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Intel Pentium with MMX Technology OverDrive
With the introduction of the Intel Pentium with MMX Technology, Intel also created OverDrive processors to upgrade existing Pentium motherboards to the new MMX chip. Most older Pentium motherboards cannot handle the new Pentium with MMX because of its requirement for a 2.8V core. Keeping with the tradition of Intel's OverDrive line, the Pentium with MMX OverDrive includes a converter that lets it run in Socket 5 motherboards (except for the 200) and Socket 7s that do not have 2.8V support. Otherwise the chip is identical to the standard Pentium with MMX. Refer to the section on the Pentium with MMX for more description of its improvements over the Pentium. See the section on the Pentium Classic OverDrive for more on using OverDrive processors.
Note: In general, if your
motherboard can support the MMX chip directly, it is almost always better to buy a real
Pentium with MMX as opposed to an OverDrive, because they are typically less expensive.
Your motherboard manual will tell you what your system's limitations are, but generally if
your Pentium motherboard supports split-rail voltage,
you should be able to run a standard Pentium with MMX.
The initial Pentium with MMX OverDrives run at 125 MHz, 150 MHz and 166 MHz, for use in Pentium 75 (1.5x50), Pentium 90 (1.5x60) and Pentium 100 (1.5x66) systems respectively. These chips replaced identical non-MMX OverDrives which Intel quickly phased out when MMX hit the market. In each case, the chip has a fixed clock multiplier of 2.5, intended for use in place of the older 1.5 multiplier chips on these three system speeds.
Intel later introduced two new Pentium with MMX OverDrives, running at 180 MHz and 200 MHz. These chips run with a 3x clock multiplier; the 180 is intended for upgrading 90, 120 and 150 MHz systems running at 60 MHz system bus speeds, and the 200 for upgrading 100, 133 and 166 systems running with 66 MHz system buses. No 3x clock multiplier OverDrive was created specifically for 50 MHz Pentium 75 systems, but the 180 will function in Pentium 75 systems, running at 150 MHz. (Note that the older 150 MHz OverDrive has a 2.5x multiplier and will only run at 125 in a Pentium 75 PC).
Note: Unlike the other
OverDrives, which will work in either socket 5 or socket 7 motherboards, the Pentium with
MMX OverDrive 200 is intended for use only in socket 7 systems.
These OverDrives provide significant performance improvements over the original chips and the ability to execute MMX software as well. It's still important to remember that increasing the performance of the processor is only part of the solution to increasing overall system performance. Many other factors impact on system performance, and increasing the processor clock while leaving the system bus speed the same is an exercise in diminishing returns, because the processor is increasingly stuck waiting for the rest of the system.
Look here for an explanation of the categories in the processor summary table below, including links to more detailed explanations.
Next: Cyrix 6x86 ("M1")