|Duh Voodoo Man's PowerLeap 370/T Experiment|
|WHEREIN WE TRY UPGRADING AN OPTIPLEX GX110 PROCESSOR...|
This section won't have the usual table and associated charts full of video and game benchmarks, given the subject of the upgrade, but we still managed to generate a bit of interesting data. The results obtained from the two Excel macro tests, as well as PCMark2002, are summarized in the table shown at right. Also shown is a calculated "performance ratio" for the 370/T rig, comparing its performance to that of the P3-733MHz P3 processor that came in the machine.
From these benchmark results, I generated two charts--one for the Excel macro results and the other for the PCMark2002 data. To save space, small versions of each chart are shown below. Click on the chart of interest to open a larger, more easily read version:
Benchmark Result Comparison Charts
(Click on chart of choice to view larger version)
DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS
Clearly, the impact of the processor upgrade on the benchmark performance was very, very good. Overall, performance was slightly better than doubled on these three tests. A general rule of thumb for processor upgrades seems to be about half of the relative difference in clockspeed between the CPU's, but here it's more than twice that. But you have to keep in mind that the Tualatin P3-S incorporates a couple of "game changers", namely the big 512KB L2 cache and the Intel "data prefetch logic" technology. Obviously, that combo did a LOT of good for these CPU-intensive tests. I'm particularly impressed by the performance on the two Excel macros, because these are real, live macros that I run routinely as part of my job responsibilities. It's not all that often that you come across something that can cut the time for a task in half. Not bad!
Additionally, the 370/T rig seems to be very stable. I've been running it for a couple of weeks now in the GX110 with absolutely no signs of anomalous behavior.
The only concern I initially saw with the unit was cost. But with new price reductions just posted on the PowerLeap site, even the "top-of-the-line" 1.4GHz P3-S model is now quite reasonable at $329, considering the performance. However, PowerLeap also offers cheaper versions with the 1.26GHz P3-S ($280) and the 1.2GHz P3 ($190; non-S version, with the smaller 256KB L2 cache), as well as Celeron versions (100MHz FSB). If you'd like to check it out, HERE is a link to PowerLeap's 370/T webpage. Click on the "buy now" button to see the entire 370/T line-up of products and their pricing.
PowerLeap's 370/T adapter technology offers a viable processor upgrade path for compatible older socket-370 systems, like the Dell Optiplex GX110. The top-of-the-line model with the 1.4GHz P3-S offers very impressive performance on CPU benchmarks, and there are also less expensive versions of the product sold with slightly slower processors that should still give that old machine a pretty hefty boost. So if you have an Optiplex GX110 that's starting to sputter and wheeze on what you're throwing at it, this upgrade deserves serious consideration as an alternative to a full system replacement.
Posted Sept. 16, 2002
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