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Max CPU for extensa 386d laptop

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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September 29, 2008 2:31:23 AM

Hi, I am an American living in Mexico. I build low cost systems for low income people out of used parts and charge next to nothing for the service. I am now branching out into refurbing laptops. I just bought an extensa 386d with the 233 mmx tec processor. I wonder if any of you have esperience in upgrading these old systems and what the fastest processor would be that would work in this machine. I have not received it yet, but I am guessing that a P2 450 would be about it.
If you have or have had one, can you give me the cpu part number and what the fastest replacement would be? Thanks
Art
a b D Laptop
September 29, 2008 2:44:26 AM

...if you sell that to someone, it better be under $20...
September 29, 2008 3:28:38 AM

Don't write in threads if you are not going to help!
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a b D Laptop
September 29, 2008 3:48:45 AM

Well, actually, I did.

Think about it. Upgrading to that part will be what...$5 or so? Perhaps $10 in shipping?

There's $15 for a machine you can't even sell for $20. It's not even worth it. Recycle the machine instead.
September 29, 2008 7:29:43 PM

Here in Mexico, computers are a LOT more expensive (used ones, anyway) and this extensa would sell for around $100 american, as-is. I do not plan on getting that for it. Around $70 for a school kid is a good deal here. I have a used (my cost-free) combo drive and a 20GB HDD so a 400 or 450MHZ cpu would make this a GREAT first computer for some poor person, regardless of what YOU think! Helping would only be offering to answer the question that I asked, not giving me any opinion of yours on the value of said machine!
September 29, 2008 7:30:27 PM

I should also clarify that I made a typo and this machine is an extensa 368d not 386d
a b D Laptop
September 29, 2008 10:40:32 PM

Even living in mexico - you can buy cheaper laptops online used that are far more powerful. It is in my opinion that the cost of upgrading, preparing, and selling a machine with such low power in the first place isn't worth the time or cash you put into it, not to mention that it's impossible to find parts for it.

Anyway, even if you did upgrade that CPU, the delta TDP is probably more than such an old cooling system can handle, also that's completely ignoring the obvious issue of lack of power.

Like it or not, that machine is age old, and is best left where it is. You're wasting time attempting to upgrade it, considering when it's finished, it'll be drop dead slow at everything it does.

Take a look around ebay and other used e-tailers. You can get $100 or so prices for machines that have far more power.

So, take my advice, or don't and see how it turns out.

If a friend asked for the best way to kill himself, would you offer a good way to do it, or would you say not to?

There's my two bytes.


And, FYI, I'm in the business of refurbing older machines for people who can't afford one either. I know a thing or two.
September 30, 2008 12:18:49 AM

Yes, you know SOOOOOOOO much that you have not even attempted to answer the question of which processor could be used for the max performance.
SOOOOOOO helpful thanks!
September 30, 2008 12:28:15 AM

power requirements and heat dissipation in changing a 233mhz to a 400mhz or even 450mhz is negligible, and the faster chips won't drain the bettery at an appeciably faster rate, either. I was just wanting to know which chip would work as the fastest this could handle, your other opinions are neither required nor welcome.
This was a tech question, obviously you do not have an answer, even though you are SOOOOOO experienced!
a b D Laptop
September 30, 2008 12:36:52 AM

Okay sir, if you know so much, you should know that a clock increase of 200MHz in negligible in itself. Great Job.

And yes, the TDP does make a difference. Have you ever used a PII above and below 200MHz? Notice how the ones <233MHz don't use dedicated fans, whereas the ones above 400MHz use dedicated fans? hmmm.

And, to a power supply that is >8 years old, the power difference is going to be enough to overload it. They don't make notebook power supplies with wiggle room, that's not cost-effective.

If there is even one - some older laptops have integrated AC transformers, which was a stupid idea from the start.

I don't remember being curt with you, please don't do the same for me.
September 30, 2008 3:00:25 AM

you have been nothing but... Insults and dismissal of my quiery. you were NEVER asked for your opinion of my plans to upgrade this old laptop. what was asked, of the forum community at large, was INFORMATION as to which cpu COULD be used. In 5 posts, you have not answered the question. what you have been is a jerk! I can tell, though, that you have lots of experience at that!
September 30, 2008 3:07:49 AM

"the ones <233MHz don't use dedicated fans, whereas the ones above 400MHz use dedicated fans"
To state what you did is to use incorrect syntax. you should state the the ones below 400 don't and the ones above do. As you have it the area between 233 and 400 is neither, or either.
MY personal experience is that even 300MHZ systems came with fans installed, however I was not buying parts and building them at that time, so I cannot claim that retail CPU kits did or did not come with fans at that frequency, nor at which point they DID become standard.
LOL
Your desire to WOW readers with your knowledge is pathetic and you are somewhat lacking in the helpful department.
At this point, 100% lacking.
a b D Laptop
September 30, 2008 2:35:42 PM

Alright buddy.

Sorry I threw in a typo, I'm working at the same time. You very well knew what I meant.

I don't ever remember "insulting your quiery", just giving my opinion on what you should do. Again, if someone came up to you with a bad idea and asked how to change something on it, wouldn't you tell them it was a bad idea and they shouldn't be doing it in the first place? I think so.

If you're wasting your time on a system like that, whatever. Have fun tracking down parts for hours, putting it together for some more time, and then realizing your final product still is unable to do anything to almost any degree of satisfaction. It's almost a joke you're selling the thing for real life use, and I feel bad for the uninformed buyer who takes part in your deal for a low cost system, when far better system can be purchased for the same price. There's almost nothing you can do with this system, in today's terms.

And, if you look at it, generally I did answer your question. Even if you found the parts, I'm about 90% sure that the unit couldn't handle the heat, and doesn't have the power for the new CPU. At any rate, they didn't even make Pentium II's for the mobile sector over 266MHz - and if you attempt to stick a desktop chip in, again, you'll run short in terms of power and cooling. The TDP increase from the mobile chip to the desktop version, BTW, is in some cases greater than 30W, and consistently greater than ~15W. Upgrading to the 266MHz (increase of a few watts only) version is about as worthless as this entire project together.

So, there. It's not that it can't be done, it's that it shouldn't be done. I'm done talking to you now. Notice how no one else bothered to give you any information at all - you'll be lucky for a glance from me in the future. There's no law saying I must answer your question or die (especially if it's just a silly idea), BTW. I gave my opinion, and now I'm done. Fret with your age old machine if you will, spend your time unwisely and sell it to some poor guy who doesn't know any better. Just won't be me.
September 30, 2008 5:51:53 PM

Thank you for PROVING your idiocy! You have obviously NEVER bothered to look at charts of these old processors. Both intel and other sources, readily available online, show the difference in these P2 CPUs. your claim of watt usage is woefully inaccurate, but I can expect nothing less from someone who does not, because he can not, answer a simple question. If you had bothered to be a decent person, you would have never "answered" my post, as you have no information to give on what is workable possible, neither in experience or actual component theory!
If I am lucky, I will never hear from you again! That is my wish.
233 vs 400 is NOT a typo, BTW, it is an error, plain and simple.
I also remind you that I never stated that I was gong to sell this laptop for $100. I stated that they commonly sell for that.
Further more, these systems were tremendous in their day and are STILL useful for basic computer use, such as word processing, music, and internet surfing.
Your arrogant thinking that "nothing is better than something" is terrible and reflects the kind of person you actually are: arrogant and smug, judgmental and insulting to those who do not agree with you (or those who refuse to think you are "better" than they)!
September 30, 2008 6:33:25 PM

"At any rate, they didn't even make Pentium II's for the mobile sector over 266MHz "
Once again, you have your head up you butt!:
Pentium 2 with MMX up to 300mhz MOBILE
http://processorfinder.intel.com/list.aspx?ProcFam=51
Pentium 2 MOBILE up to 400mhz
http://www.intel.com/support/processors/mobile/pentiumi...
But hey, you have proven to me that you know more than intel!
ALL HAIL FROZENHEAD!
Oops I mean frozenlead.
Look up the words 'help' and 'helpful'. Maybe, just maybe, you will realize that you did not do the first because you are not the second!
September 30, 2008 6:56:44 PM

Re-edited for clarity.

Ok, if that is Socket 7 (and it looks like it might be), then the fastest processor is, for the most part, the P55C 233 MMX (though Intel did make a P55C 266 for laptops at the end of the P55C's life). Note: I think P54 and P55C for mobile use have an M in the model number on the chip.

Don't bother with the K6-2 and the voltage requirements for the K6-2 won't be supported.

If it's proprietary, then you're stuck with the processor module installed. Your chance to upgrade is limited to finding a working module or board with a faster processor.

If it's MMC-I, The fastest MMC-I procesor, in clock speed, was a 466 Celeron (was extremely rare, don't bother looking). Barring that, MMC-I form maxed out at Pentium II 400 Mhz

Over all, especially considering laptops of that type can only support up to 80MB ram (which also tells me its probabaly NOT an MMC-I connector for the processor) I wouldn't bother, personally. Parts for laptops that old are either unavailable or very expensive for what you'd get, e.g. try looking for 72pin FPM sodimm.

You should target laptops in the of micro PGA2 (Mobile Pentium III between 750 and 1000 Mhz) family. The IBM T22 and Compaq Armada M700 are well built and sturdy machines of that type (there is also the Compaq Presario 1700T, but I hated that thing). One problem is that they have to use the more expensive low density SODIMMS. I still own and use my T22 which is now almost 7 years old.

The ;ast generation of Pentium III (Tualatin (900Mhz - 1.2 GHz) can use high density PC133 SODIMMs which are cheaper and more widely available. The venerable T23 is king of this type (Also the Compaq Evo N160 / 171* / 172* and Dell 810C) I've own all three types but only my T23 still works (I'm using it right now).

See a theme? In my experience, the only laptop brand worth buying and refurbishing are IBM ThinkPad T series.

I've also had good luck with Dell Inspiron 1200 / 2200 / Dell Latitude 110L (these are all the same).
September 30, 2008 7:18:10 PM

thank you, dwellman .
FINALLY, someone who actually knows something.
I guess I will have to wait until I get it in my hands and open it up. Then I will be able to look up the current CPU id and see what EXACT family it belongs to and what is the top in that family.
I have a feeling that it is the 300mhz with MMX tec.
Still, a 28+% boost in speed won't hurt
a b D Laptop
September 30, 2008 9:47:11 PM

Did you notice he said he wouldn't bother either? Or the fact that the parts are rare/expensive? Notice how he recommended you buying other systems instead? I remember saying the same things..

A 28% increase in speed of such a low speed isn't enough to run modern software - which, if the user wants to look good to his teacher/professor/boss, they will have to use - aside from the fact that you can't shove enough memory in it to get it to run. You'll have to run the machine with linux/old windows (good luck finding drivers) and with incredibly aged versions of everything - anyone in dire need of a computer would do better to seek out a work/school/public computer - their results would turn out better. The machine will have difficulty even doing web surfing, as common applications (for example, flash) generally only run on modern software (of course, with the exception you find some version of linux, which throws off the possibility of using standard office suites anyway - and in the real world, that standard means a heck of a lot, even if you don't think so).

Also, there's nothing here to address the power issue.

The numbers I gave were off, they were from a few different sites than Intel. Stand corrected, I do. Sorry about that. It happens. I'm not claiming to be smarter than anyone, nor am I claiming that I'm infallible - you have your hiccups too. If it was my job, I'd be more careful, but I'm not ultimately worried about a forum; the first answer is enough. I'm not here beating you with a stick, and I'm not calling you names. I tried to help you, gave you my opinion (which turns out the be the same opinion as another, gee), and if you decide to take it, great. If not, fine. You don't have to spend time throwing blatant insults at me. If you were paying me, I'd do better, but since your not, and I'm spending time giving my opinion (whether you like it or not), I suggest you not warp me with a ton of words that I don't take a liking to.
October 1, 2008 4:36:51 AM

GEEZ, I thought you were not going to GRACE my thread with your inane presence again!
I should not have gotten my hopes up.
Windows 98se drivers are available online from Acer for this machine and 98se is still supported by 90+% of programs still on the shelves and by close to 100% of anything available, new or used.
Yes, graphic heavy programs require at least a P3 500mhz processor, at this period.
My experience is that even the minimum stated is hot the real minimum.
My 300mhz Celeron 32mb sdram (pc100) Packard Bell was capable of both 3d CAD programs and DVD video playback/editing. A system with a P2 400mhz would be also (even the 233 P2 should be).
The idea of this system being used is just for doing assignments in word powerpoint etc... (with office 2000 installed), and listening to music/mp3'ing. even mp3 players come with discs to support 98se.
Down here, a P3, 1GHZ desktop with 512 PC133 and a 32mb vid card, 80GB HDD goes for nearly $300-$350.
MOST people have dial up (if they even have internet)
A grammar or Jr High student will be very blessed to have a 300-400mhz laptop with a wireless card slot, 20GB HDD and a combo drive.
with a car adapter it will easily serve as a travel DVD player, as well.
10" DVD players are still near $250-$300 dollars here and offer NO computing capabilities
So, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE STOP POSTING TO THIS THREAD!!!!!!!!!!
October 1, 2008 4:48:12 AM

and if i CAN get a 400mhz CPU and the BIOS updates cover that change, it would be a VERY useful 72% increase in speed, that and the 400 chip would have more on-die cache and operate at bus speeds of 100mhz vs 66mhz of the 233 with MMX (providing that the board will allow it, and therein lies the rub)
a b D Laptop
October 1, 2008 2:47:40 PM

I won't post again, fine.
What's the point, you ignore most of my points anyway.

If people down there are paying $300 for a PIII machine, they lack the ability to go online and order a machine from the US that doesn't have quite so high a price for such low hardware. Their fault. Tons of people do this from many different countries, search this forum if you want proof.

CAD on a 32MB graphics card, on a 233MHz processor?

Sure, maybe in 7 days of rendering. My friend's laptop takes 1 day, and it has an 8600mGT and a 2.66GHz processor, dual core.

Again, anyone who's down there who doesn't look to the US for a current machine for the same price may as well be a fool.




October 1, 2008 5:56:06 PM

Hmm. . my second post disappeared. I edited my original reply for clarity.
Anyway, the processor module, if the pictures can be believed, looks similar to an MMC-1, but is more square, therefore, not guaranteed to be a real MMC-1. That said, the fastest you could possibly put is a 300Mhz Tillamook from a Extensa 503T or similar.

Look you might not agree with they way frozenlead said it, but he (or she) is correct: There's a point of diminishing returns when hardware gets to old to be worth the time, trouble or expense. I mean you ask our advice and we are both experience laptop refurbishers (well, I know I am :)  ) I have been there done that more than a few times.

Don't count your chickens before they're hatched.

Incedentally, people will pay around $300 (including shipping) for a T23 (P-III-M (1.13 or 1.2 GHz), 256 or 512 PC 133, 20-40GB HDD, wireless, Windows 2000 or Windows XP) on the Ebay.
!