My machine is an HP Pavilion a345w made in 2003. It is P4(2.6GHz) mobo is Asustek P4G533LA, 400MHz FSB. Looking for a replacement substitute for this mobo. Want one with a 533 MHz FSB. Have a P4(2.8GHz) with a much larger L1 and L2 caches just waiting for a home. Mobo must be socket 478.
I already know this is old tech, but so am I. Don't need a faster multi-core that's lightning fast.
If you can't find a reasonbly priced hp motherboard, computer geeks has a compaq 845 socket 478 board for $42.99 that may work with your present file system. If not, you can format or backup your files first, and use a dell oem cd or dvd to reload windows and use your microsoft coa sticker number to reactivate windows. This board only works with 400 or 533 fsb pentium 4's. The dell windows cd's or vista dvd is available at software venders such as 9software listed in pricewatch for $16 shipped. These will work with your old coa number.
The Compaq board at Geeks will not support Prescott-based CPUs, which I suspect is what you are referring to by the mention of '"much larger" L2 cache. You will find nothing new at Tiger Direct in Socket 478 and Newegg only has two boards that are based on newer DDR2 (and PCI Express) chipsets - DDR RAM won't work.
If you are going to buy a motherboard and possibly new RAM, you might as well spend a little more for newer technology that would be superior to any P4 2.8GHz Northwood or Prescott. Here is what I would recommend:
Either motherboard offers much better onboard graphics and audio, plus a lot better expansion options in the future. Grand total = $110.00 (plus applicable sales tax). You are going to spend at least half that much on significantly out-dated technology.
If you use a non-HP/COMPAQ board, you will lose the OEM pre-activation and need to call MS Activation Support to re-activate Windows after changing the 'factory' product key used to install Windows. Not a big deal, just something to be aware of.
I used an ecs board for my compaq pc, (with hewlett packard motherboard), and dell oem vista dvd. I was able to reactivate windows without calling.
Then you called to activate Windows using the product key at some previous time. Royalty OEM product keys are BLOCKED for online activation - no exceptions.
However, once you have made that call to activate using a Royalty OEM product key, the system will unblock that product key for two or three subsequent activations. After which point, the product key will be blocked again and require another call to MS.