The Resurrection: Pentium III 1.4 GHz on Slot-1 Motherboards

Conclusion: Rejuvenation For Pentium III Systems

The benchmarks speak for themselves! With the help of this adapter, a three-year-old system can literally be brought up to speed. Although it won't be able to compete with today's systems, the performance is nonetheless remarkable.

A BX system upgraded to 1.4 GHz in this manner will easily be sufficient for all kinds of office and multimedia applications. The one field where it might be problematic is that of graphical applications. Due to the lack of support for AGP 4x at 1.5V in many older motherboards, most modern graphics cards will not work in them.

Another critical aspect is the support for a 133 MHz FSB. Officially, the BX chipset does not officially support this speed, and setting it to this frequency would run the AGP interface out of spec, since AGP is always clocked at 2/3 of the FSB. At 133 MHz FSB, that would mean an AGP clock speed of 89 MHz - too high for most cards. Our testing board would revert to AGP 1X when running out of spec. This also explains why our Pentium III 700 was able to beat the Pentium III 866 in several benchmarks: it runs on a 100 MHz FSB, resulting in the specified 66 MHz AGP clock and, consequently, AGP 2x.

Therefore, our advice is as follows: boards based on the VIA Apollo Pro 133 or 133A chipsets are prime candidates for an upgrade with a Pentium III 1.4 GHz, since they fully support a 133 MHz FSB. Owners of BX boards should consider the 1.4 GHz Celeron instead, as it utilizes a 100 MHz FSB. This means the system won't be running out of spec, and, as a bonus, you can save some money at the same time.

PowerLeap is offering the complete 1.4 GHz upgrade package for just under $160 on its international website, which seems quite reasonable. The adapter itself costs roughly $80. Combining it with a faster Pentium III seems a lot less attractive, as the price rises disproportionately. You'll need to judge for yourself whether or not the additional cost is justified, based on the application you have in mind.

In either case, the upgrade kit consisting of adapter and 1.4 GHz CPU offers an enormous performance boost, while at the same time guaranteeing a problem-free and easy installation. And - the price is right! So, with upgrade in hand, err.. computer, you're set for the new year!