Wondering: Can I safely upgrade the chipset?
Looking for documents/instructions/vendors on choosing/installing/buying a new chipset, which, I gather, is another word for processor (I'm a software person, 20 years technical writing).
Details: I have a Gateway E2000 (midtower), Pentium 4, 1.8GHz, Intel 845G processor with the graphics/video integrated, (The Intel specs say "Customized computer manufacturer driver is installed"), 64MB video memory. Running XP Home SP3. I am determined to exhaust this machine, which I use at home. I'm not a gamer, but I'd like to be able to watch a TV program on line, for example, without it freezing or the video & audio getting out of sync. My research has revealed I can safely upgrade to 2 GB RAM (at this VERY moment I'm running on 256 MB), but that won't help much with video processing. Told by Gateway support (provided as a favor, given my machine was build in 2002) PCI slots are useless. Said I could upgrade the chipset to Pentium 4, 3GHz. No upgrades available for the cooling systems, however. I'm currently on the Intel site backtracking through 845G driver updates, but I don't expect that will resolve problem or help much, given the age.
The chipset is the 845G. It is actually a chip on the motherboard that dictates what hardware that specific motherboard can support. The processor you have is a Pentium 4 1.8ghz. You can upgrade the processor to a 3ghz P4.
The only way to upgrade a chipset is to get a new motherboard. 2GB of RAM will help more than you think. 256MB will run XP.....poorly. Especially with integrated graphics sharing 64MB of that 256MB. A processor upgrade would help as well but you have to factor in cost. How much are you willing to spend keeping obsolete tech running?
You actually could add a PCI graphics card that would help on watching videos. It would offload the processing work from your CPU to the card. Something like this:
Thank you for the information and the link. I installed 1GB RAM and speed is much improved (yes, my uncle described it as "woefully inadequate"). Have been reading Intel's technical specs on my motherboard, chipset and processor. NOW wondering if changing the BIOS setting from 1MB to 8MB would help. My question all along is where to spend $, in what order to get the best out of this machine. Purchasing a new one is out of the question. My obsolete technology actually works fine, with the exception of the video (only noticeable during fast motion sequences), which I can't address because Gateway customized the chipset in a way that prevents Intel's driver upgrades. And, as I wrote in my original post, Gateway support said I could not install a PCI video card because it wasn't supported. You and "songbird" have recommended a PCI video card. The Mobo is supposed to have an AGP connector that supports 1.5 V AGP 4X and 2X add-in cards, but it isn't there. I'll try the PCI video card or try an AGP-to-PCI adapter. Thanks again.
Did Gateway tell you PCI graphics cards ( are you sure whom ever you talked to did not confuse PCI with PCI-Express? ) are useless as far as gaming or did they tell you that your computer would not support one at all? They would be very weak / useless for gaming but would help in your situation if the motherboard will support one. As is is a Gateway specific computer they may very well be right and I may be wrong but as far as I know if you have free PCI slots you can add a PCI graphics card. It is old if it is AGP 4x and you may have a hard time finding a supported card even if it did have an AGP slot.
I am not even sure what you could change in BIOS from 1 MB to 8MB to be honest.