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CPU and Cache Upgrades

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CPU and Cache Upgrades

When changing the CPU or cache there are usually many jumpers on the motherboard that have to be checked. If they are not set correctly, it's possible the computer will work flawlessly for a while, but eventually it will fail.

First of all, what upgrades will your motherboard support? For '486 motherboards, you may only have one choice of CPU speed, or only multiples of a certain speed. Some '486 systems will let you upgrade to a Pentium Overdrive, and some Pentium systems will let you install a faster CPU. If your system will not let you upgrade the CPU, can you at least install a math coprocessor (such as a '387 or '487)? Keep in mind that a math coprocessor with only improve a small group of applications that make heavy use of math.

What kind of performance improvement one can expect when upgrading the cache?  It depends and it varies.   Of course, that goes the same for any motherboard upgrade.  Doubling the speed of the CPU, for example, does not necessarily double the speed of your software. Computer magazines will give an average speed increase of anywhere from 5-20%. Some of the more daring publications will take several different computers and run several different programs on each one with and without cache and measure the difference.  So to answer this question you should look for a company that has run tests on the upgrade you are going to perform, like consumer reports.  Intel is pretty good about listing the performance increases for their upgrade processors and differences between processors.


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