I am hoping you will clear up some questions. I used to follow Tom's Hardware guide very much, but have been out of the loop for while - nevertheless, I am not a newbie and have done some reading before I ask here. Please read the post carefully - I apologize if it's a bit long, but I have tried to be as clear and comprehensive as possible.
I am about to get (for about $250) an Emachines T1125 refurb system with an Intel Celeron 1.3Ghz on a Trigem mobo with the Intel 810e chipset (precise specs on www.e4me.com/products/previous.htm - select T1125 from box).
From what I have read and researched on Intel's site and on Tom's site, I appear to have a 0.13m Intel Celeron (Tualatino core) running at 100Mhz FSB with a 13x multiplier, packaged in FC-PGA2 and requiring a 1.50V core voltage. I don't know if the processor is a tA1 or tB1 stepping, although the Intel website generally mentions only the tA1 stepping when it talks about the 1.3Ghz Celeron, despite the fact that there appears to be a tB1 stepping as well which consumes less power and runs at a lower temperature.
My basic question is about the best upgrade option (bang for the buck given the system's primary use - which is office plus Internet plus very limited gaming):
Can I upgrade this system to the Pentium III (Tualatino core) 1.13Ghz through 1.33Ghz, or even to the Pentium III-S (which has the 512kb of cache)? Or can I overclock the 1.3Ghz Celeron directly to as high as 1.7Ghz (by pushing the bus to 133Mhz)? Or can I buy an older PIII running on a 100Mhz bus (e.g. a 1Ghz PIII) and overclock it to 1.33Ghz (133Mhz bus)?
EQUALLY IMPORTANTLY, which upgrade / overclocking makes the most sense? Assuming I can upgrade the chip, I can
- put in a PIII 1.13 or 1.20Ghz with 256KB cache for about $100, OR
- I can put in a video card (the video is integrated Intel with shared memory on an AGP bus) for less than $100 OR
- I can put in a PIII-S upgrade with 512KB cache for $180+ (too much in my opinion right now - maybe not 6 months from now) OR
- I can put in an older PIII (100Mhz bus) for about $80-90 bucks (which I could then overclock at 133Mhz FSB???)
The question is by how much would the PIII really be quicker than the Celeron - Tom's benchmarks don't show a whole lot of difference (maybe less than 10%) between the 1.3Ghz Celeron and the 1.2Ghz PIII Tualatino; the difference is much bigger with the PIII-S (512KB cache) but that CPU is also a lot more expensive right now and not worth it to me unless the price drops by half.
ADDITIONAL INFO / QUESTIONS:
- I don't know if the Lomita board supports the necessary lower voltage for the Pentium IIIs (1.475 volts and 1.45 volts for the -S version) - but would it be a problem to run them at the 1.50v already supplied for the Celeron 1.3Ghz
- the Emachines / Trigem websites state that the board supports 133Mhz clock speed which would be required for the Pentium III Tualatino / PIII-S
- I don't know if the BIOS would support the Tualatino PIIIs...
- I don't know if the Intel 810e chipset supports the Tualatinos (256KB cache or the -S series with 512KB cache)
- can I really upgrade to the 512KB cache version of the Pentium-III (Intel says it is server-oriented and will not work in desktop machines - but I don't see why not if the voltage and bus speed support are there)
- I understand that the Celerons and PIIIs are multiplier-locked (correct?) Can I really overclock the 1.3Ghz Celeron at 133Mhz FSB rather than the normal 100Mhz? Has this been done - if so, do I need extra cooling, etc. (any other considerations?)
- similarly, can I really save money by buying a 900Mhz / 1Ghz PIII chip at 100Mhz FSB and overclocking it at the 133Mhz bus? Stability issues, cooling, etc.???
I hope you understand what I am trying to do - I think I have a few options (maybe I really have only one or none, but I am not sure which is why I am asking), and I wanted to get your opinion / feedback on what makes sense.
Thanks very much in advance - if possible, please respond directly to my email address firstname.lastname@example.org as I may not check this board all the time and I am not sure how helpful my question is to others.
Well, you can't do a lot with VIDEO, the i810E chipset doesn't support an AGP slot. The Celeron 1.3 would be KILLER at 133MHz bus/1733MHz, but only about 10% can make it there, and even then they require high voltages. And your board doesn't support adjustments, you would have to modify the CPU to do it.
<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>