Can I update a processor?

By Tink! ·
Just wondering if it's even possible to update a Pentium processor in an older HP Vectra PC. It's a Pentium II and only 350 Mhz.

I would love to be able to change it up to something faster but have never done anything specifically with processors.

Is it possible?
And how would I go about it?


P.S. it has 128k RAM and Windows 98 SE

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Not possible

by mjd420nova In reply to Can I update a processor?

The changes in technology between todays P4 CPU's and the P2 are incredible. It might be possible to save the case but just about everything else would have to be upgraded. The power supply and memory certainly. The hard drive, floppies video and other option cards could work, but if you're going to upgrade might as well go all the way.

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May not be worth the effort

by TheChas In reply to Can I update a processor?

First of all, if you are going to stay with Windows 98, I would add up to 256MB more RAM and call it good. You will see a greater increase in performance by adding RAM over a faster processor.

Just make sure that you get the correct RAM for this system. Most likely, PC100 168 pin SDRAM DIMMs with low density RAM technology.

As to a faster CPU, a LOT depends on the specific motherboard you have, and what is available on the used CPU market.

There were several versions of the Slot 1 motherboards that used the Pentium II CPU module.
1 allowed up to a 350 MHz CPU.
The next allowed for a Pentium II up to 450 MHz.
The last version allowed for the use of Pentium III CPUs of up to 1 GHz. With the correct BIOS.

Start by checking the specifications at HP for your specific model Vectra.

For the most part, your search for parts is going to be limited to Ebay and surplus parts dealers.


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Tink as Chas has already said

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Can I update a processor?

the 350 was top of the range in the 66 MHZ FSB P2 CPU Line up anything faster had a 100 MHZ FSB and that could go all the way to 1 GIG but these where only ever used in Severs so I would rule them out even if you could find one.

Being a HP I would imagine that you have a M'Board that is only rated to the FSB of the CPU so unless you could have an optional 400 or 450 CPU I think that you'll find that the 350 is the fastest that will fit on that particular M'Board.

You'll really need to get the BIOS Information and read the specs that it supports but so many of those first series P2's where only 66 MHZ FSB and couldn't be improved upon in terms of CPU Speed.

Though Chas is totally correct adding more RAM which will be SD Low Density RAM and the M'Board should accept up to 256 MEG RAM Modules though again this is a bit iffy will make it appear much faster than it currently is.

However just a word of warning if you can add 4 RAM Modules and the M'Board can carry 256 MEG Modules that will give you a GIG of RAM which 98 can not recognise as by default anything above 700 and something can not be read by 98 without a Registry Hack. Which if you need it I should have a copy somewhere around here as back in those days I was regularly running 1 GIG of RAM on P2's with 98 SE.

If you can provide the BIOS String on the bottom of the screen when the monitor first starts we'll be able to tell you exactly what can be added to the M'Board.

Though some of the very early P2's could use the cheap 72 PIN RAM if you have a combination of RAM Sockets on the M'Board of the 72 and 168 the M'Board defiantly only supports a 66 MHZ FSB so that's the fastest CPU that you can use on that M'Board but if it has 72 Pin RAM installed just changing to SD RAM of the same amount though it would only be reasonable to fit as big a stick of RAM as the M'Board will support as these are dirt cheap now will give you a boost in performance.


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Would adding more Ram help?

by Tink! In reply to Can I update a processor?

If I remember correctly there was one more slot for Ram. (currently has 2 64k chips)

The problem is that when viewing or playing websites with lots of flash or similar media, it's really slow. So when the kids got to Cartoon and try to play games the games are slow. Would adding more Ram help that at all?

Also we run an interactive RPG Java game and it has a tendency to lag a lot. Whereas on our Pentium III PC it has no problem.

(Can you believe the slow one is the computer I used to use at work! Man, am I glad we upgraded to Dells there!!)

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Tink everything is relative. I remember the first portable

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Would adding more Ram hel ...

That I had to carry around with me more like a large suitcase than a Portable computer and it flew along or at least that's what I was told as I never actually used the thing but I had to carry it with me all the time.

It was probably a OLD 286 or maybe one of the first 386's but certainly nothing bigger or faster than that. The same unit today I wouldn't mind having one of but not as something to use as the slowness of it would drive me nuts but it would be a lovely conversation piece.

Anyway back to your problem the More RAM that you can stuff into this thing the better things will behave. If you can post the BIOS String I can tell you exactly what the M'Board can take and even if you can dump 512 MEG or populate the 3 RAM Slots with 384 MEG you'll not believe that it's the same machine.

When the first screen appears press the Pause Key and write down the BIOS String that is along the bottom of the display.


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by JamesRL In reply to Tink everything is relati ...

Maybe its the way I use computers.....Having worked with Macs for over a decade, I got used to multitasking - running my email program, web browser, office application etc all at once.

Having more RAM often makes a big change in performance, even in single app scenarios, but especially in multitasking scenarios.

I helped a former collegue with weekend of benchmarking on Win95 - determining what the supported configurations would be in terms of CPU and Memory. Its amazing the performance you could ring out of even old processors, by adding memory. Max it out, memory is pretty cheap these days.


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Ok, I'll do that tonight

by Tink! In reply to Tink everything is relati ...

At least I'll try to remember (I'm rather absent-minded)


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WTH Tink it's Easter tomorrow for me

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Ok, I'll do that tonight

So whenever you find the time is fine with me. Sit back and watch your kids overdose on Chocolate it's fun as you tell not to eat so much and you get ignored and then they come complaining about the sore tummy.

Enjoy the break


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good, cuz I forgot

by Tink! In reply to WTH Tink it's Easter tomo ...

lol. I told you I was absent-minded

You have a good holiday as well. And my kids have their mother's candy all day and not get bellyaches :)

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As someone who is totally addicted to Chocolate

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to good, cuz I forgot

I can honestly say that even I have my limits though as I only eat Swiss Chocolate I can tend to eat a few Kilo's before I start to feel that enough is enough for the time being.

I don't care who you are there is a limit that it's not safe to pass and because I'm way to tight to waste good chocolate I'm unwilling to throw it up. :^0

One of my Great Danes raided my Stash one night and was looking so proud of himself for eating several Kilos of Liquored Filled Chocolate so I sat down in front of him and ate all his Doggy Chocolate and refused to share with him. He always wanted to share from them on. :0

Anyway Tink have a great Easter and we'll get an answer to your problem when you look as if you are working again.

Col ]:)

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