Highlighted
Underground944
1 Copper

Dimension 4550 needing Bios Update

 

Hows it going, I am not looking for responses from those that are going to say that it can't be done, trust me over the past three days of trolling the interwebs I have read a lot of reports of people saying that it can't be done, however there are individuals that say that it can and that they have however the discussions happened a few years back and not everything is still available.

Here is my situation, I have a Dimension 4550 Desktop with an Intel i845PE motherboard, initially the system came with a 2.4Ghz Pentium 4 and I recently bought a 3.06Ghz Pentium 4 with Hyper Threading which is described in both dell and Intel documentation as being the highest processor that will work within this system. Everything installed fine, as swapping a processor does not require a college degree or certification, however when reviewing the bios the processor is clocking itself down to 1.60ghz, hyper threading is enabled and it comes up as so in windows, however the thing that is disturbing me the most is the fact that my new processor is basically bottlenecked by Dells bios. I reviewed a LOT of information and if there is a way to either unlock the locked features in dells bios, or force flash a proper or similar bios onto the system the processor would then work as support would be native. Dell did a really cool thing and decided to not fully support the 3.06 P4 w/HT in their A08 bios, but in later versions as well as other vendors versions this processor is supported... If anyone knows anything I would greatly appreciate your feedback.

 

0 Kudos
8 Replies
Hanspuppa
3 Cadmium

Re: Dimension 4550 needing Bios Update

Hello Underground944,  HERE 

<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

is a link to the Dell site where the specifications for your system can be found.

These specifications show that your system supports the Pentium 4 3.06 mhz CPU.

You may need to be sure you have the latest BIOS and if so, the BIOS is reset after you installed the 3.06 mhz CPU.

Also check all the other BIOS settings relating to the CPU.

Something else to consider would be the memory.

If the memory is not rated for the 533 FSB of the 3.06 CPU, the BIOS may downclock the processor.

There seems to be several items to take a look at, but according to the specifications, the system should work normally with this CPU if all parameters are met.

Hope this helps.

Underground944
1 Copper

Re: Dimension 4550 needing Bios Update

I checked in my bios and found that I have 2048mb of ram, 2x 1gb sticks, and the ram is running at 333mhz, what speed memory would i need for my system to have it corrected rated for the 3.06? I was looking and I believe my system only supports pc2700 and pc3200, the highest available clock on the two is pc3200 at 400mhz. We may be onto something, thanks for your time.

 

 

Hanspuppa
3 Cadmium

Re: Dimension 4550 needing Bios Update

Hello Underground, The specifications shown here at the bottom of this post show this system to support only 1 GB memory and in 512MB modules.

You might try removing one module just to see what it will do.

I have a Dell SX270, which is a small form factor system, that shipped with a Celeron 2.4 ghz processor and I installed a Pentium 4 3.06, just as yours, and removed the 256MB module and installed 2X1GB modules of PC3200 memory.

Although the specifications show this little system to support only up to a P4 2.8, it works well with the P4 3.06.

The memory is clocked down to PC2700 (333) even though the installed memory is PC3200 (400).

I believe this is due to the limitations of the chipset and the Dell BIOS.

It appears that your system is recognizing the P4 3.06 but downclocking it due to the memory issues.

If you had some PC3200 just to try, this may verify this.

If this is what is happening, the P4 3.06 should ramp up to the correct speed and the PC3200 should clock down to PC2700.

This is all just a guess but since this is how my little SX270 works, it does seem reasonable.

Just some thoughts.

Memory

Architecture

DDR SDRAM

Memory connectors

two

Memory capacities

128-, 256-, and 512-MB non-ECC DDR SDRAM

Minimum memory

128 MB

Maximum memory

1 GB

Memory type

DDR 333 (non-ECC) only on computers with a 533-MHz system clock speed

DDR 266 (non-ECC) on computers with either a 400- or a 533-MHz system clock speed

Underground944
1 Copper

Re: Dimension 4550 needing Bios Update

I just figured out that the processor is a mobile one... I've read that it is possible to set the multiplier via software since desktops dont provide the required "speed-step" component that turns the multiplier on the processor up to its max... here is a link of the systems specs http://www.thebrethrencourt.com/dell4550.html

Hanspuppa
3 Cadmium

Re: Dimension 4550 needing Bios Update

That makes sense to me. I have never fooled with any of the speedstep settings using software although I am aware of speedstep.

My Dell Laptop has these settings and I tried to disable them both in the BIOS and the OS but was never able to accomplish it.

It always reverted back to the speedstep when not in use, which was 1.6 ghz.

I have heard you can adjust these settings with the software you mention, but I no nothing about it.

Hope this helps.

rzappala
1 Copper

Re: Dimension 4550 needing Bios Update

For your info, when I searched this forum for memory upgrade info for my 4550 I found the following info from dell that states 2GB of memory can be used in the 4550 contrary to the original specs as explained in the following link:

http://en.community.dell.com/wikis/desktop/dimension-4550-maximum-memory-2gb-not-1gb.aspx

This above link was posted by "Teckgee" in the discussion "Dimension 4550 RAM Upgrading" at:

http://en.community.dell.com/forums/p/19248234/19425540.aspx#19425540

upscope76
1 Copper

Re: Dimension 4550 needing Bios Update

Underground, Your new processor is behaving like a mobile P4 - what is the 5 digit code starting w/ "S" that is engraved on the chip?

Enter the sSPEC code at the following link and it will tell you what you have http://processorfinder.intel.com/Default.aspx

The same table can be used to locate the correct processor (sSPEC) for your 4550.

Assuming it comes up as a mobile P4, and it is still your intention to make it work in your 4550, then it appears we are attempting to do the same thing with our 4550s.  The advantages of the mobile P4 are cost and power savings; however, Dell's most recent bios A08 still does not incorporate Speed Step technology, and the processor defaults to a 12X multiplier (12x133MHz=1.6GHz).  If you locate a bios flash for the 4550 that will support Intel's Enhanced Speed Step, pls let us know by posting it here.

Also, I'd be interested in knowing what video card you chose for your upgrade, and how it's working out for you.

BTW - this forum recently documented the max system RAM for the 4550 as 2G (vice 1G from the technical specs), but you already knew that since you had 2G installed.

Upscope76

"If you're not having fun, you're doing something wrong!"

 

Underground944
1 Copper

Re: Dimension 4550 needing Bios Update

http://processorfinder.intel.com/Details.aspx?sSpec=SL77P is the procssor I'm workin with, and the video card I have in is the Visiontek ATI HD 6200

0 Kudos