For Home

For Home
Computers & Related Items for Personal and Entertainment

Dimension 4400 - CPU Upgrade

  • Where can I find: 2Ghz+ Pentium 4 Processor.
    Also a side question... would: 2.93 GHz Celeron D Processor 340work just as well on the Dimension 4400?
  • Only Socket-478 processors. 400MHz FSB Processors only and no 90nm Prescotts.

    The best you can get is a 2.8GHz, 400MHz FSB Pentium 4 "Northwood" but it is getting harder and harder to find (and if you do find it, you could end up paying a small chunk of change for it).
  • were do i buy that? cuz minimum is 2ghz dont have to go up that high. cuz right not im runnin 1.6ghz. and that just isnt workin.
  • You could try finding a 400MHz FSB Northwood (Socket 478) on Ebay if you don't mind used.

    If you want a new one, check out They have the 2.8GHz Northwood, but it is $220, so it is kind of expensive to spend that on a Dimension 4400 at this point in the product's life.

    You won't see any real difference if you just go from 1.6 to 2.0. Personally, I'd save the money towards a new computer if it isn't cutting it for you. Maybe look into cutting the number of processes running in the background or if you use Norton, look into another Anti-virus solution as Norton is a resource hog.
  • Well the core reason i'm upgrading is because I baught The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. and that requires 2ghz+ Intel Pentium 4 or equivilent Processor.
  • You really need to consider a replacement system for that game.
  • I have upgraded to the 2.6 ghz from 1.7 ghz on my Dim 4400 system, and you might see some improvement with games with the cpu upgrade, but a better video card will also be required.   Our FSB of 400 is holding us back.  Or better yet.  The newer Conroe chip is coming sometime in July/Aug/Sept time frame, and that will somewhat beat out AMDs cpu, and saving for something like a new system would be the best advise and not waste money on an upgrade that you will not get the full benefits the games require.

    If you are not planning a new system, than the 2.6 ghz cpu and a video card in the range of the 6600 GT AGP version will help, but not with all the eye candy on.   Again, our systems will only handle mid level settings on the newer games, and it will only get worse.

    Dim 4400
    2.6 Ghz 400 FSB
    1 Gb 2100 DDR memory
    Windows XP SP-2
    17 inch 1703 FP monitor
    Leadtek 6600 GT AGP video
    250 watt power supply

    Banchetto 101 Case-Less System 


    eVGA 780i Mobo

    eVGA 295 GTX Video

    8 Gb Corsair Memory

    Thermaltake TRUE Black CPU Cooler

    VelociRaptor 10,000 rpm HD

    Windows 7 RC 7100

  • I have a Dimension 4400 1.6 CPU 400fsb with 1gb memory (2 sticks of  512mb PC2100 sdram). I don't play games and just use it for mundane everyday stuff and have a special interest in video editing. The 1.6ghz CPU just can't render a home movie without crashing and as a result I have to render in small 4-5 minute grabs and then link together to create my DVD. I've tried disabling my Norton ant-virus and screen saver and any other apps consuming resources.    I want to upgrade the CPU to 2.6ghz  P4 Northwood chip 400fsb. I would like to know if anybody has done this successfully and what other parts other than the processor were required.  Does the fan,heatsink and thermal pad need replacement or does this chip run cooler than the original allowing the reinstallation of the original cooling system. Also if the thermal pad is damaged,what paste or replacement pad would be suitable. This chip is very hard to find but I've found a few in $135-150 range at Pricewatch which are probably used. I prefer a new chip but used would be O.K.   Also does the BIOS need to be reconfigured for the 2.6ghz chip?     Anybody out there please help.
  • Keep the same heatsink, and fan, and if you wish as I did the heat pad.  Some will say get another heat pad or Artic Silver heat compound, but my heat pad is still working, the cpu is cooler than before, and this upgrade was performed over three years ago.  I upgraded the Bios, but this was done before I thought of the cpu upgrade, so not sure if its really needs to be done or not, but easy to do

    Dim 4400
    2.6 Ghz 400 FSB
    1 Gb 2100 DDR memory
    Windows XP SP-2
    17 inch 1703 FP monitor
    Leadtek 6600 GT AGP video
    250 watt power supply

    Banchetto 101 Case-Less System 


    eVGA 780i Mobo

    eVGA 295 GTX Video

    8 Gb Corsair Memory

    Thermaltake TRUE Black CPU Cooler

    VelociRaptor 10,000 rpm HD

    Windows 7 RC 7100

  • Thanks SR 45.  These forums are a great idea. Now can somebody tell me if the BIOS needs to be reconfigured and if so how do you do it.  I've seen somewhere that there are programs that you can download and then save to a formated floopy disc that you boot up during the start up process. I'm still learning about all this stuff and am a little unsure.
  • To update the BIOS on the Dimension 4400, just download this file.

    Then follow these instructions (found on the linked page):

    Creating the disk:
    NOTE: This procedure requires one blank bootable, formatted 3.5-inch
    floppy disk. Label the disk BIOS.

    1. When the File Download window appears, click “Save this program to
    2. Choose “Desktop” as the location.
    3. Click “Ok”.
    4. After the file has finished copying files, click “Close”.
    5. Press the “Windows” + “M” keys at the same time to minimize all
    the open windows.
    6. Insert the blank bootable formatted 3.5-inch floppy disk.
    7. Right-click the copy of the file, point to “Send To”, click “3 1/2
    Floppy (a)”, and then skip to the section Flashing the BIOS below.

    Flashing the BIOS:
    NOTICE: Changing the system BIOS may result in unintended side affects,
    such as incompatibility of the new BIOS with installed hardware. If
    problems arise after a BIOS change, it may be necessary to return the
    system to the original version of the BIOS.
    1. If you are flashing the BIOS on a portable computer, be sure that
    the AC adapter is plugged in and the computer is not operating on battery
    2. Ensure that the Flash BIOS disk is inserted into the floppy disk
    3. Click the “Start” button, click “Shut Down”, click “Restart”, and
    then click “Ok”.
    The computer should restart and boot to the floppy disk.

    NOTE: If the flash BIOS program does not start, and you see only an A:\
    prompt, refer to the instructions from the Dell File Library page for the
    BIOS update or to the Readme.txt instructions. Generally, you will type
    the name of the executable flash BIOS file such as 8100_A09.EXE for BIOS
    version A09 on the Dimension™ 8100 series system.

    A Press any key to continue prompt appears.
    4. Press the “Enter” key.
    A Press Y to replace old BIOS with new BIOS prompt appears.
    5. Press the “Y” key.

    NOTICE: Do not interrupt the system during this process. Please refrain
    from pressing any keys on the keyboard, moving the mouse, or interrupting
    power to the system. Failure to do so could result in damage to the system

    When the computer has finished updating the BIOS, a Flash program
    successful. Press any key to reboot prompt appears.
    6. Remove the floppy disk and press the “Enter” key.
    7. The computer will now restart with the new revision of the BIOS
    The boot screen will indicate the BIOS version.

    If you encounter device or resource errors after flashing the system BIOS,
    enter the System Setup, clear the NVRAM and restore the system defaults.
    For more information, refer to Dell Knowledge Base Articles:
    · FA1035262 Title "How do I restore setup defaults on my Dell
    Dimension™ system?"
    · FA1023538 Title "How do I clear NVRAM on my Dell Dimension system?"
  • Thanks James, This info is invaluable and should help me a lot. However,I am now told by the people that are trying to sell me upgrade chips that I can simply plug in any CPU based on the 400fsb family without the need to change any bios settings and that upgrades ranging from 1.7ghz  up to 2.8ghz will work without any hassles. Who do I believe ?



  • You should always try to have the latest BIOS version running when you upgrade processors to prevent any kind of problems.

    The Dimension 4400 originally shipped with the Willamette Cored P4s, so by upgrading to a Northwood Cored P4, there may be some issues. The last version (A06) of the Dim 4400's BIOS definitely supports the Northwoods, so you may as well upgrade it.
  • Thanks James, I really appreciate your help. Knowing I can upgrade without hassles and having it confirmed gives me the confidence to go ahead and upgrade. Thanks to all who helped me. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.  There's a lot of people out there who don't have the bucks to spend on a complete new system and have no alternative but to try upgrades and tweeks on their old PC's just to keep them functional.


  • bump i have a 2.8 northwood in a dim4400 it detects as a 2.8 @133mhz fsb.. this would put me at stock frequencies for this chip..and supported speeds on the board.. up to 3.4ghz with a 1:1 ratio.. and a nice gfx card..mostly it needs ram. would be a pretty good machine.. i've had a pci bus speed of 38.6 stable with other boards.. this 845 brookdale has been known to handle it.. what can i do to fix this?

    Type : Intel Pentium 4 

    Internal Specification : Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.80GHz 

    Codename : Northwood 

    Revision : D1 

    Technology : 0.13µ 

    CPU ID : F.2.9 

    CPU IDEx : F.2.9 

    Brand ID :

    Microcode : MU0F292E 

    Architecture : NetBurst 

    Manufacturer : Intel Corporation (Intel) 

    Product : D845PT 

    Version : AAA67834-400 

    Serial Number : MY08P7791246523M00LQ 

    Support MP : No 


    Real Frequency : 2099.76MHz 

    Multiplier : 21x 

    Low/High Multiplier : 21x / 21x 

    Multiplier Locked : Yes 

    Marketing Frequency : 2800.14MHz 


     Front Side Bus Information :  

    Bus Speed : 100MHz 

    FSB Frequency : 400MHz (QDR) 

    Turbo Mode : No 


     Initial Frequencies :  

    Frequency : 2800MHz 

    Bus Speed : 133.34MHz (QDR) 

    Multiplier : 21x