CPU swap - Pentium D with a Core2 Duo E7500

I've got an old Dell XPS 400 that was the "family computer" for the last 7 years or so. It had a Pentium D 2.8ghz processor, 1.5GB of RAM and a GT 8500 GPU (more than adequate for my old games). Kids got new gadgets for Christmas so I am trying to salvage the XPS to relive days of old. I use it mainly to play older games, such as Command & Conquer Red Alert, and other games from long ago that I spent many many days and nights playing. I was looking to improve the machine to maybe play some more recent games (but not super recent games, more like games from 2000-2007 or so), knowing the Pentium D is fairly ancient, and thought I had a great and free solution to upgrade the processor, until just a few minutes ago when my plan was foiled.

We had a Dell desktop at work that was scrapped for some reason and I asked to have a few minutes with it before it hit the recycling place. I removed the CPU - a Core2 Duo E7500. Everything I find on this says it's a LGA775 socket, which is what I have. I put in the CPU and couldn't even get the computer to try to boot. The power button on the front was lit orange and stayed orange. I removed it and put in the old chip and now it's running no problem.

I have no idea what kind of motherboard I have - it has a "Dell" logo on it, but can't seem to find anything else. Also, I reinstalled Windows XP last night and all went well except the "SM Bus Controller" driver is not installed...I get the big yellow question mark in the device driver menu. I used the original XPS disc and still no luck.

Any thoughts on why the Core2 Duo processor would not work? And any ideas on the SM Bus controller driver?

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  1. Best answer
    You need to download chipset drivers for your cpu/mobo. Go to Intel, search for the model which you have. If you don't know, I recommend the free version of SiSoftware Sandra, as it will tell you what you need to know.

    You can google your mobo's model and check the CPU support tables, to see if the E7500 is supported. Other reasons why it wouldnt power up could be you haven't connected something properly, or the processor itself is faulty.
  2. I would honestly just do what I did to my Dimension 3000 (uses a Pentium 4) - clean it up, dust it out, fresh thermal paste, clean hard drives + put Linux on it. Make it run FAST because resource management in Linux is worlds better than Windows (seconds to boot on IDE hard drive for me, plus OS only use 100MB of RAM). I've experienced many good things from putting Debian on my 3000, it became my primary computer.
  3. Thanks Robert! The SiSoftware Sandra tool worked great. I was able to fix my yellow question mark issue. appears my mobo does not support the Core2 Duo line on processors...oh well...

    payturr - I am not enough of a software guru to use linux with programs such as the games I want to play. I have a netbook (one of the first when they hit the market about 3-4 years ago) that I run Ubuntu on and it is 1000 times better than when I had Windows on I type I am intrigued by your suggestion and may see if I can figure out how to play my games on it.

    thanks everyone!
  4. Linux has support for some games, not all, like Steam is slowly coming to it, but what I can tell you is that plenty of indie games have support for it - depends what you wanna play really. Plus, you could run some games through emulation.
  5. Not all socket LGA 775 motherboards support Core 2s and the reason is because Intel introduced Core 2 support in beginning with the 975X chipset. Example: my ASUS P5WD2 Premium socket LGA 775 motherboard doesn't support Core 2s because it has the 955X chipset.
  6. Best answer selected by janakov.
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