Obituary - Slot 1, Slot A,
Socket 7, K6, and Baby AT!
Say goodbye to some old "friends":
Slot 1 CPUs and motherboards,
Slot A CPUs and motherboards,
Socket 7/Super7 CPUs and motherboards,
Baby AT form factor motherboards and cases,
and AT power supplies and keyboards.
They are either dead or pretending not to
Slot 1 processors (Pentium II, Pentium III, and Clereron) have shifted to
a Socket 370 configuration. This was mainly brought about when Intel
moved the L2 cache' memory on separate cache' chips, which necessitated the
larger Slot 1 package ("toaster"), to the CPU die (chip) itself. Slot
1 motherboards hang-on in advertisements, etc., but they are essentially
Slot A CPUs and motherboards are dying in infancy, having been around for
less than a year. Like Intel, AMD is putting the cache' on the CPU
die and moving to a Socket A Pin Grid Array (PGA) configuration.
According to estimates by one major Taiwan
motherboard manufacturer, AOpen,
"The market share of slot motherboards
will reach 30% by the end of the second season [this Summer]; while socket
motherboards will completely replace them by the end of the year."
Which is supported the following quote from
an AMD News Flash received 6/27/00:
"Supply for Slot A AMD Athlon(tm) processors
is limited. AMD recommends that you place your orders TODAY as we will
be ramping up our transition from the Slot A to Socket A infrastructure
over the next 1-2 months."
Socket A CPU's are cheaper to make and that
is the reason I say Slot A motherboards and CPUs are essentially history
right now. Don't listen to double-speak from
anyone trying to unload obsolete Slot A motherboards.
with a Socket A Athlon processor,
AMD has introduced Athlon's little brother, the Socket
A Duron. This processor is essentially an Athlon on a smaller
chip and less cache' on the chip. The performance of this CPU approaches
that of the original Athlon and noticeably exceeds the performance of the
AMD's Socket 7 K6-2/3 processors. The street price of a 600 Mhz Duron
is quite close to the 550 Mhz K6-2. Furthermore, Socket A motherboards
will support both Durons and Socket A Athlons. This provides a very
nice upgrade path which was not available to Socket 7 motherboard owners. The
K6-2 and Socket 7 motherboards are therefore dead or will be shortly (in
a month or so) when motherboard manufacturers, etc. have unloaded their Slot
A boards, and production of the Socket A motherboards ramps-up and prices
for them drop, which they will.
The death of the Socket 7 CPU and motherboard
marks the inevitable demise of the oldest of these friends, the Baby AT form
factor. Socket 7 CPUs will be in short supply soon. I have not
seen any Socket A Baby AT motherboards and doubt that any will be made. There
are some Socket 370 Baby AT motherboards, but I believe they will fade with
the Socket 7 Baby AT's, as the Duron, which is currently faster than both,
comes online. That essentially pounds the last two nails into this
The ISA bus still lingers, but its days are
growing very short.