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Thread: Older P4 Northwood MB?




  1. #1
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    Default Older P4 Northwood MB?

    Hi All,

    I have an old Dell Dimension with a P4 CPU and I'm thinking of pulling the CPU and upgrading some essential parts like the RAM and video card.

    Here is the CPU:
    Pentium 4 Northwood 2.0 GHz
    FSB 400 L2 Cache 512 KB
    It currently resides on a Dimension MB with i850E Rev. A3 chipset

    As best I can tell, the Biostar P4M900-M4 motherboard is the only one currently available that *might* work, but I can't figure out if it *will* work.

    Thanks in advance!

    Humbug

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Older P4 Northwood MB?

    Have a look around for a MSI 945GCM478-L as it would be the better chipset choice though either mainboard will work.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Older P4 Northwood MB?

    I appreciate the response since I wouldn't myself know the difference between chipsets.

    That MSI board and the Biostar seem to be about the only modern socket 478 MBs around. But when I did a search on my CPU (link below), it did not list that board. Maybe I should email them?

    MSI -- MICRO-STAR INT'L CO., LTD.

    Appreciate any further advice anyone wants to give.

    Steve

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Older P4 Northwood MB?

    You'll have to look at the pinouts for the motherboard tray to make sure a new mainboard will fit. With Dell, it is a crap shoot. One thing that WILL need to be changed out if you upgrade motherboards, though, is the power supply. Dell has been notorious for years of using a proprietary main power coupler and an indistry standard PSU will not work on your Dell system, not will the Dell supplied PSU work on an industry standard mainboard.

    Just food for thought when upgrading.
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
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  5. #5
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
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    Default Re: Older P4 Northwood MB?

    That and normally in a Dell the Board is BTX so any other type of board wont fit in the case

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Older P4 Northwood MB?

    Hmmm. I'm beginning to think I won't be able to go this route after all. Seems like it could easily turn into more trouble and expense than just doing a build from scratch. Thanks very much for the tips and insight folks. Much appreciated!

    H.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Older P4 Northwood MB?

    Ya, usually much cheaper and nicer to build your own. It can be done FOR SURE cheaper and better then a pre-built system

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Older P4 Northwood MB?

    Just a follow up. I decided to double the RDRAM in this computer (to 1Gig) and slip in a better GPU I already have and leave it to run low end games, internet, etc. It's been a workhorse for many years already and has a year or two left.

    The RDRAM off eBay cost me $33 so I've got lots left over in the budget to try a new build with probably an Asus P5Q Pro and Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 at the heart.

    Thanks again for the help above!

  9. #9
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
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    Default Re: Older P4 Northwood MB?

    RDRAM is Expen$ive! I have a RDRAM setup and not long ago bought 4 x 512 for I think $125 apiece.

    Ya, you would like a upgraded System much better for sure

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