Cisco Pix 506E CPU upgrade?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by twoblink, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. twoblink

    twoblink

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    Sep 19, 2007
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    I'm curious if anybody's tried a CPU upgrade for the Cisco Pix 506E. I own one, and it seems that the CPU is just an off the shelf Celeron 300Mhz, and in theory, the socket 370 should be able to handle a PIII.

    I am surprised that I really haven't found anybody talking about it anywhere online, as I figure a bunch of people would want to upgrade the CPU.

    So I'd love to hear from those who have tried it! Also, I'm surprised nobody's tried to install linux or netbsd or something on a pix either..
    twoblink, Apr 30, 2008
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  2. twoblink

    rstaynings

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    Not tried to upgrade the CPU on a PIX 506E but it's very easy to upgrade a Pix 520 or Local Director 430 which use the older slot 1 CPUs. All mine now run at 1Ghz. You just need to make sure the CPU you replace the orginal with has the same voltage requirements and same front side bus speed, as unfortunately there is nothing on the MB to adjust it - at least not that I could find on any of py PIXs.

    There is nothing to stop you from replacing your 66Mhz or 100Mhz FSB Celeron with a 133Mhz FSB PIII, but the new CPU would run at the FSB hard coded into the PIX 506E MB, thus it wouldn't run at it's fully advertised speed. No problem, it will still run a lot faster than the one you had no doubt. The main thing to watch out for is the core voltages. If you upgrade your 506E make sure you find a CPU with the exact same core voltage. You don't want to risk frying the motherboard!

    The other thing to think about is the heat as the 501/506 cases are not very well ventilated - at least the 506 I have isn't. You probably want to invest in a 1U low profile fan or better yet a blower - Dynatron makes a nice one that would probably fit - its a DB126015BU and you can get it with or without a low profile copper heat sink. You probably want to have it blow directly at the exhauster fan behind the front bezel to get the heat out of the case as soon as possible if you intend to use a PIII CPU. From a heat management perspective, you may be better off upgrading to a fatser Celeron.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2008
    rstaynings, Aug 12, 2008
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  3. twoblink

    twoblink

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    I succeeded!

    I bid on an old PIII CPU on evilbay, and today I upgraded my 506E to the new CPU without a hitch! Just replaced the CPU, and it booted just fine.

    Old 506E CPU:
    300Mhz Celeron 66Mhz Bus, Socket 370

    New CPU I replaced it with:
    600Mhz PentiumIII 133Mhz Bus, Socket 370

    I decided that because the 525 had the same chipset that this had the greatest chance of working. Also, the 506E runs hot as it is, so I didn't want to crank it up to something like 1Ghz. So I picked a chip that was 2x everything to the original specifications. I replaced the CPU, and turned the machine on, and it runs without a hitch. I am concerned that it might run hotter, but time will tell. so far it runs without a hitch.

    So I am almost at 525 specs, (I have 64megs of ram in it) and I'm running I assume the same speed or a faster CPU. (I don't know what the bus speed is on the 525).

    This (by my estimates) should jump the cleartext throughput from 20Mbits/sec to around 300Mbits/sec or faster. Also, max connections is WAY UP (like 10x more)

    So there you go, I think I might be the first person on earth to actually hack a 506E with a faster CPU, or at least the first guy to write about it. Drop and replace, from ROHO to Enterprise. The CPU cost me $4 on Evilbay, and so if you don't mind possibly blowing up your 506E, you can go ahead and do that.
    twoblink, Sep 20, 2008
    #3
  4. twoblink

    twoblink

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    I ran a "show version" and it shows PIII 448Mhz. I am not sure why it's showing 448Mhz, either a motherboard restriction or I got ripped off and have a fake 600Mhz. In any case, I did some rough benchmarks, and it's providing me pretty good benchmarks. It's about 75%~80% of a Pix 525... which is definitely not bad.
    twoblink, Sep 20, 2008
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