Maximum CPU Processor Upgrade for Dell Dimension 4300 / 4300S

Thursday, January 03rd, 2008
Last Updated:
Friday, August 17th, 2012

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I have a friend who owns a Dell Dimension 4300. It originally came with a Pentium 4 1.7GHz processor and after running across a few faster processors, I decided to try upgrading the CPU on the Dimension 4300. I did a bit of research and found a forum that mentioned the maximum CPU speed was a theoretical 2.0GHz for the system. So, I stuck in a 2GHz and it worked flawlessly. I also had a 2.4GHz Celeron that we yanked out of one of his newer computers and stuck that in just to see what it would do. It worked flawlessly as well.

I got to looking at the processor specs between the two and noticed that the FSB on the two processors was 400MHz. I also had a 2.60GHz with a 533MHz FSB and it did NOT work in the system. (I realize there is more to the correlation between the FSB and motherboard but I didn't feel like researching it too extensively. It's more fun to "plug it in and see what happens".)

So, I have decided that the Maximum processor speed for a Dell Dimension 4300 is going to be the highest processor with a 400MHz Front Side Bus. Like I said earlier, I used a 2.4GHz Intel Pentium 4 Celeron. BUT, I don't see why a full blown 2.4GHz Pentium 4 with a 400MHz FSB wouldn't work in the same system. I highly doubt there are any 2.6GHz processors with a 400MHz FSB, but in theory, if there is one, it will most likely work fine in the Dimension 4300.

Update: 2008-12-02
After reading through a comment below, someone mentioned that they were able to get a 2.8GHz 400MHz FSB Celeron to work without a problem. So, a 2.8GHz P4 should run just fine on a Dimension 4300. I also ran across the Intel Pentium 4 Processor Finder which allows you to filter the list of P4's based on various criteria such as the FSB. I was hoping to find a 2.8GHz P4 with a 1MB cache but the highest 400 FSB P4 built was a 2.8GHz with the following specs:

sSpec#CPU SpeedProcessor #CoresBus SpeedMfg TechSteppingCache SizePackagePCG
SL7EY2.80 GHzN/A1400 MHz0.13 micronD1512 KB478 pinN/A

Update 2010-05-09
Several folks have posted in the comments that a full P4, SL7EY WILL work in the 4300 as well as the Dimension 4300S! In order to accomplish this though, you MUST first update the BIOS to version A06 which will work for both the Dimension 4300 and 4300S.

Update: 2010-05-17
I had a brain fart idea and decided to post the Dimension 4300 Specs... Why I didn't do this before, I don't know. The processor info is kinda useless at this point given the tested info in the comments, but some of the other stuff might be note-worthy.

Dimension 4300 / 4300S Recap:
Maximum Known Working Upgradeable CPU: 2.8GHz Pentium 4 with 400MHz FSB known as SL7EY OR Any socket 478 processor with a 400MHz FSB.

I hope that answers any questions regarding the maximum cpu speed that a Dell Dimension 4300 can be upgraded to! (Also, Thanks to everyone who has helped by posting their findings in the comments!)

Post Comment


Processor as specified does not work in this machine with BIOS A06 update. Specs are as follows:
roduct Identifiers
Brand Intel
Processor Model Pentium 4
MPN RK80532PC072512

Key Features
Clock Speed 2.8 GHz
CPU Socket Type Socket 478/N, Socket N
Multi-Core Technology Single-Core
TDP 68.4 W
Processor Quantity 1
Product Type Processor

Cache Memory
Level 1 Size 8 KB
Level 2 Size 512 KB
Type Advanced Transfer Cache

Expansion / Connectivity
Compatible Slots 1 x processor - Socket 478

Other Features
Bus Speed FSB Speed - 400 MHz
Platform Compatibility PC
Packaging Type PPGA

Package Type OEM/tray

Item was purchased on Ebay and is being returned. Anyone who has any success with this speed advise as to specs. Thanks.

Sorry to hear that Gardner... Always sucks to buy something and not have it work. Since it was bought on eBay, it's hard to say if it was the processor or an incompatibility. Good luck though!

Hi guys
It looks like I will be upgrading my BIOS and CPU as outlined here
as well as a USB 2.0 conversion. My question is, what determines the maximum allowed memory? I see this comp can only take 1GB so I was wondering if the BIOS and CPU upgrade will also allow a larger amount of memory to be added?

Long story short, there are three factors that limit the maximum memory.

1) The Chipset/Processor (Northbridge Chip/Now bundled)
2) The physical slots on the motherboard
3) The BIOS

Even today, the chipset / processor is the maximum determining factor for how much memory a computer can take, then it's limited by the physical abilities of the motherboard, then the BIOS.

Older computers had more issues with the BIOS limiting the memory in comparison to the computers today, but it did used to be a thing.

Most of the Northbridge chipset functionality is now bundled inside processors today and they have a hard coded limit of memory they can handle. (Chipsets used to be on the motherboard, called the northbridge chip. Manufacturers figured out they could put the majority of that chip inside the processor and make communication even faster.)

The only way to know for sure on the newer processors, is to look at the processor specifications. For Intel, you can look them up on Intel's Ark.

In the case of the Dimension 4300, the chipset specified a max of 512M modules, to a max of 2GB. (4 banks of 512). For the computers that still have the chipset separate from the processor, you'll have to find the specifications on the chipset itself.

I just upgraded a 4300 with a 1.6ghz stock p4 to a 2.6ggz sl6pp. Everything works great! An excellent $9 upgrade courtesy of eBay and this great forum.

My xp old school gaming rig is well underway!

Having fun at the hobby of rejuvenating this 4300. Did the SL7EY and it works like a charm. Upgraded to Radeon 9700TX which is running great. Tried two "compatible" sets of RAM to go from 512MB total to 1GB total but get a "bunch" of beeps on boot-up and it won't boot - grrrr. It really would benefit BIG TIME from the 1GB. Anyone have any ideas?! Thanks, Jeff.

Do the compatible sticks work OK one at a time?

Just finished trying a 2.8Ghz SL7EY processor in my Dell 4300. I had previously updated the Bios to A06. It didn't work on my machine. It may well be that the reused EBAY purchased SL7EY chip was faulty. Has anyone else had issues success or otherwise with using the SL7EY chip as a replacement?

You are really locked in too the slower memory of this machine but 2.4 g Pentiums IV's @400mhz are plentiful. Flash the BIOS before taking the original CPU out. Can save considerable heartburn later. Adding a video card will also speed things up a bit. Makes a good machine for students and office work.

OK, I need some help

I went to the dell website and downloaded the AO6 bios. I save it on a floppy diskette, restart my PC, hit F12, I go to option number 2 but I get a diskette error. What am I doing wrong>?

Ok first off, I've always had problems with the Dell floppy disk bios creation program... I don't know what it is about it, but I learned early on (the old GX110 days) that you have to run the program TWICE on the floppy in order for it to take.

So, basically run it, have it format and copy the stuff, then turn around and do the exact same thing. Second time has always been a charm for me and ever since I figured that little trick out, I've never had a problem with it.

Hope that helps! If not, I have another solution that might work... Hit me up if it's still not working.

A friend of mine complained about his Dimension 4300 was too slow.
I did a check and noticed that the Pc had A02 BIOS.
I had the same error, put the EXE BIOS (A06), not the zip one, on formatted floppy disk and did not work, I had the same error as you.
Finally I did a clean install of Win XP pro, when the XP was installed I removed the CD restarted it again, while restarting It came up a message regarding the BIOs update....I realised that I forgot the floppy disk inside while installing I went ahead and updated the BIOS following the steps on the screen.
It worked perfect.

Hey Phil, what would that other solution be? I'm getting an error despite formatting the diskette twice. Thanks!

If anyone's interested, I have the 2.8Ghz CPU, 1GB of RAM, 3.5" Floppy with bios update A06 that works, and a ATX 450W PSU(Dual fan) for sale. The CPU is used, but the ram and PSU is new/only tested. If your interested, send me an email to the for @ $50shipped

I plan on doing this to my old 4300 thats sitting in a closet. I already got the CPU for $10, plan on buying 1gb of memory for around $15.

But, what Graphics card would be recommended? I see nVIDIA GeForce 7600GTS and GTX was listed, but as far as I can tell those can't be found? Are we talking about 7600GT and GS?

Well, I ran across this blog post that outlines the difference:

Basically, for the 4300, it all comes down to a video card that will fit the AGP slot. The 7600 was the last nVidia chipset that was AGP. Everything after was PCI Express. Yes, there were later chipsets that were done in PCI, but you still have the limitation of the PCI bus vs the AGP bus.

As far as the video goes, If you aren't planning on playing video games, pretty much any video card you stick in it, that is better than what came with it, will be an improvement. If you're looking to play games (other than small flash based games or low graphic stuff) then the 4300 is going to disappoint, no matter which video card you put in it.

Good luck to ya!

was pondering maxing out this old 4300 on the topic of retro agp era video cards it seems to me! tops is a amd hd4670. due to it having atleast direct x10 and is all around a great card for its time. from there you could go down to the ati x1950, hd3650 or nvidia 7900/6800 but thoes cards lack dx 10.

then in third you could have an hd2400/hd3450/hd4350
maybe nvidia 6600.
after that everything else is really lacking.

old x800's fx5000's are just too far gone for a perfect retro rig.
unless your talking voodoo but unless you playing quake 2 or 3 voodoo is just a conversation piece....still hold a grudge against nvidia for buying/destroying voodoo.

Thanks, wasn't expecting such a quick reply. I don't plan on playing games on it. Was just looking for an upgrade(Might as well get a good one as they seem to be pretty cheap now) I just plan on putting the computer downstairs instead of using my laptops all the time.

Sounds good, I would say to look on or for an AGP video card. I usually buy everything through newegg, but I didn't really like the AGP video cards they offer. Tigerdirect appears to have some "better quality" cards that I would probably look into if it were me. Otherwise, a search on ebay for a used one might provide useful too. Hope you find one : )

I did the swap for the sl7ey 2.8 there at the weekend - also added a gig of ram - no problem - runs great now - its a big old tank of a thing the 4300 - well worth the upgrades to hold onto it

I pop in a 2.8 ghz celeron worked just fine. I also decided to change the power supply as mine was making a strange noise. I found one at MyVolts.

I know somebody said the Celeron CPU's are not worth going with. But, it was a good price.


Hi Folks

I replaced 1.8 processor with a 2.8Ghz which didnt work, during the process my original processor get damaged so I am now left with a dead desktop.
Please help.

Many thanks


Did you by chance update the BIOS to the latest A06 version before trying the upgrade?

Hi guys i also own one of these dell dimendion 4300.
these were my processor specs
intel pentium 4 @ 1.8ghz

it is now a sl6dw

wtf i thought you said 533mhz would not work?

Sorry dude, but I'm going to have to call BS on this one and here's why: The Dimension 4300 and 4300S both have the Intel 845 Chipset according to Dell and everything else I can find on those computers. The Intel 845 Chipset, is locked at a 400Mhz FSB which means a BIOS update, tweak, driver whatever, won't change the fact that the chipset itself, can only handle a 400Mhz FSB processor. Now, if you can prove to me that the Dimension 4300 has the Intel 845E, 845PE, 845GV, 845G, or 845GE Chipset, then yes, I would say it is totally plausible that it would support your processor because those all support both 400Mhz & 533Mhz on the FSB. But I can't find anything that states the 4300 has a chipset other than a plain ol' 845. Even the Dimension 4400 has the 845 Chipset.

What I CAN believe, is that you've somehow mistaken your computer to be a Dimension 4500 (those numbers can blend together on those things...) which has the 845E chipset, which, as stated above, WILL support the 533 FSB.

My question is: "What does the BIOS Post screen say when you boot it?" Does it really show at the BIOS level that it's a 4300? If so, hit me up on the Contact form so I can get my e-mail over to you and all I request is some sort of screen shot proving it's a 4300 with a 2.53Ghz 533Mhz FSB processor. Even Tyan Motherboards has a chart that shows the SL6DW isn't compatible with a 845...

A lot of computer guys are very cocky about what they "think" they know and I try not to be that way, though it might seem that way... I don't want you to think I'm trying to put you in your place on this and on your behalf, I will say that I've been around computers long enough to know that they will sometimes do things that they aren't supposed to do, leaving you scratching your head in bewilderment... On my behalf, I'm going off the cold hard facts at this point that the 4300 can't possibly run a 533 FSB processor according to Intel, the people who designed it...

Anyone else got a SL6DW lying around they want to try?? :)

Additional Wikipedia reference on the Intel Chipset familys

The ios update state: "Prevented boot-up of system when detecting a 533 FSB CPU."

Would this mean that is could possibly accept a cpu with 533mhz fsb? Just curious if it were possible. It is a very dated system, so I doubt the increase would really make that much of a difference.

Welp, according to all of the info regarding the 4300 and the chipset that it runs, a 533Mhz will not work. However, I've seen weirder things happen in the computer world so there is always that unexplainable possibility that it might. Personally, I would stick with a 400Mhz FSB chip and call it good unless you have some 533's lying around you can stick in and try out...

Thanks alot, I have found quite a bit of useful information here for my upcoming CPU upgrade. I have a Dimension 4300 with a 1.6 ghz P4, which I am getting ready to upgrade to a 2.8 ghz P4. I was concerned about the voltage difference and thinking about switching out the power supply, but it sounds like that is taken care of with the A06 BIOS rev.

I was given this 4300 by a friend about 5 years ago after it was retired from its life as an office PC, and it has served me well through college and beyond. I plan on squeezing every bit of life that I can get out of it, and I am pretty excited about my $15 CPU upgrade coming up this week!

Thanks for the great site and comments!

I'm thinking of upgrading my processor to SL7EY and also want to upgrade the video card. What's the maximum video card that the 4300 can take? I plan to install Windows 7 on it as well. So the card needs to be recognized by Windows 7. Plus I've heard that Windows 7 doesn't recognize the sound card that came pre-installed with the 4300. Any suggestions for a decent sound card that will wun with Windows 7 on the 4300?

Starting off with the Video, the AGP slot on the 4300 is AGP 4x which is the biggest limiting factor. Nothing you can do about that one... But, I recommend looking for the "last" of the AGP series of cards that either nVidia or ATI makes. I know that the last GPU nVidia made for AGP was the 7600 (GTX is best) but I have no idea for ATI. The 7600 runs at 8x AGP but is backwards compatible with the 4x AGP slot. Newegg has sold various brands offering the 7600 GTS & GTX on and off over the last year so if you have time to sit and wait, you can probably find one on there. As of this writing, the highest AGP nVidia cards Newegg has for sale, are the GeForce 6 series... You shouldn't have a problem finding a 7300 or 7600 on froogle or ebay though.

For the Sound Card, I personally recommend the Omega Striker 7.1 offered on Newegg for around $80 - $90 (depending on sales). I moved from the Soundblaster 5.1 Live! card to the Omega Striker and I LOVE the card! Even though it would be considered one of their "budget" cards, I don't think I EVER have any pops or cracks like I always had with the SB Live! card. I don't really do any gaming, nor do I even have a 5.1 or 7.1 surround speaker setup but I don't think it would have a problem handling any of those features. Omega has some other higher end cards that might be worth checking out if you are into audio editing but otherwise, the 7.1 has done me right :)

On a side note for the 4300 sound drivers and Windows 7, you "might" have some luck manually installing the original Windows XP drivers from the Dell Website, but I haven't tried it. I do know for a fact that you can manually install the SB 5.1 Live! XP drivers on Win 7 and get them to work, but the audio quality is horrible... Constant pops and clicks which is why I finally broke down and got the Omega card.

Dimension 4300S

I just upgraded a Dell Dimension 4300S. 4300S is a low profile design and has more limitations than the 4300. Cards are PCI slot type - low profile. Connections are PATA / IDE. You should probably avoid SATA, PCI Express.

CPU was a Pentium 4, 1.4GHz. The 2.8 SL7EY and AO6 BIOS works just fine. for Pentium 4, 2.8, 400MHz, Socket 478 SL7EY . Fast delivery. $54.00

Dell Support Downloads for AO6 BIOS:

Download the BIOS to your computer first. Insert a floppy and copy the BIOS to it. Restart. Just follow the prompts and it will install. Remove the floppy. Restart.

From TigerDirect I got these items:
1) I maxed the RAM with 1GB memory with (2)Wintec AMPRO 512MB PC133 SDRAM. $29.99 each

2) (4) USB 2.0 Ports: StarTech PCI420USB 4-Port USB 2.0 PCI Card. I took the fax modem card out and replaced it with this. It actually has five ports. One is internal. $14.99

3) Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB, 7200rpm, 16MB ATA-100, OEM Hard Drive $84.99

4) Key Board and Mouse: Microsoft Business Hardware Pack.
Good look and feel. $29.99

5) Sabrent 3.5" IDE (PATA) Hard Drive Enclosure with USB 2.0 to IDE Interace $19.99

Monitor: Last year I bought a SAMSUNG SyncMaster 2233sw 22" widesceen. A good purchase.

Power Supply: The max low profile power I found so far is 210 watt N1238 Dell Optiplex Power Supply Upgrade from I haven't replaced it yet. $94.99

I'm still looking for a decent low profile DVI/VGA video card. PCI of course.

Ghost/Clone Software: I downloaded free 30 day trial ACRONIS. Very easy to use. I was nervous about this but the old hard drive cloned perfectly to the new one. The new hard drive booted flawlessly.

Place the new hard drive in the enclosure and connect the USB cable to the computer. Hint: Install the new 2.0 USB card before cloning your old hard drive to the new one.

Follow the Acronis instructions for cloning.

Remove the old hard drive from the 4300s. Remove the new hard drive from the enclosure and install it in the 4300S. Boot it up.

No Microsoft downloads and no new software purchases. Can't beat that!

I don't know why I waited so long. I'm not a gamer so I don't know if this upgrade would please the pros. But, all programs open in a snap. Boot time is about two minutes max. I didn't time it before but it seemed like eight to ten minutes.

No freeze ups or crashes since the upgrade. Fast, clear videos.

All Office programs run fast and smooth. I am a novice and it was my first attempt at going inside a computer. Nothing to it. If you're thinking about it, just do it. This upgrade makes the old 4300S perform beautifully. It was actually kind of fun.


Recently, I was given an old Dimension 4300 from a friend. I was hoping to turn this box into a Hulu machine for my LCD TV. Unfortunately, this machine displays choppy video. Did you have much luck with video after you ugraded to the Intel Pentium 4 SL7EY? I don't want to spend much money, but if a processor upgrade would do the trick it would be worth every penny. I have upgraded the memory and I've considered a video card upgrade, but I think the issue is the processor. Any advice you have would be appreciated.


First off, I personally haven't upgraded a 4300 to the SL7EY so I can't exactly do some pre-testing for you :( Other folks have posted comments though that they have been successful in the upgrade.

I really hate to give a straight forward answer here without real-world knowledge (anyone else who knows this works, feel free to post) but, from my experience (10 some odd years) with computers, a faster processor will always help out in situations with video etc. Being a 2.8 1MB processor, I have a really good feeling that it will handle the video without a problem. BUT, you also need to take into account the video card as well... You can only go up to a NVidia 7600 GTX video card (If my memory serves me right) on an AGP video slot but the 4300 is limited to 4x AGP which makes some of the newest 8x AGP cards sorta useless... (PCI cards go higher than the 7600 but PCI has a slower bus which never made sense to me?!??) I dunno about ATI's cards. I hate their software and consequently stay away from them. (Not that the cards or drivers are bad, their catalyst software is just junk in my opinion) So, if you upgrade the Processor, but have a pretty old Video Card, you might still end up running into some choppy video issues...

On an off topic side note, If you have an old Sound Blaster Live 5.1 card (Like I do) and you're considering upgrading to Windows 7, I recommend the HT Omega STRIKER 7.1 which runs around $90 on Newegg. I always noticed little pops & cracks with my ol' Live 5.1 even on XP and using the XP driver in Win 7 got it working, but with even more pops & cracks (The Live 5.1 isn't supported by Creative Labs on 7 but the XP drivers will make it work) The HT Omega? All I can say is WOW! Clean Sound!

Anywho, Andy, for the $40, I personally don't think you can go wrong. Even if the box doesn't play Hulu after the upgrade, it will still breath some life into your ol' Dimension 4300 :)

I appreciate all the information posted on this topic. I was searching for details on processor upgrades for my 4300S, and came across this post. After reading this, I got an SL7EY off ebay, updated my BIOS to A06, installed the CPU, and everything booted up flawlessly. This was my first processor change, and I am thrilled with the performance! It was pretty easy to max out my old 1.6 GHz processor, but not so with the 2.8. I feel good about keeping my old machine going and out of the landfill for a bit longer...especially when the cost was around 30 bucks. I commend everyone who contributed for helping reduce waste, and for supporting a money-saving alternative to a new PC.

If I might contribute one bit to the process, I'd like to clarify something with regard to Dell's BIOS update. My machine is a 4300S, which is the space-saver version of the 4300. If you are looking for updates for the 4300S on the Dell site, you won't find the BIOS revision. You have to search for updates to the 4300. Once you start downloading the last revised BIOS (A06), you'll see that it does apply to 4300 & 4300S models.

Probably few care in 2010, but I installed a SL7EY today in my old Dell Dimension 4300 and it worked perfectly with no problems. It was easy to install. I have doubled the processor speed for $40 and it enabled me to postpone buying a new computer and having to move to Windows 7 for some time. So far the only thing I've run into is that Microsoft Office 2002 recognized a major change and required me to insert the CD so it would work. That was no problem.

Honestly, I do think people still care about information like this :) Thx for posting your findings!

For some weird reason, I find enjoyment out of upgrading old computers and trying to get the absolute most out of something that is considered obsolete and I know that others out there are on a budget, looking to spruce up an older computer that will run XP without a problem :)

@dtlove - yep people care. I'm glad to have stumbled upon this post. The post helped answer questions that the Dell website doesn't even attempt to answer. C'mon Dell upgrading a CPU isn't that difficult!

The whole thing centres around the FSB.
The motherboard runs at 256 so any combination eg 128&256 will work.
The fastest P4 processor is a 2.0 GHz.
Have tried a 2.4Ghz 400FSB-did not work.533 FSB therefdore will not work.
The fastest Celeron is 2.4Ghz,in some cases up to 2.8Ghz depending on the FSB.

While you may be right (I personally havne't tried the 2.8), I will have to disagree. Have you physically tried the 2.8GHZ, specifically the SL7EY?

As posted below, someone claims to have been successful in getting the SL7EY to work, provided the BIOS has been upgraded to A06.

Dimension 4300 works with Celeron 2.4/128/400 (from P4 1.6)
Dimension 2350 works with Celeron 2.4/128/400 (from P4 1.6)

Dimension 2400 works with P4 2.66/512/533
Celeron 2.4/128/400 to P4 2.66/512/533 is about 20% faster.
The 2400 requires a Celeron FSB400 or P4 512/533. Celeron FSB533 does not work. P4 1MB cache or FSB800 also fail.

Dimension 1100 works with P4 3.0/1024/800 HT
Celeron 2.53/256/533 to P4 3.0/1024/800 HT is *much* faster.

i have a dell dimension 4300 and i want to upgrade to the MAX cpu it can handle and will actually work on it. do you think you can give me an exact name? or product version of some sort? i tried the intel pentium 4 processor finder but didnt have much luck.

Well, as listed in the table above, the MAX processor you "could" go with is the Intel Pentium 4 SL7EY. For pricing and where to buy, you can take a peek on Froogle.

From what I can tell, used on ebay are starting around $40 and go up in price from there.

As posted in the comments, make sure you update the BIOS to the latest (A06) before installing the faster processor.

All of these comments are great. I was wandering if it's worth replacing the slower processor with the faster 2.80ghz processor. Do you get better performance?

Noticing a difference in upgrading to the 2.8Ghz processor is all going to depend on what you have in the computer now. I don't remember off the top of my head what they came with from the factory, but I think it was around 1.7Ghz. So, to go from a 1.7Ghz to a 2.8Ghz processor, will be a noticeable difference. BUT, if you have... say a 2.4Ghz or a 2.6Ghz processor, there isn't enough of a jump to really notice much. You might but chances are, unless you are trained to notice it (or do some before / after benchmarking) you won't ever see anything different.

I 've got an SL7EY working fine after the BIOS update to A06 and some extra cooling.

I tried an SL7YP which is a P4 2.4Ghz 533Mhz with a 1mb L2, and the PC didn't even POST so I would conclude that the BIOS update does not allow compatability with 533Mhz CPU's as previously stated.

I am about to take the plunge.
This is regarding upgrading my 1.6GHz system to P4/2.8GHz
1. You mentioned to get extra cooling? How do you do that?
2. Can I flash the BIO to A06 before I swap in the faster CPU?


Thanks to all here, I finally took the plunge, months after I had bought the 2.6GHz CPU from for around $49. I upgraded the bios to A06 and replaced the CPU. The heat sink had what looked like a thermal pad (or cured gel), so I just filled in the spots with a tiny amount of thermal gel and wrapped it up. Booted up like a charm and detected the new CPU.

Things are noticeably faster, especially on boot-up, even normally. The page load time for browser has decreased considerably after I bring up a new instance. Thinking of what other upgrade will boost perfomance? Thinking of 1) new AGP video card with more memory ii) USB 2.0 PCI card iii) updated NIC card maybe with more buffering and speed. Given the ISP limitations, it seems unlikely that an upgrade to existing CNET 10/100 NIC will provide much boost. Will post experiences....

Thanks again for all the info here, very useful!


Take the plunge and upgrade already! :)

I dunno what to tell you about the cooling though... I personally don't see why you would need better cooling but I can understand where it might help... I think the stock heatsink and fan shroud assembly would work fine, just make sure you have the fins clean on the heatsink.

For the BIOS update, make sure you update the BIOS to A06 BEFORE you upgrade the processor. Not that it will break anything if you don't, you'll just have to put the slower CPU back in and upgrade the BIOS if the faster CPU won't post on the older BIOS, then put the faster CPU back in once the upgrade is done.

Has anyone had any issues or problems with cooling on the 2.8Ghz CPU?

Well, the one thing I can recommend for a faster browser experience, is to use Google Chrome over IE or Firefox. On newer computers, the sluggishness of those browsers aren't as noticeable, but the older computer tend to choke getting things to load. Firefox 4 "might" be faster whenever it comes out of beta, but we won't really know until we see it. Since IE9 won't ever see XP (according to M$) that leaves you with some slim pickin's. Opera or Safari might be good to use too. I don't ever use them though to say if they work one way or the other.

The only other thing I can suggest, is the better video card. I think for the AGP slot, the Nvidia 7600 GTX is the highest card you can get, but they're hard to find. I never stayed up with ATI to know what's comparable...

Good luck to ya!