Is there any way to make BIOS accept an incompatible CPU?


Jan 14, 2018
I have a Dell Dimension XPS Gen 4 with 4GB RAM and the original Pentium 4 CPU. Of course this isn't a daily use computer, but I could get a lot more out of it if I got rid of the horrible CPU and put in a Core 2 Quad or Extreme, for example. Today they go for like 10 bucks. Since the architecture is LGA775, I could theoretically do this. However Dell's BIOS doesn't support anything better than the Pentium CPU. Is it possible that I could just install a Core 2 Duo/Quad/Extreme and have it work, or at least NOT blow up? Thanks!

UPDATE: I decided to just try sticking some LGA 775 CPUs I had laying around too see what would happen. First I Put in a single core, 1.6Ghz Celeron and the result was the fans blowing loudly, no post. Then I installed a Dual Core Pentium, and It sounded like it was going to work. It made the regular boot sound with the optical drive spin up and fans, but no POST. Finally, I tried an older C2D CPU and the result was the same as the Celeron, loud fans and no post. I have come to the conclusion that I can't just force this to work, though I will try to do a bios update before giving up all the way (Its on AO5 BIOS At the moment).


Jul 8, 2015
No. Not unless you plan to write your own BIOS update for the motherboard. But, it'd probably be cheaper to just buy a newer computer rather than waste ten years of your life on that. And even then, it's likely that the chipset of the motherboard is hardware incapable of handling a newer CPu.

Don't confuse socket with compatibility. Just because the pins are the same has nothing at all to do with actual functionality.
You didn't say which XPS you have. The XPS, and the P4 are both good indications that there isn't a 95W CPU limit.
Check with Dell forums for CPU support. If it supports PentiumD CPUs then it can handle 130W. Pentium 4 CPUs went up to 3.8GHz. So if that's the case then it's like the Dimension E520 in my sig. a pretty potent motherboard. Then update to the latest dell BIOS ( even if it's 10 years old ). PCIe versions, memory support and CPU support get updated there. If it can handle a PentiumD, and a Core 2 Quad there's a very good chance it can run a QX6800 SLACP. This can then be overclocked in windows using Throttlestop 6.00 software.


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