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Dell Dimension 4500 CPU P4 upgrade from 1.8ghz to 2.8ghz not booting.

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March 17, 2008 6:23:49 PM

I know there are tons of forum threads all over the place for trying to upgrade Dell Dimension CPU's, but this one is unique, I have found nothing on this as of 3/17/2008.

I'm trying to upgrade my Dell Dimension 4500 CPU.
I have about 10 yrs of experience building PC's, I've built about 60-something machines since Dos 6.0/Win 3.1, all the way up to Win XP sp2, for myself/friends etc, nothing super professional though.... and started getting lazy though about 2 yrs ago, so I may be missing something obvious :) 


I have a Dell Dimension 4500 Pentium 4 machine.
The only thing that has been upgraded since purchase is the RAM and Video Card.

Here are the current specs on it; everything works fine with this hardware:

Original Motherboard for Dell Dimension 4500.
1.5GB RAM (tested on several machines, perfect, no issues)
Pentium 4 CPU: SL62P, 1.8ghz, 533mhz bus, 512 cache, socket 478
Radeon 9800 AGP 256mb video card
80GB Western Digital IDE HD
DVD drive
CDRW drive

All the above components work perfectly.

***** So... *****

I read in Dell Dimension's specs for this PC, that the motherboard does indeed support a 2.8ghz P4 processor.

So I found a CPU on ebay, for $30.00 (since Dell wanted to charge $169) Pentium 4 CPU model SL7E2. It is a P4 2.8ghz, 533mhz bus/1M cache, socket 478.
It says it was a refurbished Intel CPU

At first, when I got the CPU in the mail (very well packaged), all I did was open the PC case, take off the heatsink/fan cover, replace the CPU, put the heatsink/fan/cover back on, and turn on the PC.

The PC powers up, the power light on the case is on, all fans are on, and I notice the CDRW drive's light is solid from the get-go, no blinking.

I get nothing else. No video signal at ALL. (monitor light is red as if on standby).

I figured the CPU MUST be defective... so I do some research and THESE are the steps i've tried so far:

I unplugged all IDE devices so that JUST the Video Card, and RAM are plugged in, and booted.
This time, the CDRW drive obviously... was not on :) ... but still, just power light and fans. Nothing else.

SO... I figured SHOOT! It's hopeless! I've lost 30 bucks...

Then I searched forums for 3 hrs and found it MAY be either:
1) The BIOS isn't recognizing the CPU?
2) The BIOS is BLOCKED from Dell to read only their CPU models? (doubtful?)

So I downloaded / flashed the PC with the latest BIOS, from Dell's support site, I used the version BIOS A04.

Reboooted... AAAAANND... still, the same original issues.

I get power light, fans, solid CDRW light, and no video signal.

I tried to see if there are any switches I need to change on the mobo.. found nothing.

I tried to see if there are different power supply req's for a 2.8ghz P4, but found nothing.

Also tried resetting BIOS and flashing again... still don't work.


Do ya think my CPU is garbage and I got ripped off? Or is it just not compatible w/ the motherboard?
March 17, 2008 6:28:04 PM

This is probably a silly question, but all possibilities need to be checked.

You say you just took the CPU out and put the new one in. Did you remove any thermal paste from the heatsink and put new thermal paste on the heatsink/CPU?
March 17, 2008 6:49:24 PM

The answer to your problem is that the Dell Dimension 4500 does not support Prescott CPUs, which is what your 2.8 GHz CPU is, the 1 MB Cache is a dead giveaway. You need a Pentium 4 with 512 KB cache (a Northwood core) and 533 fsb, generally known as the Pentium 4 "B" series.

Also btw, I've never heard of a 1.8 GHz CPU on the 533 fsb. It must be a 400 MHz fsb CPU, aka the 1.8A Northwood. If you would like to save a couple dollars, you could modify your current 1.8 GHz P4 into a 2.4GHz, 533 fsb P4 2.4B, by breaking a pin off on the cpu.

Read this thread when you want to get serious about upgrading your old dell:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/190487-31-dell-case-w...
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March 17, 2008 7:59:45 PM

joefriday said:
The answer to your problem is that the Dell Dimension 4500 does not support Prescott CPUs, which is what your 2.8 GHz CPU is, the 1 MB Cache is a dead giveaway. You need a Pentium 4 with 512 KB cache (a Northwood core) and 533 fsb, generally known as the Pentium 4 "B" series.

Also btw, I've never heard of a 1.8 GHz CPU on the 533 fsb. It must be a 400 MHz fsb CPU, aka the 1.8A Northwood. If you would like to save a couple dollars, you could modify your current 1.8 GHz P4 into a 2.4GHz, 533 fsb P4 2.4B, by breaking a pin off on the cpu.

Read this thread when you want to get serious about upgrading your old dell:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/190487-31-dell-case-w...


This is all true. It is a Prescott, now support I have no idea may have it in a BIOs. Newegg still has some 2.8GHz Northwoods for sale but are OEM only with no HSF.

You could get this one

http://cgi.ebay.com/Intel-Pentium-4-3-4Ghz-800Mhz-FSB-4...

Check your PC vendor (Dell) and see if it is supported. I got one just like it for $150 and those CPUs rock big time, trust me.
March 18, 2008 2:22:56 AM

Jimmy, the Dell Dimension 4500 use the i845 DDR chipset, and thus 800 fsb CPUs are not supported. Unfortunately B series Northwoods are the best it's gonna get on that old mobo.
January 19, 2009 3:25:06 PM

I also have a Dell 4500 and am looking to upgrade. After reading all of your comments re: the "B" series compatibility, etc. and doing additional research....

Anybody know if the following is compatible with the Dell 4500?

3.06GHz Northwood version of the P4 for the 533FSB

Thank you. KP
January 21, 2009 1:10:11 AM

Well.....yes, and possibly no. It should work on the fact that it is a Northwood B series P4, but I'm not sure the i845 chipset is of proper revision to support the hyper threading feature of the 3.06GHz cpu. Now that I continue to think about it, I'm about 80% sure the Dell 4500 supports the 3.06GHz P4 Northwood (HT and all). The only reason why I'm so rusty with that knowledge is the fact that most people simply choose the 2.8 GHz Norhtwood instead of the 3.06gHz CPU, b/c the 3.06GHz unit is so much more expensive compared to the amount of extra performance it offers over the 2.8B. If you really want the fastest CPU the Dell 4500 can handle, the 3.06 GHz HT-enabled Northwood P4 is it. Good luck.
January 21, 2009 1:51:24 PM

joefriday said:
Well.....yes, and possibly no. It should work on the fact that it is a Northwood B series P4, but I'm not sure the i845 chipset is of proper revision to support the hyper threading feature of the 3.06GHz cpu. Now that I continue to think about it, I'm about 80% sure the Dell 4500 supports the 3.06GHz P4 Northwood (HT and all). The only reason why I'm so rusty with that knowledge is the fact that most people simply choose the 2.8 GHz Norhtwood instead of the 3.06gHz CPU, b/c the 3.06GHz unit is so much more expensive compared to the amount of extra performance it offers over the 2.8B. If you really want the fastest CPU the Dell 4500 can handle, the 3.06 GHz HT-enabled Northwood P4 is it. Good luck.



Thank you very much for your reply. And its interesting (simply because i am NOT computer knowledgable at all) that you hit on the very issue that probably was going to be the determining factor in my decision anyway- how much more expensive the 3.06 is for not very much more performance (at least in my non computer mind the diff btwn 2.8 and 3.06 is minimal)....so with the added factor of only 80% certainty...that nails it...i'm going to stick with the proven 2.8.

thank you.
March 26, 2009 4:42:50 AM

The SL7E2 2.80GHZ is a PRESCOTT CPU without HT and I suspect your motherboard does not support the Prescott family of cpu's I have had the same problem with an early ASUS board and a BIOS flash will not upgrade this particular board. Hope have been of some help. Good luck.
March 26, 2009 8:52:45 PM

^^ check the original date of thread and read some of the replies before posting like this. :non: 
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September 21, 2009 1:35:31 AM

I was looking to upgrade my dell 4500 like you did, but the link to your previous thread showed up to be a site no longer accessable. If you have the time, please email me the information on updating my dell 4500. So far I have only taken the Ram to 1 gig. I am not sure what else I can do, but it seems like you know a lot! Anyway, my name is john, and my email address is JTurp290@aol.com

Thank you, John
December 8, 2009 12:28:44 PM

just to add some info on the 3.06 pross i recently had an older aopen board go down on me with a 3.06 and who hasent scarfed a road side tresur for parts to fix one.But when Iopened the DEL cabnet and replaced the power sup I found the board still worked grate so njust for a shot I instasalled the 3.06 and put win xp drivers,x9,avs player,portal,half-life2 eps.one and two and cubedesktop wow very stable.
Now my opinion may not be much but get a reck from the side of the road and its the best comp on my bench. you do the math.......Doctorbot


June 11, 2013 4:52:12 AM

I've done a lot of testing with my Dimension 4500. i845e. I once put a 2.8 p4 800mhz fsb in the 478 socket. It registered as only 1.4ghz. It was slower than the 2.0Ghz that came originally in PC. 400mhz & 533MHZ P4's are what you need to acquire, in your upgrade quest of your vintage beast. I payed $13 for my P4 3.06Ghz 533Fsb, on ebay. My 4500 is pretty much pushed to the max for performance capabilities & hardware upgrades. Joefriday thanks for all of your posts on the 4500, you've helped me out with your posts. If you guys want to upgrade your pc, make sure you research parts good before you buy. PM me for questions on the 4500 upgrades & no you don't need to buy a new pc. These pcs can still be used for lots of other good things. My 4500 after the 3.06 was way quicker noticeably, started up faster, chewed through big files faster & idled down easier. My setup: 2gbram, p4 3.06, hd3650 512mb, audigy 2 zs platinum pro, 160gb + 80gb hd's, K1 Gaming ethernet card, proview monitor. Its 11 years old & still going strong.
September 15, 2013 4:59:15 PM

Ace, What intel processor did you use,... SL???

I tried a SL6NN, BIOS did load but OS would not boot
!