Changing out my processor to upgrade my computer

I have an older computer but would like to upgrade it a bit.   Can I just upgrade the CPU and heatsink WITHOUT losing any of my data and setting on the computer?   What I have in my old computer is:

Intel Corporation DQ965GF AAD41676-400
Serial Number: BQGF70600HXE
Bus Clock: 266 megahertz

2.13 gigahertz Intel Core 2 Duo
64 kilobyte primary memory cache

My research has shown me that I could move to a: Intel Xeon X3230 Quad Core

I would like a little more speed without having to replace my motherboard and CPU  --  which I believe that I will surely lost my system setting and data???    Any help would be appreciated.
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Dr. KlahnConnect With a Mentor Principal Software EngineerCommented:
The DQ965GF with a BIOS version of 6100 or later supports numerous (at least 40) different CPUs.

I would be inclined toward the Q6700 Core 2 Quad instead of the Xeon, unless there is a pressing reason to buy a Xeon.  Though the power requirement is 10W higher, I've always been leery of putting server CPUs into anything except servers.

You will have to look over the cooler in the existing system and see if it can deal with the additional heat.  The Intel stock LGA775 cooler is, imo, undersized to handle either the Xeon or the Core 2 Quad when running at full speed.

You should not lose anything in the system but it's likely that Windows will require re-authorization as this is considered a major component change.
nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
i have never seen a cpu upgrade help you to a reasonable, speed increase.
what i did often, to gain more speed - is install an SSD
just image your old disk to the SSD, and install that as boot device - your old disk can serve as backup drive
for imaging, i recommend using the paragon software (free) :

i can assure you - the old system will run like it's never ran before !!!
Dr. KlahnConnect With a Mentor Principal Software EngineerCommented:
nobus' comment is apposite and also reflects my experience.  Installing a faster processor often does not produce a perceptible speed increase except in limited situations such as servers or gaming.  Much software is still single-threaded, not amenable to threading, and when that is the case putting 8000 CPUs on the motherboard won't make the system as a whole any faster.

In addition, the hardware bandwidth bottlenecks of video adapter speed, PCI bus speed, disk speed and memory speed remain unchanged during a CPU upgrade.  If those are the bottlenecks, a CPU upgrade won't improve the situation much.

Moving the system drive to an SSD, however, generally produces immediate and sometimes spectacular performance improvements.
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spectacular is the word i missed !
JohnConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I upgraded a CPU once and the benefits were minimal. That is because the old board is not engineered for the new CPU. I agree that in this case an SSD will give you the best performance boost
BillDLConnect With a Mentor Commented:
What operating system is that computer running, and is it a 32-bit or 64-bit operating system?
It probably came with Windows Vista installed, but perhaps you upgraded it to Windows 7.

How much memory (RAM) is currently fitted to the board, and do you know the speed (eg. 533, 667, 800 MHz) and standard (eg. PC2-4300, PC2-5300, PC2-6400)?

If your board is able to accommodate more memory modules and the operating system supports it, then you might notice a performance improvement by adding more memory.  Theoretically your motherboard should support up to 8GB of DDR2 memory, but that could only be seen and used by a 64-bit operating system.  A 32-bit (often referred to as X86) operating system can generally only use up to 4GB of memory.
Wimndows 7:

The Crucial System Scanner usually provides good information about your currently installed memory and reccommends upgrades, but you have to download and run it:
You can always use the information provided and search for compatible memory elsewhere.
dbruntonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you are doing a lot of multi-tasking or have applications that like cores (games, video processing) then going quad core is the way to go.
I've gone down this way myself.

As noted by others more memory if your system allows it is also good and a SSD for fast disk access is also good.  A decent cooler is a must.

And you won't lose any data (I also presume you do have backups).
mister d - what do you think of the above?  need more help ?
Answer/Comments cover points asked in question.  Differing viewpoints in some cases but all relevant.
Cheers dbrunton
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