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Changing processors on dual processor workstation board

Posted on 2006-06-24
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Sirs:
     I have a Dell 530 dual processor mobo running a Xeon 603 pin 1.7 processor. The system is moderately fast but would like to speed it up. What happens if I pull the 1.7 and put a 2.2 processor in in it's place? With Win XP installed + all available updates, will the operating system reject this as a new PC? Or reject it as altered hardware configuration? Will I have to reset anything in Bios or what exactly else do I need to be aware of if anything? This system is also running only 256 mb of rdram-will it's speed increase much if I install an additional 256 mb? What in your opinion will speed up this system the most?
                                                                   Thanks
                                                                   L. Daily
                                                                   greywolf01 at EE
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Question by:greywolf01
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16976584
256 MB is WAY too little - increase that to 512 AT LEAST - 1 GB would be better if you want real performance.  Upgrading the CPUs will help a little - assuming the ones you get are compatible with the mainboard, there will be nothing you should need to do to Windows.
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by:callrs
callrs earned 960 total points
ID: 16976627
I have to reset anything in Bios or what exactly else do I need to be aware of if anything?
--> You might. Or you may have to set jumpers. That's assuming that the board can take the higher speed CPU. Download & read the specs in the motherboard manual (from Dell's or the mb company'swebsite).

--> will the operating system reject this as a new PC?
It might. E.g.:
"I was given a limit of three days to register Windows again.. This message was absolute rubbish, because the only recent change I made to my PC's hardware configuration was to replace a faulty case fan."
"...It's usually a major hardware change (like installing a new motherboard or by doing a complete reconfiguration of all your internal cards) that would cause a "red flag" and/or a notification that your system needs to be re-activated. In your case, it may have been a delayed response to your hardware upgrade from 2003. "
- http://www.infopackets.com/channels/en/windows/gazette/2006/20060620_forced_to_reactivate_windows_after_hardware_change.htm

Good idea to Google more on this...

>will it's speed increase much if I install an additional 256 mb?
Definitely. A faster CPU you can leave 'til later: Ram & CPU cache are more important than CPU speed. I Recommend 768 Meg (or more), which I've found is needed to avoid Window's use of the Page File -- and any use of the page file is a relatively major slowdown.
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Author Comment

by:greywolf01
ID: 16977142
Cool! What would happen if I add the 2nd CPU where speed is concerned? And I am sure Windows would require a reauthorization on this. Come to think of it, I installed XP Home successfully on this with one CPU-I would have to switch to Windows XP pro to accomplishthis would I not? So if so, could I get by with the Pro upgrade or will I have to re-install oem XP Pro? Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:greywolf01
ID: 16977157
Also, to ad the 2nd CPU, the stepping on the processors much match, correct? Is there any other specifications which much match? Thanks again.
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Accepted Solution

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Lee W, MVP earned 1040 total points
ID: 16977159
XP Home will not recognize multiple physical processors, so you can't add a second CPU running Home and expect performance increase.  Further, processors need to be the same speed, so you have to get the same model processor and speed to use it in a dual config.  Otherwise, you can just upgrade the existing CPU and that should be fine.  You'll see a little performance increase, but you'll see a LOT of increase if you increase the RAM - When you don't have enough RAM windows uses the pagefile excessively and that's on the hard disk which has access times measured is milliseconds - ms - whereas RAM has speeds measured in nanoseconds - ns.  RAM is hundreds of times faster than the hard disk and 256 MB is barely enough for Windows to run effectively.
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Author Comment

by:greywolf01
ID: 16981254
Thanks-but if I should decide to install the 2nd CPU, will the upgrade be sufficient, and the 2nd cpu should be the same speed /specifications AND the same step code, right?
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Author Comment

by:greywolf01
ID: 16981259
When I talk about the upgrade, I am speaking of just upgrading Win. XP Home to Pro, or should I install oem Pro in that case?
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Author Comment

by:greywolf01
ID: 16997294
Super! Thanks a million guys!
                                           greywolf01 at EE
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Expert Comment

by:callrs
ID: 16997324
>>upgrading Win. XP Home to Pro, or should I install oem Pro in that case?
Either one will do, but with the upgrade you get to keep all your programs & settings.

Thanks for the A :)
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