Should I upgrade my Pentium D?


Mar 11, 2011
Dell XPS 400
CPU: Pentium D 2.8 GHz
PSU: Corsair 600W (new) (replaced a 375W)
GPU: Nvidia GTS 450 (new) (on Pcie *16 1.0) (replaced a 6800)
Memory: 3GB
Op Sys: Windows XP sp3
HDD: 1 160 Gb & 1 500 Gb (new)
Max resolution: 1280 by 1024 (uasually game at 1024 by 768)
Use: Low resolution gaming?
Budget: trying for less than $80

1)Would it be worth it to upgrade to a cheap Core2 Duo or a Pentium Duel Core? I'm looking at

I'm also looking at which ranks my CPU at 741 @ 95W and the one on Amazon at 2265 @ 65W :ouch:

I don't know when I will be able to build a new comp. This should lessen massive bottlenecking of the GTS 450 by my CPU??? And improve performance.

2)Would installing a new chip into my comp cause any problems?


king smp

there are alot of threads on this subject
search toms with "xps 400 cpu upgrade"
here is one post I found
Looks like highest CPU is Pentium D 965 Extreme Edition
Really dont recommend getting another PentD
but if you find one real cheap on Ebay (used with DOA guarantee)
then could hold you over to new build

I currently have a Dell Optiplex 745 that I am thinking about
using a Opti 755 board if I get one cheap (preferably scrap/recycle tower if
possible) or on Ebay

consider the cost of upgrading your tower vs moving over parts to new build

NZT case -20-30 USD
CPU - 50-100
ram - 40-50
motherboard 75-100

should be able to reuse Power Supply,optical drive,video card,hard drive

cost of new build could be done for about $200 with smart shopping for
sales and combo deals and recertified items on Newegg

I love keeping old towers alive for as long as possible
(very Green)
there is a time to let go :)

king smp

there is no reason to use that l@ngu@ge here LOL :)

Trust me I know upgrading factory OEM towers is a pain in the arse!

Been doing it for years (i get off lease office towers cheap)

Pentium D has gotten cheap on US ebay

If you like I can see if I can spot a good deal on one

for $20-$30 (no more) it would be a quick cheap fix

You currently have a 2.8

Pentium D 945 3.4 are the most plentiful and cheapest usually
there are PD 3.6 and I think 3.73 but harder to find and can be pricier
I had a Pentium D 945 3.4 4mb L3 and it was usable
It is roughly equal to about a Core2Duo 1.6ghz (at twice the power and heat :) )

I would think that would be a compatible upgrade though I would want to
double check it
I usually will search google and ebay with model number of tower and
see what chips that the OEM put in
sometimes you get lucky and Dell list compatible CPUs on some spec sheets

I would be an improvement but not major
If you found one of the Pentium D that had Hyper Threading and it was compatible
then that would be better

With that said
Dont do the upgrade unless extremely cheap
Otherwise save your money and wait for new build
good thing is you should be able to carry alot of parts over
to new build to save money

Hopefully new build could be done for about $200 USD

It's a Dell Dude!

BTW I overclocked my Dell (not easily done)

Some XPS models did have limited OCing functions in BIOS
not sure which ones

To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

1) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

2) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

That said, I would be reluctant to throw good money after bad on an obsolete pc.
At most, look on e-bay for a used replacement cpu.
Well, the 450 is certianly being held to less then 50% of its full power, and I'd suspect thats being very generous; a 1.6 GHz C2D beats a 3.0 Pentium D, just for comparisions sake...

That being said, you have an early 775 mobo, one that I don't think supports C2D's, so you'd need a new mobo as well as a new CPU.


Mar 11, 2011
I was hoping for decent upgrade options. What little core2 duos the mobo supports are iffy with the Dell Bios. Anyways, I have got to get off of this mobo. I've been eying parts for a new build. Time I get off pre-built machines and start making my own. Well, at least as soon as I can.

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