Overclock old CPU or replace??

Ecs / P4VXASD2+
December 30, 2008 at 10:14:57
Specs: Windows XP, Intel Celeron 1.7/256MB
I have an old reliable (but slow) computer, which I would like to keep but, I want to speed up my system at low cost. I have already ordered 1G of RAM (for less than $25) to replace the 256MB that I have right now. The next item I have been considering is increasing the speed (overclocking) of the existing CPU by changing the mobo strap from 100mhz to 133mhz. Would this give me any appreciable increase in processing speed? A second option would be to purchase a new CPU, since my mobo can accommodate up to a 3.00GHZ CPU. This is a viable option for me, (if the price is right) and if the cost is worth the improved speed. What are the key pieces of information I need to look for in a search for a faster processor. My existing processor info is shown below.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Model : Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 1.70GHz
Speed : 1.70GHz
Cores per Processor : 1 Unit(s)
Threads per Core : 1 Unit(s)
Bus : Intel AGTL+
Package : FC µPGA478
Rated Speed/FSB : 1700MHz / 4x 100MHz
Multiplier : 17/1x
Generation : G8
Name : P4C (Willamette) Celeron 180nm 1.7-1.8GHz 1.75V
Revision/Stepping : 1 / 3 (A)
Stepping Mask : E0
Microcode : MU0F1305
Core Voltage Rating : 1.750V
Maximum Physical / Virtual Addressing : 36-bit / 32-bit
Native Page Size : 4kB

Co-Processor (FPU)
Speed : 1.70GHz
Type : Built-in
Revision/Stepping : 1 / 3 (A)

Processor Cache(s)
Internal Data Cache : 8kB, Synchronous, Write-Thru, 4-way set, 64 byte line size, 2 lines per sector
Internal Trace Cache : 12kB, Synchronous, Write-Thru, 8-way set, 64 byte line size
L2 On-board Cache : 128kB, ECC, Synchronous, ATC, 4-way set, 64 byte line size, 2 lines per sector
L2 Cache Multiplier : 1/1x (1700MHz)

Socket/Slot : FC-478
Upgrade Interface : ZIF Socket
Supported Speed(s) : 3.00GHz+

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December 30, 2008 at 11:15:56
Your CPU is anything but slow or obsolete. It will never match up to a dual or quad-core processor, but it's not really considered obsolete in today's standards yet.

You definately need more RAM - thats the big thing causing your system to slow down. Overclocking will give you a little more performance.

Your particular Celeron is just a Pentium 4 with a couple of performance features disabled and a smaller L2 cache. If you want another upgrade, go to ebay and buy a full-fledged, 3 Ghz, Socket 478 Pentium 4.

Hope this helps,


"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving may not be for you."

-Our tour guide at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.

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December 30, 2008 at 11:36:33
Here's a link to your board:


And the CPU support list:


Here's a P4 2.66GHz/533MHz FSB Northwood for $14.50...don't know how much they'll hit you for shipping:


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December 30, 2008 at 11:58:03
"Your CPU is anything but slow"

Sorry, but the Willamette Celery truly is a slow processor. A 1GHz Coppermine Pentium III would outperform it in many applications. A Duron-1100 would, too!

Attaching it to a VIA PC133/DDR-266 combo chipset only makes it slower.

I've seen P4-2.66 and 2.8/533s going for pretty reasonable prices ($30-35?). Upgrading to one of these Northwood/533 CPUs would double the performance in many CPU-limited applications.

edit: from the link that jam has given you, the Northwood/533s are even cheaper than I thought!

C2D performance from Socket 939:
Opty 185 @ 3.2GHz
4GB CL2 DDR400
2x 8800GTS in SLI
X-Fi Titanium Pro PCI-E
A8N32-SLI Deluxe
Vista 64
24" Samsung

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December 30, 2008 at 12:14:38
No kidding? Oh, I missed the fact that the OP was on a slower bus. Shoot, sorry about that!

"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving may not be for you."

-Our tour guide at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.

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December 31, 2008 at 05:04:29
Thanks to the users who took the time to reply to my query. I will upgrade my RAM size first and then experiment with overclocking on the exiting CPU. I may have to do a BIOS upgrade if I go for a faster CPU since the installed BIOS is 8 years old.

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January 7, 2009 at 09:41:56
Subsequent to my posting last week I have read various forums, tried to understand the process of overclocking, and experimented, at length, by changing mobo straps and BIOS settings. All to no avail; it appears that overclocking is not as quite as simple as some posters suggest. My alternate approach, for improved performance has been to purchase a used Pentium 4 - 2.6GHZ - FSB @533MHZ, a new BIOS chip, and 1G of used memory. I should have all this hardware and firmware within the next week or so. In the meantime, I would like to get some feedback from those thoroughly familiar with this mobo. Here are some of my observations re mobo P4XVADS2+:

1/It appears that this mobo automatically detects the CPU frequency and FSB speed when the processor is installed in the 478 socket. The CPU multiplier (in the BIOS settings), although it can be changed, has no effect on changing the processor speed.

2/ Two jumpers JP1A1 and JP1B1 on the mobo, which many people seem to think can be used to increase CPU frequency (in GHZ), are not for that purpose. I believe that they are used for matching the manufactured FSB output speed of the installed processor(CPU clock in MHZ). The 478 CPU socket can accommodate either a 400MHZ (4 X 100M) or 533MHZ (4 x 133M) CPU so I suspect these jumpers are used to match the CPU FSB speed.

3/Other posters have also said that the jumpers mentioned above are used to set the speed of the memory bus. This appears to be totally incorrect. The memory speed (SDRAM, at least)can be set in BIOS to 100M or 133M, or the settings in BIOS can be configured to automatically detect the speed of the installed memory. In the case of DDR memory, the 133m speed is used and doubled (effectively operating the RAM at 266M). However, as suggested by some, 333M memory is not accommodated on this mobo.

4/Another point of confusion, is the ambiguous indication that up to 4G of memory can be used on the mobo. While physically possible, only 2 memory modules (1G per slot max.)can be used at any time. The memory modules can be configured using either SDRAM (168 pin) or DDR (184 pin) modules. The selection is made by installing the desired memory module(s)in the appropriate memory slots. If using SDRAM, all J2A/B/C/D & J3A/B/C/D jumpers are left open and JP1 (3.3V) is shorted. For DDR memory, the options are the opposite i.e. J2A/B/C/D & J3A/B/C/D jumpers are shorted and JP1 (2.5V) is left open.

Since I am thinking of eventually upgrading to DDR memory I have two questions:

Does anyone know where I can purchase shorting shunts for DDR memory operation? Some are missing on my mobo and they break easily. They are 10 pin shorting shunts, about 3/4 inch long. Eight units are required to short all of the J2 & J3 pins for DDR operation.

It also appears, from reading various posts, that my mobo is rather temperamental about the quality? of memory modules. What memory modules appear to be most reliable for the P4vxasd2+ mobo? I have read somewhere that for larger memory modules (1G), ECC and Registered features are recommended. IS this overkill or a valid recommendation? Any suggestion from P4VXASD2 owners would be appreciated.

Thank you.

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