Benchmarking Toshiba Libretto 70CT


Toshiba Libretto 70CT is based on Intel Mobile Pentium MMX 120 Mhz (sSpec number SL2JS). Lets compare this this processor with a desktop Pentium MMX of the same time:

Model number Lithography Frequency L1 Cache FSB TDP sSpec number
Mobile Pentium MMX 120 0.35 µm 120 Mhz 16+16 KiB 60 MT/s 4.2 W SL2JS
Pentium MMX 166 0.35 µm 166 Mhz 16+16 KiB 66 MT/s 13.1 W SL239, SL27H

Despite being built using the same lithography technology as the desktop Pentium MMX processors (0.35 µm) and having comparatively close frequency (the desktop processor has 38% higher frequency), SL2JS has significantly smaller TDP (the TDP of the desktop processors is 3.12 times higher, than the TDP of SL2JS).

Because of this fact I became curious whether the performance SL2JS will be identical to the performance of a desktop MMX processor with the same frequency of 120 Mhz. In order to find this out I prepared a test setup and executed few CPU benchmarks. The benchmark results are presented below.

Testing methodology

The following programs were used to test CPU performance:

  • SiSoft Sandra version 2001.0.7.10;
  • PassMark Performance Test 5.0 build 1038;
  • CPUBENCH version;
  • Speedsys version 4.78;
  • Landmark System Speed Test version 6.00;
  • Norton System Information 8.0;
  • Quake version 1.0.6. Settings: resolution is 320×200, disabled sound, disabled cdaudio, demo1 used as demo map. Full config is available here.

All tests performed after suitable warm-up period.

Setup #1 description

Toshiba Libretto 70CT

Device: Toshiba Libretto 70CT
BIOS version: 6.40
CPU: Mobile Pentium MMX 120 (SL2JS)
RAM: 32Mb (including genuine 16Mb extension module)
Video: Chips & Technology F65550 1Mb
OS: Windows 98 SE 4.10.2222 A

Setup #2 description

Intel Pentium MMX 166

Motherboard: Lucky Star 5I-VX1F
BIOS version: 4.51PG
CPU: There is no desktop Pentium MMX clocked at 120 Mhz. Therefore a downclocked Pentium MMX 166 was used (clocked at 120 Mhz with 60 MHz FSB). There were used two samples with different spec numbers: SL239 and SL27H.
RAM: Hitachi 32Mb SDRAM 81117822a-100fn
Video: S3 Trio64V2/DX 2 Mb
PSU: Linkworld LP12SWITCH 200W
OS: Windows 98 SE 4.10.2222 A

Test results

Landmark System Speed test results

Speedsys test results

Norton System Information test results

As we can see, DOS benchmarks didn’t detect any difference. However, Windows benchmarks show a different picture.

PassMark Performance Test results

SiSoft Sandra test results

CPUBENCH test results

In most tests the SL2JS is behind its desktop competitors. In some test the gap is as big as 49%, but the average difference is only 10%.

I also decided to execute one additional test with Quake. However, the results of this benchmark can not be linked directly to CPU. This benchmark is highly dependent on video output and there are different video chip used in the test
setups. Anyway, here is the result.

PassMark Performance Test results


The presumption was confirmed. The performance of SL2JS is not identical to the performance of a desktop MMX processor with the same frequency. However, the average difference in performance is not very significant: it’s just 10%.

Gentoo on a Libretto 70CT


This article and all information and products in it are provided on an "as is" basis, without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. Your use of this article is at your own risk.


This article describes an attempt to install modern stable Gentoo on quite an ancient laptop (actually a netbook according to the modern naming convention) – Toshiba Libretto 70CT. The device is almost 18 year old now. It was released on 29 Oct 1997 (in Japan). The specs of the notebook can be found here. Let me mention some facts to describe how really ancient it is:

  • It does not have a PCI bus. Sound chip is connected via ISA. Video chip is connected via VLB. The PCMCIA slot supports only 16-bit cards (not CardBus).
  • BIOS does not support ACPI, only APM.

The results of this attempt are described below. You will also find there the customized rootfs archive available for downloading.

Hardware support

  • linux kernel version 4.0.5 supports almost all the Libretto hardware: keyboard, pointing stick, display, IDE storage device, PCMCIA controller and so on. The rootfs contains both the kernel sources and the config file in /usr/src/linux.
  • There was a small issue with APM support, related to switching CPU from real mode to virtual mode. First of all, in case of using GRUB2 bootloader, the kernel must be loaded via linux16 command instead of linux. Besides that, I had to patch the kernel in order to make it detect APM support in BIOS. After that apm started working. Use apm to see the battery status. Use command apm --suspend to hibernate the device via built-in hibernate feature.
  • __hostap_cs__ driver provides support for WiFi cards. Even WPA2-networks are supported. Tested with Zonet ZCF1100.
  • libapm program allows to configure BIOS settings like brightness of the LCD, standby time, power-on time, volume of beep sound, etc. In order to compile it with gcc-4, the following patch must be applied: patch.
  • dispswitch program allows to enable external display connected via docking station. In order to compile it with gcc-4, the following patch must be applied: patch.
  • ALSA supports the audio chip Yamaha OPL3-SA3 without any problems. The only thing that I had to configure was the kernel module parameters.
  • X-server is installed and configured. It was quite tricky to make it work on the Libretto. First of all, VLB support was removed in xorg-server-1.8.2. My attempt to ‘frontport’ it to modern xorg failed, because I figured out, that VLB support was based on other subsystems, which were also removed long ago. That’s why I decided to compile X11R6.9 statically. It still works fine with modern client application, because the protocol is very stable.

The only thing I could not make work is the fullscreen 320x240 graphics mode. The driver for CT F65550 from X11R6.9 does not support it. Besides that, all the hardware I tried to configure works fine with modern GNU/Linux.

Not tested hardware

I haven’t tried to configure the hardware listed below. Therefore I can’t say whether this hardware is supported on modern Linux.

  • IrDa port.

What packages are installed

Here is the full list of installed packages (equery l). It includes the following ones:

vim gcc gdb urxvt mplayer mpc mpd geeqie gftp pidgin openbox claws-mail netsurf stardict prboom 

How to install

The rootfs tarball requires at least 4Gb of storage. The default HDD from Libretto 70CT is not enough. Besides that, it’s not trivial to connect an IDE HDD to modern computer. That’s why I recommend to use an IDE-to-CF adapter with 8Gb CF card. The instruction below assumes that a CF card with adapter is used.

  1. Remove CF card with IDE adapter from Libretto and connect the CF card to some other Linux computer, which will be used as a host environment for Gentoo installation.
  2. Create MBR partition table on your CF card. After that create two partitions on it. The second partition will be used for swap (I use 100Mb for swap). So let the first partition fill all the available space except swap. Format the first partition of your SD card as ext2 and the second one as swap.
    This manual from gentoo wiki explains how to create partition table and partitions.
  3. Download the rootfs tarball: gentoo-rootfs-20170316.tar.bz2 (1.4 Gb).
  4. Extract the rootfs to the first partition:
    tar xvpf gentoo-rootfs-20170316.tar.bz2 -C /mnt/<your-mnt-dir>
  5. Use this manual from gentoo wiki to chroot to the rootfs:
  6. Install GRUB2 bootloader on the CF card using this manual from
    gentoo wiki.
  7. Leave chroot environment and unmount rootfs partition from the host system.
  8. Insert the CF card with the adapter into your Libretto and reboot the machine.

The root password is 1.