Question CPU/BIOS update help please

Dennis Hagans

Sep 14, 2013
Hey guys

I want to upgrade an old computer that was given to me, it is missing the removable side panel with the serial number, and I had to make a side panel from sheet metal to fit.

I want to upgrade the CPU to the max, I know I will need to update the bios and went to the manufactures site which was no help and painfully slow on that system hoping they had the app to identify my system on their site. it also can take 1GB PC 133 memory which I will upgrade later, as of now it only has 1.5 GB of Ram.

HP's system would not let me click next on their identify system app after I checked the appropriate checkbox, the next button remained greyed only and the cancel button was available.

looking for the proper bios update and max CPU I can use, please.

Compaq Evo 500d mini tower

I am hoping I can upgrade to 3.8 GHz Pentium 4, but just about anything will be better than the 1.7 GHz CPU that is in it now.

System Information report written at: 11/13/19 10:38:10
System Name:
[System Summary]

Item Value
OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3 Build 2600
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name
System Manufacturer Compaq
System Model EVO
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 15 Model 1 Stepping 2 GenuineIntel ~1694 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date Compaq 686Y2 v2.06, 12/3/2001
SMBIOS Version 2.3
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "5.1.2600.5512 (xpsp.080413-2111)"
User Name
Time Zone Central America Standard Time
Total Physical Memory 1,536.50 MB
Available Physical Memory 396.42 MB
Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
Page File Space 3.35 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys

Processors Information

Socket 1 ID = 0
Number of cores 1 (max 1)
Number of threads 1 (max 1)
Manufacturer GenuineIntel
Name Intel Pentium 4
Codename Willamette
Specification Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 1.70GHz
Package (platform ID) Socket 478 mPGA (0x2)
Extended CPUID F.1
Brand ID 8
Core Stepping D0
Technology 0.18 um
Core Speed 1694.1 MHz
Multiplier x Bus Speed 17.0 x 99.7 MHz
Base frequency (cores) 99.7 MHz
Base frequency (ext.) 99.7 MHz
Rated Bus speed 398.6 MHz
Stock frequency 1700 MHz
Instructions sets MMX, SSE, SSE2
Microcode Revision 0x2E
L1 Data cache 8 KBytes, 4-way set associative, 64-byte line size
Trace cache 12 Kuops, 8-way set associative
L2 cache 256 KBytes, 8-way set associative, 64-byte line size
Max CPUID level 00000002h
Max CPUID ext. level 80000004h
Cache descriptor Level 2, U, 256 KB, 1 thread(s)
Cache descriptor Level 1, T, 12 KB, 1 thread(s)
Cache descriptor Level 1, D, 8 KB, 1 thread(s)
FID/VID Control no
Clock Speed 0 1694.13 MHz (Core #0)
Core 0 max ratio (effective) 17.0
Does this look like the system you have?

Given that information there and the information of Pentium 4s I think your intention of having a higher clockspeed Pentium 4 might be limited. For reference:

If BIOS isn't restricted (and I suspect it probably is), there's still the issue of physical compatibility of the CPU you'd ideally like to upgrade to. Compaq's own configurations at the time suggest they only offered up to 2GHz. I personally assume anything not part of their originally offered configurations to be an unknown upgrade risk.

Dennis Hagans

Sep 14, 2013
here is what it looks like

the specs are my system, but with some things I have already done, bumping the 384 MB of memory to 1.5 GB and putting a couple of 250 GB Seagate HD's in it

I was hoping to upgrade the CPU, I read something that this system with a bios update could go to 2.8 GHz which would be 1.1 GHz faster than it is now, and I have found some 1GB 168 pin (Desktop) modules that will work as the info have seen says this system will take 1GB memory sticks.

since its mine, I just wanted to upgrade it as much as is possible so that it is usable and snappy.

as it is now it is kinda slow
I think you'd need to somehow verify how accurate the information about the BIOS is. Prebuilts can be notorious for locking out certain upgrades, which is why I would consider it a risky upgrade.

It's a long shot but you could try reading the name off the motherboard by using a hardware monitor like HWiNFO, and using it on Userbenchmark to see if anyone has submitted data there which shows them using the higher clocked Pentium 4s. This would at least be confirmation of a sort.

Dennis Hagans

Sep 14, 2013
ok I downloaded and ran HWiNFO

here is the motherboard specs.

Motherboard ---------------------------------------------------------------

Computer Brand Name: Compaq EVO
Motherboard Model: Compaq 077Ch
Motherboard Chipset: Intel 845 (Brookdale) + ICH2X
Motherboard Slots: 5xPCI, 1xAGP v2.0
USB Version Supported: v2.0
BIOS Manufacturer: Compaq
BIOS Date: 12/03/2001
BIOS Version: 686Y2 v2.06
UEFI BIOS: Not Capable
Super-IO/LPC Chip: Unknown

Codename Willamette

I found a few sources of pc 133 168 pin, 1GB desktop memory modules as I did read that this machine does support up to 3GB.

and there are sources of CPUS on e-bay

while upgrading the ram would be a nice help to 3GB, three slots.

if I can't upgrade the bios to support a faster cpu, the ram only helps so much.

it's mine, and it still works, so making it as good as I can with upgrades, restores some usefulness to the machine.
Did think it was a long shot so Userbenchmark not returning any results didn't surprise me.

Did come across this which you may find of interest:
It does seem to suggest you're limited to the same generation of CPUs.

A note on RAM. Which OS are you using? Depending on which Windows, though specifics escape me, there's a limitation to how much it can use (though I think it may have been 4GB for 32-bit OSes). May want to double check or follow up on that.

Dennis Hagans

Sep 14, 2013
Thank you

I am running Windows XP Pro, as I have three OEM disks and three older computers.

Windows XP is limited to the amount of ram, I think it can only use 3GB,

I have a couple of Dell precision 530 server towers, and there is some debate on how much ram can be installed, (with 2x riser boards) up to 4GB, I had read that Windows XP would only use 3GB of the 4 installed.

sadly there is not much difference between 1.7 GHz and 2.0 GHz but the CPU's available on E-bay are under 10.00.

Intel Pentium 4 SL5TK, SL5UG / SL62Z 1.75 volt 1.7 GHz Socket 478 CPU Processor this is what I have

but finding a 2GHz CPU is not so easy, as I know that it must match the 1.75 voltage, the 478 socket, and the SL5TK, SL5UG / SL62Z numbers. and e-bay has some 2GHz Pentium 4 CPUs, of the right voltage and socket, but the SL number is not the same.

Thank you for all the help.
Looks like 4GB is the hard limit for RAM with Windows XP, at least for consumers. But yes, there is the available amount of RAM so Windows will have less than the 4GB installed, I believe.

As for the CPU, it does look like keeping an eye on what's available the best you can. Depending on what you do the clockspeed isn't hugely different (so may not help with performance as much as desired).