With itís .18 process, as mentioned earlier, the
Coppermine is smaller in size and has bigger potential. Since Intel chose
to implement the L2 cache memory on the chip, they can now start manufacturing
them in socketed versions. However, Intel has not yet given up on the Slot
1 architecture so you can get your Coppermine in different flavors. The first
is what is claimed by Intel to be the low cost FC-PGA370 format, and at this
time there are only two variations available in the FC-PGA format (550E/550E).
Officially no PGA-370 motherboard can officially support them, but this doesnít
mean we canít run them on our latest BX chipsets. Several
manufacturers have released adapters that allow a socketed CPU, such as the
PPGA Celeron, to be inserted into a Slot-1 motherboard.
Iwill went one step better by allowing their new adapter to run the FC-PGA
Pentium III. Basically the Slocket II allows the adjustment of the core voltage
of the CPU down to as low as 1.3 volts and adjusts the pin outs of the CPU
so that the new FC-PGA processor can run on a motherboard with the BX chipset.
This is especially useful considering many BX boards cannot adjust below 2.0
volts. The Slocket II will even allow you to use the extra SMP instructions
built into the new Pentium III chip. All that is needed is the Slocket II
and an update to your motherboardís BIOS in order to recognize the FC-PGA
Intel decided to stick with their cartridged
versions for 600MHz+ versions. There are no special reasons for that, any
Coppermine on todayís market could fit on socketed version but Intel decided
to keep their old strategy for now. Two kinds of cartridged versions are currently
available, the first one is the "E" which defines: that the CPU is a Coppermine
core running on a 100 MHz bus speed. They are available starting at 600Mhz.
The third, and last, is the "EB", which is another cartridged
version. The "B" stands for 133MHz FSB, so the CPU is running at 133MHz. They
are slightly more expensive than the "E" and generally perform better on "i820
- i840" chipsets. But for a BX user, this is far from being his right choice
for several reasons. First of all, BX chipsets officially don't support 133MHz
FSB. Even if your BX board does, the overclocking rate will probably be very
low and your hardware will have to be compatible running at these kinds of
FSB speeds. For more info you can read our overclocking
How Does It Run?:
Initial testing was done with a PPGA Celeron
366 @ 550 MHz and with a GlobalWin CPM25603-32 heatsink/fan unit. This is
probably the smallest heatsink made by GlobalWin for Socket370 applications.
I have used an Abit Slotket to allow the use of this CPU in my Slot-1 Abit
BX6r2 board previously. I had hoped to take advantage of the available 2.05
v setting of the Slocket II to try to reduce CPU heat further but I found
that, just with the Abit adapter, the CPU required 2.1 v to reach 550 MHz.
Once up and running with the Slocket II I had no problems with the Celeron
whatsoever. The unit performed exactly as advertised using the Slocket II
PPGA jumper. Another benefit of this adapter is that it is almost Ĺ inch shorter
than the Abit Slotket. I liked having the small increase in space allowed
by the new adapter.
The final testing was done with a Pentium III
550e. With the correct jumper settings I ran into a problem with Windows locking
up every time I tried to reboot. After close exam of the CPU and heatsink
I noticed a tiny airgap between them. If you attempt to use a heatsink that
is larger than the stock Intel heatsink, as I did, you will probably find
that the heatsink gets hung up on the locking bar of the CPU socket. My solution
was to use pliers to bend the locking bar down and out of the way. Make sure
you use two pliers, one to hold the locking bar close to where it attaches
to the plastic socket, and the other to bend the end of the bar. Be careful
since you can damage things quickly if you donít pay attention.
I know that many of you are dying to know how
the 550e overclocked. How does 682 MHz (5.5 x 124) @ 1.6 volts sound? All
with that small GlobalWin heatsink. I ran several benchmarks and let RC5 run
for 14 hours with no problems noticed. With an FDP32 or Alpha I think it could
have hit 733 MHz. All my attempts to reach 733 MHz locked up after the Windows
splash screen. This CPU was not a preselected ringer either. It came in the
plastic wrapped box and the sealed plastic container had not been opened or
tampered with. This most likely is a very representative 550e. For all bus
speeds above 100 MHz I used the 1/4 divider available with Abit's SoftMenu.
That kept my PCI bus speeds in spec. Since the BX chipset doesnít support
the Ĺ AGP divider I used a PCI video card for testing. Simply set the Slocket
II's FSB jumper to "Auto" and you can use your motherboard's FSB settings