Dimension 4600 processor - maximum speed 2.8 or 3.4

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Dimension 4600 processor - maximum speed 2.8 or 3.4

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I have a Dell Dimension 4600 that needs a new cpu. The official Dell specs for the 4600 give the top cpu processor speed as being 2.8.

However, several listings on EBay list 3.2 and 3.4 ghz processors as being suitable for the 4600. From research I've done I know these processors will run in the 4600. My question is if they will run at their respective speeds of 3.2ghz and 3.4ghz or if the Dimension 4600 motherboard will not let them run much faster than 2.8GHZ.

Another reason for buying a 3.2 or 3.4 processors for the 4600 is that 2.8 processors for this machine are either a) hard to find b) usually more expensive than the 3.2 or 3.4 processors c) often come with a motherboard which I don't need. I just wonder if running a 3.2 or 3.4 processor in a 4600 would have any adverse affect on the machine like causing the fan to run faster.

So my two questions are:

1) will 3.2 and 3.4GHZ processors run at their respective speeds in a Dell Dimension 4600 or will they just run at little more than the 2.8GHZ which Dell lists as the fastest processor option for this machine

2) if I were to place a a 3.2 or 3.4GHZ in my Dell Dimension 4600 for reasons of cost and availability would my machine suffer any adverse consequences?

As to the possible 3.2 and 3.4GHZ processors that are currently available for my 4600, there are the following:

Pentium 4 CPU 3.4 GHZ 512/800 Northwood 478 SL793
Pentium 4 CPU 3.06 GHZ 512/533 Northwood 478 SL6PG
Pentium 2 CPU 3.2 GHZ 1MB/800 Prescott 478 SL7KC
Pentium 4 CPU 3.4 GHZ 1MB/800 Prescott 478 SL7E6
If anybody has any thoughts as to which of the above is the best processor I would appreciate their insights.My own thought would be that a 3.4 1MB/800 is better than a 3.4 512/800 processor, but I'm a complete novice when it comes to processors.
Finally, if anyone can recommend any other processors for my 4600 I'd be grateful for their advice.
My thanks in advance for your suggestions and thoughts.
Sincerely,
GAK1952
All Replies
  •  gak1952

     The early 4600 models will take up to 3.0GHz and the later models, to 3.2GHz or 3.4GHz, this does not offer much of a boost over the 3.0GHz.

    Prior to installing the processor, check that BIOS version A12, that has added support for newer processors, is installed.

    Bev.

     

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • Thanks for the information. I much appreciate it. This might be a somewhat silly/naive question, but what is a 'early' 4600 model and what is 'later' one, and how does one tell the difference?

    Thanks in anticipation.

  •  gak1952

    I have no idea, but the Dimension 4600, was first manufactured in 1994 and has been made with at least three diferent motherboards, I would assume that if either a 3.2GHz or 3.4GHz processor was installed in an early version 4600, it would downclock to 3.0GHz.

    Any gain in performance between the 3.0GHz and the 3.2GHz/3.4GHz processors would be questionable.

    Bev.

     

     

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • Thanks for your information Bev.

    I've been doing some more research on this issue and I've come across some of your posts from years ago.

    I've decided to go with a 3.4 Pentium 4 P4 CPU 3.4Ghz 3.4 512/800 Northwood 478 SL793. This is because I read that the Prescott processor give off a lot of heat.

    I was thinking of upgrading the memory to perhaps 4GB. Should I buy PC2700 or PC3200. I can get 4GB of either for about $104. The 3.4GHZ processor will cost me about $50 so the total upgrade will run to about $155.

    I'm beginning to wonder if it is a good idea to throw so much money into a machine that dates from 2004 - this makes it seven years old. Locally there is a DELL DIMENSION 5150 2.8GHz 4GB 80GB XP PRO OFFICE 2003 listed at $90 and buy it now for $139. Plus I could probably sell my 4600 locally for about $50 at least.

    I'd appreciate your thoughts on this.

    Thanks in advance.

  • gak1952

    You are right, the Pescotts do run hotter, than the Northwoods.

    If you are running a 32-bit XP, operating system, buying 4gb of RAM will be a waste of money, as it will only address between 2.8gb up to about 3.5gb of memory.

    Regards to upgrading the memeory, one of the best vendors for memory, that certifies the upgrade to be compatible with your Dimension 4600 system, has a lifetime warranty and free S&H is HERE.

     You can use either, Crucial's System Scanner Tool, or the Memory Advisor Tool to find the compatible memory.

    Personally, I would not send $155 on upgrading a system worth around $100, unless it's for sentimental reasons. I have a really retro 1999 L Series, that was given to me for free, I keep running just for that reason.

     Better to buy a Socket LGA775 system, with at least a Core 2 Duo CPU and DDR2 RAM, that would knock the socks off, any Dimension 4600. 

    One problem with the 5150, it has a BTX motherboard and chassis, I would look for an Inspiron 530 Mini Tower, that is ATX.

    Bev.

     

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • Thanks again for the advice. You're right, as I began to think it would be madness to throw $155 into a machine that I only paid about $40 for. I think I'll just buy two sticks of generic 512MB memory on EBay to give myself 1GB of memory. I take your point about Crucial memory, but it's about twice as expensive at least as the EBay generic memory. For a workhorse PC I'd buy the Crucial, but I'm just using the 4600 machine for some side computing while I use my main computer for my heavy work.

    Am I correct in thinking that I can have different manufacturer memory chips in the two different memory bays of the 4600?

    One last question - I hope - if I go with the 3.4 Northwood, will I need to upgrade the heatsink? If so, what heatsink should I be looking for?

    Thanks again for all your help. I very much appreciate it. I'm really learning a lot.

  • gak1952

    If you buy memory of eBay, make certain that you know the seller's return policy, as the Dimension 4600 can be *picky* about what memory is installed, also try to buy RAM that's certified to be compatible. For memory you could also try www.Newegg.com

    With DDR RAM, for maximum performance the memory needs to be installed in pairs of matching memory size.

    For more info, go HERE

    No, the default heatsink will be fine.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • Thanks for all your help.

    I very much appreciate it.

  •  gak1952

    You are welcome and I'm happy to have helped.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • Another alternative is to replace the mainboard with a standard micro-ATX unit. For $125 or so, you can upgrade to a Core 2 Duo and 2gb of DDR3 ram. I did that with a 3000, which uses the same case as the 4600. For $170, you could go to an even better solution, Socket 1155.