Faster, you n'wah!
March 3, 2006 2:44 PM   Subscribe

Can I download something that allows me to raise the upper limit for CPU speed in my motherboard? Not talking overclocking, just something that allows me to put a 3.4GHz chip in a mobo originally spec'd to only go up to 3.2GHz (might have been 3.0).

I've got an Albatron Intel 865 PE/PE PRO. I can't get their website to come up, but a Google cache shows several versions of both Bios updates and driver updates. Unfortunately, the tech-ese is heavy enough that I can't tell if these updates will do what I need.

And is the fact that I can't understand the tech-ese a hint that I probably shouldn't be screwing with my motherboard at all, and should simply settle for playing Oblivion at 640x480? Or is changing the Bios/drivers no big deal?
posted by BruceL to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Probably not. Which chips a motherboard can take are usually determined by things like voltage ranges it can do and bus speeds. Stuff software can't control, unfortunately.

If it's just for playing games, you probably want to look at upgrading your video card more than your processor anyhow.
posted by joegester at 2:49 PM on March 3, 2006

You might be able to overclock your Front Side Bus through the BIOS, if it's not locked by a jumper on your motherboard itself.

But overclocking, you have to deal with stability issues. And bumping up .2 GHz isn't going to help, hardly at all.

Joegester suggests a new video card, and that's certainly a good idea.

Radeon's Here. Good stuff.
posted by disillusioned at 3:05 PM on March 3, 2006

I doubt that overclocking will make all that much difference, but there's a good guide here. Most motherboards can do it, although the degree (and the stability) vary.

I can't find any reviews of the specific board you have, but there is a review that comments on the overclockability of a similar board here.

I'd agree with Joegester that you might be better off upgrading your graphics card if you're looking for games performance.
posted by baggers at 4:53 PM on March 3, 2006

Anything near 3ghz should be fine for running any game on a computer these days, if it's not running well then you've either got to get a new video card or make sure your video card is installed properly.

To answer your question, however, i know that my motherboard has upgrades to let me handle newer CPU's as they came out. Whether or not this will let you upgrade your CPU i don't know, but I'd give it a shot. But then again, i'm a computer professional and all. Changing the BIOS on your computer can royally screw up your motherboard if you do it wrong so be careful to follow all the instructions or just don't do it at all.

You can download the latest version of the BIOS for your motherboard from their ftp site:,pro/

and make sure you follow their instructions for installing the BIOS:

If i were you, i'd just get a new video card. like a Geforce 6600GT and be done with it.
posted by escher at 5:07 PM on March 3, 2006

Duh! Just read the actual question properly. Short answer: probably not. The motherboard manufacturers sometimes offer BIOS updates that may add support for some faster processors, but they would usually rather sell you a new motherboard. I can't get onto the Albatron site right now to check the BIOS update stuff, but it's a definite no if you are looking at a new processor that uses a different style of socket: they aren't compatiable.
posted by baggers at 5:10 PM on March 3, 2006

You can usually use a faster chip of the same family, but you'll only be able to use it at the top speed the BIOS/motherboard supports (i.e., the CPU's additional capacity will go to waste.)

The motherboards supporting high-end CPUs are cheaper than the CPUs themselves, though.

And what everyone said -- if you're already at 3GHz, CPU speed isn't your problem. Make sure you have at least a gig of memory, a good video card, you're malware-free, and you've tweaked XP to stop unnecessary services and gratuitous application pre-loading.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 9:39 AM on March 4, 2006

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