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Best tool to determine supported cpu upgrades?

Posted on 2011-03-22
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Hi experts,

Crucial.com and similar tools are very useful to determine supported memory upgrades. Are there any similar tools for determining SUPPORTED CPU and other upgrades?

Thanks.
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Question by:Jsmply
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Lee W, MVP earned 100 total points
ID: 35196308
No online tool that I'm aware of, but it's best to check the computer/motherboard manufacturer for a list of CPUs as BIOS versions can add support for newer CPUs (BIOS versions RARELY add support for RAM).
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by:garycase
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As leew noted above, it's best to simply check the details of your motherboard AND the BIOS.    The Rev of the motherboard and the version of the BIOS can both impact what CPUs are supported.

You can get the relevant information by running CPU-Z ... just look on the "Mainboard" tab, where it will show the Make/Model of the motherboard;  the Rev #;  and the BIOS Version.

Then look on the manufacturer's web site for the "Supported CPU LIst" for that motherboard.
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by:Jsmply
ID: 35196392
Thanks Leew and Gary.  The CPU-Z (or similiar app) route work fine if your on the machine.  We were more looking for a site that might have had information for various PC makes.  For instance, if we have an inventory sheet that shows we have 25 Dell Vostro xxx then we can see what motherboard it came/comes with and see what upgrades are supported.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Name brand systems I wouldn't bother upgrading the CPUs on name brand systems (and in general).  RAM is usually a far better investment to upgrade.  But I probably just make a phone call to Dell.
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by:Jsmply
ID: 35196436
Thanks Leew, in general I agree with you.  However, we have a site that came across a large donation of machines (name brand) that are actually very capable workstations that were available with much higher configurations but were ordered with very basic configurations to save money up front.  Looking to upgrade b/c of that scenario.

Thanks
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by:nobus
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then you would have to look at max ram supported, and max ram size per slot, and # slots available.
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by:garycase
ID: 35196521
Depending on WHICH name brand, this can be relatively easy or nearly impossible in terms of CPU support.    The easiest thing is likely to be just "Googling" to see what configurations were offered --  you can then reasonably assume it supports the highest level CPU it was sold with.   [Although this may require an update to the latest BIOS]

Memory support is much simpler -- as noted above, just look at Crucial.


I tend to agree, however, that CPU upgrades are rarely worthwhile UNLESS you have a motherboard that supports both Netburst and Core architecture CPU's ... in which case it's certainly worth upgrading from a Pentium to a Core 2 Duo.    But other than this, it's almost always the case that you'll get more "bang for your buck" with an upgrade in memory and/or a faster hard drive (or even an SSD).
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by:JohnnyCanuck
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This isn't a tool but its a list of processors and which chipsets support them.  I have used this list in the past to upgrade the processors in 3 of my laptops.

http://tinyurl.com/4vzux9x
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by:Mark
Mark earned 100 total points
ID: 35200412
Intel has about the most comprehensive tools on finding matches for their CPU.s and motherboards.
If you are lucky enough to have Intel boards in those PC's, then the closest tool out there is the Intel page found here. Of coarse as Gary has pointer out, the bios version will have an impact.
http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/CS-023522.htm

Or start here http://processormatch.intel.com/COMPDB/default.aspx
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Expert Comment

by:Mark
ID: 35200447
Intel also has a section for other manufacturers as well. Lots of boards to choose from here.
http://www.intel.com/reseller/mbselector/index.htm
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Author Closing Comment

by:Jsmply
ID: 35204697
Thx all!
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