Parting the Waters

With that brief overview of the advantages a K6-2 offers over its older brother, the K6, let's take a look at the requirements of the K6-2 350 as well as the differences between it and its predecessors:

AMD K6-2 System Requirements

Super7 motherboard with official support for the 100MHz FSB
Motherboard support for a 2.2v core voltage and 3.3v I/O voltage
BIOS support for the K6-2 350
Timing patch for Windows 95 users (available at www.amd.com - not for Win98 users)
x86 operating system environment

Aside from the increased clock frequency, the K6-2 350 offers very little over the 300, or 333.  In terms of performance, the 350 is around 4% faster than the K6-2 333 in business applications, and approximately 2% faster than the 333 in gaming situations. 

While the figures seem relatively low, this is a normally clocked comparison, once you migrate to the field of overclocking the picture changes by a more noticeable degree.  While the 300 and 333MHz chips normally topped out at 350MHz in terms of a reliable overclock, the K6-2 350 manages to push the limits even further with success stories popping up in the overclocking community of 350MHz chips running at up to 450MHz with minor cooling enhancements, such as larger heatsink/fan combos, or even peltier coolers. 

The 350MHz chip AnandTech received for evaluation unfortunately only made it up to 400MHz using normal cooling techniques on the FIC PA-2013 MVP3 test bed.  In order to achieve reliable performance at 400MHz, the K6-2's core voltage had to be increased to 2.4v from the standard 2.2v setting.   According to AMD, the K6-2 can handle core voltages up to 2.5v without truly harming the chip, however that does not take into account any type of harm you are causing to the CPU by overclocking it.  Clocking the chip at 450MHz resulted in a frozen system at the power on self-test (POST) and failed to boot successfully.  Using an experimental cooling technology similar to those used by Kryotech to thermally accelerate the K6-2, AnandTech managed to get the processor to boot at 450MHz and run through a set of gaming performance tests.  The Winstone 98 (business applications) tests took too long to complete and would not run through reliably enough to obtain a score.  Overall, you can expect a fairly decent percentage of 350's to be able to make it up to 400MHz, with the cream of the crop being able to hit the 450MHz marker.  Is 500MHz a possibility?  It doesn't seem so.  Even after cooling the processor down to well below freezing, the system wouldn't even boot past 450MHz.

A 3DNow! Primer The Test

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