something very different about today, it's not the weather or
the fact one of my cuddly cats has slithered into the corner
of an open ATX case, no its because I'm using an Athlon. Previously
I had hoped to be reviewing one of big cycle kickers, yet sadly
my 500Mhz chip is a bit below par for anybody to really be interested.
Fact remains that this is my first Athlon and so instead of
reviewing it I'm going to plague you with my own little editorial
on what I think about it. What are its good points, its bad
ones and most importantly how does it fair? Make no mistake,
this is no review but merely my personal feelings about this
wondrous piece of cpuage.
Athlon is for life, not just for Christmas
previously owned AMD CPUs before rather than my more common
place P2/P3's that lie dormant around my office in various states
of completion, I am fairly accustomed to how they work. That
was until my Athlon500 came squeezed tightly in the holdings
of an Asus K7M motherboard, yes the overclockers paradise one.
There's not a thing you can't change on this beast and it's
quite a heavy piece of silicone as well.
Athlon CPU itself stands out as looking somewhat like one of
the higher grade P2 CPUs and as such is quite a bulky and heavy
in design. My now secondary Pentium3-450 is about 1/3 lighter
then the A500 (Athlon 500) and is slightly better designed to
expel heat over the A500 with it's closed off casing. Just to
make sure I got the most out of this new system I pushed in
two slices of 128MB PC133 ram and a brand new Creative DVDx6
Encore kit (review coming soon). Added to this I connected up
one of the fast IBM ATA66 15GB drives to get the most out of
the IDE bus for my O/S.
the initial boot I decided to zap into the Bios and set up all
the settings so they were correct. I also zapped up the bus
to 110, thus giving me 550Mhz from the CPU. Make note that the
200Mhz FSB you get with all Athlons is not a universal one,
only between the CPU and some other areas (oops forgot) and
not the whole system. After setting everything up I left the
bios and restarted, my eyes lit up when I saw how fast the system
got past the bios checks.
a few minutes I had formatted the new HD and was well into installing
Windows98SE. Take note that Windows98SE has been known to have
problems with some Pentium2/3 boards and CPUs (Gigabyte owners
be weary), where as Windows98 original is fine for some reason.
The installation was swift and completed within only a few minutes
and most importantly without any hassle. One problem I continually
notice is that if you own a USB Mouse, the set-up doesn't detect
it at the early stages so you have to painstakingly do everything
98SE booted and from the bios into the O/S it only took about
10-15 seconds all the way, I was stunned. All in all I can tell
you now that I didn't have much in the way of trouble with this
new system, however there are a couple of points that did only
come into play under the rule of the mighty Athlon500+MB combo.