Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Upgrading Processor Question

  1. #1


    Posts : 31
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    Upgrading Processor Question


    If I change the processor on my motherboard, and only the processor, would that cause Windows 8.1 to make any changes to things like the registry or anything else?

    I understand there would be a change in the device manager about the type of processor, but I'm wondering if any major changes would occur that would cause a reconfiguration of software.

    My motherboard has an LGA775 socket with a PentiumD and I'm thinking about upgrading to a core2 duo..... Passmark gave my processor a speed benchmark score of around 800.. some of the core2 duo's are up in the 2000 to 3000 range.. a significant increase.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Be sure that the CPU is compatible with your motherboard. There is more to CPU compatibility than just the socket.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 31
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by LMiller7 View Post
    Be sure that the CPU is compatible with your motherboard. There is more to CPU compatibility than just the socket.
    Please elaborate.. what should I look for?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by murby View Post
    ...Please elaborate.. what should I look for?
    You figure out the make and model of the motherboard by examining it to get that information. Then, you Google that information to (hopefully) get a page on the website of the motherboard manufacturer. And, somewhere in the pages linked to that there should be information that lists the compatible processors.

    What also might work is if you download and install Belarc Advisor, it might tell you the make and model motherboard. Don't know for sure since I haven't used it in a long time.
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  5. #5


    Posts : 31
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Phelps View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by murby View Post
    ...Please elaborate.. what should I look for?
    You figure out the make and model of the motherboard by examining it to get that information. Then, you Google that information to (hopefully) get a page on the website of the motherboard manufacturer. And, somewhere in the pages linked to that there should be information that lists the compatible processors.

    What also might work is if you download and install Belarc Advisor, it might tell you the make and model motherboard. Don't know for sure since I haven't used it in a long time.
    I know what motherboard I have since I had to update the bios in order to get Windows 8.1 to install correctly. I didn't know I could just look up processor compatiblity on the Intel site. But its there! Thanks!
    My board is an Intel D945PSN so it looks like I'm not going to be able to upgrade..
    That sucks.
    Thanks for the help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    would that cause Windows 8.1 to make any changes to things like the registry or anything else?
    Yes, but that should not cause any problems.

    Please elaborate.. what should I look for?
    Most motherboard makers maintain QVLs (qualified vendors lists) of compatible RAM and CPUs for each of their boards. There are too many RAM makers and models for board makers to test them all so you don't have to buy listed RAM, but you do need to buy RAM with the same specs as listed RAM.

    But for CPUs, because motherboards either support AMD or Intel, and because the socket and chipset only support a limited family of CPUs, board makers can verify and list the supported CPUs. So you must buy a listed CPU to ensure compatibility. Your board's CPU QVL is located here.

    That said, typically when upgrading a system, especially older systems like yours, the CPU comes after RAM and graphics (depending on where you are starting from). Adding RAM generally provides the most bang for your money. If you have less than 4Gb of RAM, I would add RAM first - especially if you have integrated graphics as that steals... err... shares a chunk of your precious system RAM for graphics processing.

    Unfortunately, it looks like your board only supports a maximum of 4Gb of RAM. Still if not there, I would bump that up first before buying a new CPU or a new graphics card.

    If you have integrated graphics, installing even a fairly basic graphics card can significantly improve overall system performance. Not only will you likely have a nicer GPU on the card, but the graphics card will come populated with its own RAM dedicated for graphics processing. This will allow that previously stolen... err... shared system RAM to be released back to the CPU. So when starting with integrated graphics, adding a card not only provides better graphics processing, but you get a little boost in RAM too. But not only that, with more RAM, you CPU and OS will not have to swap data to and from the page file on the sssllllooowww hard drive near as much - which also increases performance and decreases thrashing (lowering wear and tear) the drive.

    Another note; CPUs and larger graphics cards can be pretty power hungry. So you need to verify your PSU can handle the extra demand before installing either. Adding RAM generally does not require a larger PSU.

    So my advice, especially since this is an older system, is you need to evaluate your current system specs and see if upping your RAM and/or adding or upgrading your graphics might be a better option than swapping out CPUs.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 31
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Thanks for the advice.. Ram is already maxed out at 4GB.. My graphics card is an older ATI X550 (128 meg) w/ dual vga out. Obviously not a hot rod but I'm not a gamer.. the only time my card shows its ugly age is during active 3d Realistic View Autocad rendering and video's at 1080p. Other than that, it seems mostly fine.
    My power supply is only 320 watts but I have a 460W Vantec ready to be installed.. I figured I was going to upgrade the video card before I jump into a new motherboard or cpu and all the slightly outdated video cards from two or three years ago seem to want a high capacity 12volt supply pushing 20 amps or more.

    Thanks for your help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Well, if thinking about a new motherboard in the near future, I would not get a new CPU for older board because for sure it will not be compatible with the new board - not unless you can find a used CPU at a great price that is guaranteed to work.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 31
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by Itaregid View Post
    Well, if thinking about a new motherboard in the near future, I would not get a new CPU for older board because for sure it will not be compatible with the new board - not unless you can find a used CPU at a great price that is guaranteed to work.
    The last time I upgraded my system I just bought a motherboard/cpu combo on ebay that was about 3 years old or so.. It was all new hardware, just slightly outdated by gamer standards I guess. Doesn't make any difference to me and I don't spend big bucks.
    I might as well rinse and repeat...

    Thanks for all your help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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