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How do I upgrade my processor?


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#1
mrpooh3

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Hi,I would like to get a better processor than my current one which is an Intel Pentium CPU E2180 @ 2 GHz.I am not sure what to look out for or what will be compatible with my current set-up and would appreciate some good advice.My Motherboard is an ASUS P5N-MX,it says it supports socket 775 intel core 2 duo,quad core and dual core...Does this mean the only thing I need to look for is a processor with a 775 socket?I was also considering a 2nd hand processor is this advisable?I was going to buy a new heatsink/cooling fan too but was reading that when installing a new Processor or heatsink you need to clean and re-apply thermal paste,is this difficult to do?I was hoping to upgrade to a 3.0 GHz dual core processor so if anyone can help advise me what to look out for that would be great! PS.I was looking at a 2nd hand 3.2 ghz dual core processor which is an lga775 socket but says it requires Intel 945/955x chipset PCG05B.I am not sure what chipset I have. :)

Edited by mrpooh3, 29 January 2010 - 09:16 AM.

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#2
Neil Jones

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The P5N-MX is an Nvidia 7050 chipset board. However it's irrelevant.

Pay no attention to the clock speed of the processors these days, it's irrelevant.
What do you want to do with the computer?
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#3
mrpooh3

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Hi, I do a lot of video conversion and photo editing which is quite processor heavy,would a quad core be better suited to my needs?
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#4
Neil Jones

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A quad-core could be a better idea. However if you haven't got one already, a separate hard drive could be worth investing in, otherwise things tend to get pretty slow with video editing.
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#5
mrpooh3

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Hi,I am considering installing an extra HD in the future.I am totally lost though when it comes to processors.....My current processor is pretty decent but as processors are improving all the time and coming down in price I would really like to step up.If clock speed is irrelevant,how do I go about choosing a faster more powerful processor than my current one?
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#6
Ferrari

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This is a really nice processor: Core 2 Duo E8400 (3.00GHz,1333FSB,L2:6MB,65W,rev.E0) - $167. It is compatible with your motherboard. Has a FSB of 1333 compared to your current 800mhz FSB, 6mb L2 cache vs. current 1mb, and using 45nm vs your 65nm (NanoMeter) technology.

The nearest comparable and compatible quad-core processor is about $20-$30 more : Core2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Compare FSB, L2 cache, nm, and amount of cores.

If clock speed is irrelevant,how do I go about choosing a faster more powerful processor than my current one?

What you want to really look for these days is the FSB (Front Side Bus). Or on the newer socket 1366 and 1156 processors, the QPI (Quick Path Interconnect). NM, and L2 cache can make a difference as well.

I was also considering a 2nd hand processor is this advisable?I

If you mean used, or refurbished/openbox, that's up to you. Often, used or recertified processors don't come with the heatsink and fan assembly, so keep that in mind. A new one will. Also, Depending on where you buy, it may not be returnable if you bought from someone off CL, or the warranty may not be as long if you buy from an online retailer like Newegg.com. Stuff like that...

I was going to buy a new heatsink/cooling fan too but was reading that when installing a new Processor or heatsink you need to clean and re-apply thermal paste,is this difficult to do?

You'll have to apply new thermal paste anyway if you replace your processor. If you are not going to overclock, which I don't think you are, then you don't need a better or more expensive heatsink and fan. The stock one that comes with the processor will do just fine. (assuming you buy new)

Apply thermal paste is simply really. Look at this video. How to apply thermal paste.

I was looking at a 2nd hand 3.2 ghz dual core processor which is an lga775 socket but says it requires Intel 945/955x chipset PCG05B.I am not sure what chipset I have.


Everytime you want to upgrade a processor, build a new computer, or want to know what processor will work with a particular motherboard, go to the manufacturers website... in your case ASUS, look up the motherboard, and check that motherboards cpu support list. Here is a link to yours. ASUS P5N-MX. Now scroll down just a bit, click on the tab that says, "CPU Support List". If the processor you are looking at isn't on that list, then you can assume it is NOT compatible. See?

Hope that helps. :)
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#7
mrpooh3

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Hi Ferrari,thanks for the advice ,I am going to go with the first processor you mentioned.I have decided just to buy brand new rather than 2nd hand aswell.Thanks to both you and Neil for helping me decide what to get! :)
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#8
Ferrari

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No problem, good luck. And like Neil said, upgrading your hard drive can help a lot to. Things to look for in that category are SATA or IDE (SATA is better) Higher the cache is the better, and the higher the RPM, the better. For example, I have a pretty fast hard drive, it is a SATA 7200RPM, with 32mb of cache.

Good luck with the upgrade!
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