I have an old Compaq Presario S4010CL
Asus PG533-LA mother board (socket 478)
Intel Celeron 2.4GHz (Northwood-128)
512MB DDR SDRAM (room for one more 512MB stick)
I want to help this computer run faster/better for web surfing and word processing if possible.
Can I replace the processor?
Can I even get a processor for this old of a socket?
Will another stick of RAM (for a total of 1GB) make a noticeable difference?
I would consider changing the Motherboard, but that probably shouldn't be done because the front wiring is most likely proprietary to Compaq, correct?
Are there any other recommendations (besides build/buy new)?
Adding another 512 stick of ram is your most cost effective upgrade. Look for one on your local craigslist for $20 or less, or buy a used combo deal. I've even seen dell and hp boards listed ocassionally. You need to stick with hp boards if you are using your original windows installation. But a newer micro atx hp board might work, but then you'd need new memory and a cpu. Not worth it. Next Dec and Jan, look for deals on complete systems closeout. Hp had a sempron system with 2 gigs of ddr2 and windows 7 for $164 about a month ago on their website, posted on slickdeals or fatwallet for just a few hours.
I am already building a new system. I just want to keep this machine running for the kids to use for school, and speed it up where possible.
I will add the RAM.
Is a processor change possible? would it be foolish?
I've recently upgraded my CPU from Celeron 2.2Ghz/128/400(Willamette) to P4 2.6/512/400(Northwood), and the speed improvement is really noticeable.
Check your computer manual to see what is the fastest CPU the motherboard can take. You might need to update the BIOS so the machine can take faster CPUs.
You can find P4 CPUs on eBay. This seller always seems to have P4 2.6/512/400fsb CPUs. I bought mine from them. Sometimes they have P4 2.8/512/400. Just make sure the FSB of the CPU matches that of your motherboard ie. 400.