AMD has released initial details about the K7 chip that is set to launch later this month.
Not surprisingly, tests conducted at the chip maker show the new K7 processor outperforms its equivalent Intel counterpart.
Both a 550MHz and 600MHz K7 processor were compared against a 550MHz Pentium III Xeon processor. All the processors had 512 kB of L2 cache and were optimized for their respective instruction sets (i.e., the Intel SSE or AMD 3Dnow! technology). The Xeon L2 cache ran at full processor frequency, while the K7 L2 cache ran at half the processor frequency.
The 550MHz and 600MHz K7 chips performed 5 and 15 percent faster than the Xeon, respectively, using the SPECint benchmark, and 35 and 40 percent faster on the SPECfp benchmark, and at least 40 percent faster on the 3DWinBench benchmark. In the latter case, the Xeon was substituted with a 550 MHz Pentium III processor.
An AMD official also announced that the 3Dnow! instruction set has been enhanced by 19 new SIMD instructions and five new DSP extensions.
Initially, the K7 will be supported only through AMD chipsets. Five motherboard vendors, including Asus, FIC, and Biostar, will be manufacturing products for the K7.
More details can be found at www.techweb.com.