2009
08.03

D600 CPU Upgrayedd

My primary machine is an ancient Dell Latitude D600 purchased in May 2004. I know when I purchased it because the warranty finally expired this past May, with no way to extend it further – 5 years is the max. I’ve bumped the RAM up to 1.5G (will take it all the way to 2G one of these days, probably), upgraded the hard drive at least twice, etc. I expected that it would last me until I could afford to buy a new one (I’m holding out for an Arrandale based Latitude), and it’s still holding up despite daily use over the past 5 years (admittedly, it’s had quite a few service calls under its long warranty period).

One of my favorite pieces of software has a preview release available (I don’t think I can mention it by name without unleashing the demons of NDA), and I’m a sucker for “new and shiny” when it comes to software as much as anyone (I suppose it’s a good balance for running it on crufty old hardware). Unfortunately, though my machine meets the requirements of the approved hardware list, it’s an oversight – old 400MHz ‘Banian’ CPUs such as the one in my old D600 do not have the PAE feature that this shiny new beta requires. However, it appeared that dropping a newer ‘Dothan’ CPU into the D600 was entirely possible, so I took a chance on Ebay and nabbed a 1.86GHz Dothan (versus the 1.6GHz Banias I’ve been running with for over 5 years) for only 20 bucks shipped.

d600upgrade

Left: New hotness Right: Old busted

There’s nothing like seeing the year stamped on a CPU to drive home how horribly out of date your system is.  That’s right, my existing CPU was state-of-the-art 2 years before I bought the blasted laptop.  Let me just fire up my brand new 33.6 modem on my AOL account to download some M3P files – I’ll show you whippersnappers some technology

Wonder of wonders, the thing actually worked.  Not only did it actually boot, but it runs the V*****e beta just fine.  It feels a smidge snappier, too – this is rather impressive, as I’m now running at only 1.4GHz due to the FSB being stuck at 400MHz – I’m guessing the doubled L2 cache isn’t hurting.  Still, I’d love to wrench out any remaining performance – it’s out of warranty after all, and the magic smoke can’t stay in those chips forever. This mod may be just what I need. Now where did I put my SMT resistors…

2 comments so far

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  1. What’s with the two Ds?

    • For a double dose of L2 cache pimping.