Gone But Not Forgotten: Cyrix

Morphine Child

Posts: 78   +90
Had Cyrix CPU in my very first computer, was 133MHz if I remember correctly. Was old as Jesus when I got it from my cousin from Germany who was already in Pentium era. Still, served me well since I had no idea what I was doing.


Posts: 100   +129
Great read, thank you for posting it. I also had some fond memories of the era Cyrix was operating in, but had first hand experience only with one of their their later models (MKIII I think?). Although, I did have a co-processor from them in the early days, I just didn't realise it was faster than the one from Intel (it didn't make my tasks or games running faster, but made me prouder for sure :) ).

I always rooted for Cyrix to stay relevant, and was a bit sad to see them gone. With Socket 7 board, you really did have a wide choice of chips, from 3 manufacturers, and that, in hindsight, feels priceless...
Ah friend of mine had a 6x86 and if you think AMD and Intel fanboys are insufferable now, Cyrix fans took it to a whole new level. I still remember the angry rants against Wintel (of course he ran OS/2) and the arguments why Cyrix was theoretically better.
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Posts: 5,472   +3,574
Back in the day, I had a 486SX and I used a Cyrix math co-processor with it as I had heard that it was a better math co-processor than the Intel math co-processor.

EDIT: IIRC, that PC was my very first PC compatible build. I've never stopped building my own systems since then.
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Posts: 33   +11
Had a 6x86 and I still regret not buying a Pentium to this day. I have bought only Intel since then until last year when I bought a AMD Threadripper system, which I definitely don't regret..


Posts: 8   +4
I always rooted for the underdog in computing as the competition is essential to progress being high and prices remaining low. That being said...these chips were dogs. I sold these at Best Buy and they were always in the worst machines which didn't help. CTX, eMachines, Presario. That MediaGx was awful. How they let that out in the market was amazing. Though it did usher in the $1000 desktop. Great article.


Posts: 3,227   +3,469
My Cyrix rig was absolutely BLAZING but there were programs it simply could not run. Ultimately it wasn't an acceptable trade-off.
Great article! Brings back memories, specifically of this Make-it 486 – 286 Upgrade kit (http://www.cpushack.com/2014/08/30/improve-technologies-make-it-486-286-upgrade/) which was a drop-in replacement for socketed 80286 CPUs. Talk about a mind-melt...
I had one! It mostly worked in that it significantly sped up a 286-based PC I had at the time. However, Windows 3.0 would NOT run in 386-enhanced mode, IIRC. There definitely were some compatibility issues...
I had Cyrix 586 as my second PC after ditching my first PC with 12mhz Intel and 287 coprocessor. I dont recall having any problems with Cyrix until I get tired of its speed and limited RAM as I moved up to Amd 266mhz then 1.7ghz and now quadcore Amd Kaveri ever since. Cyrix was my "Pentium equivalent" chip but it was really a 486 chip all along if I am right , It was a long time ago. I think I still have the case withCyrix in storage.. Anyone interested? it is still running great.. doubt it is worth $19 to anyone.. can be great for playing DOS games, tho.


Posts: 399   +219
One of the worst purchase of my career, the 6X86 P166+. After a very few months of use it revealed itself for what it was: a poor CPU good just for Integer operations. Quake put it into big embarrassment.
I replaced with a P133 ...


Posts: 85   +63
Interesting read.

The image used to illustrate Quake is from the third instalment of the game and not the first game which is referenced in the article.

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,078   +663
One of the worst purchase of my career, the 6X86 P166+. After a very few months of use it revealed itself for what it was: a poor CPU good just for Integer operations. Quake put it into big embarrassment.
I replaced with a P133 ...
Yeah was an ok upgrade from a 486... Intel were pretty strong back then but pricey. Think I held on until P3-800 or so... the Coppermine CPUs with an eye on upgrading to Tualatin if a 1400MHz or whatever was cheap. Which it never was!

Think I stayed away from P4s and went AMD for a chip or two after that. P3 architecture iirc was very solid. IPC far far better than P4. Less stalling. Smaller pipelines.


Posts: 1,403   +312
Cyrix was founded in 1988 by Jerry Rogers and Tom Brightman, starting out as a manufacturer of high-speed, x87 math co-processors for 286 and 386 processors.
is the "x87" a typographical error or what?
my precious pentium 166mhz pc.


Posts: 1,443   +1,590
Staff member
is the "x87" a typographical error or what?
At the time, x87 was the instruction subset of x86, that handled floating point calculations. CPUs have use a combined instruction set for years now, under the general umbrella of x86.