Kingston TurboChip 566/S1

With some motherboards, it may be possible to upgrade your CPU using the combination of a "Slotket" adaptor and a new Celeron for around $250. That's cheaper than buying a TurboChip, but involves more dealing with manuals, BIOS upgrades and jumper settings.

The TurboChip avoids this messy business, for a price. It comes preconfigured for its Celeron 566 chip, has the heatsink attached already and handles the CPU power itself. Tested on three "motherboards, the TurboChip either worked perfectly - or not at all. Fortunately, Kingston resellers will take back the upgrade within 20 days if it won't work for you. The upgrade takes well under an hour, but longer if a BIOS update is required.

There is an instant improvement in boot times, application performance and games. Office applications may run 60 to 80 per cent faster, reflecting the 120 per cent increase in CPU speed from a PII-266. The exact gain from the upgrade depends on the speed of the original processor, but it won't be exactly proportionate to the clock speed of the TurboChip because the computer's older components still restrict it performance.

The TurboChip certainly performs well compared to the older generation, but doesn't match a new PIII. On the other hand, it's cheaper than a motherboard replacement, and less complex than a do-it-yourself chip upgrade.

Kingston TurboChip "566/S1

Price: $592

Distributor: Simms International

Phone: 1800 800 703

URL: www.kingston.com

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