|Ask any hardware enthusiast what the best upgrade for your system is and the last answer youll probably get is an overdrive processor. Were all familiar with the Intel overdrive technology, for most non-technical users, the overdrive is essentially a cheap way to get out of spending hundreds of dollars on a full system upgrade. However to the tweaker, the overdrive has always been a poor performing solution Intel produced to somewhat tend to their users interests.|
For quite some time, Intel manufactured the only widely used overdrive processors, mainly because most third party manufacturers were either unable to duplicate Intels achievements because of patent limitations, or the simple lack of a better way to offer an upgrade in an overdrive package. The non-Intel overdrive processor finally became popular shortly after the end of the reign of the 486, with the release of AMDs higher speed enhanced 486 processors, particularly the 486 DX4/120 and the 5x86 133. Those two processors, alongside the Cyrix M1sc (5x86), allowed many third party CPU upgrade manufacturers to enter the "overdrive" upgrade scene, and essentially mooch off of Intels ad campaign for the overdrive technology.
Among the companies that gained popularity for being manufacturers of third party overdrive CPUs, one of the most popular happened to be a company named Evergreen. However in recent times, the industry has seen the torch passed once again, as Evergreen is a name hardly ever uttered from the mouths of tweakers, slowly being replaced by new name on the street, Powerleap.
Powerleaps Second Round Knock-Out
Powerleaps first appearance on AnandTech was with their PL-ProMMX upgrade, which essentially packaged AMDs K6-2 (and soon to be their K6-3) with an on-board voltage regulator, and an easy to install setup that allowed for a great percentage of the Pentium user population to take advantage of the K6-2s performance. Powerleap is back for a second round knock-out with yet another "overdrive-ish" upgrade processor, this time, theyre not going to be using an alternative CPU manufacturer as the basis for the upgrade. If you happen to be the formerly proud owner of a Pentium II 233, 266, or 300, you may want to listen up to what Powerleap has to say. The product is the Powerleap PL-PII upgrade, and as you can probably gather from the name, the upgrade is intended for Pentium II users. But whats the point of upgrading from an older Pentium II processor to something that can only be a faster model? Lets find out.
If you recall, Intels release of the Celeron processor (more specifically, the Celeron A, with 128KB of integrated L2 cache) came as a surprise to most hardware enthusiasts, as Intels vision of a "low-cost" processor ended up outperforming their flagship Pentium II processor in almost every desktop application scenario. The only thing that kept the Celeron out of the hands of the majority of the computer buying population was Intels uniquely worded advertising campaign. The campaign basically indicated, to those unaware of the differences, that the Celeron was simply an entry-level product and for true power, the Pentium II was the processor to be pursued.
Luckily, most of us know otherwise, and the Celeron quickly became the most attractive processor to purchase. Its low cost and highly competitive performance made the Celeron the ideal processor for Powerleap to base their next generation upgrade adapter upon. More specifically, the PPGA (Socket-370) Celeron.