Processor News
Reviews and Opinions
Pricing and Availability
Benchmarks and Rankings
Special Articles
Advice Guides
Developer Corner
Site Info
1998, Ian Armstrong
See Legal Info

Alternative x86 Central
The source for information on alternative x86 processors.

Spotlight: spacer.gif (817 bytes) Features:

If you are looking for the Windows 95 patch for K6-2's running at 350 MHz and above, please click here.

December 2:

I would like to welcome everyone to the month of change.  Only a few more weeks and you will have a new Alternative x86 Central with new and better content!

I would also like to stop the rumor that Cyrix is dead.  Cyrix is not dead, even thought they are behind at the moment as far as speed goes.  I would keep an eye on Cyrix, because I have an idea that they aren't going to let AMD and Intel have the market.  In fact, I have always been a Cyrix fan, and I am going to pass up the chance to buy a K6-2 or K6-3 just to wait for what Cyrix has in store.  I am sure it will be well worth the wait!

November 29:

I would like to announce that the AltCPU-List now has a new home page!  The main site is located at   I have also put up an up-to-date mirror at for when the main site happens to be down.

The AltCPU-List (formerly the Cyrix-List) is an excellent mailing list to get help on and discuss alternative processors.  There are many knowledgeable and entertaining people on the list, and I would definitely recommend anyone that is interested in alternative processors to join the list.

Recently the current list administrator, John Shexnayder, announced that he was resigning.  He will be replaced on January 1, 1999 by Don Pittman.   My thanks go out to John for his excellent work on the list, as it probably would not be around if it wasn't for him.  I wish best of luck to Don once he takes over, and I hope John gets the break he needs.  :)

I have decided that I probably will move the site to a dedicated server so the message board can go back up, but that will be a few weeks.  The new site design is on schedule, it will be put up on Christmas day as a present to all my loyal visitors!  More updates and news to come...

November 27:

Just a quick note to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving!  I am working harder than ever to get the new layout completed.  Email me at with any suggestions.

November 19:

News for everyone regarding AMD and Rise.  AMD has announced 366, 380, and 400 MHz versions of the K6-2.  These new chips are rumored to have a slightly enhanced core, so they may run a little faster than if a slower K6-2 was overclocked to one of those speeds.  The performance is negligible, however.  5% is probably the most gain there will be.

Rise has officially released the MP6.  It will come in 166, 233, and 266 MHz versions.  These speeds are too slow for today's high-speed market, and Rise says that their chip is very fast, so it is natural to assume that they will use a performance rating (PR) system.  A good thing about the MP6 is that FPU performance doesn't look too bad.  No official time frame has been released for when these chips will actually be in stores.  More soon, including the MP6 Review.

I will be writing an article on all the new chips that have been demonstrated at Comdex in a few days.  Please look for that soon.

Regarding the updates to the site, I have set an official time frame for the new layout.  I have completed the basic look to the new site, but now it is a matter of adding content.  I will upload the new site design on either Christmas day, or if need be, January 1, 1999.  Server problems have been holding me back lately, and I have very little access to update the current site and upload to test pages with CGI scripts for the new site.

The message board will remain down until further notice.  The Perl installation on the server is corrupt, and I cannot do anything about it at this point.  My options at the moment are to put up a dedicated server, or move the site to a server where I will have to pay.  Sorry about this.  There are plenty of other boards on other hardware sites that you can visit in the meantime.  Have a good week!

October 20:

Sorry for the lack of updates and the message board, there are some major problems at the moment, and I simply don't have time to really do much.  I promise the site is not dead, things are just slow.  The new layout is on its way, but I can't promise any date.  The only definite thing is that the site will be going strong once all of the new processors from AMD, Cyrix, Centaur, and Rise are released and around long enough to accurately evalute.  I am simply done with posting information that is not confirmed and information that has not been proven.  There is no room for this, and too many sites out there do it.  If you want bullshit, go elsewhere.   Alternative x86 Central will definately be an accurate and reliable site in the future.

Aside from site news, there are some exciting things going on in the CPU world.  The most exciting things are of course not coming from Intel.

I will not go into detail yet, but AMD has give some information out on the K6-3 and K7.  Cyrix has also given us some very exciting news regarding future chips.  I am getting conflicting information, but it seems that Cayenne is still going to happen.  Cayenne will be built around Cyrix's sixth-generation integer core, but should include a new FPU and 3DNow!, among other enhancements.  Nothing has really been said about a seventh-generation processor by Cyrix, but it is possible that Jalapeno will be.  IDT has also annouced some new things, but nothing surprising.   More very soon...

September 28:

Intel has also announced that they are going to release a 300 MHz version of the Pentium MMX for notebooks to compete with the 300 MHz part for notebooks that AMD is shipping.  Intel will have no problem raising the MHz, but there is no way that a 300 MHz Pentium MMX will perform like anything that AMD has at 300 MHz.

September 20:

In the news, Intel has cut prices, and Intel may be moving Celeron to a socket instead of a slot.  More soon!

September 4:

Unfortanate news causes me to do this update before releasing the new format:

It was announced on the third that Cyrix and IBM were disolving their partnership, resulting in IBM ceasing the IBM 6x86MX line of processors.   Personally I am not sure if this is the best thing that can happen.  Cyrix may loose out on some very excellent technologies that IBM could have offered them in the future.  Hopefully Cyrix will come out on top, but there is a very good chance that things won't work out.

It has been reported, but not confirmed, that IBM is going to have their own line of x86 processors.  Hopefully this is true, and hopefully it is not intergrated.  IBM could make a great chip.  I am working with my contacts at IBM to try to find out what kind of relationship their will be between them and altx86.

Cyrix's M II

Will Cyrix's M II be a sucess?  Was the change necessary?  Is the M II the last non-integrated processor from Cyrix?  The latest Spotlight article attempts at answering these questions.


The lastest news on processors and related technologies can be found in the "Processor News" section of the site.


Recent Updates

The site was last updated on 11-29-98.  Check the "Recent Updates" page for a complete listing of what has been updated when.

Site Of The Month

Check out Red Hill.  This is one of the best sites around for information on all kinds of hardware, especially processors.


Coming Soon:
New site design.

Message board.


Content is optimized for 800x600 screen resolution at high color.  Content may not display correctly with certain video cards and/or screen resolutions.  Content may also look distorted when using Internet Explorer 2.0 or any version of Mosaic.