Newbie question on CPU replacement...

Hi all,
I apologize in advance for the newbie-ishness of this post. I have tried to look for answers to it in previous posts, but haven't found anything clearly like it. I have a PIII 866 Dell machine.

I also have a VisionTek Ti500 card in it and am starting to find that I still can't run games smoothly at high res. I have been toying with the idea of building my own machine, but don't have the funds or the knowledge to do that right, yet. My question is, can the standard Dell Dimension 4100 motherboard that runs a PIII 866 take a better processor? I get lost in some of the technical talk here, so forgive me if this so simple I should have figured it out myself already.

Thanks very much for any replies,

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  1. I remember fixing my friend's maching, which was a dell dimension 4100 I think. I think you can upgrade up to 1GHz for what I think is the socket 370. Try upgrading the memory also, try using PC133 Memory 2 256mb modules. Memory always helps out.

    From dell website: <A HREF="" target="_new">Support Website, Choose <b>product/system type</b> on lower right</A>
    <i>Intel® Pentium® III processor
    667, 733, 800, 866, or 933 MHz internally and 133 MHz externally, or 1GHz internally and 133 MHz externally, or 1.1 GHz internally and 100 MHz externally</i>

    <b>Yeah I did it. So what?</b>
  2. I think that any of the PIII coppermines should work on that mobo. You might have a bit of trouble getting your hands on a coppermine core though since they were fazed out in favor of the tuatlin core.

    <font color=green>My other personality is schitzofrenic.</font color=green>
  3. I just did a search for Pentium III 1 Ghz and found lots of hits for sale. How do I determine if I need socket 370 or something else. Most of what I see says "256KB L2 Cache". Is there something I can check on that will help me figure out what my machine can take?

    Thanks for the replies, this is very encouraging. Some of those CPUs are only $98!

  4. I'm not sure on which socket and what not you will be needing, however, if you go to Dell's site you should be able to find a support manual to download and that will give all the specs for the system. Or at least enough of the specs that you should be able to then go to Intel's site and figure out what you need.

    Good Luck

    <font color=green>My other personality is schitzofrenic.</font color=green>
  5. Yup, you are correct icy_oblivion. In case anyone is reading this with the need for the same info, I found it here:
    <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>

    The 4100 is a Socket 370. So, it looks like 1Ghz is the upper limit unless I want to go to 100Mhz externally. But if I am not mistaken, that is not the best option. Best to keep it at 133Mhz, if possible. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)

    Anyway, thanks very much for the replies. It gives me a good place to start.

  6. Be carefull! There are TWO versions now of the Socket 370 PIII 1000 with 133MHz FSB, and both have 256k cache! These are the Tualatin core and Coppermine core versions.

    Don't listen to talk of "FC-PGA2" and "FC-PGA" either, as the Coppermine version now has the same heat spreader Intel calls the "FC-PGA2" package. I know this for CERTAIN BECAUSE I OWN AN FC-PGA2 COPPERMINE, I'm willing to scan the retail box lable for unbelievers.

    So the only way you can tell by looking at the box with these processors is this: All Coppermine core PIII 1000's use 1.65v, 1.70v or 1.75v cores. All Tualatin PIII's use 1.475v cores.

    Having said that, the one I got was from They labled it as an "FC-PGA" processor, even though the box said "FC-PGA2", probably because so many people believe in a naming system that does not exist. Anyway, it can be had for $125 retail boxed or $100 without a box.

    <font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
  7. By the way, you might want to consider maxing out the memory or getting an even faster video card.

    <font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
  8. Okay Crashman, I appreciate the heads up. But I think I missed a step. If there are two kinds, how do I determine which one I have, so I get the right new kind?

    This is the info on the system on Dell's site:

    Microprocessor type
    Intel® Pentium® III processor
    667, 733, 800, 866, or 933 MHz internally and 133 MHz externally, or 1GHz internally and 133 MHz externally, or 1.1 GHz internally and 100 MHz externally
    Intel Celeron™ processor
    1.0 and 1.1 GHz internally and 100 MHz externally
    L1 cache 32-KB SRAM (16-KB data cache; 16-KB instruction cache)
    L2 cache 256-KB Advanced Transfer Cache that resides in the processor's core (The L2 cache runs at the processor's internal clock speed.)
    Microprocessor mounting Socket 370
    Math coprocessor internal to processor
    System chip set Intel 815E
    DMA channels seven
    Interrupt levels 15
    System BIOS chip 4 Mb (512 KB)
    Bus types PCI (version 2.2) and AGP (version 2.0)
    Bus speed AGP: 66 MHz
    PCI: 33 MHz
    AGP card connectors one universal connector that supports AGP 4X cards
    AGP card connector size 132 pins
    AGP card connector data width (maximum) 32 bits
    PCI card connectors five
    PCI card connector size 124 pins
    PCI card connector data width (maximum) 32 bits

    I know I have the PIII looking at the chip itself in the case. Also, it has an AGP graphics card so I guess that means the bus is AGP? And I have the 866Mhz chip in there now and I have already maxed out on 512 RAM. And seriously a faster video card than a GeForce3 Ti500? I don't think I'm using it fully now because the processor is slowing it down, but then again, there's a lot I don't know.

    So, what is the key piece of information to learn to know whether to look for a Coppermine or Tualatin? I don't see voltage listed in the Dell info.

    Perhaps I shouldn't ask, but would it be feasible to get another motherboard that would fit this case? I'd probably have to replace the power supply and do so much to pull everything out, that a new case would be simpler, right?

    Well thanks again for any replies,

  9. I'd probably get the $100 processor from Newegg. And yes, the 866 is fast enough to run a faster video card. But you'd still see a nice increase in performance by upgrading to a 1GHz PIII CPU.

    <font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
  10. well I hate to tell you, but the chances of you getting another board in there is slim. I just repaired a DELL system for a friend. I explored the possibility of reusing the case, but because of it's weird I/O shield design, you'll not likely find a new board that will fit in that case. You can take some measurements and see what manufacturer offers a board similiar in size, but you more than likely won't find an I/O shield that will fit properly. You can run without it, but it'll allow a lot of dust into the system.

    :cool: Save heating costs on your home, overclock your PC!!! :cool:
  11. If you do get a new mb to run in this case make shure you check the ps for proper voltages before you connect it i've heard of dell power suplies that were cross-wired

    Oh aye its guaranteed, but I'm not too sure about the stuff inside. - Scotty
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