IWill Slocket II Evaluation

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During the lifespan of the P6, Intel has confounded the industry by introducing new processor packages that are completely incompatible with the previous ones. The first package was the Socket 8, which turned out to be very expensive. In order to overcome this problem Intel created the Slot 1, which caused great consternation in the market place – however, there was little anyone could do about it so eventually everyone who wanted a P6 processor simply bought a new motherboard and lived with the situation. Intel claimed that this was their package of choice and used it on every variation of the P6 that they targeted towards the desktop.

Just as everyone was getting comfortable with this Slot 1 package, Intel switched direction and introduced a new package – the Socket 370. Once again, the reason was to reduce costs – but this time it was solely to compete with the AMD K6 processor, which had grabbed a big market share in a very short period of time. This new package was used only for the low-end processors (Celerons), and was intended to be used with low-end motherboards. Unfortunately for Intel, overclockers had discovered that the Celerons were every bit as powerful as their Pentium II bretheren when run at the same speed. This created a brand new market for Socket 370 to Slot 1 converters – or ‘Slockets’.

Now, Intel has once again thrown a curveball by introducing yet another package for their Coppermine processors – the FC-PGA. Though this one also fits into a Socket 370, the vast majority of Socket 370 motherboards are incompatible with the FC-PGA processors for a variety of reasons. Once again, this has created a market for a new breed of Slockets that can accept the FC-PGA processors for use in a Slot 1 motherboard. IWill was the first to get theirs to market, which they called the Slocket II.

We recently had the opportunity to evaluate the IWill Slocket II, and have found it to be a very useful and well designed product. Because it is simply a ‘pass through’ device for connecting the proper pins on the processor to the correct leads in the Slot 1 connector, there is absolutely no negative effect on performance. One feature that might be useful is that the card is supposed to support SMP using Celeron processors. We did not have an opportunity to test this feature, however.

Our test system included the following components:

  • FIC KA-11 motherboadr – provided by FIC
  • Pentium III 500E processor – purchased
  • IWill Slocket II – provided by IWill
  • 128MB PC133 SDRAM – provided by Crucial Technology
  • W.D 8.4GB UDMA/66 HDD – Purchased
  • Diamond Viper V770 Ultra (32MB) – provided by Diamond
  • Adaptec AHA-2940UW SCSI Controller – purchased
  • Toshiba TA5401B 4x SCSI CDROM – purchased

Software used for evaluation:

  • Burn-in Test (Win98, WinNT) – Passmark
  • QuickTech Pro 2000 (Self-booting) – Ultra-X

Diagnostic Hardware used for evaluation

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