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Looking To Upgrade My Processor Speed


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#1
Webslinger64

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I just completed reformatting the HD and installation of Windows XP Professional on a computer I recently purchased used (via a surplus sale at a local university). In addition to those tasks, I have upgraded the RAM as well. All of this work has been a real learning experience for me. I wouldn't classify myself as a newbie, but close. Anyway, I've been very pleased with this work and have had a lot of fun doing it (Kudos to makai for all the help :) :) :))

I am now wanting to see what can be done to increase my processing speed. Right now I have the following:

Intel Pentium® 4 CPU 1.80 GHz/400 MHz, 2.00 GB RAM

My motherboard is:

Intel Desktop Board
D845GEBV2/D845PESV

I have reviewed the support page at http://support.intel...b/cs-020075.htm and believe I can upgrade the processor from a 1.80 GHz/400 MHz to a 3.06GHz/533 MHz. If you want to look for yourself, just click on the link above.

So, with this upgrade in mind, here are my questions:

1. Is it just a simple matter of purchasing the new processor and installing it on the motherboard of my PC? (in other words, just pulling the old one out and putting the new one in).

2. If not, what other steps must be done in order to install a new processor successfully?

3. Similar to other PC hardware, will the new processor require any software/drivers to be installed for it to work?

4. The website support page indicates the BIOS Version must be P09 or greater. How can I check the version of the BIOS I have to make sure they match?

5. It appears there may be some additional cooling requirements if I upgrade. On that same support page I clicked on the link under 'note' and read the following:

"Systems that contain Intel® Pentium® 4 processors operating at 3 GHz or higher require a heatsink and chassis that provide airflow adequate to ensure appropriate internal ambient temperature and cooling of the components in the system.

The fan heatsink must provide appropriate airflow for the processor and nearby board components. The boxed Intel® Pentium® 4 processors at 3 GHz or higher ship with a heatsink that supplies appropriate airflow for the processor and nearby board components.

Failure to use a fan heatsink and a chassis with appropriate airflow may result in reduced performance or, in some instances, damage to the motherboard."

To be honest, I'm not really sure what a heatsink is (unless we're talking about an additional fan?) and how would I know if I need a different chassis (case) for my PC?

6. If a heatsink is a fan mounted on the motherboard, I believe I already have one mounted there now. (I'm assuming that's where the heatsink goes). If there's one already there, does that mean I need an additional heatsink for this upgrade or will the one suffice?

7. Lastly, is it really worth the time and effort to upgrade the processing speed from what it is now to the maximum processing speed my motherboard can handle?

I eagerly await replies and look forward to learning a heck of a lot more.

Thanks,

Greg
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#2
=OSS*ROID=

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These are some great questions. I will do my best to answer them for you.

Is it just a simple matter of purchasing the new processor and installing it on the motherboard of my PC? (in other words, just pulling the old one out and putting the new one in).

Yes it is. Just make sure that you are very careful with the installation of the CPU. It's a very delicate component.

Similar to other PC hardware, will the new processor require any software/drivers to be installed for it to work?

No it won't.

The website support page indicates the BIOS Version must be P09 or greater. How can I check the version of the BIOS I have to make sure they match?

First click the start button, then select "run", then type in "winmsd". From here you should see a screen that shows the System Summary. Your Bios version/date will be listed there. If using Vista, click on the start button, then select "All programs" then go to "Accessories" and select "run".

It appears there may be some additional cooling requirements if I upgrade.

If you purchase a retail version of the CPU, it will come with a heatsink, I would recommend using that one, even if you already have one.

If a heatsink is a fan mounted on the motherboard, I believe I already have one mounted there now.

All motherboards have a heatsink attached to it, a.k.a. the CPU heatsink, if you didn't have one then the processor would get so hot that it would burn a whole in the side of your system and shoot out.

If there's one already there, does that mean I need an additional heatsink for this upgrade or will the one suffice?

No you do not need an additional heatsink, just make sure that you have at least one fan blowing cool air into the case and one exhaust fan blowing the hot air out.

Lastly, is it really worth the time and effort to upgrade the processing speed from what it is now to the maximum processing speed my motherboard can handle?

You will notice a very large increase in processing speed and overall performance if you upgrade to the 3GHz processor. Everything will run better and faster.

Cheers :)
ROIDO

Edited by =OSS*ROID=, 16 December 2008 - 04:22 PM.

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#3
Webslinger64

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These are some great questions. I will do my best to answer them for you.

The website support page indicates the BIOS Version must be P09 or greater. How can I check the version of the BIOS I have to make sure they match?

First click the start button, then select "run", then type in "winmsd". From here you should see a screen that shows the System Summary. Your Bios version/date will be listed there. If using Vista, click on the start button, then select "All programs" then go to "Accessories" and select "run".


Heya...thanks for addressing each of my questions. You're information is very helpful.

I checked the Bios version via 'run', 'winmsd' and found the following:

BIOS Version/Date Intel Corp. RG84510A.86A.0028.P15.0302260937, 2/26/2003

I'm guessing it's the P15 in that long set of numbers that counts right?

Any particular websites you might recommend to purchase this product?

Thanks,

Greg
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#4
=OSS*ROID=

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Alright, I did my best trying to find that processor. Not many places carry them anymore. Here is one that I found.

http://www.upgradeba...temid=168704083

Cheers :)
ROIDO
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#5
Webslinger64

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Alright, I did my best trying to find that processor. Not many places carry them anymore. Here is one that I found.

http://www.upgradeba...temid=168704083

Cheers :)
ROIDO


Yeah, I was looking too and didn't have any luck at the major retailers, Newegg, TigerDirect and such. $149 seems high considering how ancient a Pentium 4 is nowadays. I thought it would be a lot less than that. I may do it anyway because I am enjoying learning all I can about computers and one like this seems to be a good one to start with.
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#6
makai

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Hey Greg,
I don't know if you use ebay, but THIS would be a decent buy. The seller has 100% positive feedback (7000+ sales), the processer is new, sealed Retail (comes with heatsink/fan), and is a Northwood... which is actually a plus...it'll run cooler and not stress the PCM circuitry on the motherboard. Its not 3ghz, but then again, it's close. Also, the fact that its an increase in processor speed along with a faster FSB will definitely make a difference in performance from what you have now. However... don't expect micracles!
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#7
=OSS*ROID=

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I would go with makai's find if you are comfortable with using ebay. The difference between a 2.8GHz and 3.06GHz processor is very small, so you won't notice much of a difference. But yes, you will see a BIG improvement with this processor over the one you are using right now.

Cheers :)
ROIDO
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#8
Webslinger64

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The e-bay item looks really good. I think I'll go for it. I appreciate the information both of you have provided for this thread. Helps make guys like me a lot more comfortable trying these things ourselves. Rock on!
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#9
=OSS*ROID=

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:)
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#10
Webslinger64

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:)


Hey, last question. My CPU is 478 pin right? I'm assuming that is standard for the motherboard I have, but just want to make sure before I make a purchase.

I'm also curious to know if I can purchase a CPU with Hyper-Threading, or is that not compatible. What about a INTEL XEON PROCESSOR 3.06 GHZ 533 MHZ 512 KB SL6VP, is Xeon compatible with my motherboard and how does Xeon differ from a normal Intel chip?

Thanks,
Greg

Edited by konakula29er, 17 December 2008 - 02:34 PM.

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#11
makai

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Hello Greg,

I haven't been avoiding your thread, I was waiting to see if =OSS*ROID= would answer your questions. I sort of don't like to intrude on threads someone else is helping with... it tends to add confusion.

However, the item I linked is going to end in about 16 hours, so I have no choice!

When Hyperthreading first came out, it was all the rage. In fact so much so that motherboard manufactures (like ABIT and ASUS) scrambled to create boards that could use the technology. They even created bios's that could enable HT on boards that didn't really support it... like the ABIT IS7. A board I actually own... acutally, my daughter owns it now.

Your question about compatibility with your motherboard and a HT processor is a good one. So good that I can't even answer it. I've done a ton of research on your board, and it's ability to run HT, but there is so much conflicting information. Some say yes, and some say no. Its to the point where some (most) advertise the board as being HT capable, but then Intel itself doesn't mention it in the board specs. Neither does Intel mention it in their bios documentation. SO, basically... the jury is out.

Whether your board can run the ebay processor... I can't really guarantee it. However, before updating my ABIT IS7 bios so my board could run HT, it did run an HT CPU just fine. What I mean is that the board simply ran the CPU as a non-hyperthreading CPU. Once I updated the bios, HT was enabled in both bios and in Windows.

According to the specs of your motherboard, it has the chipsets that are HT enabled... 845GE/845PE. This chipset was an upgrade (according to many reviews on your board), from the 845G/P chipsets that couldn't run HT. However, again, Intel doesn't specify anything about it on the documentation of your board. I find this very puzzleing!

One of the requirements for HT is that the bios supports it, so what can do is check the bios. You will be looking for anything related to HT. I don't have the slightest clue which bios screen you might find info on, so you will have to search through it.

Another thing I find puzzling (in the Intel link you posted) is that Intel didn't list the actual part numbers of the supported CPUs your board can run. The list only specified the CPU speeds. This is just a comment as my mind is "over working"!

By the way...
Yes, your CPU is 478 pins.
Xeons were normally used for server applications. They are workhorses. I don't know if they would be compatible with your motherboard, but I can research it.

Check the bios and we can go from there. You only have 16 hours if a decision is going to be made on the ebay item.

makai

Edited by makai, 17 December 2008 - 09:00 PM.

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#12
Webslinger64

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Makai,

As usual, your post is exceptionally informative. I appreciate the breakdown you provided on the HT processor, and now I know what a Xeon processor is used for.

I will look through my bios for any signs of HT compatibility. Anything I find that looks like a possibility I will post to this thread.

As for the ebay item, I am keeping tabs on it. I just 'discovered' these other items (HT and Xeon) as I was doing a search of my own and was curious about them.

BTW, I can't thank you enough for the time and effort you have put in on my behalf. I do appreciate it and hope I haven't been too much of a pain. I am very intent on becoming much more knowledgeable about hardware/software for my PC. Your "mentorship" has been great.

Thanks,

Greg
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#13
Webslinger64

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OK, took a trip through the bios and did not see anything that referred to HT. It was interesting though. For the first time ever, I realized the bios keeps track of the internal temperature of the PC - 2 zones - and the processor. That was a nifty discovery.

Also, as I looked through the bios I realized that in addition to the upgrade in processing speed (1.8 GHz now, potential 3.06 GHz), there would also be an increase in System Bus Speed (400 MHz now, 533 MHz after upgrade) and Cache RAM (256 KB now, 512 KB after upgrade). I hadn't really taken note of that, just the processor speed.

I think at this point it would be the safe bet to stay away from HT processors and stick with the basic upgrade. Probably the ebay item you searched out Makai. Until the auction for that is up though, I am going to do some additional searching to see if I can score a 3.06 GHz processor. You never know.

Mahalo...
Greg
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#14
makai

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Hey Greg,

Staying away from HT... well that's something I wouldn't do if I have the choice. But then again, some say that HT is not all that it's cracked up to be. However, if an application can use it, then it would be an advantage. For the things I do, (mostly video editing), I need all the speed I can get. But then, that's just me! As it is, I've moved to Core2duo, but back then (with the IS7), I needed HT.

Doing more research on your board, this is what I found...
[attachment=25563:Supporte...psets_sm.jpg] The screen capture came from THIS PAGE

It really appears your board can support HT, although it would need a bios upgrade... which is probably why you don't see anything to do with HT in your current bios. The bios is up to P17 and looking at the bios screen menu dictionary (Intel has a wealth of info!) it looks like the HT enable/disable is in the Main menu options of bios.
[attachment=25564:Bios_main_menu_sm.jpg] This came from HERE (look down the page for Bios Settings Glossary (under Known issues and solutions), then download and review the BIOS Settings Glossary - By Menu PDF file.

I normally NEVER recommend updating the Bios, unless there is a valid reason. In your case, this is a good reason to do so. However, you have to be warned that a failed update can/will KILL THE BOARD! A lot of people update bios without a second thought... I always think twice!

If you are content with running without HT, then that's fine too and we can hunt around for a non-HT processor.
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#15
=OSS*ROID=

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:) srry i was away for a day, i didn't get to look at your questions. Looks like makai pretty much has things under control, so goodluck with everything!

Cheers :)
ROIDO
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