If I recall correctly off the top of my head the northwood cores are socket 478. The precsott cores are socket 775. There was like one or two prescotts that did run in the older 478 socket by they did not reach the 3.4ghz clockspeed. The 3.4 sounds like it must be a socket 775. I would look into again if I were you.
The root cause of the poor performance scaling beyond 2.4Ghz on the Netburst CPU's (be hey Nothwood, Prescott or Gallatin) is the REPLAY function which massively detracts from IPC by causing the pipes to get flushed ... delays through resending data from flushes .. in simple terms.
With little othr options other than a complete system rebuild the $95 might be sufficient to keep your old warhorse going a bit longer.
Any Netburstrunning over 3Ghz often suffers from thermal throttling too ... so make sure you put a meaty cooler on it, and tidy up the internal cabling, and check your case fans ae working well.
Prescotts were available on Socket 478 too - I have the 3.2GHz version.
My Prescott is actually outperformed by a 3GHz Northwood - doubling the L2 cache seems to slow it down and just adds more heat.
In any event you're not going to see any performance difference, and such an ancient platform is hardly worth investing any money in, especially as you can get an Athlon II X2 for less money!
If you're starting to feel a slowdown, save a few bucks for a cheap-ass Athlon II X2 system - even the most basic components you can get to build such a system will rip into your P4 like nobody's business (and believe me I'm sulking that the cheap Phenom II build I did for my housemate just crushes my P4 into dust, and all she does is play WoW!)
Yes. Do not spend money on that machine to upgrade. Its just not worth it at all. The p4 2.8 northwood will still make a solid office/internet machine but you should not spend the money to upgrade the cpu.
I have an Sx270 that came with the same specs as your Gx. 2.8 no hyperthreading 533mhz fsb. I picked up a sl6wg 3.2HT off of ebay for less than 20.00 and it made a difference. I dont know if it was the cpu speed, the FSb speed or making sure my memory was matched and running dual channel at 400mhz but it makes a nice little internet box with a wireless keyboard and mouse hooked into my bedroom tv.
It is also a northwood and has no compatibily issues.
The Prescott will be faster, especially since it has a faster FSB. You're talking about a 20% increase in clock speed as well plush the addition of hyper threading. It would be a noticeable upgrade, but keep in mind that it's still rather meager compared to todays entry level CPUs. You're looking at performance around, or even a bit less than, a $33 AMD Sempron 140. In light of that $95 hardly seems worth it. If you can overclock the CPU, which I doubt since you have a Dell, and have a decent cooler for it then the proposition looks a little bit better. Even so I would suggest buying the chip on eBay or something from a power seller.
I had a P4 2.8ghz northwood with HT and 800FSB. But yeah any northwood with less than 800 FSB did not have HT. I have never touched a machine with those. I was basing my opinion of the northwood HT I had. It would be a little bigger difference from the older northwoods but still not worth even spending a dime on in my opinion. I wouldn't even switch out the cpus if I got it for free. The work alone is not worth the time to me.