Upgrading a CPU

I have an old PC with a Micro Star MS-6330 motherboard. Will any Socket A AMD processor be compatible with it or is there a max speed this motherboard can handle?

I just received one in the mail today I purchased from a company on eBay, and it arrived DOA (or it’s too much for my processor?). I want to send for another one from another vendor, but first want to make sure all Socket A CPUs are compatible.

Which MS-6330? There is a Lite and a LE3 version.

Hmm, I used this program to find out the info on my mobo. All it says is

Damn! I guess I got my answer about whether or not all Socket A CPUs will work with my mobo. I asked if the CPU I planned to buy would work with the mobo stats I mentioned in the OP on a message board that deals with PC advice and I was told “looks good.” It was an Athlon XP 2200+ :frowning:

I’ve generally found that when I upgrade my CPU and it’s been longer than around 2 years I need to upgrade my mobo as well

Indeed. Rarely worth it.

I have a problem with videos not having a smooth frame rate and I was told that a faster processor would probably do the trick. According to the MSI website, if I have the LE3 I could get an AthlonXP 1800+, which may be worth it for me. Any idea how I can tell if I have the LE3 or the Lite?

The Lite has (only) two USB ports on the back. The LE3 also has pin connectors for two more front USB ports.

You should probably also try whatever BIOS and driver updates are available.

Although your CPU is definitely underpowered, I’d wager that your GPU is what can’t keep up with the video. Do you know what your video card currently is?

You might be better served by getting yourself a $50 low end card 9x00 from Nvidia or a 4x00 HD from ATI.

Nevermind, you have an AGP port, that limits your choices a bit, but I think there are some low end 9200’s form Nvidia though. It depends on what you have in your Pc now.

It turns out I have neither of the mobos that Q.E.D. linked to. I have one that was made just for Gateway and I found the specs here.

My first thought was the video card also, but when I asked about that on another message board, I was told mine should not have a problem with smooth frame rates and the problem was most likely my CPU (someone else recently told me more RAM may do the trick; I have 512 MB). I have an NVIDIA GeForce2 MX/MX 400.

One other possibility is that your hard drive is crapping out. I had a similar problem with some videos off of my camera not playing smoothly and discovered that Windows was doing its best to hide the fact that my HD was failing. Well, truthfully it did tell me (it even said something to the effect of “hard drive failure is imminent”), but in a log that I would guess 99% of the population doesn’t know exists. Long story short, I got a new drive and the problem went away.

BTW, the log was under Control Panel->Event Viewer->System.

Under that log, just look for errors in red that say “disk” for source.
More than 5 on the first page is probably a bad drive.

The MX is a very low-end video card.

Assuming you are running Windows XP, the difference between 512 MB and 1 GB is substantial. XP takes up most of the 512 for its own use.

Personally, unless I could find cheap used parts I wouldn’t do much upgrading on such an old system. Unless you are a serious tinkerer I suspect most any new super cheapo model would probably perform better.

By today’s standards, but when I bought this machine it was being advertised by Gateway as a gaming rig.

That doesn’t sound right. According to this article, XP has a ‘sweet spot’ around 512Mb. I doubt XP demands that much memory. Microsoft recommended 128 MB of RAM, but it could get by on even less.

I’ve been finding RAM, processors and video cards for this machine pretty cheap on eBay. I already sent for all of the above last night. I’ll post the results of how video playback after installing each piece is after I install them. I know it seems like a waste, but I don’t do much more than surf the net, so if this system can get me by for a couple years, I think it will be worth it.

I just booted up. In Task Manager the Peak Commit Charge was 497736; that is what XP (on a very clean and tweaked system) used to boot.

I have 2GB of RAM and don’t use a virtual memory paging file. Right now, running only Firefox my System Cache is using 412,128 KB. If I were to turn on the paging file that number would rise. XP does indeed use a large part of 512k for its own use.

In my old Athlon 2200 system, going from 512MB to 1GB (enabling me to run without a page file) made a bigger difference then upgrading the CPU to an Athlon 3000.
Regardless what Gateway may have said in advertising …

However, as long as you’re having fun you are doing the right thing. I too enjoy the challenge of tweaking.