So far about the theory, but how can you find out if a SL2W8 has 4.4 ns L2 cache? On the quest for finding a definite answer I've tried a lot of different things. The result is that there is no reliable way of telling the L2 cache inside the cartridge unless you open it up. If you should already have a SL2W8 and don't fear opening the cartridge, then you will have to look for either a '-44' (Samsung, Micron) or a '-225' (Toshiba) on the L2 cache chips. '-5' or '-200' means 5 ns L2 cache, '-55' or '-180' stand for 5.5 ns types. Trying to run Andreas Stiller's 'ctp2info', a program that gives you a lot of information about your Pentium II and its L2 cache, doesn't produce any results that could help you find out the L2 cache type, due to the initializing routines performed by the BIOS. The BIOS can tell a right PII 450 from an overclocked PII 300 SL2W8, even if the L2 cache chips and the L2 cache controller are the same, and it initializes a PII 450 completely different to an overclocked SL2W8. So does a PII 450 give you a L2 cache latency of '8' and a latency mode '02', whilst a SL2W8 at 450 MHZ with the very same external chips gives you a latency of '3' and a latency mode of '00'.
When I was shopping around for SL2W8 I was very lucky. I got 9 CPUs, all of them equipped with 225 MHz (= 4.4 ns) Toshiba L2 cache modules.
They were all produced in Costa Rica, 40th week 1998.
Now there are several people all over the Internet speculating how to make sure that you get a SL2W8 with 4.4 ns L2 cache. Many say that the CPU has to come from Costa Rica, but the week is important too. I will not join this discussion, simply because there is hardly any certainty about it. What I can say however, is that it is extremely likely, that SL2W8 CPUs from Costa Rica, built in week 40, 1998, will have Toshiba 225 MHz = 4.4 ns L2 cache.