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Pentium III out of the bag

Hardware site reviews the chip ahead of time

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A hardware site has blown the gaff on the Pentium III, having managed to obtain a pre-production processor from an Intel partner. Firing Squad has posted a review which reveals details of the processor ahead of its official launch at the end of February. Intel admitted that the review did appear to be of a genuine part, but said: "We don't comment on unannounced products". The review shows that the Pentium III will ship with 32Kb of cache, the same as the Pentium II, so putting an end to rumours that it would ship with 64Kb. It also gives full details about the much-hyped instruction set which comes with the Pentium III, formerly known as KNI but now called Streaming SIMD. The review says that one of the instructions, a new processor state, allows data between x87 and MMX instructions to be shared. But, according to Firing Squad, this ability will mean that software will have to go through extensive rewrites. That means most Pentium III ready software will have to be written from the ground up. And that also means AMD will still have a window of opportunity to continue sellings its 3DNow! K6-2 parts. ®

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