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Best CPU for upgrading an i845 socket 478 system?

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March 6, 2007 3:03:58 AM

A buddy of mine has a Dell which is about three years old. Currently he has a 2.4 GHz Celeron but I want to help him upgrade to get a little more life out of it. Based on the info from CPU-Z I determined that it's a socket 478 motherboard with an i845 chipset. The motherboard shows up as a Dell 0C2425, but I couldn't really find any info on it.

The Intel website says the i845 supports Celeron D, so I'm guessing that the Celeron D 345 (3.06 533MHz) should give him a pretty decent upgrade / bang for the buck, but I was wondering if there's any way to verify that this CPU will work with his motherboard.

Also, can anyone speculate percentage-wide as to what kind of performance gain the 3.06 Celeron D would give over the Celeron 2.4? Is there another chip that might be a better candidate? The Celeron D is only $55, and max he's looking to spend is probably about $75.
March 6, 2007 3:25:10 AM

Celeron's are not so hot. Frankly, I don't think you would see that much difference between a 3.0 Cel or a 2.4 Cel. A better bet may be to upgrade to the Pentium.

Another option is to increase the ram. If he has only 512mb, for instance, adding another 512mb stick will noticicably perk up the computer, although 2mb is unnecessary.
March 6, 2007 4:06:35 AM

If it's the Dimension 2300, 2350 or 2400 (all 845 chipsets), it does not support the Celeron D. Those computers only support Northwood CPU's, mainly because they never released a BIOS upgrade to support the Presler chips. About the best new option is the Northwood P4 2.8Ghz below, which is the highest performing CPU that you could originally get with any of those computers.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

According to the reviews, there are many Dell users that have upgraded from a Northwood Celeron with no problems. You can even use the original cooling system- just apply new thermal paste.
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March 6, 2007 4:15:28 AM

Yes, the Intel chipset supports the Celeron D, but the Dell bios found on that 845 does not. No Dell with the i845x chipset ever supported Prescott. Your best price/perfomance for that old rig is either a 2.66GHz/533 bus Northwood P4, or the 2.8GHz/533 bus Northwood (2.8B). You can find these on ebay, or you could look for the 2.8B on Newegg (they used to have it for $75 a month ago). The 3.06Ghz Northwood P4 is the fastest 533 bus Northwood P4 and also the only one supporting hyperthreading, but it is simply too expensive for the slight increase in performance it offers.

EDIT:
Quote:
If it's the Dimension 2300, 2350 or 2400 (all 845 chipsets), it does not support the Celeron D.

You can add to that list the Dimension 4500/4550.
March 6, 2007 4:33:53 AM

Quote:
Yes, the Intel chipset supports the Celeron D, but the Dell bios found on that 845 does not. No Dell with the i845x chipset ever supported Prescott. Your best price/perfomance for that old rig is either a 2.66GHz/533 bus Northwood P4, or the 2.8GHz/533 bus Northwood (2.8B). You can find these on ebay, or you could look for the 2.8B on Newegg (they used to have it for $75 a month ago). The 3.06Ghz Northwood P4 is the fastest 533 bus Northwood P4 and also the only one supporting hyperthreading, but it is simply too expensive for the slight increase in performance it offers.

EDIT: If it's the Dimension 2300, 2350 or 2400 (all 845 chipsets), it does not support the Celeron D.

You can add to that list the Dimension 4500/4550.

True. I was just listing the 845 systems that had the factory option of a 2.4Ghz Celeron as referenced by the thread starter. The 4500/4550's came with P4's standard.
March 6, 2007 4:36:53 AM

ah, yes. I see the point in why you listed only those models then.
March 6, 2007 1:13:56 PM

Every cent thrown on that platform is wasted because CPUs for S478 are getting expensive due to supply shortage, however,for about $70, this will perform better than a 3.06G CeleronD:
http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=P2.8-533
March 6, 2007 2:23:53 PM

Thanks for the advice, looks like the P4 2.8 is the way to go. I probably would've ended up getting the Celeron D not knowing that the Dell BIOS wouldn't support it.
March 6, 2007 2:43:48 PM

To tell the truth, even $70 is a waste of money if you think that with the same amount you can get a Pentium D 805 dual core, just add some more money for a motherboard with both DDR and DDR2 support (so you can use your existing DDR RAM), or even cheaper, you can get a ~$70 Athlon64 3500+, another $50 for the board.
I'd do at least one of these moves for upgrading, because moving to a 2.8GHz P4, will still leave you with a P4 and thae i845 chipset allowing only 266MHz DDR.
If your board has jumpers for switching the FSB, try getting it to 133(x4=533) and see if you Celeron can stand the 3.2GHz (only the CPU will be overclocked in this case, so don't worry about the other elements). I did it with my 2.0GHz Celeron; 2.66 was a breeze. IMO, it's really a waste of money to upgrade a S478 system so try doing one of the above.
March 6, 2007 2:52:02 PM

Quote:
To tell the truth, even $70 is a waste of money if you think that with the same amount you can get a Pentium D 805 dual core, just add some more money for a motherboard with both DDR and DDR2 support (so you can use your existing DDR RAM), or even cheaper, you can get a ~$70 Athlon64 3500+, another $50 for the board.
I'd do at least one of these moves for upgrading, because moving to a 2.8GHz P4, will still leave you with a P4 and thae i845 chipset allowing only 266MHz DDR.


With the P4's 533Mhz bus, the DDR speed is bumped up to 333Mhz on that board. Still single channel though.
March 6, 2007 4:28:16 PM

More precisely, it depends; the 845 came in some very different flavors, starting from SDRAM support for the first version, up to the latest supporting DDR333. For example, the board of my Celeron had a 845GL chipset and depending on the FSB (100 or 133MHz) it only allower a DDR of either 200 or 266MHz.
However you see it, on this build, it's worth to make a stretch of $120-130 and get a real boost on performance rather than throw away $70 and get something that is still to be upgraded.
March 6, 2007 4:56:01 PM

Quote:
More precisely, it depends; the 845 came in some very different flavors, starting from SDRAM support for the first version, up to the latest supporting DDR333. For example, the board of my Celeron had a 845GL chipset and depending on the FSB (100 or 133MHz) it only allower a DDR of either 200 or 266MHz.


Yes, there were different 845 chipsets and some could do 400FSB and some 533FSB. However, we are talking about the thread starter's Dell board and that can run up to 333 DDR.
March 6, 2007 4:56:21 PM

Want to make a sub $90 upgrade that just kills the $70 Pentium4 ?!:

Socket754 Athlon64 3200+ (Will perform exactly like a S939 3500+ in 99% of cases because both are clocked 2.2GHz and have 512 L2, only differing in HTT speed) for $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

If you already have an AGP video card, this will be a great board with 3 comfortable DDR slots, 5PCI slots and 4 SATA:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

If you don't, this one has fewer features compared to the first but has onboard video:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

This is a heck of an upgrade for only $90 and will perform about 20% better than a 2.8GHz Pentium4.
March 6, 2007 5:01:38 PM

Quote:
Want to make a sub $90 upgrade that just kills the $70 Pentium4 ?!:

Socket754 Athlon64 3200+ (Will perform exactly like a S939 3500+ in 99% of cases because both are clocked 2.2GHz and have 512 L2, only differing in HTT speed) for $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

If you already have an AGP video card, this will be a great board with 3 comfortable DDR slots, 5PCI slots and 4 SATA:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

If you don't, this one ihas fewer features compared to the first but has onboard video:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...


That's well and good, but those components won't go into the thread starter's Dell case.
March 6, 2007 5:10:50 PM

I'm not sure but he'd better check. And if it does not fit, I am sure that if he goes to a PC repair nearby with his Dell case with mobo and Celeron inside, he'll be able to exchange it with an ATX case. I'd do it :wink:
March 6, 2007 9:08:51 PM

Quote:

That's well and good, but those components won't go into the thread starter's Dell case.


Actually, it will fit in the case (the mATX board at least, no way in hell the full ATX will). Front panel wiring is easy for people like me, but I suspect the author of this thread is not as experienced, and rewiring the front power and audio/USB may not be his idea of a good time. :wink:

m25, we really don't know the usage of this Dell. It could be that a simple upgrade to the 2.8GHz P4 will be all that's needed to extend its life a few more years. Sure, it may not be the most bang for the buck, but it's certainly the easiest and cheapest route.

Also, I must take you to task for recommending a dead technology to supplant a dead technology. You snicker at a P4 socket 478 upgrade, claiming it to be a waste of money, and then turn around and recommend a socket 754 solution. The Athlon 64 may offer more performance, but its fate is sealed as much as the socket 478 sytem. Your suggestion is just as much a waste of money as buying a P4 is going to be.
March 6, 2007 9:57:05 PM

Quote:

Actually, it will fit in the case (the mATX board at least, no way in hell the full ATX will).


Of course, it would physically fit in the case but the mainboard mounts are non-standard on Dell computers. I thought the mounts wouldn't line up if you put a standard mainboard in a Dell case, but maybe it's the other way around: Dell mainboards won't fit in a standard case.
March 6, 2007 10:48:08 PM

Quote:


Of course, it would physically fit in the case but the mainboard mounts are non-standard on Dell computers. I thought the mounts wouldn't line up if you put a standard mainboard in a Dell case, but maybe it's the other way around: Dell mainboards won't fit in a standard case.


I do believe that the Dell proprietary mobo WILL NOT fit in another case without drilling new holes. Plus, I do not think that the power and hd light cable will not go into any case other than a dell.

I have a Dell 4550 that i've upgraded the agp card, ram, and psu. The psu was horrible to fit in (my first experience with a dremel!) and I had to hammer in the bumps to make it fit....(I'm sure you can imagine all the swearwords I said....)



In my opinioin, the HIGHEST cpu my 4550 can handle is the 3.06 northwood socket 478. The 845 motherboards will not handle the Prescott cpus in dell systems. I second the idea of going for a P4 cpu @2.8ghz.

Keep in mind, the cpu that you'd be looking for MUST have no more than a 533 mhz fsb. The P4 cpus will be labeled with A, B, and C.
(Ex: my P4 cpu is a 2.4ghzB, meaning it has a 533 fsb.)
A rated P4 = 400 mhz fsb, and C rated = 800 fsb.

So, you can get any A rated cpu or B, but a C implies a Prescott cpu and will probably not work in the dell...I know it won't work in mine..

Edit: my mobo can support a max of pc 2700 ram or 333mhz MAX. That should help determine the fsb max speeds...maybe....
March 6, 2007 11:36:50 PM

Quote:

Of course, it would physically fit in the case but the mainboard mounts are non-standard on Dell computers. I thought the mounts wouldn't line up if you put a standard mainboard in a Dell case, but maybe it's the other way around: Dell mainboards won't fit in a standard case.


This topic has been covered several times on this forum. The Dell cases that were mentioned, specifically, the Dimension 2300/2350/2400/3000/4600/4700/1100/B110 etc. etc. all use the same case design. This case uses 100% mATX mobo layout (i.e., its mobo standoffs are in perfect alignment for any aftermarket mATX mobo), and the PSU in these cases were standard ATX, meaning any aftermarket ATX PSU will work, you don't even need to Dremel out the back of the case like you would with the Dimension 4500/4550.

Likewise, removal of a factory Dell mobo from one of these cases would fit into any aftermarket case.

The only problem to installing an aftermarkt board into one of these Dell cases is the front panel wiring, which really is not too terribly difficult, as it is at least separated into separate connectors for the audio, USB, and power, instead of being all grouped together running through a ribbon cable as found in the Dimension 4500/4550 and the other models that use the larger clamshell case design.



http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/Dell-case-805-2...
March 7, 2007 12:25:07 AM

Wow, really interesting thread that you linked, although I didn't see any mention of the Dimension 2300/2350/2400/3000/4600/4700/1100/B110. I have a Dimension 4400 Pentium 2.2 Ghz that I use for a CSS and BF2 server... and it sure could use a mainboard/CPU upgrade. Thanks for the good ideas.
March 7, 2007 3:52:45 AM

the reason you saw no mention of those cases in the thread I linked is because, well, the thread only showed a method of board replacement for a clamshell Dell case, which is a much more difficult job. Those other cases, such as the Dimension 2400 and 3000, are pretty simple to figure out, just your average re-wire job for the front panel connectors. I helped my parents pick out a Dimension 3000 in December of 2004, so I have a case specimen to do another how-to for these case designs, but for what my parents do, I doubt they'll ever need to upgrade from the Dell mobo, meaning the how-to will likely never happen. :wink:

As for your Dimension 4400, just make sure the mobo tray is a mATX layout, as not all of the clamshell models used the mATX standard. For example, the Dimension 8300 used a board that is too wide to be mATX, and I also don't believe its motherboard "standoffs" were in the correct spots (completely proprietary). I do know for a fact that the 4500 and 4550 use a mATX mobo tray, which was a big help in my how-to project.

I found a pic of your board:


It looks like your mobo tray is the same as mine, although your board is a bit wider than a real mATX, and is actually utilizing those two non-mATX screws on the far right side. An aftermarket mobo will not be that wide, so those standoffs should not pose a problem.
March 7, 2007 1:05:03 PM

Quote:
Also, I must take you to task for recommending a dead technology to supplant a dead technology. You snicker at a P4 socket 478 upgrade, claiming it to be a waste of money, and then turn around and recommend a socket 754 solution. The Athlon 64 may offer more performance, but its fate is sealed as much as the socket 478 sytem. Your suggestion is just as much a waste of money as buying a P4 is going to be.

I know it was dead tech to dead tech, but staying within the UPGRADE notion and the $90 budget, the one I proposed is the most reasonable and best performing one. Because any other move to a new platform would require $200-250 or more and if that is just a web browsing and text editing PC, then the 2.4GHz celeron it already has will be just fine.
March 7, 2007 6:48:00 PM

Actually, for the money, it's much better to just get the 2.8B for $70 shipped. Your solution costs $95.12 with shipping, which is a $25.12 difference, aka 35.9% more money. Does the Athlon 64 for socket 754 offer more than 35.9% more performance over the P4, and if so, how much more? After all, that's the whole reason for wanting to deal with this hassle of mobo swapping, case modification, and OS reinstallation. Let's compare using Tom's 2004 CPU benchmarks:

Divx 5.2: P4=167s, K8=139s. 16.8%
Doom III: P4=61.8, K8=87.3 41.3%
FarCry: P4=122.2, K8=172.6 41.3%
Lame MP3: P4=104s K8=97s 6.7%
Main Concept: P4=236s K8=185s 21.6%
Media Encoder: P4=220s K8=180s 18.2%
Pinnacle Studio 9: P4=201s K8=156s 22.4%
Quake III arena: P4=321.6 K8=386.6 23.0%
Quake III Team arena: P4=169.5 K8=214.9 26.8%
UT 2004: P4=96.5 K8=143.1 48.3%
WinRar: P4=415s K8=230 44.6%
Wolfenstein: P4=120.4 K8=157.5 31.1%
Xvid: P4=237s K8=189s 20.2%

Average overall: Athlon64 3200 socket 754 offers 27.9% more performance over the 2.8B P4, for 35.9% added price. A net loss of 8.0%

Average gaming: Athlon64 offers 35.3% more performance over the P4, for 35.9% added price. A net loss of 0.6%

Average encoding: Athlon64 offers 17.7% more performance over the P4 for 35.9% added price. A net loss of 18.2%

Average compression (winrar): A64 offers 44.6% more performance, for 35.9% added price. Net gain of 8.7%

What do we see? Only Winrar offers % performance greater than the % added cost of the K8 system, and this is being generous for the K8 system, as Tom's benchmarks are using DDR 400 ram and an Nvidia Nforce3 chipset, not DDR333 and a crappier VIA chipset, which I'm sure would decrease the performance of the K8 rig by a few %. The Athlon64 3200 is the better performing CPU of the two, that's obvious, but it can hardly be considered as the better choice in performance/price, and it certainly is not the most reasonable solution. Once you factor in the hassle of a mobo swap, it's downright ridiculous.
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