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Len "Viking 1" Hjalmarson
20 Years of Military Flight Simulations on the PC by Len "Viking 1" Hjalmarson.

Flight sim guru Len "Viking 1" Hjalmarson chronicles the first 30 years of computer flight sims, the software, hardware, people and the culture.

The Mature Years: 1997-2000

AMD, a new chip off the old block

The upgrade decision became even more complicated as AMD released better CPUs. Their K6 had become popular as budget solutions and alternatives to the ubiquitous Intel brand, but it was tough to compete with Intelís budget Celeron solution in 1998.

This CPU had the Pentium II core with only half the cache. But that cache ran at full processor speed, and that made it a gaming powerhouse, at less than half the price of the same clock speed Pentium II chip. Moreover, the Celeron ďAĒ overclocked beautifully, with most of us running 300MHz CPUs at 450MHz.

This made things tough on AMD, but they were down and not out. When they released the K7 (Athlon) in 1999, the gaming market changed forever.

The Athlon was and is a splendid feat of engineering. Completely x86 compatible and a sixth generation CPU, it outpaced the Pentium III at the same clock speeds. Introduced at the 450MHz mark, AMD quickly ramped up production until they were competing neck in neck with Pentium III clock speeds. The Athlon, however, was cheaper than Intelís flagship CPU and AMD quickly stole market share from Intel.

AMD Athlon
AMD Athlon

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This article is ©2001 Leonard Hjalmarson and Thrustmaster ® and hosted with permission in the Flight Sim Museum. Unauthorised reproduction is forbidden.