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Stupid newbie question: can I swap 478 processors?

  • CPUs
  • Motherboards
  • Processors
Last response: in CPUs
January 18, 2005 4:41:26 PM

OK I have read the FAQ and the fact that this isn’t in there makes me think this is so stupid a question that it didn’t rank… so please torch me if I deserve it…

I have a ASUS P4T-E motherboard in which is presently seated a P4 1.0x GHz CPU. I would like to upgrade this CPU. The specs for the motherboard say it supports “Socket 478 Pentium 4 / Northwood processors, 1.4 to 2.0 GHz and higher CPUs.”

I have two other motherboards, one of which from I would like to take a CPU and put it in the above:
- Shuttle SB51G in which is presently seated a P4 3.06Ghz CPU. The specs for this motherboard say it is a “478-pin package.”
- Gateway 901 microATX in which is presently seated a P4 4.xx Ghz CPU. The specs for this motherboard say it is an “mPGA478 socket.”

My questions:
1) Can I pull the CPU from either of the Shuttle/Gateway and insert it into the ASUS (and expect it to work – is it really that simple)?
2) If the answer to #1 is “yes” then where can I find a “how do” on how to properly remove and install CPUs (a sort of “CPU replacement for dummies” if you will)?


More about : stupid newbie question swap 478 processors

January 18, 2005 6:05:57 PM

Its really that simple... Almost.

You need to check the Asus web site for the most recent BIOS for your motherboard. If it supports the 3.06, and your memory can handle the speed (your 1.x most likely runs at a 400fsb (100mhz), the 3.06 runs at 533fsb (133mhz). It may run at 100mhz on your slower bus, which will give you a 2.3ghz cpu - not quite 3.06, but still an improvement over your 1.x (just to clarify - it is a P4 you have right now, isn't it? Intel didn't make a P4 at 1.0x ghz, slowest P4 I know of is 1.3)

Dont' know about the gateway - I dont' think so. The mPGA package may mean it's not transferrable (someone like Crashman, who knows these things better than I do can fill us both in), and in either case, Intel doesn't make a 4.xx Ghz CPU, so that can't be right.

So, the next questions are: What kind of RAM is in your current system, and can that P4T mobo run 533fsb? Once you find that everything is compatible, and you flash your bios if necessary (most likely will be), then it is as simple as pulling the old one out and putting the new one in.

January 18, 2005 6:38:53 PM

Ok firstly I am confused, you say you have a 1.0Ghz P4? The first P4 was 1.4Ghz? They never made a 1Ghz P4. Secondly you have to check wether your motherboards support the bus speeds, the 3.06Ghz P4 has a FSB of 533Mhz. There are 3 types of P4:
P4a = 400Mhz FSB Came in both socket 478 and socket 528 version
P4b = 533Mhz FSB + some came with hyper threading
P4c = 800Mhz FSB + hyper threading

A very old board will only support 400Mhz FSB CPU's.

The third thing I noticed was that u say you have a 4Ghz P4??? There is no such thing as a 4Ghz P4.
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January 18, 2005 6:47:43 PM

Sorry. Your mobo supports only P4a chips, the 3.06 is a P4b chip. This means that your board uses a front side bus of 100/400, while the 3.06 requires a 133/533 bus. There may be an adaptor available, but unless you have 512 megs of ram, or more, you would be better off getting a new mobo and ram.
January 18, 2005 7:45:20 PM

Just for my education, how did you determine that it is P4a mobo?


Actually I've got the 95 page spec for this mobo in front of me. In section 2.1.2 "Connections" (page 9) the first item reads as follows: "478-pin surface mount, ZIF socket mPGA478 B."

Might you be mistaken in your determination that this is a P4a board vs. a P4b board (or am I misinterpreting the B there at the end of my quote)?

kevin<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by kevinshi on 01/18/05 04:09 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
January 18, 2005 8:26:17 PM

You can go to the MOBOs website for info like that. If you need specifics on the CPU, go to intels website and put the CPU model number in the search box.
January 18, 2005 10:31:02 PM

The P4T-E doesn't support higher than 400 Mhz front side bus. So the simple answer is no.

If you do try to put the 3.06 in, it may be usable (but would be throttled down to a 2.3). This is not recommended and may damage your board or chip.

I'm just your average habitual smiler =D
January 19, 2005 2:15:05 AM

Its a P4 1.8GHz and I have 384MB of RAM installed.

January 19, 2005 2:05:40 PM

I didn't see the memory specs. If you have the P4T-E, your locked to a 400 Mhz FSB and RIMMs (which makes your upgrade path very short and painful).

The memory alone would almost warrant a new motherboard (one stick of 512 MB Rambus ram is ~$200...where as you can get a stick of PC2700 512 ram for around $60-$70).

I know your question was in regards to swapping just the chip from the other computer, but hopefully this helps as well.

I'm just your average habitual smiler =D
January 19, 2005 10:36:39 PM

The Abit 1S7 would be your best choice, if you can find one. They seem to be being snapped up faster than Abit can (wants to?) make them. They are so cheap and good, it's almost a sin.
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
January 20, 2005 1:59:17 AM

Actually the P4T-E DOES support 133MHz FSB, via overclocking. And the i850 (400 bus) is the same chipset as the i850E (400/533 bus) except for the additional testing done to validate the i850E (which really isn't needed). So a 533 bus P4 will work in a P4T, you just need to make sure you don't push your PC800 too far. Using the PC600 setting will allow you to overclock the bus to 133 and push the RAM speed back up to stock simultaniously.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
January 20, 2005 2:12:26 AM

Suggestion -
I've found that the best idea is to sell older/unwanted MB, CPU's and Ram, then buy new.

In fact by doing this, the new upgrade cost me 0$.

<font color=red>DCB</font color=red><font color=white>_</font color=white><font color=blue>AU</font color=blue>
January 20, 2005 2:12:12 PM

Wow, that's pretty impressive... I have never gotten away with a $0 upgrade. This is my dream though.
January 21, 2005 2:37:37 AM

My P3 1G CPU, Asus MB and Hy Ram were of high qual and spec.

These secondhand parts are always in demand and can cost more.

Eg. Hy 2x 256 SD133 double sided Ram sold for $70 in Sundays paper immediatly- I could have got more, (new replacement $140) and I was phoned many times up to two weeks later.

New upgrade stick of 256 400DDR Ram cost $49. So Ram profit of $21 to upgrade.

<font color=red>DCB</font color=red><font color=white>_</font color=white><font color=blue>AU</font color=blue>