I was able to revive an old 1998 computer by putting FreeBSD on it. It runs ok, but sometimes it is slow. I was wondering, what is the fastest processor from 1998? I know they are cartridges, not like the regular processors that we have today. Is there some sort of device, like an adapter, that will allow me to plug a modern processor into a 1998 computer? If a device doesn't exist, what is the fastest processor from back then? Right now I have the Pentium 2. I'm not really sure if there is a Pentium 3 or 4. Any suggestions would be a great help.

  • A mid-end ARM board such as a Raspberry Pi would be faster than a PC this old, would draw less power, and would be less noisy. Also beware that processors go bad over time (they're radioactive), 15 years is probably still ok but I would be slightly worried about processor errors. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Nov 24 '15 at 22:17
  • Of course I know that the Raspberry Pi is greater, I didn't know they were radioactive but I've already turn off the computer and put it into my server collection for when I need it. I just want to know if there was a faster processor so I can run at faster speeds – Nicholas Awesomepants Nov 24 '15 at 22:19
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    @Gilles, the problem isn't that they're radioactive (radiation causes processing errors, so the manufacturers try to remove as much as possible). The problem is that during operation, dopant migration causes transistors to break down, while electron wind erodes the wires connecting them. A 15-year-old CPU that's been sitting on a shelf all that time is still in perfectly good shape, while one that's been in use may be on the verge of breakdown. – Mark Nov 24 '15 at 23:11
  • Ha! Ha! I had a few of those cartrages... You're problem is going to find a "better" processor that's really compatible and make sure it's not going to blow that good old thing in bits and pieces. Personally, I would not attempt such an upgrade on such an old computer. – Alexis Wilke Jul 27 at 2:28

"Cartridge" and "Pentium" from 1998 means you've got a Slot 1-based processor. In order to figure out what CPU is best, you need to figure out which chipset the mainboard has.

  • If it's an Intel 440FX, 440LX, or 440EX, the fastest CPU you can use is a 333MHz Pentium II
  • If it's an Intel 440BX, Intel 440ZX, Via Apollo Pro or Pro+, the fastest CPU you can use is a 1GHz Pentium III
  • If it's an Intel 820, Intel 820E, Via Apollo Pro 133, or Via Apollo Pro 133A, you've got two options for the fastest: the aforementioned 1GHz Pentium III, or a 1.4GHz Socket 370 Pentium III installed with the use of a slotket.

You can't use a modern CPU in an old computer.

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  • This is great advice, but please remember that in the majority of cases, answers on this site are expected to recommend a specific piece of hardware. Preferably, you should have experience using it, and give a summary of the hardware itself, and how it meets the asker's needs. Please edit your answer to include this. – ArtOfCode Nov 24 '15 at 22:26
  • Please do not take down his answer. He literally answered it how I wanted. It was specific, he stated the fastest processor per motherboard. – Nicholas Awesomepants Nov 24 '15 at 23:00
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    In fact, blame me for not being specific. I didn't say what chipset my motherboard was. I think his answer, would be helpful to those people who have different chipsets. – Nicholas Awesomepants Nov 24 '15 at 23:02

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