Reply 40 of 111, by ProfessorProfessorson
Same here. Like almost every other AMD CPU the K6 series is behind to no end. But in the end it's not as fast as the Pentium 2 and you can get those cheaper most of the time. So why the hell bother?
The K6-III looks like it does well in synthetic benchmarks but falls behind in actual games where the performance really matters more (unless you like sitting around running benchmarks all day). It makes me wonder why bother building a K6 based rig at all these days when you can get parts for a Pentium II system that run games faster cheaply enough.
Both of you are making it out to be a lot slower then what it is, intentionally or not. Granted, if you pair a Nvidia based card with a K6-2 or K6-3, performance wont be that hot. That was a problem back then between AMD and Nvidia, and Nvidia worked really well with Intel tech, and horribly with AMD. 3DFX tech however worked extremely well with K6 tech and 3Dnow, and that performance carried over to K7 also. This is part of why you see so many K6/3DFX combos. That and well, 3DFX was more popular back then too anyway.
Synthetic benchmarks are one thing, but the performance posted above on normal time demo in Quake 2 and the chart posted on Unreal is pretty much on par with what I got on normal gameplay in the exact same titles when I used to use a Voodoo 3 with my K6-3, which was close to Voodoo 2 Sli performance. Even without 3DNow optimization itself, a fast K6-2 or K6-3 can handle about any game from 1998 or prior fine when paired with a Voodoo 2 on up 3DFX based card.
By 1999 it didn't matter, as both the Pentium 2, Oc'ed Celeron, and K6 were starting to show their age, and the Athlons were busy kicking the teeth in on the Pentium 3. 1999 brought a lot of change for the pc gaming world. Athlon cpus, SSE, better hard drives, Geforce 256, Hardware T&L, Quake 3, Unreal Tournament, etc.
On Quake 2 Crusher and Half-Life Blowout, both test are pretty much the extremes of benching for gameplay results back then, as those test were far more demanding then a normal game session any game from 1998 could present, hands down. The fact that the cpu could handle those test WITHOUT 3Dnow optimization, without being brought to its knees below a 20 fps mark, is a testament to its power on what was a very aging tech being squeezed of every bit of performance that it could give. The fact that you could run 3Dnow optimized games for large performance gains, and that there were many quality titles using it, is simply awesome.
And yeah, you can argue that you can get a PII slot 1 combo cheaper depending on where you are at, sure. But to be honest, its a lot less interesting running a plain jane PII or PIII on a P2b-f or P3b-f slot 1 build with a TNT2 then running a decked out Socket 7 K6/3DFX combo. As blunt as I can be on it, I strongly feel real vintage hardware enthusiast don't just always take the easy way out.
If the only thing that interest you is the end result only, that is presented on your screen, and less about what is going on inside the box hardware wise too, then yeah, sure, stick with the normal slot-1 builds. Its pretty hassle free. About the only real fun you will be having there on the hardware side though is oc'ing Celerons. There are not many nice heatsinks available for Slot-1, and in general, most of the Intel slot-1 440 LX, FX and Bx boards are average and just offer average options. Slot-1 really didn't get fun until Via jumped in with their 133 chipset.
If you like to tweak, oc, and customize and test, you will get far far more mileage out of doing a K6 build. They can take Socket 370/Socket A heatsinks vastly increasing your Oc ability, and usually the bios and board have rather decent options for Cpu adjustment, temp monitoring, fan speed, and ram tweaking on the later socket 7 stuff. Sis, Via, and Ali all had pretty solid socket 7 chipsets out there, so there was plenty of variety.
And in the USA, K6 cpu/board combos dont really cost all that much. I have a ton of the stuff here in my home, both as extra parts and complete system builds tucked away waiting for use or to be sold. The fact remains too, the K6 was pretty popular with companies like Nec and IBM with their retail computers, every day system builders, and with hardware reviewers.
The performance/price ratio was very well balanced. You got some pretty good bang for your buck, and it made it possible for a lot of people to be able to afford to build nice customs for gaming or whatever and still be able to eat at the end of the day.
Speaking of which, I am wondering if many posting here have ever visited the red hill guide? That site is very informative, and its a great read for those wanting to know what the high volume system builder/seller was thinking about parts at the time, what sold well, what didn't, reliability, price, etc.
If you are really into Slot-1 and Socket 7, its def a must see site.
Slot A retro rigs seem to be few and far apart, I never even saw one in the flesh over here.
Yeah Slot A boards have become a bit more uncommon these days. If you really want to build a system with one, and dont need ISA support, the Gateway Kadoka is one of the best boards you can get. I have one tucked away. It can take a Slot A Athlon 900mhz fine. Nabbing one will prob cost you though. These days I think the going rate averages at about $90 USD. They were not great if you have overclocking in mind, but in general, they are rock solid ATX boards.
http://support.gateway.com/s//MOTHERBD/JABIL/ … 4000646nv.shtml