PCSTATS Main Page Follow PCSTATS on Facebook PCSTATS RSS Feed PCSTATS Twitter Feed + Motherboards
+ Videocards
+ Memory
+ Beginners Guides
News & Advanced Search  Feedback?
[X]   Directory of
Guides & Reviews

Beginners Guides
Weekly Newsletter
Archived Newsletters

+70 MORE Beginner GUIDES....  

Contact the Suite 66 Advertising Agency

Cyrix/VIA MII-PR433 Processor Review

Cyrix/VIA MII-PR433 Processor Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: What we are seeing today has probably never happened in the history of computing. Faster and faster CPU's are churning out of the fab plants at what seems like a weekly basis. Before we can even get out hands on the fastest processor out there, an even faster processor comes and takes its place before we know it!
 65% Rating:   
Filed under: CPU / Processors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Cyrix Apr 12 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > CPU / Processors > Cyrix MII-PR433

Cyrix/VIA MII-PR433 Processor Review

What we are seeing today has probably never happened in the history of computing. Faster and faster CPU's are churning out of the fab plants at what seems like a weekly basis. Before we can even get out hands on the fastest processor out there, an even faster processor comes and takes its place before we know it! As we all know, this is because AMD had at long last reached a stage where their products were poised to do battle with the pride of Intel, the Intel Pentium III line of CPUs.

Socks were knocked off at Intel and they just couldn't believe that after all these years of AMD playing catch up with Intel, AMD had finally had the technology to beat Intel at their own game with their release of the Athlon processor. High end CPUs with speeds of 800MHz+ are being released so frequently that it is almost boring to keep up with. The fanfare of a processor launch isn't what it used to be.

The competition has become so fierce that it has come down to a company releasing a CPU that is only 50MHz faster in clock rate than its competitor just to be crowned "speed king" for the time being. Currently, no one foresees a true competitor to the Intel Pentium III or the AMD Athlon CPUs. Transmeta's Crusoe is making waves in the background, but as this CPU has yet to hit mainstream, it will take sometime to judge whether or not the Crusoe is able to share the same space with AMD or Intel.

So while this battle of "who's better, who's best" goes on in the spotlight, VIA-Cyrix has been working its own processor. No, not at the high-end where any chance of getting a foothold in the market looks grim, but at the low end consumer level where the this bloodbath is relatively less bloody. It is the upcoming "Joshua" processor which is slated for release in few days this February. The "Joshua" is targeted to compete directly with the Intel Celeron CPU which is Intel's "Consumer low end" processor. And architecturally, it certainly looks promising.

Being Socket 370 compatible, based on a 0.18 micron fabrication process and having double the on die L2 as the Celeron, the "Joshua" so far looks to be a great alternative on the budget PC market.

But before our lives move on to "Joshua" I just thought I would finish with a review of the last MII CPU made. The Cyrix MII/433. As we all know, Cyrix (before being bought by VIA) CPUs were built to compete with Intel's Pentium (now Pentium Classic) CPUs starting with the 6x86 line of chips. Being plagued with problems such as very low floating point performance, earlier Cyrix CPUs were targeted toward the business end user as opposed to the hardcore gamers of that time.

The much anticipated 6x86MX was the same 6x86 core with an increase in L1 cache and an addition of MMX instructions. Soon after that, Cyrix introduced a CPU with support for a 100MHz FSB the Cyrix MII. Many "CyrixInstead" advocates voiced their disappointment with the MII as they had hoped for a better floating point unit and higher clock speeds over the 6x86MX architecture. Throughout the MII line there have been varying flavours ranging from PR300 - PR433. Strangely enough, the processor has evolved from a 0.35 micron based chip to a 0.18 micron base with the same MII logo on the CPU. Supported voltage has evolved as well, from a 2.9V core to a much lower 2.2V core which greatly lessens heat dissipation.


As mentioned earlier, the MII line of CPUs have undergone some changes throughout the years. Certain specs given below are specific for the Cyrix MII-433 CPU. No assumption should be made for similar characteristics for early generation MII's.

Cyrix MII-433GP

- Clock speed of 300MHz with a PR rating of 433MHz
- .18-micron fab process
- 2.2V core voltage
- 100MHz FSB officially supported
- 3.0x Clock multiplier at standard rating
- 64K 4-Way Unified Write Back cache architecture
- 2 Level TLB (16 Entry L1, 384 Entry L2)
- Scratchpad RAM in Unified Cache (L1)
- Compatible with MMX Technology

In order to increase performance the MII processor contains two caches, the L1 unified 64 KB 4-way set associative write-back cache and a small high speed instruction line cache. To provide support for multimedia operations, the cache can be turned into a scratchpad RAM memory on a line by line basis.

The cache area set aside as scratchpad memory acts as a private memory for the CPU and does not participate in cache operations. Within the MII processor there are two TLBs, the main L1 TLB and the larger L2 TLB. The direct mapped L1 TLB has 16 entries and the 6-way associative L2 TLB has 384 entries. The floating point unit of the MII is optimized by being able to process MMX instructions.

The smaller .18-micron process certainly contributes to the lower voltage requirements and results in a lot less heat dissipation. The most popular characteristic is the overclockability of .18-micron CPUs. Does the Cyrix overclock as well as say, a Coppermine? We will soon find out...

© 2020 PCSTATS.com Next Page >


Contents of Article: Cyrix MII-PR433
 Pg 1.  — Cyrix/VIA MII-PR433 Processor Review
 Pg 2.  PR Numbers Explained
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks: CPU Mark 99
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra 99

Use the power of Google to search all of PCSTATS and the PCSTATS Forums. Tell us what you think of this new feature - FEEDBACK?
Hardware Sections 

PCSTATS Network Features Information About Us Contact
PCSTATS Newsletter
Tech Glossary
Technology WebSite Listings
News Archives
Submit News (Review RSS Feed)
Site Map
PCstats Wallpaper
About Us
Privacy Policy
Advertise on PCSTATS

How's Our Driving?
© Copyright 1999-2020 www.pcstats.com All rights reserved. Privacy policy and Terms of Use.