Pro, which doesn't have the MMX instructions. It's funny that the K6 233 has the same overall performance in IMB, but a better video and image processing performance on the cost of a worse 3D and audio performance. Well, which ones would you consider as more important? 5. The Performance of an overclocked K6 compared to its overclocked competitors I'm currently a little late, so I will load this page up now and continue working on this paragraph. I can tell you already now that the K6 is very overclockable and it's showing a most impressive performance then. Currently still under construction. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Compatibility of the K6 Don't worry about this subject ... :) Under Construction!! --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Summary The first thing I'd like to say is that one thing is for sure: The Pentium MMX is now a completely obsolete CPU ! The K6 233 will be priced lower than the Pentium MMX 200 and it's faster than this CPU in almost every respect. Compared to the Pentium Pro and to the upcoming Pentium II you will have to make up your mind. If you should be a Windows 95 user the answer should be clear. The K6 is faster than any current CPU under Windows 95 and will probably be just as fast as the Pentium II at the same clock speed . Under Windows NT the K6 233 is still at least as fast as the Pentium Pro 200, but it will most likely be considerably slower than the Pentium II at the same clock speed. Hence the NT user will have to know what he really wants. If he just wants the best performance, regardless for what price, he should wait for the Pentium II. If price is of importance, consider what you are doing with your system. The K6's weakness is the FPU. If a lot of rendering power is needed, the Pentium Pro and the Pentium II are the much better choice. The K6 is also unable to run in multi CPU systems, so this will stay a domain for Intel as well for now. If you are only doing business applications however, the K6 is a very attractive alternative. There will very soon be a K6 266 and it will be much cheaper than a Pentium II. For the money you save you can get other hardware, which could make your system even faster than the Pentium II system for this price. If you should be worried about compatibility issues, you can relax. Unlike the problems with the Cyrix/IBM 6x86, the AMD K6 is running even on boards that don't recognize it. As long as your board is supporting dual voltage, the K6 runs on it. BIOS upgrades either now or very soon available to enable the special features of the K6 to give it maximum performance. Although the K6 233 is officially asking for 3.2 V, which is not available on the most current boards, it was running flawlessly at 2.9 V on every board I've tested it on. For 'Tom's Overclocker Community' this CPU is an El Dorado as well. The K6 233 runs great at 250 or even 262.5 MHz and is able to beat even overclocked PPros or Pentium II 233 at these clock speeds. This is something you get for free, so why not be happy about it? I can't wait to test the K6 266 at 291 MHz and I'm sure that the K6 at this speed can even compare to a Pentium II 300. All in all I'm sure that this CPU will be very successful. The current mainstream market still is the Pentium market. Whoever is contemplating the purchase of an Intel Pentium or Pentium MMX CPU can forget about this now. The AMD K6 is faster and cheaper. As long as the Pentium II isn't officially available, the K6 is even a serious alternative to the high end system market. So tell me, what keeps you from buying a K6? --------------------------------------------------------------------------- This page has been visited 3429 times since April 2, 1997, 18:00 GMT === Cut === With Best Regards, Alexander Pivovar 2:5020/677.3 2:5020/677.3 /554.14@FIDONET.ORG 963:1/466@VIWANET.RU 963:1/466@VIWANET.RU --- GoldED/386 3.00.Alpha2+ * Origin: Me@Home (2:5020/677.3) SU.HARDW.PC.CPU (2:5020/299) SU.HARDW.PC.CPU From : Alexander Pivovar 2:5020/677.3 Thu 03 Apr 97 11:03 Subj : K6 C , All! === Cut === --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Back to the K6 Page --------------------------------------------------------------------------- K6 Processor Benchmarks --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Graphics Tests All units are in Mpixels/second Test K6 at Intel at K6 at Intel at K6 at Intel at 66x3 66x3 75x3 75x3 83x2.5 83x2.5 BitBlt S-S Copy 64.697 64.691 64.697 64.697 64.697 64.697 BitBlt M-S Copy 5.193 5.098 6.018 5.792 6.344 6.410 Filled Rectangle 283.343 284.145 284.120 284.145 284.145 284.145 Pattern Fill 284.186 284.750 283.343 284.750 284.750 284.120 Vertical Lines 5.958 5.941 5.982 5.982 5.999 5.995 Horizontal Lines 25.866 25.805 26.814 26.360 26.738 26.339 Diagonal Lines 11.081 11.128 11.126 11.272 11.253 11.264 Text Render 23.051 22.583 24.045 23.170 23.539 23.053 Total in PM-marks 82.285 82.345 82.709 82.617 82.799 82.645 Test K6 at Intel at K6 at Intel at K6 at Intel at 66x3 66x3 75x3 75x3 83x2.5 83x2.5 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- CPU Integer Tests Test K6 at Intel at K6 at Intel at K6 at Intel at 66x3 66x3 75x3 75x3 83x2.5 83x2.5 Dhrystones in VAX 11/780 MIPS 220.757 159.148 248.367 179.295 230.895 170.327 Tower of Hanoi in moves/25 usec 157.677 147.955 177.106 164.103 164.391 154.118 Heapsort in MIPS 96.113 93.378 109.984 105.455 102.870 99.923 Sieve of Erastothenes in 162.345 177.696 183.210 195.684 173.570 187.607 MIPS Total in CPUint-marks 172.008 147.448 193.969 164.789 181.080 156.541 Test K6 at Intel at K6 at Intel at K6 at Intel at 66x3 66x3 75x3 75x3 83x2.5 83x2.5 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cpu Floating Point Tests Test K6 at Intel K6 at Intel K6 at Intel at 66x3 at 66x3 75x3 at 75x3 83x2.5 83x2.5 Linpack in MFLOPS 30.091 14.088 33.285 16.055 30.945 14.447 Flops in MFLOPS 33.448 32.039 37.693 36.042 34.872 33.402 Fast Fourier Transform in VAX 18.522 17.932 20.005 18.296 20.743 21.231 FFT's Total in CPUfloat-marks 29.143 24.181 32.481 26.822 30.605 25.733 Test K6 at Intel K6 at Intel K6 at Intel at 66x3 at 66x3 75x3 at 75x3 83x2.5 83x2.5 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Direct Interface to Video Extensions (DIVE) Test K6 at Intel at K6 at Intel at K6 at Intel at 66x3 66x3 75x3 75x3 83x2.5 83x2.5 Video Bus Bandwidth in 36.242 54.545 40.658 52.364 45.131 68.238 MB/sec DIVE function, fps at 132.181 201.887 148.009 200.253 163.308 248.175 640x480x256 Memory to Screen, Direct 124.045 186.182 139.097 179.764 154.968 234.319 1.00:1 Total in DIVE-marks 46.907 70.684 52.589 68.546 58.434 88.447 Test K6 at Intel at K6 at Intel at K6 at Intel at 66x3 66x3 75x3 75x3 83x2.5 83x2.5 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- > HDD . Memory in MB/sec Test K6 at Intel at K6 at Intel at K6 at Intel at 66x3 66x3 75x3 75x3 83x2.5 83x2.5 5Kb Copy 735.129 733.595 826.776 824.556 765.931 763.957 10Kb Copy 748.145 746.298 842.300 817.421 781.250 761.390 > 20Kb Copy 627.622 137.833 707.332 157.075 670.585 169.850 > 40Kb Copy 127.545 69.861 145.404 78.610 151.625 81.385 > 64KB built-in cache 80Kb Copy 84.297 69.969 95.164 73.968 94.221 87.642 160Kb Copy 80.612 63.830 94.029 69.528 100.304 87.427 320Kb Copy 58.521 64.862 83.549 61.698 86.022 68.281 640Kb Copy 55.521 52.688 57.840 49.135 71.222 71.406 1280Kb Copy 39.481 43.918 42.196 42.500 48.750 56.520 5Kb Read 423.451 250.598 477.817 281.667 443.892 261.113 10Kb Read 433.492 250.642 487.706 281.701 453.864 260.417 20Kb Read 427.597 155.447 481.166 174.981 447.073 158.321 40Kb Read 265.383 155.847 298.274 175.582 293.921 149.206 80Kb Read 196.836 156.106 205.015 175.734 241.448 144.113 160Kb Read 196.576 149.061 221.066 137.149 217.206 142.005 320Kb Read 164.114 140.136 159.621 116.033 189.843 133.306 640Kb Read 139.745 120.160 168.862 125.976 167.983 131.856 1280Kb Read 117.224 105.481 131.451 90.833 141.987 119.581 5Kb Write 623.378 89.125 703.778 98.050 653.743 109.222 10Kb Write 655.045 87.847 738.945 96.739 683.359 107.046 20Kb Write 578.323 85.871 650.274 95.924 614.426 106.354 40Kb Write 180.247 85.191 202.832 95.683 214.348 105.992 80Kb Write 126.888 84.813 142.845 95.298 154.175 106.100 160Kb Write 87.206 84.877 137.539 95.301 153.841 106.238 320Kb Write 98.611 84.431 110.807 95.039 153.736 105.426 640Kb Write 70.426 84.211 80.955 94.520 107.090 105.208 1280Kb Write 62.019 83.984 70.474 94.227 76.875 105.208 Total in Mem-marks 235.859 128.889 266.208 141.237 256.901 138.898 Test K6 at Intel at K6 at Intel at K6 at Intel at 66x3 66x3 75x3 75x3 83x2.5 83x2.5 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Back to the K6 Page === Cut === With Best Regards, Alexander Pivovar 2:5020/677.3 2:5020/677.3 /554.14@FIDONET.ORG 963:1/466@VIWANET.RU 963:1/466@VIWANET.RU --- GoldED/386 3.00.Alpha2+ * Origin: Me@Home (2:5020/677.3)

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