AMD's Athlon CPU is a total redesign on the part of AMD for their 7th generation CPU and is at time of this review the only true 7th generation x86 CPU. The AMD Athlon Classic CPU was built on a 0.25 micron die and incorporated a L1 cache of 128KB, the same size as the Celeron's L2 cache size, and a L2 cache size of 512KB running at either 1/2 , 2/5, or 1/3 the CPU speed. The communications bus for the AMD Athlon processor was a rebirth for one of the oldest buses in existence, the EV6 bus used by Digital Alpha. The Athlon used the new DDR technology for the FSB by using the rising and falling edge of the CPU cycle to increase the amount of data being sent and received and in affect doubling the amount of data. The Actual FSB of the Athlon is a 100MHz system but with the DDR affect its internal bus speed is 200MHz. Athlon Classic were built on a Slot format similar to the Slot 1 for Pentium 2 and 3 Katmai CPU's only the Slot on a AMD Athlon system is turned around so you can't put a Pentium 2 or 3 into the system. The AMD Athlon Classic in the beginning was very controversial due to the AMD Irongate chipset. This chipset had many problems with Geforce video cards when running in AGP 2x mode, most of the time the system would freeze either immediately when trying to run a 3D application or game or during the game. VIA had announced a KX133 chipset for AMD Athlon Classic CPU's but this was delayed because VIA were too busy with making the VIA Apollo 133A chipset for Pentium 3 Coppermine CPU's at the time. Most of the AMD fans out there thought the delay was a threat from Intel of another lawsuit but later revealed that the Pentium 3 Coppermine when released had no chipset available for it for the 133MHz FSB and the only chipset available was the I820 and 99% of you out there know what a bad move that was for Intel. When the KX133 came out may Geforce issues with Athlon systems were gone. This chipset also provided PC133 RAM support and AGP 4x protocol. When AMD felt that they had perfected the new ondie L2 cache technology AMD took the Athlon Classic and redesigned the cache system by moving it to the die of the Athlon CPU, this new breed was codenamed the Thunderbird which was later changed to Athlon with performance enhancing cache. Before AMD released the Thunderbird CPU AMD also made a value market version of the Athlon Thunderbird codenamed Spitfire which was later changed to Duron. Both AMD Duron and Athlon Thunderbird (we will refer to the Athlon Thunderbird as the Athlon Tbird) were made on a new Socket 462 PGA, only the Athlon Tbird was made in both Socket and Slot configurations. Unfortunately the Athlon Tbird was not compatible with the older KX133 chipset so VIA released the newer KT133, same features as the KX133 only designed for Socket 462 or Socket A as its commonly referred to now.
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