Processor Upgrade, BIOS questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Schofield, Mar 1, 2002.

  1. Dave Schofield

    Dave Schofield Second Unit

    Sep 30, 1999
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    I currently have a I have a Dell Dimmension XPS D300 (P2-300) that I bought four years ago. Since I'm pretty attached to the machine I'm going to try to coax two more years out of it. I don't play many games, though I'd like to have a shot at playing Warcraft 3 it comes out (if it ever comes out).

    I see on Pricewatch that I can pick up a P2-450 that looks like it will work with my motherboard. I'd rather not mess with installing a new mobo, but I can if it is really worth it (and have in the past on other computers, so it wouldn't be a complete adventure). The P2-450 is ~$90, whereas I'm sure mobo+processor are quite a bit more expensive.


    Since I'm looking at upgrading my processor, I immediately thought to look through the BIOS and see if it would support the P2-450. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that it does. I can only select speeds of 266, 300 and 333mhz. Will this selection change if I put in a new processor, or do I need a new BIOS? If so, where can I get one? My warranty has been up with Dell for some time now and doubt they'd even talk to me about my computer without charging me for it.

    Circling back, does the BIOS problem illustrate that I should just go with a new mobo (extreme newbie question: is the BIOS on the mobo, or elsewhere?)? If so, which one? I'm not even sure what style case I have...

  2. Matt DeVillier

    Matt DeVillier Supporting Actor

    Sep 3, 1999
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    since your bios only shows speeds of 266/300/333, I'd assume it's based on the intel 430LX chipset. That means it only supports up to a 66MHz system bus, so 333 is the max speed CPU you can use with it.

    I see on pricewatch that AMD Duron CPUs are as low as $26. you'd need a new motherboard, but it could be done for about $100 total easily. You can get a VIA KT133A based motherboard that will allow you to reuse your current ram, though having to run it at 66MHz will definitely handicap the system (but it costs nothing). If you'd like recommendations for specific models and vendors, just let me know.

    the bios is stored on an EEPROM that is on the motherboard.

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