Processor Upgrades for Complete Idiots!

Sony / Pcg-fx215(uc)
May 16, 2010 at 15:07:30
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, 800 MHz / 127 MB
I have a Sony Vaio PCG-FX215 currently running an AMD Duron 800MHZ processor that I am in the process of upgrading. I have ordered a new hard drive (160gb), a CMS data transfer kit and an external case to house my old 10gb hard drive for use as an external back up drive. I have also ordered 2 Crucial 256MB SDRAM to bump my RAM from 128MB to 512MB. Now it's time for the processor (GAAAAAHHHH!!!). This is where I start to fumble in the dark. I know what I would like to upgrade to ( AMD MobileXP 2800 2.1GHZ) but have no idea whether or not my motherboard will support this processor. And after reading a few posts in this forum it would appear as though it would require some tweaking in BIOS to get the processor to perform properly. Can anyone let me know if the upgrade to this processor above is possible with my laptop and how much additional work is required to get the processor to perform properly if the upgrade IS possible. Thx...

Manufacturer: Sony corporation
Model: Pcg-fx215(uc)
OS: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
CPU/Ram: 800 MHz / 127 MB
Motherboard: QII Project (1A)
BIOS Version: R0102K5
Video Card: ATI RAGE Mobility
Sound Card: VIA AC'97 Audio Controller (WDM)


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#1
May 16, 2010 at 15:49:06
Your system is outdated & really not worth sinking any money into. Even so, you should have done some research because I see several potential problems.

- your system won't support a 160GB HDD. 120GB is the max due to lack of 48-bit addressing.

http://www.48bitlba.com/

- the board accepts a max of 512MB RAM (2 x 256MB) but it would have to be low density RAM. High density RAM either won't be recognized at all or will only recognized at 50% of it's capacity.

http://support.gateway.com/s/tutori...

But since Crucial guarantees their RAM will work, you *may* be safe.

http://www.crucial.com/store/listpa...

- it appears your system only supports 200MHz FSB (100MHz CPU frequency). You *may* be able to upgrade to a better 200MHz FSB mobile CPU than the Duron, but that AXP-M is out of the question.

http://www.docs.sony.com/release/sp...

EDIT: I just found this:

http://www.myplc.com/sony/duron.htm


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#2
May 16, 2010 at 15:51:18
You won't get much out of a processor upgrade. That motherboard will only take 200MHz FSB processors and has a pretty slow graphics chip.

You definitely won't be able to upgrade to a 2800.

"The Mobile Athlon XP processors up to the 1600+ also work well as upgrade processors provided the following critieria are met:

-Must be a 25W mobile processors. The 35W and higher processors generate too much heat to be reliable.

-Must be a 100/200Mhz FSB (Front Side Bus) processor. The FX laptop are 100/200Mhz FSB laptops. If you attempt to use a 133/266Mhz FSB processor it will run at slower speed."

http://www.myplc.com/sony/faq.htm

If you decide to go ahead with the processor upgrade, this disassembly guide might help.

Super PIII | Unlocked ES Tualatin @ 1.8GHz (150x12, 1.65v), 512K L2
2GB PC2700 | 500GB | Radeon x1950Pro | Apollo Pro 266T | Win7 Pro


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#3
May 16, 2010 at 16:39:16
Jam,
The 160gb hard drive was listed by Drive Solutions as a direct replacement for the PCG-FX215 but your saying it won't work? Before I clone my old drive onto the new one I will refer what your saying to their tech support dept because they guarantee compatibility with all their products. As for the memory I also belong to a Vaio FX forum and the Crucial brand is the only one that is guaranteed to work and has been used by most of the forum members with the FX210/215 for their memory upgrade. As for the processor should I go with the 1.2GHZ - 1.6GHZ instead or would the performance increase not be really worth the effort?

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Related Solutions

#4
May 16, 2010 at 16:45:03
jackbomb,
Thx for the info, very helpful. I was wondering about the video on this as it only has 8MB of vid memory. I had trouble watching the hard drive swap tutorial from a you tube video even after I paused it to allow for complete loading before watching it. Is there anything I can do to change the video memory settings or am I just S.O.L.?

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#5
May 16, 2010 at 17:11:52
Jam,

I had already been advised about the low power requirement but forgot to check that against the XP-M 2800, thanks for catching that. The other processor I had in mind was a Mobile Athlon XP-M - Low Power 25W µPGA P/N: AXMS2100GXS4B 1.6GHZ, 200MHZ FSB. Would this processor be compatible... and again is the performance increase over the 800MHZ Duron worth the effort?


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#6
May 17, 2010 at 06:53:53
"The other processor I had in mind was a Mobile Athlon XP-M - Low Power 25W µPGA P/N: AXMS2100GXS4B"

You need to re-read jackbomb's response & check the link he supplied:

"The Mobile Athlon XP processors up to the 1600+ also work well as upgrade processors provided the following critieria are met:

-Must be a 25W mobile processors. The 35W and higher processors generate too much heat to be reliable.

-Must be a 100/200Mhz FSB (Front Side Bus) processor."

The processor you mentioned is a 2100+. It may work, it may not.

"The 160gb hard drive was listed by Drive Solutions as a direct replacement for the PCG-FX215"

Unless there was a BIOS update that enabled 48-bit addressing, the 160GB HDD will not work properly. 28-bit adressing only supports up to 137GB...the closet drive to that size is 120GB. If you use the 160GB HDD, your data will become corrupted.

http://www.48bitlba.com/faq.htm#FAQ1

"Is there anything I can do to change the video memory settings or am I just S.O.L.?"

You're SOL. The ATI RAGE Mobility is extremely outdated & there's nothing you can do to make it any better.

I think your wasting you money on this project. Return the lasptop to it's stock condition, throw Win98SE on it & sell it for $75.


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#7
May 17, 2010 at 08:48:39
Jam,

Again good catch with the processor. I gotta pay more attn! The laptop is primarily used on the job site sending emails to my shop and other contractors, for filling out work orders as well as spreadsheets and the like. I do have media player 11 on it with a few gig of music to listen to in the job trailer working on prints & doing paper work but I don't employ any heavy graphics based applications so I'm going to forgo the processor upgrade. I was never really concerned with having the biggest, best, latest & greatest just wanted to add more memory, upgrade the hard drive to a larger capacity and see if I could improve on the processor speed a little. I know there are a couple of BIOS upgrades available & I will investigate to see if either of them have enabled 48-bit addressing. Thx for all your advice you've been extremely helpful and it is greatly appreciated....


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