1. This forum section is a read-only archive which contains old newsgroup posts. If you wish to post a query, please do so in one of our main forum sections (here). This way you will get a faster, better response from the members on Motherboard Point.

CPU upgrade question

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by artix, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. artix

    artix Guest

    Hi All,

    I have a somewhat old computer which I use everyday. The CPU is an AMD
    Duron 800Mhz. I'd like to upgrade to a faster CPU, preferably an Athlon.
    The problem is that the motherboard manual does not state the maximum
    supported CPU speed. It only says up to ~1.2Ghz or faster. I think this
    is because when the motherboard was manufactured, 1.2Ghz was the
    fastest AMD CPU available. How can I find out the maximum CPU speed my
    motherboard can handle? The motherboard is a GA7ZM Micro ATX based on a
    VIA Apollo VT 8363 KT133 chipset. Thanks!
    artix, Jan 1, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  2. artix

    John Weiss Guest

    A Google search on "GA7ZM motherboard main board" established quickly that it is
    a Gigabyte board. After going to Gigabyte I found the CPU support list at

    It appears you can use Palomino and earlier Athlons up to 200 MHz FSB, which
    include the AthlonXP 1500+ (Palomino 1.8 micron), Athlon 1.xG (200 MHz FSB
    versions), and Durons up to 1.3G.

    You may also want to update your BIOS to Ffc if it is not already there:
    John Weiss, Jan 1, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  3. artix

    Pen Guest

    Go to the Gigabyte web site. 1500 is max.
    Pen, Jan 1, 2008
  4. artix

    Guest Guest

    Short answer is, don't throw good money after bad. Upgrading
    to a 1.3 or 1.5GHz CPU isn't going to make that system suitable
    for anything it can't already handle (web surfing, email, letter
    writing etc).

    Save your money until you can make a substantial upgrade,
    including a new motherboard, memory and CPU. Just my $02.
    Guest, Jan 1, 2008
  5. artix

    gfretwell Guest

    If you aren't into gaming or video editing I doubt you will really be
    using all that blazing speed. I went from a 660mz 120m RAM machine to
    a 3.5gz 1g RAM and I barely noticed. I save a whopping second or so
    when compressing MP3s, that is about all I have seen.
    gfretwell, Jan 1, 2008
  6. artix

    jaster Guest

    I don't think it's worth the trouble to upgrade those components if
    you're in the states, Canada or England. For $300US you could get newer
    model with 1.8Gz cpu, 40Gb Sata HD based computer from HP.

    Try eBay to buy older cpu/motherboard combos. I'd even sell you my XP2000
    + Socket A, 1GB memory and case without FD, HD or video for $100US plus
    shipping, add another $100 gets you the ATI AIW 9600.
    jaster, Jan 1, 2008
  7. artix

    Rui Maciel Guest

    <snip />

    I don't believe that is a problem, as nowadays hardware is dirt cheap,
    specially used hardware. For example, a while back I assembled a new system
    based on an AMD Athlon 64 X2 processor for less than 200 euros and more
    recently I've bought an used hardware bundle (P3 1GHz, 256MB of RAM,
    microATX motherboard) for less than 6 euros. So why bother with those
    details if you wish to buy used gear to begin with?

    Rui Maciel
    Rui Maciel, Jan 2, 2008
  8. artix

    kony Guest

    Seriously? I recall one upgrade of a Celeron 800 based
    system w/256MB memory to Athlon XP1700 (o'c to run at
    1.7GHz) w/512MB memory and it made quite a bit of
    difference, though I suspect most of the difference in
    everyday use was from doubling the memory so the Windows
    filecache was hit far more often, less so the hard drive.

    I wouldn't pay over about $20 for a processor upgrade for
    the aforementioned system, and only then if the usage were
    moderate to light.
    kony, Jan 2, 2008
  9. artix

    kony Guest

    There are three main factors, some of which we can resolve
    now and some will take a test and monitoring.

    1) The KT133 chipset only supports 100MHz/DDR200 FSB. This
    limits the stock speed processors to those having 200
    "System Bus (MHz)" as Gigabyte put it, but they should have
    stated 100MHz/DDR200 as that would be more technically
    correct. However, there is a chance you could still run
    some newer processor with a faster spec'd FSB than DDR200,
    running it essentially underclocked to it's stock multiplier
    times the DDR200. For example if the CPU multiplier were
    14X, on 100MHz FSB, the result is a processor running at
    1.4GHz. Of course you could instead look for an old 1.4Ghz
    T-Bird Athlon but they may be rarer today, and use more
    power. There might also be CPU multiplier support issues, I
    don't really recall all the details anymore and they also
    varied per board so even if I guessed it might not be

    2) Power is a factor. The board might (probably does)
    support the lower CPU vcore voltage of newer processors, but
    these newer faster processors at lower voltage consume a
    significant amount more current... possibly a fair bit more
    than the motherboard designers intended, more than the
    board's VRM CPU supply subcircuit was engineered to handle.
    It may make the mosfets and capacitors run hot and being
    aged capacitors already, they might have an unacceptibly
    short life running hotter. If the increased heat is only
    moderate one solution might be to install a small fan
    blowing upon that area, or if your heatsink has a high
    volume fan and is oriented such that a large % of the
    exhaust flows over that area it might be sufficient already
    to cool the VRM subcircuit.

    Correction - your board's VRM subcircuit, based on the
    picture on the page for the CPU support, looks a bit
    compromised and relocated probably due to being a mATX board
    and old enough that processors didnt use much current yet.
    Much of it is placed on the other side of the memory and it
    may not be very well cooled, and it looks as though
    Gigabyte left a few capacitors off the board where they
    might've been installed since at the time processors didn't
    use as much current. I would be cautious even more about
    the resultant heat of upgrading to the fastest processor the
    board "might" be able to run.

    3) Past the first Palomino, perhaps even just before that,
    there were some signaling changes in the board circuitry and
    a bios update "might" be needed for some processors. If you
    can find no further info about your specific board then the
    best attempt would be flashing to the latest bios first then
    trying any CPU you had. If this upgrade requires purchasing
    new processor and it isnt' very cheap, as another poster
    mentioned it might now be time to look at replacing the
    whole processor, board, and memory combo. Unfortunately it
    is also likely you'd need a new PSU at this point as your
    system used mostly 5V current while a modern one uses mostly
    12V current, causing a change in the 5V vs 12V rail output
    bias that PSUs were later designed to accomodate.
    kony, Jan 2, 2008
  10. artix

    gfretwell Guest

    I suppose it depends on your OS. If you are running some bloatware
    like XP or Vista you may be memory bound. The last Vista machine I
    looked at was eating 400meg of RAM and burning a big chunk of a P4 CPU
    just churning on the desktop. This was a fresh load on a new machine
    right out of the box, not somethng with a few years of spyware.
    gfretwell, Jan 2, 2008
  11. artix

    artix Guest

    Thank you All for the very helpful replies. I will be looking into
    buying a new computer as soon as I saved up a few hundred $$. Thanks again.
    artix, Jan 2, 2008
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.