Upgrade from 700MHz to 1.4GHz CPU - Worth it?

  climb45 18:00 24 Jan 07
Locked

I have a Mesh PC with a Athlon 700 cpu. I noticed on the Gigibyte Technology website, that the motherboard (a GA-71XE) has been tested to work with an Athlon 1.4Ghz cpu. These are no longer available new (as far as I can find) but they can be purchased second-hand from eBay for about £20.

The computer is used for homework (i.e. Office applications), Internet, music and non hitech games.

Is it worth upgrading? Would I need a new heatsink or would the existing be compatible? Are there any other considerations that need to be taken into account?

  brundle 18:02 24 Jan 07

The risk is getting a faulty one and those chips run very hot - you'll need a good fan and heatsink. It would make for a nice speed boost though.

  climb45 18:04 24 Jan 07

Such a prompt response - thank you!

If the CPU is faulty, would it damage any other components?

  Totally-braindead 18:09 24 Jan 07

If the 2 processors run at the same bus speed and can therfore use the same memory ie whats in your computer then yes it would be a significant boost. You might need a new heatsink it depends what the 700 has in the way of a heatsink.
Whether its worth it cost wise is debatable. As you would need to buy thermal paste, you might need to buy a new heatsink and fan.
If the new processor does need faster memory then you could run it on the old memory albeit at the slower speed.
I'm unsure as to whether I would bother.
Oh I nearly forgot, you might need to flash the BIOS to get it to recognise the chip. It will tell you on the Gigabyte website what BIOS number is needed and you can see what BIOS you have at startup before windows loads.
If you do need to flash the BIOS be aware that if you do it wrong the computer will not fire up, it will be dead.

  ed-0 18:09 24 Jan 07

make sure it's the 200Mhz model. You could put in a 200Mhz AthlonXP 1500+(Palomino,.18u), if you can find one.

Well worth doing for a few quid.

" If the CPU is faulty, would it damage any other components? "

No it shouldn't, just give you blue screens or not boot up.

  brundle 18:11 24 Jan 07

Unlikely, but not impossible. If it's dead you'll get fans spinning up but no POST beeps, if it's OK it will just work (possibly needing a BIOS update from Gigabyte to support the faster chip) although signs of the chip having been overheated in the past are the repeated appearance of a BIOS warning at startup saying the CPU has been set to the wrong speed. This is my experience of failing `Athlon` chips at any rate. The warning I mention usually indicates the chip is going to fail.

  ed-0 18:20 24 Jan 07

No bios flash needed for the new chip, just plug and pray!!!

click here

  climb45 21:22 24 Jan 07

Is the 200Mhz mentioned by ed-0 the FSB speed?

  ed-0 22:26 24 Jan 07

yes

The motherboard doubles the amd 100Mhz to 200Mhz. This follows with all the amd socket A cpu's

so

100Mhz > 200Mhz

133Mhz > 266Mhz

166Mhz > 333Mhz

200Mhz > 400Mhz

Don't be confused into thinking it can take a higher speed cpu. Your limit is the 1.4Ghz click here or a click here

  climb45 22:50 24 Jan 07

Does this mean that only a processor that has a bus frequency of 100MHz and a clock multiplier of 14 or below is suitable (i.e. not one that has a bus frequent of 133MHz and a clock multiplier of 10.5 = 1396.50MHz)?

  ed-0 23:18 24 Jan 07

" Does this mean that only a processor that has a bus frequency of 100MHz and a clock multiplier of 14 or below is suitable "

Yes.

and not the

one that has a bus frequent of 133MHz and a clock multiplier of 10.5 = 1396.50MHz.

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