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I have a Dell Latitude D830 laptop and would like to speed up compile times on it. I have confirmed that it is, indeed, the processor time that is the bottleneck. How can I tell what processors are compatible with the motherboard to pick the best available?

I run dual boot Ubuntu Maverick and Windows 7. lshw tells me that my motherboard is OHN338 from Dell, Inc.

If anyone has a generic solution, i.e. "For motherboard X, here is how you find out what processors are supported," that would be make this question much more useful to future visitors. But if you also know of a way to find out specific to my model, that would be great as well.

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Well, first step is to identify your chipset. You can do that with for example CPU-Z. Then, you should research which is the fastest processor which is supported by that chipset. Good starting point for Intel is http://ark.intel.com/ and for AMD is http://products.amd.com/en-us/NotebookCPUResult.aspx

Next step is to determine how to access your own processor and to make sure that the processor you have can be easily removed. Some laptops have sockets, while other have soldered processors. It is almost impossible to remove the soldered processor, so if you have one, then you're reached a bad end and there nothing you can do.

Next next is to see how much thermal power does your processor radiate. From the list of compatible processors, remove any which have higher power.

Now you have a starting point. Next step is to do some research on the Internet and try to find anyone who installed that processor in the same laptop or in a similar laptop or in a laptop with same chipset. It would also be a nice idea to find laptops which ship with that processor and see hat are their specifications.

After that the only remaining thing is to actually get the processor. By now you should be able to determine if it will work or not. Picking the processor itself is a bit risk, unless you can return it, because there's always chance that it will not work. If it works, congratulations. If it doesn't then please accept my condolences.

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One other step that should probably be at the very beginning: see what other processors were originally available in that specific machine model. If one of them is suitable for your needs, you know it works, so no further investigation necessary. –  Shinrai Jan 6 '11 at 22:44
    
Thank you ... these are great instructions. –  Dave Jan 7 '11 at 14:49

I'd suggest some other method of speeding compilation, as you're not going to get a radical performance increase by swapping your processor with one another from the same line.

Could you compile software in the background, so when you are just editing text files you're not waisting all the processor time?

Could you compile on a separate machine?

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As for compile times, I've heard good things from Gentoo users about using ramdisks for temporary files. –  AndrejaKo Jan 6 '11 at 22:59

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