Help Nursing an Old PC: CPU Upgrade?

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Feb 16, 2007
I have an old Dimension 5100 that I have been able to nurse along playing games on the lowest settings. But lately in Starcraft it's just too laggy.

I have a single core Pentium IV @ 3.0ghz with Hyper Threading (Prescott). I know, its old as dirt. My motherboard supports the LGA-775 socket. I already have 4GB RAM at the highest speed my mobo will allow and I've got an XFX Radeon HD 4670 (which is about equal to their 7950GT). I really don't have the money to build a new system. Honestly, I'm looking at about $100 to spend to get me by for about one more year. These are the CPU's that Newegg has in my socket type:

1. I am thinking of just keeping it simple and buying this dual core P4. The primary issues I have is that in 3v3's the game lags as the unit count rises, so I'm thinking having a second core should help me out. The sticky said some 775's do not support Wolfdale cores. How can I tell?

2. I'm also considering putting a Core2 in since they are cheaper now, but I have a couple of concerns. The sticky I read said some older 775 boards' BIOS will not support the Core2. Also my FSB is pretty slow, it may not even be worth it anyway.

3. Reguardless of what I get, they are all 64-bit processors. I currently have Windows 7 32-bit. Should I try to switch to Windows 7 64-bit? Will that help me out a lot?

A new mobo is pretty much out. The case form factor is a micro BTX, seems pointless to by a cheap micro BTX just to get me along for another year. This also means overclocking is out, since the Dell/Intel board is locked.

Thanks for your help, I hope there is a way I can get by with a processor upgrade!


Apr 5, 2012
Out of these cpu's you posted(newegg),you could go with pentium E5700,it's roughly equivalent to core 2 duo E7300 and it's not a bad cpu(cheap).As for bios,if you run into trouble you should be able to update your bios(manufacturer website) to accomodate wolfdale cpu's.And lastly here's a quote from microsoft regarding 32 and 64 bit question:

The benefits of using a 64-bit operating system are most apparent when you have a large amount of random access memory (RAM) installed on your computer (typically 4 GB of RAM or more). In such cases, because a 64-bit operating system can handle large amounts of memory more efficiently than a 32-bit operating system, a 64-bit operating system can be more responsive when running several programs at the same time and switching between them frequently.
You may not be able to upgrade the CPU, beyond what Dell has aloud.

Dell (motherboards) don't let you do much. No BIOS updates, no overclocking.

Check out their website, and see if a CPU upgrade is supported, and to what limit.

Graphics card may be the only thing you can upgrade, but not much out there for $100.00.


Mar 14, 2012
you can't upgrade your cpu... this was already mentioned in the from before:
the old prescott... that cpu runs hot...

1. dont bother upgrading because you cant dell oem
2. same as 1.
3. you don't need windows 64bit unless you have more than 4GB ram...

Edit: correction on 1. you can upgrade to another prescott but why?


Apr 4, 2012
The Dell 5100 supports a number of CPUs that would be an upgrade for you. A list of validated CPUs that I was provided from Dell on the 5100 platform is as follows:

DD517 Prescott P4 64bit 521, 2.8GHz, 800FSB, 1MB, Socket-T, E0
DD518 Prescott P4 64bit 531, 3.0GHz, 800FSB, 1MB, Socket-T, E0
DD519 Prescott P4 64bit 541, 3.2GHz, 800FSB, 1MB, Socket-T, E0
GD037 Prescott P4 64bit 551, 3.4GHz, 800FSB, 1MB, Socket-T, E0

P8606 Prescott P4 520, 2.8GHz, 800FSB, 1MB, Socket-T, E0
R8419 Prescott P4 530, 3.0GHz, 800FSB, 1MB, Socket-T, E0
W9854 Prescott P4 630, 3.0GHz, 800FSB, 2MB, Socket-T
N8590 Prescott P4 540, 3.2GHz, 800FSB, 1MB, Socket-T, E0
W9855 Prescott P4 640, 3.2GHz, 800FSB, 2MB, Socket-T
M8964 Prescott P4 550, 3.4GHz, 800FSB, 1MB, Socket-T, E0
W9856 Prescott P4 650, 3.4GHz, 800FSB, 2MB, Socket-T

I have a 5100 running the W9856 (upgraded from a P8606) and it performs well for my kids. There was a noticeable difference after upgrade. They do some light gaming, school and web work on it.

Looks like it might be a cheap clock speed bump in performance, but nothing close to what a dual core would provide:,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1536&bih=810&wrapid=tljp1333753594732022&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=13090788653105570057&sa=X&ei=BHd_T5f3DoGk9ASRjtH2Bw&sqi=2&ved=0CDoQ8wIwAQ#
Dell Dimension 5100 support:

If you want to upgrade, then just buy the CPU.

However, you really should go to the DELL support site and make sure you have the latest BIOS. It's easiest to type in your support tag.

Another options is the Dell Support Center. Do you have that software installed and is it properly updating your drivers and BIOS?

1) buy the best performing, compatible CPU for about $100

2) update your BIOS if necessary (latest A03)

3) update your drivers if necessary

4) Video driver update should be direct from AMD
To hell with dell. They are one of the worst companies out there not only as a customer but also as an employee for those who have suffered through their crap while working for them.

I suggest that you start saving for a better comp/build even if it is still outdated provided that it is much better than what you have. To suffer such a comp that you have is a form of torture to endure even in basic tasks.


Dec 17, 2008

The Dell Dimension 5100 uses an Intel 945 chipset. This particular chipset has limited support for Core 2 processors. The support is limited to early "Conroe", "Conroe-L" and "Allendale" based 65nm processors that fall into the "E4x00", "E6xx0" series as well as the Celeron 400 and 500 series processors. The Intel 945 chipset does not support any 45nm processors, nor any from the "Core 2 Quad" line.


Feb 16, 2007
First of all, thanks to everyone for the reply's and for trying to help me out. I very much appreciate it.

Second, the official information I've found thanks to your reply's all indicates I am limited to Pentium 4's :( (

I am at least smart enough to realize it's stupid to do anything else. I see no point in putting in another single core, no matter how fast it is. I guess I'll just have to suffer the torture for another year... I'm considering doing some ebay shopping, and perhaps I could find a gamer's old Core2 rig or something like that. Just about anything would be an upgrade for me.
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