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Upgrading chip...

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by apinkpony, Feb 6, 2007.

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  1. apinkpony

    apinkpony Thread Starter

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    I have an MSI board with a AMD Athlon XP 1.2GHz. Everything works fine, except it seems my processor gets a little overloaded.

    I was looking on NewEgg and they seemed to have a lot of AMD Athlon processors that were... definately bigger than this one, for not terrible prices.

    I am fairly competant with computers, but I've never really played around with the motherboard (except for replacing a broken cpu fan).

    So... what would I need to do to get a new chip? Would it be possible? Would it fix my constant problem of windows telling me I am at 100% (in the process window)?
     
  2. thechanmane

    thechanmane

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    For starters, what model is the MSI board? Upgrading a CPU is a fairly simple task, and there isn't much too it besides buying a compatible CPU and heatsink (comes with a retail CPU package). The installation is very simple and involves removing the previous heatsink, releasing the CPU from the motherboard, blowing away any debris such as dust, installing and securing the the new CPU, and finally placing and securing the new heatsink on the new CPU. All of this can be done in a few minutes (don't rush! :)) and then you can power on. For the most part, you should expect to reinstall Windows. There is a chance your new CPU will still be compatible with your current Windows installation, but many times this is not the case. If it works, you can continue to use the old installation, but there is a greater chance for problems down the road. At any rate, let us know what model of motherboard you have, and we can suggest an appropriate CPU for your needs.

    To answer you second concern, a new CPU will definitely help out the excessive load. For the most part though, if a program wants to use all of the processor, it will, regardless of the speed of the processor. The main advantage to a faster CPU is that these pesky tasks will complete much more rapidly and you computer will be under full load for a shorter amount time.
     
  3. telegramsam

    telegramsam

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    You probably have a Socket A motherboard if you had an Athlon XP. You won't find much in the way of upgrades available for a Socket A. Might not be worth the money and time you'll have to put into it.
     
  4. thechanmane

    thechanmane

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    telegramsam makes an excellent point, and updating outdated components makes for a frustrating practice. There are many chips available for purchase, but they will all most likely be OEM chips without a heatsink or manual. Since your chip now is only 1.2 GHz, there is room for improvement or upgrade, but the gains you would see wouldn't be significant compared to the gains you would see from a chipset or architecture upgrade. If your only concern is to put a faster chip in and enjoy the minor increase in speed, by all means, go for it, and let us know if you need any help or advice. If you want to turn your computer into a powerhouse or performance rig, you'll need to move into the newer technologies. At any rate, i stand by my first reply, and if that sounds like what you're interested it, you many want to make the upgrade after all!
     
  5. telegramsam

    telegramsam

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    Here's a good place to get ahold of older tech processors and RAM

    www.starmicro.net

    Unfortunately, you'll find that a lot of the Bartons and Thorougbreds are pretty close in price to brand new processors :eek:

    But if you have the low end of the Athlon XP's, going to high end of those makes a pretty sizeable performance difference. You do need to be VERY careful about FSB specs and architecture. Those older MSI boards were really picky with that kind of stuff. I've learned some $40 and $50 lessons with K7T Pro vs K7t266 vs K7T vs2.0, blah blah blah. It can all be very confusing.
     
  6. telegramsam

    telegramsam

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    Just to be a little more direct and blunt about what thechanmane said earlier...

    Also, if you have a steady 100% CPU usage, you need to do some serious housecleaning. That's not the CPU's fault--that's a software issue.

    A reinstall will help immensely. But removing any programs you don't use, cleaning out your startup in msconfig, cleaning out spyware, etc will probably return the PC to pretty good working order. I run XP on an Athlon 950Mhz at home it runs well, but I'm absolute stickler for cleanliness in my PC's.
     
  7. apinkpony

    apinkpony Thread Starter

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    I do not have a consistent 100% CPU usage, but when I am running torrent programs, attempting to burn a DVD, etc, it goes straight to 100% and really cannot function at all. I do not run many "background" programs. Google Desktop, AIM, McAfee... that's about it. All of my software is up to date and keep it fairly clean. I agree about cleanliness in PC's. Also I did a complete reinstall last June, so I do not think it is time to do one again. Compared to then, my computer is working much, much better.

    I downloaded System Info recently and this it what it tells me about my motherboard/CPU.

    Motherboard : MSI MS-6570
    CPU : AMD Athlon XP
    Socket : Socket A
    Processor Upgrade : ZIF Socket
    Max CPU Speed : 2200MHz

    As we speak I am running AIM (two open windows), Firefox (with ... many extensions) and System Info. In the background we have ... Google Desktop, McAfee, Skype, NVidia. The CPU says to fluxuate right now between 9% and 75%.

    Some people may not agree with running the likes of Skype, Google Desktop and AIM all the time but with what I do it is necessary to have these open for organizational and communication purposes. I think any reasonable modern computer should be able to function properly with them open... and I would even (wish) that they could function when attempting to burn (video -- legal) DVDs and downloading (legal) torrents.
     
  8. replay

    replay

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    is this your board? http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=K7N2_Delta-L a google search sends me to ths board...........anyway if it is u could replace your processor with a xp 3200 which runs at 2.2 ghz
    those cpu's are way over priced........but if u look around a xp 2800 runs at 2.08 ghz and would be a improvement to what u have
    also u dont have to reinstall your os when u change a processor....(i just changed a xp recently,no probs)
     
  9. replay

    replay

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