Dell Precision 470

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by lotsofloot, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. lotsofloot

    lotsofloot MDL Novice

    Oct 21, 2010
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    Good Afternoon

    I have a Dell Precision 470 with a mobo: OP7996 and bios Dell Phoenix A07 (wsa70a07.exe). I checked with Dells Technical forum on what processor upgrades were compatible with this particular mobo and they confirmed that Intel Xeon "Paxville" 2.8GHz DualCore/4Mb/SL8MA were. I sourced a matching pair of these processors (the mobo has dual sockets) but when I powered on the system and before it even POST I got the message "Incompatible Processors". Is it possible to modify the bios to enable me to use these processors?

    Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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  3. shakeyplace

    shakeyplace MDL Addicted

    May 5, 2007
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    from what sebus mentions, is it not possible that the processor is actually supported, just too small of a power supply....
     
  4. lotsofloot

    lotsofloot MDL Novice

    Oct 21, 2010
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    Hi

    Many thanks for replies. Apologies for delay in responding - have just got back online. In reply to your questions:

    . Originally I had 2 x Intel Xeon 2.8Ghz installed. These were what the computer came with.

    . Have used my service tag number on Dell website to check mobo/chipset/cpu and see what upgrades are available. It identifies my mobo part number as : OP7996.
    Dell made small upgrades to the motherboards of the 470 and 670. My motherboard does support dualcore as if you check the bios its displays the line "Multicore Capable".

    Am on a different computer at the moment. Will be using my 470 this weekend so if you need more specific info just let me know.

    Thanks
     
  5. lotsofloot

    lotsofloot MDL Novice

    Oct 21, 2010
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    Heres more specific info on my system:


    Processors
    2.80 gigahertz Intel Xeon (2 installed)
    16 kilobyte primary memory cache
    1024 kilobyte secondary memory cache
    64-bit ready
    Hyper-threaded (4 total)

    CPU
    Intel Xeon
    Cores1
    Threads2
    NameIntel Xeon
    Code NameNocona
    PackageSocket 604 mPGA
    Technology90nm
    SpecificationIntel(R) Xeon(TM) CPU 2.80GHz
    FamilyF
    Extended FamilyF
    Model4
    Extended Model4
    Stepping1
    RevisionE0
    InstructionsMMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, EM64T
    Bus Speed199.5 MHz
    Rated Bus Speed798.0 MHz
    Stock Core Speed2800 MHz
    Stock Bus Speed200 MHz
    Caches
    L1 Data Cache Size16 KBytes
    L1 trace cache12 Kuops
    L2 Unified Cache Size1024 KBytes
    Core 0
    Core Speed2795.2 MHz
    Multiplierx 14.0
    Bus Speed199.5 MHz
    Rated Bus Speed798.0 MHz
    Thread 1
    APIC ID0
    Thread 2
    APIC ID1

    Motherboard
    Board: Dell Inc. 0P7996
    Serial Number: ..CN1374051U00QC.
    Bus Clock: 800 megahertz
    BIOS: Dell Inc. A07 03/15/2006

    Chipset

    General Information :
    NorthBridge :Intel E7525
    SouthBridge :82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) LPC Interface Bridge

    NorthBridge Information :
    Architecture :HUB
    Manufacturer :Intel (Dell Computer)
    Codename :Tumwater
    Revision :09
    Bus Speed :199.5MHz
    FSB Frequency :798MHz (QDR)

    Memory Information :
    Type :DDR2-SDRAM PC2-3200
    Frequency :199.5MHz
    DRAM/FSB Ratio :1/1
    Supported Channels :Dual
    ECC Diagnostic :Yes
    ECC Mode :x4 Chip-Fail ECC
    CAS Latency (tCL) :3 clocks
    RAS to CAS (tRCD) :3 clocks
    RAS Precharge (tRP) :3 clocks
    Bank Cycle Time (tRC) :11 clocks

    PCI-Express Information :
    Number of ports :3 - (x4, x4, x16)

    APIC Information :
    Version :2.00
    Maximum Interrupts :24
    IRQ Handler enabled :Yes

    Hub Interface Information :
    Version :1.00
    Time Slice :0
    Width :8-bit
    Full Duplex :Yes
    Frequency :4x (264MHz)
    Multiplier :1/1x

    Device Capabilities (PCI) :
    I/O Access :No
    Memory Access :Yes
    Bus Master Capable :Yes
    Special Cycle Recognition :No
    Memory Write & Invalidate :No
    VGA Palette Snoop :No
    Parity Error Response :No
    Cycle Wait :No
    System Error Line :Yes
    Fast Back-to-Back :No
    Detects Parity Errors :No
    User Defined Format :No
    PCI 66Mhz Bus Support :No
    New Capability List :Yes
    PCI Support :Vendor-Dependant

    The following is the spec of the processors I tried to upgrade too.

    info from CPU-World.comGeneral information
    Type CPU / Microprocessor
    Family Intel Xeon
    Part number NE80551KG0724MM
    BX80551KG2800HA
    Frequency (GHz) 2.8
    Bus speed (MHz) ? 800
    Package type 604-pin FC-PGA4/mPGA
    Socket type Socket 604

    Architecture / Microarchitecture / Other
    CPUID 0F48h
    Core stepping A0
    Processor core Paxville
    Manufacturing technology (micron) 0.09
    Number of cores 2
    L2 cache size (KB) ? 4096
    Features Enhanced SpeedStep technology ?
    Core voltage (V) ? 1.25 - 1.4
    Case temperature (°C) ? 72
    Thermal Design Power (Watt ) 135

    Hope the above helps. Thanks.
     
  6. en4rab

    en4rab MDL Novice

    Oct 27, 2009
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    I think you have the wrong motherboard for dual core xeon processors, according to wikipedia "Only some Dell Precision 470/670 units support dual core processors, (system board designations MG022 or XC837), very few systems actually supported Dual Core "Paxville" processors."
     
  7. lotsofloot

    lotsofloot MDL Novice

    Oct 21, 2010
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    Hi

    As you will see from my first post I originally checked with Dell regarding compatibility and they say it would work. You would think that they would be accurate then Wilkipedia !!! Hence I need (if possible) a modified bios to get them to run on my mobo.

    Thanks
    :rolleyes:
     
  8. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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    The money it would cost you to run these beasts (even if you made it work), is simply better spend on a new computer with more efficient processor(s)

    But that is my personal opinion!

    If it was possible, then you would NOT need a modified BIOS, and do not always believe what Dell tells you, from experience - the people you talk to in 1st, 2nd, and even 3rd level support follow the charts & know **** all

    sebus
     
  9. lotsofloot

    lotsofloot MDL Novice

    Oct 21, 2010
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    Thanks for all your helps. My options appear to be:

    1. Get a modified bios and if works run the risk of burning out the mobo + power supply.

    2. Invest in a 670 mobo.

    As the former is not really an option and the latter too expensive (cost + p@p to Ireland in the region of 100 euro- which is more then the price of my 470 ) I reckon my best bet is to chalk this down to experience . :biggrin:
     
  10. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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    You are spot on here!

    Plus you can sell both processors on ebay

    sebus
     
  11. celly

    celly MDL Novice

    Oct 31, 2010
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    #13 celly, Oct 31, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2010
    I'm using 2X SL8MA processors in my Precision 470. I did a lot of research into the process about 1.5 years ago. The ONLY way to make it work in the Precision 470 or 670 is to use a mobo with "XC" in the model #. They're the only Dell motherboards that work with the Paxville processors. You've also got to upgrade your BIOS (to A07 in the 470). I'm using the 0XC838 in my 470. I believe the 0XC837 is for the 670, but don't quote me on that. I've posted my experiences on the Dell community forums.

    I recently had an issue with my original motherboard and just replaced it with another 0XC838. I got the mobo, two other 3.2 Xeons, the VRM and fan assemblies for under $100/shipped from an eBay seller. They just arrived the other day and I'm back in business.

    Energy pig, heat or whatever. This setup is noticeably faster that anything I've tried on the 470. I really dig this setup. I'm in the process of scoring two more of them. They run around $50/each these days on eBay which is less than I paid 1.5 years ago. I just want a set for backup.

    The 670 mobo will not fit in a 470, but a 470 fits in a 670. The 670 mobo has an extra slot so it's larger than the 470 mobo.

    There is a XC838/0XC838 on eBay right now for GBP 40.10. Shipping looks like another 12 quid or so. Item # is 300478875898. Don't forget the VRM and second fan/heatsink to make it work with the 2nd CPU. :)
     
  12. celly

    celly MDL Novice

    Oct 31, 2010
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    Or sell them to me, keeping in mind I can get two of them shipped right now on eBay for $112. Found them even cheaper at a few US vendors outside of eBay. ;)
     
  13. lotsofloot

    lotsofloot MDL Novice

    Oct 21, 2010
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    Thanks for the info. Was your problem with your original motherboard caused by overheating due to Processors? Thanks.
     
  14. celly

    celly MDL Novice

    Oct 31, 2010
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    Unlikely. I think the board was faulty all along. I used to have issues with the onboard network card as well as the PCI-X slot. Both problems have vanished. The error messages when the board died related to the memory slots. The beep codes/diagnostic lights suggested the memory was faulty. I put in more memory and also got the same error. The new board solved the problem right away. I do monitor the temps on the board using CPUID's HW Monitor application and there is nothing out of the ordinary. Strangely enough, the PC seemed to throw more heat with the old 3.2 Ghz Xeons I had in there than the Paxvilles. Maybe the PC doesn't have to work as hard?

    Whenever I put in new CPUs, I always give a fresh dose of "Arctic Silver" thermal paste which was the case here as well. I'm not noticing anything out of the ordinary since I installed the new mobo last Tuesday on the temperature front. My XPS M1710 laptop throws more heat than this one.

    Any way you slice it, the 470 does get hot regardless of the CPU you use in it. I've read of other heat related issues on these PCs as well, regardless of CPU used. I do maintain mine, keep them free of dust and redo the thermal paste from time to time.

    If you do go for that mobo I referenced, make sure that the seller is sending you a XC838. Sometimes they just reference one board and send another in it's place assuming they're all the same. As we know, they're not. Given that I've been able to get the SL8MA to work on two XC838 motherboards, it stands to reason you shouldn't have any problems either.
     
  15. lotsofloot

    lotsofloot MDL Novice

    Oct 21, 2010
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    Is it difficult to do fit a replacement mobo? Or is it just a matter of switching over the various components. In particular is any soldering required? Also does your operating system need re-activating after the change over?

    Thanks :worthy:
     
  16. celly

    celly MDL Novice

    Oct 31, 2010
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    It's dead easy to swap out a mobo on the 470. I can't post links because I don't have enough posts yet, but go to the Dell support page and find the manual for the 470 and it shows you how to remove the motherboard and all other components. It's really just one screw holding it in place. Just remove all the components from the old board and remember where all the cables go. Not a bad idea to take a digital photo before you do it, just in case.

    You also need to remove the power supply (a few screws) as it sits on top of the mobo and it's a challenge (if not impossible) to remove the mobo with power supply in the way. Once again, simple to do.

    I had to reactivate Windows 7 (64 bit), but it accepted it, "as is". If worse comes to worse you may be forced to contact Microsoft to reactivate. Explain that you just did a new mobo and they'll do it for you.

    I find the Precision 470 one of the easier Dell PCs to work on. Be gentle when removing the heatsinks because the CPUs stick to them and you run the risk of bending pins on the processors if you're not careful. I assume you already know that since you've tried to install processors already.

    This is definitely a changover anyone can do. Just take your time and you'll be good.

    No soldering. All you need is a screwdriver to swap out the mobo.
     
  17. lotsofloot

    lotsofloot MDL Novice

    Oct 21, 2010
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    Sounds straight forward enough job to do. Many thanks.
     
  18. celly

    celly MDL Novice

    Oct 31, 2010
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    You're quite welcome. Let us know how it works out if you go that route.

    Cheers.....