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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to A+ (Core Hardware)
 9  Chapter 0010:  CPUs
      9  VI  Cyrix CPUs

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VI  Cyrix CPUs
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M1

In the Pentium class Cyrix offered the 6x86 (also known as the M1 CPU). Just as in the release from AMD, it was pin and voltage compatible to be dropped into a Pentium motherboard. The 6 were to indicate a sixth-generation CPU (which it is not). Cyrix did incorporate some architectural features designed to outperform a Pentium of equal clock speed. This led to testing processors with a series of applications to create a standardized test set, create a reference point, and label the CPU based on a Performance rating (called a P Rating) that was close to what an Intel Pentium would do. For example, the Cyrix 133 MHz (actual speed) was rated at 166 MHz. These CPUs require special active heat sinks when installed in a Pentium socket.

When Intel moved to SEC based CPUs, the firm gave up competing directly with Intel. Today Cyrix CPUs are alive and well, as CPU's today, sold under the VIA Technologies name, the company which bought Cyrix.

Their latest offering is the VIA Cyrix 3A that while is very lightweight on floating point capabilities, it is also so light on power consumption, it does not need a cooling fan to operate.


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