I've got a Cyrix pr200+, and the thing cranks on a linux box. I'll never
go back to using a pentium. The only bad part of cyrix chips is they
suck a lotta power, meaning they generate a lotta head. Obviously if it
overheats, your machine is gonna crash. Get a good fan for it and
heatsink, which unless your foolhardy you need for a pentium anyways.
The only thing the kernel patch does is allow linux to properly
recognize the chip. Theres another program called set6x86. This is a
boottime program called from an /etc/rc.d script. It sets a couple of
things I don't much understand, to improve the performance. One of the
most important things it does, is puts the cpu into a 'sleep' mode,
whereby it only uses 1/100 the power it normally consumes. So that
pretty much does away with any over heating problems right there. This
DOES NOT affect performance at all. Cyrix has built this feature
directly into the cpu, so it kicks itself out of sleep mode in like
nanoseconds, and then goes right back into sleep mode when its not doing
any processing. I ran it for a long time without set6x86, but with a
good fan and heatsink, and i never had a problem. I did a lot of asking
around b4 I got my chip. Anyone who actually owned a cyrix chip raved
about them. The only people who said bad things about them had some
story like 'Well my brother's, wife's, uncle's friend said they
sucked.'. Cyrix cpu's normally have only 50% of the floating point
processing power that pentiums do. But unless your running like CAD,
you'll never even notice it. I've heard linux spends about 1% of its
time doing FP processing. I can say my cyrix pr200+ can compile a kernel
faster than a pentium 200mhz. Make sure you check out,
You can get the latest version of set6x86 and the kernel patch there.
Don't get yourself all boggled though with the talk about 6x86
registers. It scared me away from using the set6x86 program for awhile.
All you really gotta do is patch the kernel, install the rc script, and
be done with it. I run a web/email/programming/mud/ftp/etc site thats up
24/7, for almost a year now, on that cyrix chip, and its never given me
a reason to doubt it. I'm a cheap ass, and I love it when I find
something that performs better at half the price of the comprable 'sure
thing'. The only sure thing about pentiums is they'll take a bite out of
P.S. No I don't work for Cyrix or any affiliated companies :)
> The CPU section of the 'Hardware Howto' is a little confusing... no
> doubt a failing on my part not the author's.
> Is there some issue with Cyrix 5/6xx chips, and if so, can anyone tell
> me what it is? A kernel patch is listed, but to correct what problem?
> And how do you install on the machine using a boot disk with
> (presumably) an unpatched kernel? I'm considering a 200Mhz Cyrix 686MMX
> system, because it's cheap.
> Any answers gratefully received.
> JM "Cyk as a parrot" Y