Michelangelo arrives, AMD wins the gigahertz race and Ati launches the Radeon 9800 Pro and Michelangelo raises awareness of the threat of computer viruses – all of this happened on March 6th. Every day, PC Games Hardware takes a look back at the young but eventful history of the computer.
… 2000: The CPU forge AMD wins the gigahertz race against the overpowering arch-rival Intel and launches the first 1 GHz Athlon CPUs together with lower clocked versions (900 and 950 MHz) on the same day. Like all Athlon and Phenom models years later, the Slot A processors have a 128 kiByte Level 1 cache, which is located directly on the CPU die. In the first gigahertz CPUs, the 512 kiByte Level 2 cache is still in the form of separate memory chips with a third of the core frequency on the CPU board with 242 contacts. The K75 CPUs were manufactured using 0.18µ technology, required a standard voltage of 1.8 volts and had around 22 million transistors.
… 2003: Ati, now part of AMD, launches the Radeon 9800 Pro, one of the most legendary and durable DirectX 9 graphics cards. The R350 chip is still manufactured using the proven 0.15µ technology, but Ati can speed it up to an unexpectedly high 380 MHz with moderate cooling. The power connector has been changed from a floppy to a four-pin Molex connector compared to the previous Radeon 9700 Pro. Nvidia can only compete with the Geforce FX series in outdated multi-texturing games with a maximum of shader model 1.1 – from SM1.4 and even more so under SM2, even the Radeon mid-range beats Nvidia’s high-end FX cards.
… 1992: The Michelangelo computer virus is said to become active the first time the PC is started on the birthday of the universal genius of the same name and begin to delete the data on the hard drive. The malware, which is distributed via the boot sector of floppy disks, is technically neither particularly complex nor the first of its kind, but it manages to raise public awareness of the threat posed by malware. Mainstream media also reported on Michelangelo for the first time. It was initially feared that several million PCs could be infected with the virus, but it later turned out that only a few thousand PCs had been infected.