Question IF AMD & Intel processors were still compatible...

GunsMadeAmericaFree

Senior member
Jan 23, 2007
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Back when I worked at Systemax, and the Athlon 700 reigned supreme for a short while, a lot of the motherboards out there could work with either Intel or AMD processors. (and Cyrix)

If that were still the case today, (you could pick and choose between processors),
what do you think the market makeup % between AMD & Intel would be right now?
 

soresu

Golden Member
Dec 19, 2014
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You would have memory controllers off-chip, which kills some of AMD's allure.
Unless both CPU and DRAM occupied a special daughter board.....

Sure it would be hella difficult to manage it all on modern systems with their bandwidth requirements without some sort of multi mode fiber connections instead of electrical contacts, but its an interesting idea none the less.

To be honest I kinda like the idea of a separate IO board - with a dual chamber case you could isolate the CPU and GPU air flow so easily.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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a lot of the motherboards out there could work with either Intel or AMD processors. (and Cyrix)
Wait, what? Which boards were those? Nothing socket A or slot A supported Intel. And Socket 370 certainly didn't support AMD. Cyrix did eventually launch some socket 370 chips though. I honestly don't remember it happening but here it is:


There was also a version of the C3 for socket 370.
 

TheELF

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2012
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Wait, what? Which boards were those? Nothing socket A or slot A supported Intel. And Socket 370 certainly didn't support AMD. Cyrix did eventually launch some socket 370 chips though. I honestly don't remember it happening but here it is:


There was also a version of the C3 for socket 370.
Up until and including the 286 amd was a second source supplier for intel which means that intel gave their plans for those CPUs to amd and amd made 100% the same CPU, so any board could take either an intel or amd chip since it was 100% the same, with 386 AMD made a clone since intel didn't want amd as a second source supplier anymore but it was still compatible.
 

Abwx

Diamond Member
Apr 2, 2011
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Wait, what? Which boards were those? Nothing socket A or slot A supported Intel. And Socket 370 certainly didn't support AMD. Cyrix did eventually launch some socket 370 chips though. I honestly don't remember it happening but here it is:


There was also a version of the C3 for socket 370.
Only thing you could do was to swap a HDD from an Intel PC to an AMD one without reinstalling the OS assuming it was the Apollo 133/KT 133 VIA chipset.
 

Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
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You would have memory controllers off-chip, which kills some of AMD's allure.
???

Intel's memory controllers have been on-chip since Nehalem in 2008.

I see no reason one on-chip DDR4 controller wouldn't be compatible with another. It's the same physical interface. What happens behind the physical is irrelevant. See OSI model.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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I mean that at the time, Athlon 700 was cutting edge, but folks were still building some "5x86" systems.....
Not really. 5x86 got replaced by k5 and then k6 and then k6-II and then k6-III, etc. Yeah there were some people still on k6-2s, but that was about it. Nobody was using 5x86 or k5, especially not on socket 5 where a lot of those CPUs were actually deployed.
 

MadRat

Lifer
Oct 14, 1999
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Not really. 5x86 got replaced by k5 and then k6 and then k6-II and then k6-III, etc. Yeah there were some people still on k6-2s, but that was about it. Nobody was using 5x86 or k5, especially not on socket 5 where a lot of those CPUs were actually deployed.
I remember those Am5x86 (and other 486-compatibles) as Socket 3 chips. Socket 5 was like Socket 7, but no dual core voltage iirc.

Maybe you implied it, but it wasn't very clear.

Computers were being dumped at schools in that era because 'computer labs' were still wishful thinking for most private and smaller (the vast majority) school districts. I helped quite a few people get their Netware and Exchange services squared away back in that day before internet mostly drove standardization around TCP/IP networking. Damn I loved Netware way better than that sh**hole AD and Exchange systems. Lotus, too. Funny how few people could understand those things when it was so simple and very few breakdowns back then.
 
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sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
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Socket 7 was the last cross CPU compatible Chipset. That was 3 generations of AMD CPUs before Athlon. IIRC

Not sure how current Marketshare would be affected. It would allow for more fluctuations to occur depending who released what and when. The features offered by current Chipsets are kinda at parity though, so I don't think there is much practical difference between Mobos to give anyone a significant advantage. At least for most people.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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I remember those Am5x86 (and other 486-compatibles) as Socket 3 chips. Socket 5 was like Socket 7, but no dual core voltage iirc.

Maybe you implied it, but it wasn't very clear.
Actually yes I think you're right, 5x86 was on 486 boards. Socket 3. Socket 5 could host k5 though.


OP is talking before that, socket 7 in particular I'd imagine.
Nah here's his original post.

Back when I worked at Systemax, and the Athlon 700 reigned supreme for a short while, a lot of the motherboards out there could work with either Intel or AMD processors. (and Cyrix)

If that were still the case today, (you could pick and choose between processors),
what do you think the market makeup % between AMD & Intel would be right now?
Also, @sandorski , technically Cyrix made some CPUs for Intel's socket 370 platform, though I'm not sure how they pulled it off. Cyrix-III and C3, at the very least.
 
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MadRat

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Oct 14, 1999
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Socket 7 wouldn't die for home brews because SDR was better latency than DDR in the day AND that remap AMD did for the 2x multiplier so that obsolete Socket 7's could suddenly do 6x to support up to 400MHz K6-2 chips. Motherboards were almost as much investment as a CPU in the day, which is why there were so many manufacturers and options.

Super Socket 7 introduced 100MHz fsb, whereas you were officially 66-83MHz fsb on S7. I remember one of my boards walking back to 50MHz fsb, but it may have been an ALi or SiS rather than Intel. S7 had a 1:2 relationship to PCI and 1:1 to AGP back then, so non-66MHz fsb was wonky. Super 7's had a 1:3 relationship and 2:3 to AGP which helped a lot of home enthusiasts to keep their expensive peripherals going rather than jump to much more pricey Slot1 motherboards from Intel. Seems like most non-Intel manufactured Slot1 boards dropped 5v lines in the PCI, but might be wrong. I know they killed a lot of expensive video editing cards when people attempted upgrades to Slot1. Those cards often started over $1,000 each.
 
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Thunder 57

Golden Member
Aug 19, 2007
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I saw the original post and thought the same thing. Then I figured, well, when he was working at a store and the Athlon 700 had just come, that doesn't mean people weren't buying Socket 7 boards/CPU's. Either is possible by the way it was written. It would be confusing to bring up Athlon if talking about Socket 7 though.

EDIT. And when I saw Socket 7 I mean Super 7.
 
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DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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It would be confusing to bring up Athlon if talking about Socket 7 though.
It kinda is. I'm sure there were a few people playing with k6-2 still (k6-3 was extremely rare), but there was some delay between the original launch of Athlon and the Athlon 700 (it came 4 months later). By that point Intel hadn't sold anything on Socket 7 for over two years and AMD had essentially abandoned ship, putting an end to the last of the truly shared platforms.

Still don't know how Cyrix was legally able to launch CPUs ~2 years late on Socket 370 though.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Here's a thought. Modern CPUs, have direct-to-DDRx interfaces, and chipset interfaces that are mostly PCI-E to the chipset, as I understand it.

So, if AMD/Intel wanted to make a standardized platform interface (PCI-E 5.0 / DDR5), they probably COULD. It would probably take a European standard being made into law to cause that, though. (Apple iPhones with USB-C charging, for example.)
 
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Shivansps

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Sep 11, 2013
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Here's a thought. Modern CPUs, have direct-to-DDRx interfaces, and chipset interfaces that are mostly PCI-E to the chipset, as I understand it.

So, if AMD/Intel wanted to make a standardized platform interface (PCI-E 5.0 / DDR5), they probably COULD. It would probably take a European standard being made into law to cause that, though. (Apple iPhones with USB-C charging, for example.)
Im not so sure of that, the I/o position on the die affects the design of the CPU. Then you run into firmware issues, but that one is the least of the problems.

Its certanly possible because the I/0 interfaces are all standart, the i/o position is the problem. Maybe one day well have a standart socket with all programable pins, were you could place an AMD/INTEL/ARM cpu.
 

zir_blazer

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Jun 6, 2013
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Unless both CPU and DRAM occupied a special daughter board.....

Sure it would be hella difficult to manage it all on modern systems with their bandwidth requirements without some sort of multi mode fiber connections instead of electrical contacts, but its an interesting idea none the less.

To be honest I kinda like the idea of a separate IO board - with a dual chamber case you could isolate the CPU and GPU air flow so easily.
Ever hear of COM Express? You could use a Type 7 Carrier Board like this or this. Then throw in an EPYC Embedded or a Xeon D. In Type 6 you have Ryzen Embedded and Intel consumer mobile products.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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Here's a thought. Modern CPUs, have direct-to-DDRx interfaces, and chipset interfaces that are mostly PCI-E to the chipset, as I understand it.

So, if AMD/Intel wanted to make a standardized platform interface (PCI-E 5.0 / DDR5), they probably COULD. It would probably take a European standard being made into law to cause that, though. (Apple iPhones with USB-C charging, for example.)
Full SoCs might make this possible since much of the board logic has been moved off the board. Stuff like AMD's AGESA implementations could make it problematic though.
 

A///

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Feb 24, 2017
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I must be losing my mind because I swear adapters existed back in the day or am I confusing platforms here?
 

zir_blazer

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Jun 6, 2013
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I must be losing my mind because I swear adapters existed back in the day or am I confusing platforms here?
Most likely you're thinking of Slockets, but these were for Intel PPro/P2/P3 era platforms. Those were to use Socket 370 or Socket 8 Processors (Pentium Pro) in Slot 1 Motherboards. Heck, there were also some Slot 1 to Slot 2 adapters so that you could put your cheap Pentium 2 in a Pentium 2 Xeon Motherboard. Which is the equivalent of SODIMM to DIMM adapters which currently exist, coming to think about it.
 
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