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Community Manager
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Can I replace my Core i7-3820 with a Core i7-4960 without having to do clean install of op sys and apps?

Both processors use the same LGA 2011 socket and I REALLY don't want to have to reinstall Windows 7 and all my programs.

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Beginner
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Yes, you shouldn't have any problems.

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Community Manager
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In my long, but relatively limited detailed experience with computers, that's almost too much to hope for! It seemed like a reasonable idea, but I didn't want to charge ahead and find out too late that I had to spend FOREVER reinstalling software.

Thank you

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Super User
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Stop now. Before you can consider changing the processor, you MUST ask the motherboard manufacturer if their BIOS supports the new processor.

To upgrade the processor, it must be socket, BIOS, and chipset compatible.

Now, with regards to Windows 7 booting successfully after such a change, the answer is MAYBE or MAYBE NOT. If you do venture down this path, make sure you have backups of your data, and your program install media. I would guess, at a minimum, you would have to enter the OS product code again to be properly validated/activated.

Doc

Doc (not an Intel employee or contractor)
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Community Manager
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That's a good point about the BIOS -- I'd not thought of it, but I'll certainly check it out before I do anything with the processors. I do know that the motherboard (Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3) is compatible with the i7-4960 processor. There's also no way I'd do anything with as much potential for disaster as this might have without having the original W7 DVD and backing up everything else. I'm going to let things lie for a bit and see what more I might learn about this before I actually get busy at it.

Thanks for the input, I appreciate it.

Bill

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Beginner
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Yeah, check to be sure you don't need to update your bios to accomplish any of this. You shouldn't need to reinput your windows key but it's good to write it down to be safe.

There's really not much else to know, you seem good to go. Good luck.

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Community Manager
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Thank you -- I'd just gotten onto the Gigabyte website to start researching about the BIOS.

Bill

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Community Manager
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I want to repeat my thank you. I just went through the Gigabyte website and found that I will indeed have to update the BIOS to accommodate the "new" processor.

Bill

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Super User
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Ok, update the bios using the old processor.

Also, you may want to review this: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/processors/000005576.html How to Apply Thermal Interface Material (TIM)

Doc

Doc (not an Intel employee or contractor)
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Community Manager
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Great information about processor compatibility. Please bear in mind this would be BIOS, processor socket but mostly BIOS. Thank you all for your feedback.

 

 

Allan.
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Highlighted
Community Manager
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Feedback for any of you still interested: the processor swap came off so neatly I can hardly believe it! The BIOS update caused a problem until I realized it was related to a scrambled boot priority. Following the processor swap all the drivers loaded automatically amid 2 restarts and Microsoft got involved briefly to verify that things were kosher, but even that was hands off. Once all the activity was over, everything was back to normal with the new processor installed. Amazing! I'm not used to computer related things going so smoothly.

Again, thanks for the help.

Bill.

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Super User
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Glad it worked out ok.

Doc

Doc (not an Intel employee or contractor)
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