Dell XPS 420 --CPU Upgrade

Hello All

Yhanks to everyone who replied to my power supply question. The answers where extremly helpful in helping choose a upgrade. What I am wanting to know now is what is the max cpu upgrade that the Dell XPS 420 will support? I have tried to find the answer on the internet but all the specs they list in the reviews of the 420 are slightly diffeent from mine. I have the XPS 420 with a ge-force 8800gt video card, I upgraded the ram to corsair XMS ddr2 800 5-5-5-18 2X2048 and i think my main board is an Intel x38 express based motherboard with an intel Q9300 processor though i am not sure on that i was under the imprssion this machine had a Q6600 proc. Anyways what i am after is as the price of quad core cpu's continue to drop with the I7 now at market place i may want to grab a cheap cpu upgrade at some point to help extend the life of this machine and i need to know what CPU's are compatible with this machine?

I am also wanting to upgrade the Hard drives to take advantage of the raid configuration as all my previos machines i have always ran RAID 0 and can easily tell the difference between a raid and non raid machine. I was looking at the WD black edition dual proc 3g 1TB 32meg hard drives. Will My machine be able to take full advantage of this drive X2 for a 2TB Raid configuration? or is this size and type of hard drive going to be an issue in my machine? How about the 1.5TB Drives will they be an issue? Also 3G or SATA-300 is that supported or just SATA-150?


Thanks for all the help

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7 Replies

Re: Dell XPS 420 --CPU Upgrade

Hello rwbrehm,

The XPS 420 is built on the Dell BTX motherboard.  Your CPU is based upon the MOBO  and its socket.  The 420 has a 775 socket, which is what the Intel Core 2 duo and Core 2 quads fit, the 775 socket.  The 420 MOBO will handle only the 65 nm CPU's, so when you look around look at for a 775 socket 65 nm CPU.

In my two XPS 420's I am running the Core 2 Quad Q6600 which handles very nicely. 

Here is the list of compatable CPUs for your rig:


Installing the processor
The Dell heatsink will work fine. Clean the old thermal paste off with alcohol, pick up some Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste, and apply it to the processor after you install it per the Arctic Silver instructions. Be very careful of the socket when you remove the old processor and install the new one. It is extremely easy to bend one of the tiny little pins, all 775 of them. If you bend one, you likely will not be able to straighten it, and you will need to replace your motherboard. Make sure you update the bios to the latest version BEFORE you switch the processor.
HU587 Conroe Kit, E4300, 1.80G, 2MB, 800FSB, L2
DX483 Conroe Kit, E4400, 2.00G, 2MB, 800FSB, L2
DX485 Conroe Kit, E6320, 1.86G, 4MB, 1066FSB, B2
DX484 Conroe Kit, E6420, 2.13G, 4MB, 1066FSB, B2
MP160 Conroe Kit, E6550, 2.33G, 4MB, 1333FSB
MP162 Conroe Kit, E6750, 2.66G, 4MB, 1333FSB, G0
MP628 Conroe Kit, E6850, 3.00G, 4MB, 1333FSB, G0
WM543 Conroe XE Kit, X6800, 2.93G, 4MB, 1066FSB, B2
MP626 Kentsfield Quad Core Kit, Q6600, 2.40G, 8MB, 1066FSB, G0
MP627 Kentsfield Quad Core Kit, Q6700, 2.66G, 8MB, 1066FSB, G0
UP673 Kentsfield Quad Core Kit, QX6700, 2.66G, 8MB, 1066FSB, B3
RX656 Kentsfield Quad Core Kit, QX6800, 2.93G, 8MB, 1066FSB, G0
PW016 Kentsfield Quad Core Kit, QX6850, 3.00G, 8MB, 1333FSB, G0
C863D Yorkfield Quad Core Kit, QX9300, 2.5G, 6MB, 1333FSB, M1
C864D Yorkfield Quad Core Kit, Q9450, 2.66G, 12MB, 1333FSB, C1
C865D Yorkfield Quad Core Kit, Q9550, 2.83G, 12MB, 1333FSB, C1
C299C Yorkfield Quad Core Kit, QX9650, 3.0G, 12MB, 1333FSB, C0
H786G Yorkfield Quad Core kit, QX9650, 3.0G, 12MB, 1333FSB, C1
X198G Wolfdale Dual Core kit, E7200, 2.53, 3MB, FD, 65W,M0
Y932C Wolfdale Dual Core Kit, E8200, 2.66G, 6MB, 1333FSB, 65W, C0
K905F Wolfdale Dual Core Kit, E8300, 2.83G, 6MB, 1333FSB, 65W, C0
Y935C Wolfdale Dual Core Kit, E8400, 3.0G, 6MB, 1333FSB, 65W, C0
Y934C Wolfdale Dual Core Kit, E8500, 3.16G, 6MB, 1333FSB, 65W, C0

Other information can be found here:




Darrell WV

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Re: Dell XPS 420 --CPU Upgrade

Wow thanks a bunch for the info this will allow me to look for a nice discounted cpu upgrade.


Still wondering about the hard drives though.. I can't imagine why the machine would have issues with 1 to 1.5tb drives in raid but want to make 100% sure it won't before i buy the drives.  Also could someone confirm the sata is sata-300 not the sata-150 please


Thanks a bunch

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Re: Dell XPS 420 --CPU Upgrade

As it turns out i did some reaserch on my xps 420 and it looks like mine according to Windows and even the dell diagnostics is using the Q9300 processor which is based on the 45nm process. This leads me to beilieve any of the 45nm cpu's should work.

I guess Dell used a bunch of different cpu's for the XPS 420 line of machines

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Re: Dell XPS 420 --CPU Upgrade

WOW, that is great to hear!  Remember that in addition to the MOBO, the BIOS must support the CPU, but I am with you in your line of thinking that at least some if not all of the 45nm CPU's should work, just a trial and see what happens.



Darrell WV

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Re: Dell XPS 420 --CPU Upgrade

Just wondering if you folks had a chance to try the 45nm processors in the XPS 420 and if they worked ok?



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Re: Dell XPS 420 --CPU Upgrade

I have just read The 420 MOBO will handle only the 65 nm CPU's and the E6600 is a 45nm, will this mean that i cant upgrade to E6600

roduct Name: INTEL PENTIUM E6600 775 RETAIL

Web Address: www.intel.com

Model Number: BX80571E6600

Package Type: Retail

Warranty: 3 Years Direct With Manufacturer

Interface: Socket 775

Bus Speed: 1066MHz

Core Frequency: 3.06GHz

Core Voltage: 0.85–1.3625V

Process Technology: 45nm

Thermal Design Power: 65W

Bus/Core Ratio: 11

L1 Cache: 2 x 32 KB instruction caches‚2 x 32 KB data caches

L2 Cache: 2MB

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Re: Dell XPS 420 --CPU Upgrade

Hi malctan,

Please stick to one thread. Thanks.

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