Cyrix officially launched its sixth generation processor yesterday, pricing it at 50% less than equivalent speed Intel Pentiums.
Still recovering from the recent mauling it received from AMD's K6 processor in independent benchmark tests, Intel now has to face up to glowing independent assessments of Cyrix's 6x86MX processor, codenamed M2.
Cyrix yesterday published benchmark results based on the Winstone specification.
The figures have been a fiercely guarded secret since talk of the processor began last year.
According to Cyrix, the 6x86MX will outperform both Intel's Pentium with MMX and AMD's K6 at equivalent clock speeds of 166MHz and 200MHz. It also outperforms at roughly the same speeds the Pentium II running at 233MHz, despite its handicap with the older socket 7 architecture which has a maximum bus speed of 66MHz.
Brendan Sherry, north European marketing manager at Cyrix, was quick to reassure potential customers that despite socket 7's limitations, the 6x86MX would not lose ground to Intel for at least 18 months - "the average life of a processor".
He explained: "Machines using Socket 7 will keep up until the third quarter of 1998 and by that time it (the Socket 7 architecture) may well have been extended and all three chip manufacturers will have moved on."
Cyrix has yet to release pricing of the 6x86MX but has "guaranteed" it will be 50% cheaper than equivalent speed Pentium chips.
Intel discounted the fresh competition.
True to form, Intel is confident it won't lose market share. But it is widely believed that Cyrix will steal up to 15% of Intel's share of the market. The 6x86MX is "guaranteed" to be 50% cheaper than equivalent speed Pentiums and, according to Winstone, has better integer performance.
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