OK, to set some things straight: Mandrake is set up standard optimized for i586. On any official mandrake packages you will see that. i586 means pentium, and that means the first pentiums! (pente is greek for 5, there's the connection). Anything from PentiumPro up is i686. And anything compatible with pentiumpro or higher also falls into the general category of i686, including AMD Athlon.
So any i586 or i686 package should have no problem to run on your Athlon.
Now it is possible to get packages optimized for athlon or athlon-xp (gcc-3.2 allows that), but that probably means building it yourself. So far I have only seen athlon-optimized packages at Gentoo (and then they offer only the basic system and some additions pre-built, as the idea with Gentoo is that all packages are built on your system, with your optimizations).
But if you are building a new kernel from sources (either the patched mandrake sources or the original from kernel.org), you have an option to have it built for your processor during configuration.
Last edited by yngwin; 01-06-2003 at 04:37 PM.