The AMD Athlon processor is among the world's most powerful engines for PC computing, and represents the industry's first seventh-generation x86 microarchitecture. The AMD Athlon processor family is designed to power the next generation in x86 computing platforms. It meets the computation-intensive requirements of cutting-edge software applications running on high-end desktop systems, workstations, and servers. All AMD Athlon processors are now produced using 0.18-micron process technology.
here's a list of the AMD Athlon "Thunderbird" main features that are supported:
Floating-point unit on-chip (FPU) : Supported
Virtual Mode Extension (VME) : Supported
Debugging Extension (DE) : Supported
Page Size Extension (PSE) : Supported
Time Stamp Counter (TSC) : Supported
Model Specific Registers (MSR) : Supported
Physical Address Extension (PAE) : Supported
Machine Check Exception (MCE) : Supported
CMPXCHG8 Instruction (CX8) : Supported
On-chip APIC Hardware (APIC) : Supported
Fast System Call (SEP) : Supported
Memory Type Range Registers (MTRR) : Supported
Page Global Enable (PGE) : Supported
Machine Check Architecture (MCA) : Supported
Conditional Move Instruction (CMOV) : Supported
Page Attribute Table (PAT) : Supported
MMX Instructions Extensions (MMX+) : Supported
MMX Instructions (MMX) : Supported
3DNow! Instructions Extensions (3DNow!+): Supported
3DNow! Instructions (3DNow!) : Supported
With all these features put together you get a super fast x86 CPU at a fairly decent price considering the excellent performance of the AMD Tbird. here's a extended list from http://www.amd.com of features that the AMD Athlon "Thunderbird" sports...
Microarchitecture: The AMD Athlon processor features a superpipelined, nine-issue superscalar microarchitecture optimized for high clock frequencies. The AMD Athlon processor contains a total of nine execution pipelines: three for address calculations, three for integer calculations, and three for executing x87 (floating point), 3DNow! and MMX instructions.
System Bus:The AMD Athlon processor's system bus is the first 200MHz system bus for x86 platforms, as well as the fastest x86 processor bus available, delivering up 50 percent more peak bandwidth than any other x86 system bus. The AMD Athlon system bus is designed for scalable multiprocessing and leverages high-performance Alpha EV6 bus technology to enable exceptional system performance.
Floating Point Engine: The AMD Athlon processor includes the first fully pipelined, superscalar floating point engine for x86 platforms. The resulting floating point capability is the most powerful ever delivered in an x86 processor.
Enhanced 3DNow! Technology: The AMD Athlon processor's enhanced 3DNow! technology takes 3D multimedia performance to incredible heights and builds on the 21 instructions of AMD's original 3DNow! technology-the first x86 instruction set to use superscalar SIMD floating point techniques. Enhanced 3DNow! technology adds 24 new instructions-19 to improve MMX integer math calculations and enhance data movement for Internet streaming applications and 5 DSP extensions for soft modem, soft ADSL, Dolby Digital, and MP3 applications.
Cache Architecture: The AMD Athlon processor boasts a 384K total full-speed on-chip system cache including 128K L1 cache--four times that of Intel's Pentium III processor--and 256K on-chip full-speed L2 cache. This performance-enhancing cache design boosts overall system performance.
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