|Abit BE6-II (v1.1)|
|256MB Crucial PC133 (CAS 3)|
|32MB GeForce2 GTS|
|15GB Maxtor ATA/66 (5400RPM)|
The first set of benchmarks were run with SiSoftware's Sandra 2002, which uses synthetic tests to determine performance. Though not a "real world" application, Sandra is still a very useful tool because it can isolate individual subsystems - in this case the CPU and memory.
The theoretical performance increase of the PowerLeap adapter over the P3-600 is 1400/600=233%.
SiSoft Sandra 2002
||% Change |
|CPU Arith (Dhrystone ALU)
|CPU Arith (Whetstone FPU)
|CPU Multi-Media (Integer)
|CPU Multi-Media (Floating-Point)
|Memory (RAM Int)
|Memory (RAM Float)
From the results above, it is clear that the CPU is performing as advertised. All the CPU test results show that the 1.4GHz PowerLeap upgrade is approximately 233% faster than the P3-600. However, the memory tests didn't fare so well. For example, the Integer memory tests only showed a 11% improvement.
||% Change |
|3d Mark 2001 SE
|PC Mark 2002 CPU
|PC Mark 2002 Mem
|PC Mark 2002 HD
The results above further confirm the SiSoft analysis - the CPU itself scales nicely, but the gains don't necessarily carry over to the other subsystems. The 3D Mark score only showed a 45% increase and there was no difference in hard drive performance.
The SiSoft and Mad Onion results highlight a caveat with this kind of upgrade - a PC is only as good as its weakest link. Placing a supercharged engine in an aging PC may not give you the intended results. With the exception of the configuration difficulties, the CPU ran as expected. However, the CPU is just one component of the system. A CPU upgrade won't improve the Hard Drive performance. Also, memory performance does not scale with the increase in CPU speed.
So who might buy this kind of upgrade? Given the current pricing of RAM, if you have a lot of RAM with a fairly new motherboard and hard drive, then a CPU upgrade like the PowerLeap adapter may be an relatively inexpensive way ($170 from PowerLeap) to extend the live of your system. With Hyper-Threading CPU's from Intel and Hammer CPU's from AMD on the way, getting another 6-8 months out of your current PC may be all you need. However, if you have an older system with aging components, it is probably better to save your money until you have enough for a new machine (or a barebones system if you want to do things yourself!).
The ironic thing with this upgrade is that it might not be for the casual PC hobbyist because of the configuration issues. However, those who know the most about PC's probably wouldn't bother with this upgrade path.
|Can be quite difficult to configure|
|Large Heatsink/Fan |
|Won't necessarily improve performance of older components|