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Irish1264
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New motherboard for XPS 720?

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Hello all.. to make a long story short. I have had issues with my upgrade to a Q9550 chip in the 680i motherboard currently nestled in my 720. It works, but with 100% cpu fan speed and message saying system does not support the cpu. Due to the 45nm cpu not being supported by the 680i boards, mainly bios.

Anyway, here are my options.. keep the board I have and get a QX6850 (65nm cpu) which will work in my mobo. Or upgrade my mobo to a board that will support the 45nm cpu. The prob with the QX6850 is the price$$$ Its over $1000 through Dell. A motherboard and the Q9550 will be cheaper than just getting the QX6850. Plus by getting a different mobo I will be able to overclock the Q9550..

So anyway, what trype of motherboard (through Dell) can I get that will fit in the XPS 720 case, that will support the 45nm cpu, ie Q9550. Not soo much worried about the Air shroud fitting, because I can use the cpu fan that came with my Q9550.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I am trying to avoid talking to Dells Tech support because they are idiots. They are the ones that recommended the Q9550 and the Q9400 for my system in the first place. And they were totally unaware of the non support for 45nm cpu's..

Thanks

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Darrell WV
3 Zinc

Re: New motherboard for XPS 720?

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Hello Irish1264,

Well the motherboard in your XPS 720 is a BTX form and the MOBO's which support the 45 nm chips are ATX form, which is a real bummer.

You can upgrade the 720 to an ATX board, but it requires some modifications and upgrades which will involve several dollars over and above the processor and MOBO.

IMHO you would be saving money by just purchasint the QX6850.

If you decide to go forward with the upgrade to the MOBO keep the forum posted, send pictures, Best

Darrell WV

Darrell WV
3 Zinc

Re: New motherboard for XPS 720?

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Hello Irish1264,

Yeah, I know just how you feel.  So this is what I did with my 630i, not that I am going to tell you to follow my bad example.

I bought my XPS 630i at Best Buy, and so I am stuck with Best Buy for my warranty, which is not nearly as good as Dell warranty (IMHO), so I did not feel constrained to do some modifications which might void the warranty.

I took the  Core2 E8400 dual core out and gave it to a friend.  Bought a Q9650 (45nm) and dropped it in, replaced the Dell heatsink and fan as the Dell heatsink was superior to most others on the market and it fit into the case.  The Dell heatsink is supported by screws into a metal back plate which is better than the plastic mounts into the MOBO.

I then added another fan against the heatsink facing the front edge of the cooling fins so the air flow is through the fins towards the rear exhaust.  I used an 80 cm Noctua fan (totally silent even full blast wide open).  I went to RadioShack and bought high heat velco (taked 24 hours to set up) and velcroed my new fan to the bottom of the internal housing.  You could use the metal wire clip mounting if your heatsink fins will allow.  Pluged the Noctua into an extra fan power supply on the MOBO and the heatsink fan into the standard CPU fan power supply.

Now, for units still under Dell warranty, I would never recommend this, but if your system is out of warranty you may want to try this type of fix.   The Noctua retail fan came with 3 and 4 pin adaptors that you might find usefull.  They are from Europe and I have found them to be the best in air movement (CFM is around 100-125) and are engineered to be "Silent" and they truly are silent.

Sorry this was so long,

Darrell WV

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Irish1264
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Re: New motherboard for XPS 720?

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Thank you Darrell WV, that is the exact possiblities I am looking for. If my system will run this CPU, I will do mods if I have to. Especially if the are at low cost.

Mark

Irish1264
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Re: New motherboard for XPS 720?

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Well just to update you. I have installed a Zalman ZM-MFC1 fan controller yesterday. I did have to do some splicing to get the fans to work correctly. The Dell 4 wire fan cords did not connect to the standard 3 pin (cord) connectors that came with the fan controll unit. So anyway.. It have been running in my system for a day now, with no problems. I did stress tests with Prime95, Real Temp as well as ntune. While monitering temps with everest and real temp. It passed all tests.

My fans are turned down low.. wow, they are nice and quiet! I will monitor temps with real temp as I run games and applications. Currently with fans set to low speed all 4 cpu's stay in the 20-30c temps, never going into the 40c's. The good thing is, I can up the fans if things get hot.

In conclusion... Yes the Q9550 is working fine in the 680i mobo. With a slight modification to control the fans. The only downside is the message at boot up. But I can live with hitting F1 once a day

Thank you all for the advice and feedback, much a ppreciated..

Mark

Re: New motherboard for XPS 720?

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Hey there...I just came across this thread and I am wondering if you would be able to post up some pics of the configuration u did on your xps.

My system has been out of warranty ever since I got the new mobo upgrade from dell and I am begining to want to really beef this machine up with a 1250w psu , a gtx 295 (and another down the road) , a cuadcore pcu, and another fan if needed.

I would also like to upgrade the mobo later down the road to a better one...can you give me some choices to chose from?

Although I am not a pc wizz like most ppl I would really appreciate if I could see the adjustments you made on your pc.

 

 Thanks.

Darrell WV
3 Zinc

Re: New motherboard for XPS 720?

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Hello zackinator,

 

When I first read this post, I would have guessed that you were speaking to Irish, did not realize that you were asking me.  I am at work, on my XPS 420, when I get the chance at home I will see if I can get picts of the 630i rig and 730 H2C rig taken for you.  Most of the guys I lurk and read say that the 720 MOBO (which is a BTX) is a great board and advise against modifying into an ATX form MOBO. 

I will see what I can get picts of and let you know, if you want to see them.

Best

Darrell

Darrell WV
3 Zinc

Re: New motherboard for XPS 720?

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For anyone who wanted to see the small modifications that I have made to either my XPS 630i or my XPS 730 H2C they are now up on flickr.  My flickr name is "fiachra25701"  You can post comments if you have any suggestions.  And yes, I do know that my case is a mess inside and I could take more than one cable management class.

Best,

Darrell WV