Installing modern socketed processors

Installing recent socketed processors—the Intel Pentium III/4/Celeron or the AMD Athlon/Duron—requires essentially the same steps described in the preceding section, except that recent processors do not require the motherboard be configured manually.


Most Socket 370, Socket 423, Socket 478, and Socket A motherboards are self-configuring. They detect the type and speed of processor installed and properly configure FSB speed, CPU multiplier, voltage, and other settings automatically. However, some motherboards intended for overclockers allow overriding information supplied by the processor—for example, by setting a 66 MHz FSB Celeron to run at 100 MHz FSB. Depending on the motherboard, changing such settings may require setting jumpers or altering the default BIOS settings. All such motherboards we have seen default to “Auto,” which uses the settings supplied by the processor.

There are, however, several issues to be aware of when installing a modern socketed processor:


As we explained in some detail earlier in this chapter, compatibility between motherboard and processor is a major issue. That a processor physically fits the motherboard socket is no guarantee that it will work at all, or even that attempting to use it will not damage the processor and/or motherboard.

With Socket A, AMD has done a much better job of maintaining forward- and backward-compatibility than Intel has done with Socket 370. Even so, with either AMD or Intel ...

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