|"Love your crazy old machines you pimp out =)"|
Haven't messed around with the old rigs in a while--I just don't have the time anymore. However, the next time I'm free (and extremely bored) on a rainy Sunday, I'd like to try Windows 7 on an underclocked 180MHz P2. :-)
"I just read about P6 vs K7 (P3 vs A) on a review"
That article compares a Katmai P3 to an Athlon. The Katmai P3 is basically a Pentium II with SSE tacked on. Its L2 cache is only 64-bits wide, external to the processor core, and runs at half the speed. The Coppermine P3s are A LOT faster, thanks to 256-bit, on-chip cache! All three of the Intel CPUs you listed are Coppermine-based.
"can a fat arse cache really make up for 100mhz clockspeed and twice the fsb?"
Depends on the application. Some apps prefer fast memory access and good floating point performance (Athlon), while others like having lots of L2 available and fast SIMD processing (P3 Xeon).
"but it will be a dual slot machine... which gives athlon yet another advantage... a 200mhz bus per slota cartridge... where as the intel boards share the one FSB with all CPUs."
Yep, for a dual-CPU rig, the Athlon's EV6 bus is definitely the way to go. But Slot A?? Is that a Thunderbird or an old K7/K75 Athlon?