Upgrading CPU on Dell Prec 390

By llovering
Aug 6, 2010
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  1. I've tried two different Core2Duo processors to replace the P4HT, and it doesn't work. What can I use to upgrade the CPU?

    My service tag is 2BKP4D1 and I tried an E6600 and an E7600.
  2. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    Isn't a P4HT socket 478?

    A Core2 being socket 775?

    I don't think they will fit onto your current motherboard. I'd wait for someone to confirm it though, as I'm only 50/50 on it.
  3. llovering

    llovering TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I may be slightly mistaken but the motherboard is a socket 775.
  4. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    If its definitely socket 775, then I would look at the BIOS version first.

    Make sure its the most updated release available, as it will likely add CPU support along with other updates.
  5. llovering

    llovering TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The latest BIOS on the Dell website is what I have,
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,462   +1,760

    If this is a Prescott P-4, there probably isn't a BIOS update that will allow you to use any of the C2D issues. The only dual core CPUs I've seen mentioned as working in some older boards are the Pentium "D" processors, and I wouldn't even bother with one of them.

    Just a note; When you see later boards advertised as having the ability to handle older CPUs, it's backward compatibility.

    Early versions of boards with chipsets as late as Intel 945, can't even deal with the E4XXX series of C2D, let alone the 45nm parts available now.

    The E7600 requires a BIOS update to run in boards as late as Intel P45, (that will run an E7300) so I really think I'd shelve that idea.

    Having said all of that, why is Dell's website showing me a Dell Precision workstation shipping with Intel Dual core CPUs.....?

    Also, I entered your service tag at the Dell site and it showed me a BIOS update version 2.6 dated 5-22-2008

    This doesn't jibe with the info you've posted. Why?
  7. llovering

    llovering TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The current P4 is a Cedar Mill chip. You are correct that the BIOS displays as 2.6.0 on boot; the file name is WS020600.exe.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,462   +1,760

    OK, the Cedar Mill Pentiums are 64 bit CPUs, the Prescott P-4s were only 32 bit.Therefore your board must be 64 bit to support that CPU.

    With that said, Dell shows the 390 Precision as a "new work station". I'm a bit mystified as to their marketing strategy here, thinking that they have kept the number, and changed everything inside. Or, as the old joke goes, "I'm a virgin, but this is a very old t-shirt".

    If the E6600 didn't work in that board, you can be assured that nothing later than that will, and certainly not the E7600.

    Sometimes there is a bit of confusion about the E6XXX series of Intel CPUs, since they have been duplicated in the newest "Pentium Dual Cores", notably the E6300, and E6500 issues.

    As I said, this workstation may have shipped with the original "Pentium Dual Core" or "Pentium D" models. These were the precursors to the "Conroe" C2D models, such as the E6600 that you mentioned. IMHO, if this is all you could "upgrade to", that would be pointless.
  9. llovering

    llovering TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The motherboard chip set is a i975x. I read that it did support the Conroe series and in the published specs for the Precision 390, it lists the E6600 as the dual core processor available.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,462   +1,760

    One has to wonder if the 390's that shipped with Conroe C2Ds, have a different service ticket number, and a different BIOS altogether. (!) or (?)

    Sometimes OEM machines are model / configuration specific due to the fact many don't even have actual Windows discs. The restore discs are actually dive images, and the BIOS is usually locked down to very few options.

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