Socket 5: Tuning Old PC Systems

Upgrade The Old Or Purchase The New?

Owners of aging PC systems have a difficult decision to make, either they part with their old computer and purchase a new PC or they upgrade the old-timer step by step. However, at this point we want to make one thing clear: anyone who expects maximum performance and wants to use the system for modern 3D games or other performance-hungry applications, such as MPEG-4 encoding , should go out and buy a new PC straight away. Fore more abitious users, our Do-it-yourself PC article lists suitable components and gives step-by-step assembly instructions. Take a closer look at a PC system from 1995. The case and the motherboard still follow the outmoded Baby AT format. Components of this kind are still available on the market, but only in isolated cases, so upgrading the motherboard involves the additional purchase of a new power supply along with the case. A new processor and new main memory (DIMM modules instead of the old SIMM modules) add to the costs. Besides the financial expense, the time it takes to assemble the components is also significant. A different picture emerges if a modern motherboard is available in the Baby AT form factor with Socket 7 and direct AMD K6-2 support. In this case, only the processor, the motherboard and maybe the memory have to be upgraded.

CPU Upgrade: Voltage Converter For Socket 5

Up to the end of 1995, motherboards with Socket 5 were used in most PC systems. An AMD K6-2 or AMD K6-III cannot be directly installed in such computers. The reason for this is that there is only a simple voltage converter on the motherboard, which does not support any split voltages required for the new AMD processors. Generally speaking, the voltage converter on old boards only makes a voltage of 3.3 volts or 3.5 volts available. All fast AMD processors in the K6-2 series (and K6-III series) must have a core voltage of 2.2 volts max. and an I/O voltage of 3.3 volts. In order to use the AMD processors in the Socket 5 motherboards, an upgrade socket has to be used with an integrated voltage converter. Powerleap markets suitable models. Anyone who wants to buy the upgrade socket and the AMD-CPU separately has to rely on Internet mail-order suppliers.

Once the old processor has been removed, the upgrade socket (with voltage converter) can be inserted into Socket 5.

Afterwards, the AMD K6-2 is plugged into the upgrade socket. Watch out: the upgrade socket has no lever arrest!

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