A WC2 preview from 1991 (Computer Games Strategy Plus)

Madman

Vice Admiral
Well that is an interesting review! Having played WC2 for the first time on a 386 SX 33, I can sympathise with some of the complaints (loading times) but not the rendering of lip-sync etc, that seems to be because the review machine was a 16 MHZ system. The 25MHz SX version had been out for 2 years at the time of the review, and while the 33Mhz SX was brand new, the DX version was 2 years old too. I'm not sure about the other gripes around the game (turret usefulness etc.), but I started with WC2, so maybe I am biased!
 

Panther1.0

Ensign
I think I had a SX-25Mz around that time. I missed reviews on WC2 but I did catch WC1 in some PC Gaming magazines, it look like something completely different and caught my interest only to discover one of my friends friend already had the game....
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
I originally played on an Am386 that apparently had a 'turbo' of 40 MHz, so I don't recall performance issues at all. (It wasn't until many years after AMD made a name for itself with its own competition to Intel that I realised the first family PC was actually an AMD system!)

I also had a funny thought talking about double-digit MHz clock speeds. Feels so far away compared to the GHz clock speeds of today, even though IPC is far more important nowadays and the 'MHz war' died long ago.
 

Panther1.0

Ensign
I only discovered AMD about the time of the Am586 around 1996 and since we are on the hardware,

I started liking AMD much later when the Athlon X2 CPU's with the 64 bit thing becoming more popular, they were fast especially in games and cheaper ! ATi became more popular soon to merge with AMD...
 

EmuMusicFan

Chief Petty Officer
I only discovered AMD about the time of the Am586 around 1996 and since we are on the hardware,
You mean AMD K5? I remember a computer store owner praised this processor.

The motherboards at the time were compatible with x86 CPUs from different manufacturers, right?
 

Panther1.0

Ensign
Not sure, I think the K versions like the K5 was newer came just after the p75-586 AMD, they were faster than the first Pentiums of Intel,
they were not to bad, very stable, not overheating 😁
 
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KrisV

Administrator
You mean AMD K5? I remember a computer store owner praised this processor.

The motherboards at the time were compatible with x86 CPUs from different manufacturers, right?
You could get 100% compatible clones from a few manufacturers. Some even performed a little better than the Intel models. AMD's 386 would sometimes come soldered to the motherboard. They were quite popular with builders on a budget.
 

EmuMusicFan

Chief Petty Officer
You could get 100% compatible clones from a few manufacturers. Some even performed a little better than the Intel models. AMD's 386 would sometimes come soldered to the motherboard. They were quite popular with builders on a budget.
Got it. This kind of thing seems to exist in the sound card world that I know of before. The CMI8738 FM synth seems to be 100% compatible with Yamaha's OPL3 FM, even a bug is the same.
 
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Panther1.0

Ensign
I do recall Cyrix making chip clones that could work on a Intel motherboard, they were budget CPU's and performed close to their counterparts some users did not even know they had these CPU's in their PC's
 

EmuMusicFan

Chief Petty Officer
I do recall Cyrix making chip clones that could work on a Intel motherboard, they were budget CPU's and performed close to their counterparts some users did not even know they had these CPU's in their PC's
I remember Cyrix 5x86 and 6x86...

Yes. It seemed the computer shop I mentioned above had AMD chips and Cyrix chips within the computers, pretty good. I and my buddies have played lots of games like Duke Nukem 3D, C&C (I have played single mode once, and GG in a minute, then I said goodbye to RTS...) and other domestic games there. Very happy memories. There were several games on the shop shelves, and most of them were "luxuries" for us kids back then. I do not remember whether they had a Wing Commander 4, but even if they had, it would be a luxury among luxuries.
 
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Panther1.0

Ensign
I once showed a buddy of mine he has a Cyrix processor and he was shocked, the shop told him it was a Pentium, he was very upset and wanted to upgrade or replace with intel counterpart, this was many moons ago, I think also in 1996

anyway my first PC to play Wing Commander was a 80286-16Mhz with 1mb Ram, I had 640kb and added extended memory d-ram, I also had a Thunderboard - 8bit sound card, very similar to the first Sound Blaster from Creative.
 
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cff

Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi
I'd have been pissed as well. Cyrix were cheap budget chips with noticeable lower performance. AMD and Intel were more of a close fight, but Cyrix was never 'good'.

Oh and my first own PC I played WC on was similar to Panther1.0's. Intel 286, 16mhz, 1mb ram, 52mb HD, but an original 8 bit Soundblaster :)
 
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Mace

Vice Admiral
I had this path:
Harris 80286@20Mhz
Intel 80386SX@25Mhz
Intel 80486SX@33Mhz
IBM/Cyrix "Blue Lightning" 80486DX2@80Mhz
AMD "K5" 80586@133Mhz/PR-75
Cyrix 80686-MX@120Mhz/PR-166
Cyrix M2@225Mhz/PR300
AMD K6-2@333 Mhz
AMD K6-2-3D@500Mhz
AthlonXP@2.2Ghz
Athlon64x2@3.8Ghz
Athlon64x2@4.7Ghz
AthlonFX 8320e black edition@3.2Ghz
New system will likely be a Ryzen.

All in all, there were times when AMD was ahead of intel for a short while in raw power(First Gen Athlon vs Pentium3, Athlon64 vs. Pentium4..), and even cyrix was ahead of the specified pentium in some cases, but the build-in math coprocessor in the last Cyrixes was still basicly a 487(originally cyrix was known for their powerfull 3d party "fastmath" coprocessors in the 286/386 era, lol), in some applications that do not use the Math coprocessor the Cyrix at thesame speed could actually best the pentium.

But what it all boils down to:
Most important is the price/performance issue here, if you have a processor at half the price that matches 85% or more of the "real deal", you have a bargain.. And while a Cyrix 686 is not a real pentium, it is a "pentium-class cpu", can handle all the instructions, and a even a cyrix 686 PR133 leaves a first generation 60 Mhz pentium in the dust on thesame motherboard, in every scenario. Intel behaves like apple, "we are the a-brand so better then the rest", but in reality all that they can say is that they are the standard and a guaranteed safe purchase for compatibility, nothing more.
 
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