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Thread: 7th generation




  1. #1

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    ok I got a question I just discovered this today and I"m actually quite curious. Its starting to really confuse me. Its about the x86 family

    Intel
    8086
    80186
    80286
    80386
    80486
    80586 (pentium)
    80586 (pentium 2) second generation 586
    80686 (pentium 3)
    80786 (pentium 4)

    AMD
    Am86
    Am186
    Am286
    Am386
    Am486
    Am586 (K5)
    AM686 (K6, K6/2, K6/3)
    AM787 (K7 Athlon)

    Ok so basically I did a rough mark down of all the processors and there names. We basically know that an Athlon THunderbird is a 7th generation processor hence K7 the hammer being 8th generation hence K8. So why in system information it says family 6 stepping 4?

  2. #2
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    First of all, your list is inaccurate. I don't know where you got it, but I'd like to see the reference to it.
    Since your question is about AMD, and I couldn"t find a definitive reference, I'll give it my best guess.
    Amd's first x86 chip was their version of the 386. It was built on the .8 micron process. Next came their 486 chip, built on the .35 micron process. These process changes continued through .25, .18, to the current .13 micron. Since that is only 5 process changes in circuit size, I would speculate that the sixth was the change to copper interconnects. These might represent 6 families of chips.
    Intel was originally (unofficially) calling the Pentium the 586. They wanted to copyright the number so that AMD could't use it on their chips. The courts ruled that you couldn't copyright a number, so Intel called it the Pentium (that they could copyright). AMD called theirs the K5 since everybody already knew that the next generation of x86 chips was was some sort of a "5" model.

  3. #3

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    oh so if I were running say a pentium 4 it would say 7th family? Then why are they called K7 cause they came after K5 and K6? Why is it called 7th generation processor then?

    As for my list there was no reference for it I just typed it out real quickly I apologize for any inaccuracy. Only AMD I guess is inaccurate. Intel still acccurate yes I think it is.

  4. #4
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    I don't know about family designations for Intel, but you guessed it, it's called the K7 because it came after the K5 and K6.
    As for the lists, I would even question the Intel list as the 80186 was not really an evolution in what we think of as "computer" chips. While, technically, it is, it is more of an industrial controller type chip used mostly, I believe, for communications. I have never seen it listed in an evolutionary sequence for desktop cpus. I'm not sure about Intel, but AMD still makes variations of the chip today for controller applications. Even Pentium went went through some significant changes that might be deemed generational i.e. move from the original 60/66mz to the P54C, to the P55C dual voltage. Try AMD's and Intel's sites for some more detailed info (maybe) on family numbers and generation naming. I've shared about all I know on the subject.

  5. #5

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    well your explanation about the AM386 being there first x86 processor I do beleive that cause before then wasn't AMD once part of Intel? As for the copper interconnects. That was the athlon thunderbird socket version right? I don't think that would count as another family processor. Could it be when the athlon classic migrated from slot to socket? Even then I'm not so sure.

  6. #6
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    Amd was not part of Intel, but they licensed x86 patents form Intel. Then AMD started doing things that really ticked off Intel; like making faster 386s (40mz vs 33mz) and 486 parts. Intel sued several times and lost. Intel then re-designed their technology for the Pentium under new patents. Amd fumbled around for awhile, making faster 486s to compete with the Pentiums, joining Cyrix in using PR ratings (that nobody believed!)when they finally had a Pentium-type chip. They finally caught up with the Athlon. When they went with a performance rating for the XPs (even though this rating was far more accurate than the old PR ratings were), all of us old-timers groaned.
    Slot to socket may represent a family change, I don't know. That was an interesting change too. Back when everybody was using Socket 7, Intel suddenly announced that that processors were becoming too fast to use sockets anymore and was switching to slots w/cartridges. Amd had to play catch-up and finally introduced Slot A. Cyrix it seemed, just sort of gave up and fell by the wayside. Then one day, Intel announced that they had solved the memory bandwidth problems, and sockets were ok again. Now everybody is using sockets again.
    I think the Thoroughbred core introduced the copper interconnects.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigjackusa
    I think the Thoroughbred core introduced the copper interconnects.
    I have a feeling it was the Tbird and not the Tbred

  8. #8

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    Most definitly the Tbird anything higher then 1Ghz tbird is copper interconnects. Take a look at the overclocking article at tweak3d.net. They say that in like the second page.

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