Just a guy with a love for tech


Adam L January 01, 1999


CaseK&M CS102
MotherboardLucky Star 5MMVP4 "Aquarius"
ChipsetVIA VT8501 (Apollo MVP4)
SocketSuper 7
ProcessorAMD K6-2 Chomper Extended
Speed500 MHz
StorageQuantum Fireball LCT 15GB
CD-ROM DriveLG CRD-8322B
Expansion SlotSound Blaster 16 ISA
Expansion SlotRealTek 8139D PCI Fast Ethernet
CPU-Z Score (1.03)CPU: 627, FPU: 3169


An AMD K6-2 on a Micro ATX motherboard crammed into a small form factor Mini Tower.

The case is fairly typical of PCs in the early 2000s, with silver trim and LEDs in the front panel, the hidden CD drive is a nice touch, though cooling in this case is a challenge.

Though I do find the case to be aesthetically pleasing.

I've fitted two Noctua fans at the rear to help drag air into the case, but unfortunately there's no mount points near the front for any fans to push air in.

Perhaps, a Super Socket 7 wasn't a good fit for this case as we'll soon see, the K6 chips aren't exactly cool running.

Lets talk about that CPU


The original K6-2, codenamed Chomper was introduced in May 1998 and later the Chomper Extended (CXT) in November of the same year, while the Intel's Pentium 2 "Deschutes" debuted a month earlier in April.

Both variants of the architecture implement MMX and AMD's own 3DNow!

Launch dates and clock speeds

This specific variant (K6-2-500) is an odd-ball given that it didn't appear until August of 1999.

It had strong competition from the slightly older but still performant 450 MHz Pentium 2 and the new Pentium 3 which first appeared in February, the newer K6-3 and the impending release of Athlon.

I'm pretty sure AMD just wanted to make Intel sweat a little by setting the price for its offering at the wallet-friendly price of this CPU at $168.

Architectural comparison

Pipeline length

Pipelining systems attempt to keep every part of the processor busy with some instruction by dividing incoming instructions into a series of sequential steps performed by different processor units with different parts of instructions processed in parallel. Longer pipelines usually allow greater parallelism, but in the event of a stall or bad branch prediction can have a devastating performance impact compared to short pipelines.


Fabrication is process of actually constructing the CPU die, the numerical value e.g. 250nm, is the size of the transistors on the CPU, usually given in Nanometers (nm) or Microns (um).


A CPU cache is usually a dedicated bank of memory that is very fast and is designed to reduce the average cost (time or energy) to access data from the main memory which can be orders of magnitude slower.

Caught in the middle

February 1999 saw the introduction of the K6-3 line up, which borrowed heavily from the K6-2 but this time it also had on-chip L2 cache which greatly increased performance against its older sibling, however it still shared the same Floating Point unit, that combined with the architecture scaling poorly beyond 500 MHz left them trailing Intel once more. But this meant AMDs K6-3 was now in direct competition with itself, given that the K6-2 was priced significantly lower, it seemed odd to launch a budget chip where the performance margin at 500 MHz was only around 20%.

Then in the following October Intel's Coppermine architecture featuring variants with L2 cache running at 100% speed and utilizing the more efficient 180nm fabrication process, with reduced power consumption, with the P3 600E model consuming just 19 watts compared to the 30 watts of the 250nm K6, Uptake of the K6-3 was so poor, that by time Coppermine appeared, the K6-3 was already discontinued and quickly superseded with Athlon.

So in October of 1999, we now we had:


The AMD line of processors was in serious trouble.

Intel just kept pumping out newer and faster designs every few months, combined with their "Tick Tock" approach to their manufacturing process lead to some serious power savings and profit margins.

The K6-2 seems relegated to being a bargain bin processor with mediocre performance, fortunately for AMD, their luck was about to change, the new Athlon design was about to bare fruit.

Benchmark scores

Ratios for CPU score vs. Clock Speed, higher is better

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