Purchasing Information

Powerleap PL-ProMMX AMD K6-2 333

The Good The Bad

Powerleap PL ProMMX
http://www.powerleap.com
$179.95 MSRP as Tested

+ Easy to install
+ Only upgrade option for many
+ Utility software enables enhanced K6 features

- Relatively expensive
- Does nothing for other system components

For many, computer upgrade options are quite limited, especially for those with prebuilt systems from big name manufacturers. These manufacturers often use proprietary motherboards and/or cases, meaning that all you can do is upgrade the RAM and maybe a few other components. Video or sound integrated on the motherboard complicates those upgrade options even further.

At first glance, it seems like upgrading a Socket 7 based system should be easy - just pop in another Socket 7 CPU and adjust the motherboard settings where necessary. Even AMD makes it sound like this is a possibility in their own K6-2 FAQ. To quote them directly regarding their stance on using a K6-2 in a Socket 7 motherboard:

Question:
Is the AMD-K6.-2 processor compatible with the popular Socket 7 platform?

Answer:
Yes. Socket 7 represents the vast majority of today's installed base of PCs and has been proven for reliability, upgradeability, and low cost. For even better system performance with the AMD-K6-2 processor, choose a Super7 motherboard. Before selecting a motherboard you should first check with the manufacturer and review the recommended AMD motherboard support list.

Of course, things are never quite that simple. What AMD has neglected to mention explicitly, and has only alluded to briefly in the last sentence, is that Socket 7 CPU's do not all have the same requirements from the motherboard. Delving a little deeper into AMD's K6-2 specifications, it quickly becomes clear that there is more to it than just dropping in a new chip. Essentially three things are required to perform a Socket 7 CPU upgrade:

  1. The motherboard must support the correct CPU voltage
  2. The motherboard BIOS must be able to recognize the processor
  3. The motherboard must support the correct bus speed and clock multiplier settings

This is pretty much the case regardless of which Socket 7 CPU is preferred for an upgrade. Clearly, there is a lot more involved than just lifting the lever on that ZIF socket and switching chips. In fact, the chances of upgrading a motherboard designed without the K6-2 in mind are slim to none.

Enter the PL-ProMMX kit from Powerleap that promises to solve all these issues on most Socket 7 motherboards, allowing upgrades up to 400MHz.

The Powerleap PL ProMMX

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