Hi all, I've been given the task of upgrading my friend's slow computer. The first thing that I want to start on is the CPU because I would like to keep the motherboard. Right now I hold a Northwood Pentium 4 2.4ghz cpu. It's socket description is 478 mpga. FSB 533mhz L2 cache 512.
If you need any more information you can go check it out here. It has mostly everything on the system.
Dump it all and start over. Pentium 4 on a 478 socket is sooooo old, that even if you got the fastest 478 on the market it would be enough to run an old version of Office and the Internet. There have been 7/8ish CPU changes over 4 different socket types since then (plus or minus, may not have the exact numbers right).
The GPU won't fit a newer mobo, nor the RAM, maybe the HDD and optical if you find an IDE mobo (which are scarce these days), and most everything else will surely choke if you put them on a newer system.
It would do your friend no good to try and upgrade that thing unless it's for a Unix router or something. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the truth is the truth.
Like the others have said that the Intel® Pentium® 4 Northwood processors are slow. To matters worst that the board that you are using has the 845 chipset that will only support processors with a 400 FSB or 533 FSB. So the fastest that this board most likely would allow you to run is the Intel Pentium 4 3.06GHz 533FSB. Which really isn't that much of an improvement over what you already have. To really see a big improvement you would need to move to the Intel Core™ 2 Duo or later processors.
You're not in the US, are you? If you were, I'd give you my 775 socket P4 machine, for like, free. I am planning to replace it soon (in the role of media server), but I'm not sure if I want it laying around, and I don't want it to go directly to the landfill. I will be removing the hard drive, so you will need that, and you will need to install your own OS (I don't think this particular processor supports 64bit), but, it comes with a shiny, 1-year old GT 430 video card!
The 775 socket Pentium 4 3.0 GHz is a dinosaur also, but it's a little better than that 478 socket chip.
Unfortunately, you have a very old computer on your hands. The Northwood P4 2.4GHz was released sometime in Q1 2002 which is basically a decade ago. Assuming you can even drop in an Intel Pentium 4 3.06GHz GPU it will still be a slow computer.
I would leave it as is since there's no sense in throw more money at it. It's time to build / buy a new PC.
Reformat it with a clean windows install, if it's still slow, chances are that hardware is giving up on life. I would say its time to save up for a new system, few hundred bucks will land you with something alot better. Besides the fact that finding a new processor for that setup will problably be difficult. Also try cleaning it out, 10 years can build up ALOT of dust!