Upgrading CPU on Gateway Laptop

November 16, 2006 at 09:39:42
Specs: Win XP Pro, Celeron 1.4GHz 512MB

I'm looking to upgrade the processor on my Gateway laptop.

I'm not sure which Celerons and/or Pentiums are compatible with my board. CPU-Z says my current proc is a Dothan Celeron M 360 and the board is a Gateway MX6025 Socket 479 mPGA. FSB is 100 w/ a multiplier of 14x, and "rated FSB" is 400.

Also it says the RAM divider is 3/4, w/ the RAM running at 133MHz.

I'm not expecting stellar upgrade possibilities, and the machine's purely for productivity, but it's intolerably slow doing ANYTHING. Any input would be appreciated.

I wish my lawn was emo so it would cut itself.

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November 16, 2006 at 10:30:19

The CPU/RAM should run XP reasonably well. When's the last time you purged your system of any 'nasties'?


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November 16, 2006 at 10:35:26

I haven't for quite some time (it's such a pain reinstalling all the proprietary drivers). However, I have reformatted several times before and the system has always been quite slow.

Task manager typically shows the CPU maxing out even when running Firefox, and Norton, avast!, Spybot SD and Spyware Doctor all say I'm clean.

I wish my lawn was emo so it would cut itself.

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November 16, 2006 at 11:03:29

I didn't say format. I meant scan for spyware & viruses, delete unused programs, run a cleaner such as CCleaner, use MSCONFIG to prevent useless programs from loading at startup, defrag the hard drive, etc

On a notebook/laptop, the CPU speed varies depending on what you're doing, unless you have it configured to run at 1.4GHz all the time? For example, I'm using a Dell laptop right now...it has a Pentium M 750 (1.86GHz) CPU & it's currently running at 798MHz.

Adding more RAM may be more beneficial than upgrading the CPU.

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November 16, 2006 at 12:21:22

I agree with jam here, your Celeron M's sluggish performance is more software oriented than anything else. Secondly, the Celeron Ms do not support energy or power saving technologies like "Enhanced Speedstep" or "Deeper Sleep" and it always runs at the maximum clock speed to the detriment of its battery longevity.

Although you can manually downclock the stock speed by setting it to a lower fixed value in the BIOS - hope you didn't do that. I would advice you follow jam's suggestion regarding the software approach to resolving the issue.

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November 16, 2006 at 12:24:20

I didn't know that the Celeron M's don't support Speedstep

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November 16, 2006 at 13:24:43

Now you do ;-)

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November 16, 2006 at 18:32:46

Oh trust me, I've used all sorts of programs to trim the fat off my laptop. I've used Spybot, Norton, avast!, RegScrub, Spyware Doctor, all of the good stuff. I'm totally clean in that department.

I would normally say that my sluggish computer is bogged by software, but even after a fresh install of XP it's slow. I notice no difference once I install everything again.

One thing I have noticed is that the laptop pages the HD a lot. Should I get more memory? Also, the memory seems to be running at 133MHz when it's definitely PC2700 RAM. The bios is garbage, so is there any other way to get the RAM speed higher? Would it even make a difference?

I wish my lawn was emo so it would cut itself.

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November 16, 2006 at 20:40:23

Well you do have a 4200 RPM HDD - if that alone does not account for the sluggishness, I sure is a very big part of it ;-(

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November 16, 2006 at 20:42:07

........I beleive it sure is a very big part of it ;-(

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November 17, 2006 at 05:38:39

When you reinstalled XP, did you use a 'real' XP CD or the Gateway Restore CD? Restore CDs usually contain all sorts of garbage programs that should either be uninstalled, or at least their entries removed from the startup list by running MSCONFIG.

You 'only' have 512MB RAM & a portion of that is allocated to the video. According to the specs listed above, 32MB are used for IntelĀ® Extreme 2 Graphics, so you're basically operating on 480MB.

Speeding up your RAM isn't gonna speed up your system...it's already running 33% faster than the CPU (133MHz vs 100MHz). I still think adding more RAM would be more helpful than a CPU upgrade.

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November 17, 2006 at 05:49:26

Ok, so ditch the 4200RPM drive and get another 512MB of memory. And that should give a more tangible performance boost than upgrading the CPU?

Also, I did use a real XP Pro installation. I threw out that Gateway recovery disc long ago. Nothing useful was on it except for network and synaptics drivers, and I can get those online easily enough.

I'm not sure if this is even cost-effective anymore... SODIMMs are expensive and I already have 2x256 sticks, so that means I'd have to buy a whole new 1GB set. Also, laptop hard drives are also quite expensive...

I think I'll just start saving my pennies and try to score a Centrino Duo system sometime... jump on the Core 2 bandwagon!

Thanks for all your input though guys.

I wish my lawn was emo so it would cut itself.

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