Hello all. 1st I apologize for the familure topic. I was unable to add my points to existing treads. So, I will attempt to post my own issue. I purchased my 720 a little over a year ago. The original cpu was an E6750 (2.66). Reciently, I ordered a Q9400 (2.66) from Dell. Figured it was time to upgrade to a quad seeing how the prices have came down. I want to point out that Dells technical support, and customer service both said that this chip was supported by my system. I updated the bios to A06 before installing the Q9400.
After installing the cpu I fired it up. System physically started up fine. However, the cpu fan continued to run at 100%. Normally once its passed the bios, it drops down to a quiet speed. Also, after trying this again, I noticed a quick flash on the screen after the Dell logo, stating that this processor is not supported by this system. So, I wanted to dig around a little more. I ran everest on my system to see if the new processor was being recognised. And sure enough, everything was checking out. All 4 processors were registering speeds, loads, temps etc. Even in the task manager everying looked good. I did however notice in the device manager it does show all 4 processors but they are labeled as unknown device.
So, I contacted Dell Tec support. After an exhausting phone and chat pass-around, I was told by one that that cpu was not supported by my system. OK?.. so I asked them, now could you please recommend a quad core cpu that is compatible with my system. So, I was referred to the Q9550 (2.83). I asked several times for them to make sure this cpu will work in my system (more than one tech). And they assured me it was listed as an upgrade for my system. OK, so I sent the Q9400 back and ordered the Q9550. While I was waiting for the Q9550 I put my E6750 back in, and fan goes back to normal. I did a little research on the Q9400 and Q9550 and discoverd that they were both 45nm chips. And that apparently a lot of people were saying that the 45nm chips will not work on the nforce 68i-SLI mobo's . I also found a nvidia mobo and cpu compatability chart. The Q9550 cpu was listed as a no for the 680i motherboards. So.. I was a little sceptical as to the Q9550 being any different than the Q9400.
The Q9550 came in, and in the system it went. Well, to my expectations, same exact resaults...
My question is... should I keep the processor? It seems to be running great. For example I can max out GTA 4 now, with all distances maxxed lag free. That game is a serious system hog. And a few other games run flawlessly as well. So, I dont have a dobt that it is making a big differance over my daul core 2.66.
What can I check to ensure all aspects are working with the Q9550? I have even thought of using a 4pin adapter to connect the fan to the power supply other than the mobo. If anyone has any ideas as to improve my noise issue, or something I can change in bios. The fan is pretty load, kind of destracting. Is the fan speed the only thing not working propperly?? I dont know.
If anyone can help me, I would greatly appreciate it.
The Q9550 will not work no bios support. The Q9400 should work as well as the Q9450. I would recommend if you switch back to the 9400 to try reseting the cmos after the chips is installed.
Thanks for the reply. When you say will not work. What do you mean? Its been running in my system for 6 days. No issues. Only real concern I have is the fan noise at this point. I got the same exact results with the Q9400 as the Q9550. No differance. I read a post lately where someone got the Q9550 to work flawlessly, and included screen shots. I will try to find it and post link. I have also sent private message to him to see what he did.
If you can live with the fan noise then by all means use it. But it is not supported and you will probable burn out the fan a lot sooner than normal. Most users though will not tolerate the fan and the reason the fan is high is it does not fully know by the bios how to run.
Re: XPS 720 CPU Fan Running @ 100%
By startravel57t in General Hardware
I found out everything that I need to know from the following site http://rampantspeculation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2330
If you look at the stepping for the CPU that where original released with the XPS they where all (B2 / B3 / G0) so the bois for a XPS 720 will support all CPU's with that stepping. Dell then released a new bois A06 and it looks like they added in two other stepping codes to the bois (C0 / C1). In the above link they have confirmed that a E8400 - C0 and a Q9450 - C1 will work in a XPS 720. Next if you go out to Intel's CPU finder, http://processorfinder.intel.com/ and enter in the Intel core 2 duo or Intel core to quad to pull up all of the CPU for your search. Then look though the stepping codes to find the processor that will work. Looks like the highest duo core CPU would be the E8500 - 3.16Ghz and the highest quad core would be the Q9550 - 2.83Ghz. Make sure that you double click on the link for the processor on Intel's site to get the box order code and spec numbers to make sure the stepping will be correct when you purchase the new processor.
What you will need to do is look at the box that the CPU cam in on the side of the box you will see a S-spec followed by a 5 letters and numbers. I bet that the Q9550 that you purchased is a E0 stepping processor, the SLB8V or the SLGAE. Looks like one model of the Q9550 will work, the SLAWQ that has a stepping code of C1.
At this time I am not sure if Dell will be making a Bios change to support the E0 stepping processors.
Thanks for the info. That explains the reason perfectly. I knew that some of the yorks and wolfdales did work and forgot about that thread over at RS.
So the bottom line is if the chips does not have C0/C1 stepping it will not work.
I fully agree that there will be no more bios releases from Dell for these systems.
Update, I went to the local computer store and they just happen to have a Q9550 that had the S-spec - SLAWQ so I bought it, was the last one that they had. I just got down installing the new CPU and everything is back to normal in my system. CPU-Z is correct and the CPU fan is now running at 6% like it should be.
Confirmed the Q9550 with a S-spec of SLAWQ, stepping C1, work's in a Dell XPS 720 with the new A06 Bios.
I am putting my results here from another tread with similar subject.. Q9550 is running on my 680i
Well just to update you. I have installed a Zalman ZM-MFC1 fan
controller earlier today. 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 about 5 hours
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..
its not the S spec it the C0/C1 stepping that is the key. Yes your processor worked but running the system fan at 100% means the bios is not !00% programed for that chip. So you have it working and it may work perfectly well but it is not 100% certified for the system.