Geekspeak: October 29, 2001

By John Taschek  |  Posted 2001-10-29 Print this article Print

New brains for an old body

Evergreen Technologies spectra and performa processor upgrades add new life to old PCs without a lot of pain—either installationwise or out of pocket. Evergreen has been doing this for years, but now that Windows XP is out and cost cutting abounds, the Evergreen chips look pretty good.

The Performa line replaces Slot 1 processors, and the Spectra replaces the Socket 370. Both of these chips work on motherboards that support 100MHz front-side buses, so, to my chagrin, I couldnt upgrade my 1.5-year-old Toshiba Equiium.

Evergreens products are fairly inexpensive. The Performa 1GHz, a Celeron II, costs $200 and comes with 128MB of RAM. The Performa III, a 1GHz Pentium III, costs $300 and comes with 256MB of RAM.

Both work quite well—I ran Dr. Hardware, a quick and dirty test, which showed that the Performa 1GHz ran about twice as fast as a 533MHz Pentium III in processor and memory tests. For normal word processing and browsing, things are a little snappier, but not by much.

As the director of eWEEK Labs, John manages a staff that tests and analyzes a wide range of corporate technology products. He has been instrumental in expanding eWEEK Labs' analyses into actual user environments, and has continually engineered the Labs for accurate portrayal of true enterprise infrastructures. John also writes eWEEK's 'Wide Angle' column, which challenges readers interested in enterprise products and strategies to reconsider old assumptions and think about existing IT problems in new ways. Prior to his tenure at eWEEK, which started in 1994, Taschek headed up the performance testing lab at PC/Computing magazine (now called Smart Business). Taschek got his start in IT in Washington D.C., holding various technical positions at the National Alliance of Business and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. There, he and his colleagues assisted the government office with integrating the Windows desktop operating system with HUD's legacy mainframe and mid-range servers.

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