CPU Upgrade

Compact presario / S4300nx
July 22, 2009 at 08:28:35
Specs: Windows XP
I have a Pentium 4 HT 2.4 GHZ 512KB L2 cache. Can it be upgraded to a faster chip with a larger L2 cache? Any idea what percentage improvement I would see in performance?

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July 22, 2009 at 09:08:44
any pentium 4 prescott cpu has 2mb l2 cache.

you're kinda limited in your options due to the socket 478

here's a P4 3Ghz 1MB L2 cache from newegg:


Vista nVidia Evolution SP2
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E6550 @ 2.8GHz
XFX GeForce 9800 GTx

4GB OCZ Platinum 1066
2x Samsung 1TB Spinpoint F1

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July 22, 2009 at 09:43:21
You have to check your board specs & the CPU support list.

Does your board even support 800MHz FSB? How much RAM do you have? Generally, a RAM upgrade will do more for a system than a CPU upgrade, especially if you only have say, 512MB & a portion of it is used by the onboard video.

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July 22, 2009 at 12:29:34
That thing seems to come with a P4C 2.4 but PC2700 memory. Why Compaq would use a 800Mhz board and cpu and not use PC3200 is a real bonehead move.

The fastest Northwood C is a 3.4 but this thing first needs PC3200 memory and at least 1Gb of the stuff.

Here's a SL6WG 3.2 that I think your P4SD-LA motherboard will support...



But first, you'll need at least 1Gb of PC3200 memory just to get to square 1.

Performance increase with the proper memory and a 3.2 to replace the 2.4? Probably about 15-20%.


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Related Solutions

July 22, 2009 at 17:14:02
I can not find on any of the Compaq specs that it is a socket 478. From what I read on Wikipedia it would suggest it is and that it is a Norwood. How can I determine the socket size? Will any CPU that fits that socket work? How can I tell what type of board it is? I have a 800mhz FSB. I have 512MB or RAM but I just order 2GB of PC2700 which was recommended by the vendor. How do you tell that PC3200 memory will work. Thanks for the respones

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July 22, 2009 at 17:43:55
Look on line 6 of the motherboard specs in the link I gave above...says mPGA478. That means Pin Grid Array/478 Pins.

Northwood Desktop processors come in 3 flavors; Northwood A is 400Mhz, Northwood B is 533Mhz, and Northwood C is 800Mhz. These are all 20kb L1 and 512kb L2 cache. Next step up the ladder is the Prescott Core P4's with 28kb/1Mb. The Prescott cores draw more power and run quite a bit hotter.

Look at line 17 of the motherboard specs.

Memory Speed
PC3200 (400 MHz),

PC2700 (333 MHz),

PC2100 (266 MHz)

IMO, the only reason that thing came with PC2700 instead of PC3200 was to cut costs.


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July 22, 2009 at 19:38:54

Thanks for the great information. Curious, how did you find the motherboard specs on the HP site. I searched a couple of times and came up with nothing.

I know now what I need to buy, thanks, Bill

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July 25, 2009 at 13:03:41
"Next step up the ladder is the Prescott Core P4's with 28kb/1Mb. The Prescott cores draw more power and run quite a bit hotter".

His motherboard will not support Prescott cores. The VRM (Voltage regulator module) Specification is for Northwood cores. So he if attempts to put in a Prescott core it won't post due to the VRM diff.

Iron Sharpens Iron.

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July 25, 2009 at 13:49:54
"His motherboard will not support Prescott cores."

I know...just some general information I tossed in since he asked about a larger L2.

The motherboard spec table clearly states

"Up to 3.2 GHz P4 Northwood"
"Northwood FMB2"

I don't think Bill read my Prescott comment as a recommendation.


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July 27, 2009 at 08:47:26
Thanks for all the input. It has really helped. I opened the box and it has the motherboard indicated. I am going to replace the memory with 3 GB PC3200 and see what that does for performance. The I will look at the CPU upgrade.


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