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This Article was last modified in January, 1998.


AMD's K5 was the company's first Pentium class competitor, and the company's first independently created x86 processor; previously, AMD made 286, 386 and 486 CPU's that were directly derived from Intel's designs. However, because AMD underestimated the difficulty of creating an independent design, the K5 was late to market, and did not ever become very popular.

The K5 adopted the P-Rating system, just as the 6x86 did, and is available in speeds of PR75-PR166. The CPU's perform a bit slower than their equivalent 6x86 processors in business applications, however, their FPU is better than their equivalent 6x86, but not quite as good as the Pentium's.


Processor Performance Clock Speed (MHz) Bus Speed (MHz) PCI Bus Speed (MHz) Multiplier
K5 PR75 75 50 25 1.5
K5 PR 90 90 60 30 1.5
K5 PR 100 100 66 33 1.5
K5 PR 120 90 60 30 1.5
K5 PR133 100 66 33 1.5
K5 PR 166 116.66 66 33 1.75


CPU-Central Scoring

Overclockability 60%
3D Performance 67%
Overall Performance 75%
Upgradability 80%
Compatibility 80%
Price 90%

Overclockability: In order for AMD to keep the prices of the K5 down, they had to be optimized and fine tuned as much as possible, and therefore there is not much room left for improvement. However, these chips do not run quite as hot as the 6x86, and are a bit more overclockable than those CPU's.

3D Performance: The FPU performance of a K5 is adequate; it's not quite as strong as the Pentium, but it is stronger than the 6x86.

Overall Performance: The K5 is about the same speed as it's equivalent Pentium Processor in business applications, however, in newer multimedia applications, the K5 performs adequately, but not near as well as the new batch of processors.

Upgrade-ability: These CPU's are just as upgradeable as any other Socket7 processor. However, newer CPU's that require split voltages may need a newer motherboard than the one's that are used with K5's.

Compatibility: Since almost all PC games and applications are fine tuned for Pentium CPU's, the K5 probably suffers some problems with some specific software. However, the K5 did not encounter quite as many problems as the 6x86 with software incompatibilities.

Price: K5 CPU's are much cheaper then their Pentium competitors, and their overall performance is about at a par. If you are a gamer that is very short on money, this is the CPU for you.


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