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How to Install a CPU Slocket | Upgrading a Slot 1 Motherboard with a Socket 370 Celeron Using a Slocket

Backstory

During a few years around the turn of the 20th century, Intel had an odd product lineup with both Slot 1 and Socket 370 based processors. Both CPU form factors offered almost exactly the same features, albeit Slot 1 supported the Pentium II line of processors while Socket 370 did not. Intel, however, decided it's newest Pentium III based Celeron chips should only come in the Socket 370 form factor, leaving many Slot 1 motherboard owners without a lower-end CPU part. To remedy this many third party manufactures came out with Slockets (or Slotkets) that allowed the use of Socket 370 CPUs in Slot 1 systems. Thus with a slocket you can add more power and save money when building/upgrading a server or desktop.

The Project

The purpose of this project is to take an older 800 Mhz Socket 370 Intel Celeron and, using a Slocket, put it into an Intel 440BX2 motherboard to allow for increased expansion capabilities and speed. It assumes good working knowledge of computer hardware; experience building a computer will be helpful. Remember, whenever you are working with electronics remember to ground yourself by touching the computer case, or else you may damage your computer with static electricity. Hover your mouse over a picture to see the caption.

eMachines Cognac++ Motherboard with Intel Celeron @ 800 Mhz Closeup of Socket 370 800 Mhz Celeron with heatsink

Above-left is an overview shot with the side of the case off showing the eMachines Cognac+ motherboard that I'm replacing. Note the lack of AGP slot and low number of DIMM and PCI slots. On the right is a close up of the CPU with the heatsink and fan still attached. First, remove the power cable attached to the back of the computer. The next thing we need to do is take off the heatsink. To do this first unattach the fan power cable (blue, red, and black wires) from the motherboard. Then take a flat-head screwdriver and pry outward on the metal clip shown in the picture at right, attached to a plastic tab in the middle of the right side of the socket. Be careful not to damage any components with the screwdriver. Once the clip is off the tab, the heatsink should come off easily. Save the heatsink, as it will be reused later.

Celeron CPU with heatsink removed Intel Socket 370

Above-left is a closeup of the CPU with the heatsink off, on the right is a picture of the socket with the CPU removed. Remove the CPU by first raising the brown arm next to the CPU to a vertical position (shown above left and right). Then, after grounding yourself, remove the CPU and place in on an anti-static bag with pins facing up (below-left).

CPU with pins up on an anti-static bag The packaging of the slocket

Above-right is the packaging of the Super Slocket III, a no-brand slocket bought on eBay. Almost any slocket will work, however, you may want to check it supports the correct FSB, and if needed, support for supplying the correct voltage to the CPU (some older Slot 1 motherboards don't support the low voltages of newer Celerons).

Slotket front, note the silkscreened jumper settings Slocket back, the two black tabs are to hold the Slocket in place once installed.

The two pictures above show the Slocket front and back. The two black tabs in the picture at right are to hold the Slocket in place once installed. If your Slocket has jumpers, set them now to the correct values, in this case a Celeron with an FSB of 100 Mhz. Follow the jumper instructions printed on the Slocket, the Super Slocket III's included intructions had the wrong jumper values, therefore it's best to just follow what's written on the card itself.

CPU installed in Slotket Heatsink installed on Slotket

The picture at above-left shows the CPU installed in the Slocket. Remember to ground yourself when installing the CPU. Lift up the arm on the socket, then drop the CPU in place. Do not force the CPU in, it should require little or no force to insert. The CPU will not physically go into the socket unless the gold-colored arrow on the CPU is correctly aligned with a notch on the socket. When finished, lower the arm completely level with the socket. Next, add some thermal paste to the CPU to ensure good thermal conduction between the CPU and heatsink, this may not be necessary if thermal paste (white) is already on the heatsink and/or CPU. Finally, attach the CPU's original heatsink (shown above-right) using the flathead screwdriver in a manner opposite to how it was removed.

Intel 440BX motherboard The Slotket installed into the motherboard

Above left is the new Slot 1 motherboard. At right is the Slocket installed. It will require a some force to insert the Slocket completely, slightly more than is needed to insert a PCI or AGP card. The black retention tabs mentioned earlier, may or may not fit into/over the black plastic retention mechanism around the Slocket. In my case they didn't, but they aren't necessary unless your system is frequently jostled about. Don't forget to attach the power connector for the heatsink's fan to a motherboard fan header (below-left).

Fan header on the Intel 440BX2 440BX2 motherboard with Slotket installed

Because I was unsure the motherboard would support the Slocket/CPU combination I had chosen, I setup the system before installing it into the case. Although the Intel 440BX2 motherboard at first rejected the CPU ("CPU Not Supported") and would not boot with the latest BIOS revision (P14), the system did boot with an older revision (P08). The 440BX2 motherboard I have chosen supplies slightly too much voltage (1.8 vs the correct 1.7) for the Celeron, and I'm assuming Intel wanted to safeguard itself from possible problems by blocking the use of Celeron's in later BIOS revisions. 1.8 volts vs 1.7 volts is nothing the be worried about, as some Pentium III's (with the same basic design) run at 1.8 volts by default. Most likely you will not run into these problems if you are using a more recent Slot 1 motherboard (Intel chipsets 8XX) and the CPU will work without incident.

The new motherboard with Slocket at right, with the old MB still in case at left. Closeup of the Intel 440BX2 with Slocket

After that step, install the motherboard and CPU back into a case and reattach new or reused components such as the video card, RAM, sound card, etc. In my instance I had to take out the original motherboard from the case and replace it with the new motherboard and Slocket combination, retaining the original video card, RAM, and peripherals. Hover over images to see the caption.

Unattaching all the peripherals on the old motherboard Unattach the power leads to all components, it makes it easier to get them out of the way All the cables and components removed from the original motherboard, it's ready to be removed. The new motherboard, slocket, and components installed in the original case

At this point it should be noted that you should double check all of your connections and power leads when installing the motherboard into the case. This will prevent problems when you are powering up the machine for the first time. Also, remember to attach the power cord, but only after you've finished all work on the inside of the computer.

Peripherals reattached The system up and running with the new Slocket

Conclusion of the Slocket/Slotket Project

So far, the computer featured in this article has been working well for the last three months, with no signs of any hardware problems. If you have any questions or comments about installing a Slocket/Slotket don't hesitate to email the address below.

Kevin C. October 7th 2006 kcas88@gmail.com

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