View Full Version : Dell/Celeron upgrade problems?

25th March 2000, 09:19
As the CPU is the only component I've never replaced, and given the general well-informedness of these boards, could ye offer some advice on this?

I'm thinking of replacing the PentiumII-333 of a Dell XPS-D333 (Phoenix BIOS) with a Celeron 500 w/socket-to-slot converter (perhaps ASUS). Am I right in thinking that these Celerons still run at 66MHz FSB, and that there'd be no problems in doing this? Are there any other bizarre stumbling blocks that I should be aware of? How easy /is/ it to upgrade a CPU? Where do babies come from?

I'd be very grateful for any help on these questions!

PII-333, 128MB, SB Live!, G400max, MS Mouse with Broken Scrollwheel...etc.

25th March 2000, 10:38
Yes, both the PII-333 and Celery run on a 66 MHz FSB, so there is no problem there. If I'm not mistaken, the voltage level for both is 2.0V, so there should not be a problem there. (OK, my memory of the PII-333 voltage is not very confident. I know that it is a 0.25u part, but I'm not 100% sure it ran at 2.0V. Perhaps it was 2.2V?)

The only thing that I would be concerned about is if that mobo can handle
1. A celery
2. a multiplier of 7.5

A BIOS update could probably fix these problems, though.

Most bioses are set to autodetect the cpu voltage, multiplier, and FSB speed. Some let you manually take control over it with a bios option, and ancient mobos had jumpers or switches to select cpu speed and voltage.

If the parts are compatible, it is no problem to upgrade the CPU. Just pop out the old one and pop in the new one. Whenever you are handling the CPU, make sure that you are touching a metal part of the computer chassis to reduce the risk of ESD damage. Make sure that you plug in the CPU fan once you get the new baby in.

My favourite place for finding the right price on CPUs is www.pricewatch.com. (http://www.pricewatch.com.)

25th March 2000, 22:47
Thanks for the reply. I may have discovered some more problems, however...

According to Dell's on-line documentation on the mainboard (based on intel440LX, Phoenix BIOS 4.0 r6.0, I think...), the CPU speed is controlled through BIOS, not jumpers. However, there may be a problem:
1) These BIOS options can only be accessed by resetting the BIOS (?!)
2) They consist of total sppeds (not multipliers) - of which 333 is the highest (?!).

Have Dell really designed their systems NOT to be upgradeable, or has anyone had any experience with these machines?

(I have already flashed the BIOS to the latest release...)

26th March 2000, 05:19
1. Dell does, in fact, design these machines to not be particularly upgradeable. Sorry.

2. A P2-333? Yet a 440LX board? Are you sure? I could be confused, but I'm pretty sure that they never made a P2-333 when LX boards were still in fashion. Hmm...

Anyway, you may in fact be SOL with Dell. That's the reason I tell everyone to buy a custom-built machine.

- Gurm

Listen up, you primitive screwheads! See this? This is my BOOMSTICK! Etc. etc.

26th March 2000, 09:07
1) Dastards!
2) Yup, fairly sure. I should think it was the last CPU they shipped with that mainboard (being the last 66MHz FSB PII...).
3) What does SOL mean?

I've eliminated the BIOS-333MHz-limit now (I hope), by flashing Intel's P14 BIOS over Dell's (with no video...tremendous fun...). This is fast becoming a matter of principle, especially if (1) above is correct...patience...patience...

Colin Morey
29th March 2000, 15:05
how did you get on with the updated Bios? I've got a Poweredge 2200/233 I want to try and upgrade,.. and if the Bios trick works,.. I might be tempted.

30th March 2000, 08:15
While I've not yet had a chance to upgrade the CPU (thanks largely to the transport strike here in Ireland at the moment...), I have flashed the BIOS. Everything appears to be completely fine. Huzzah.

The only thing one should be aware of is that one has to perform the update without video support (so memorise the Intel flash app's menus!). One should also have a second GFX card handy, as part of the procedure re-sets the AGP aperture size, which can cause the G400 to lock up the system...Oh joy.

I'll add more detail when I can!

30th March 2000, 08:32
Colin, SunDriedGrapes did what is called (I think) a "hotflash," in which you flash your motherboard's BIOS with a BIOS that's not specifically designed for it. It can be a very risky procedure.

You'll note that he flashed the BIOS without the benefit of a display, literally playing it by ear.


Colin Morey
30th March 2000, 09:30
*nods* I know Its risky, and to be honest If I could find a matched pair of cheap PII 333's in the U.K. I woudln't even have to think about trying.


4th April 2000, 05:21
Well, I finally got hold of a C533 CPU. Everything seems just fine (except for POST thinking it's a 550 and the level of noise from my new fan :-)

And a very special greeting to everyone at Dell!

Har har har!