Socket 7 processors--AMD K6-2 & K6-3

I am currently running a Socket-7 style motherboard on my home system and would like to do a processor upgrade. Presently I am running an AMD K6-2 333mhz processor, but I would like to purchase a slightly faster processor to toss in. My motherboard can support both K6-2 and K6-3 processors up to 450 mhz, so the problem is deciding which one to get.

Normally I would have just picked the K6-3 and been done with it, but I’ve noticed something strange lately. It seems that the K6-2 processors are more plentiful than the K6-3s, and when the K6-3 processors can be found, in some cases they are cheaper than K6-2 processors of the same speed. (Check prices at TigerDirect for an example of this.) This makes me tend to think that maybe the K6-3 processors could be a bit flaky, but I’ve not read anything to tell me this is true.

Do any of you run a K6-3 processor? If so, does it appear to be stable on your system? (I know I should probably gut my system and plop in a new MB running a 1ghz Athlon, but I don’t want to sink a lot of cash into my system and I don’t need to have the fastest clock speed on the block. I figure that I’ll puchase a new processor and put another 64 megs of memory on-board and I’ll be set.)

Tom’s Hardware Guide is running a feature on this question this very day -

It looks like the K6-III is a K6-II with L2 cache onboard and some power management features. The cache should give you some performance improvement.

The poor availablity and cheaper price for the K6-III is probably because it is being supplied to OEMs only. They can sell them on to you, but you probably won’t get a box, a manual or a warranty. So it’s your choice - L2 cache but you’re on your own, or no L2 cache but you get some documentation.

I’m going to check out the Tom’s hardware article right now.

If anybody else has thoughts or ideas on this, please write in.