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Community Manager
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What Are the Best Processors my Motherboard Can Handle?

Hi, I currently have a Dell Optiplex 745 and am currently upgrading it in preperation for several video games that are coming out this fall.

I was looking into getting new processors, currently I have dual Intel Pentium 3.2ghz processors. They're o.k., but I know I can do better. I'm not huge on tech stuff, so I was wondering if it was possible for myself to upgrade with my current board. I was looking at the i5's, though I'm not sure if they're good with gaming.

My current board specs:

Board: Dell Inc. 0GX297

 

Serial Number: ..CN6986174I20AF.

 

Bus Clock: 800 megahertz

 

BIOS: Dell Inc. 2.2.0 03/29/2007
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Community Manager
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It looks like your motherboard has the LGA 775 socket so you will be limited to processors that fit that socket. Even so, that does not mean you can just swap the processor with one that fits. Your motherboard may not support the features of the processor. Your best bet is to contact Dell and find out what processors your board supports. I can tell you right now, the Sandy Bridge line isn't one of them. You will probably be limited to the E-series Pentiums--The same as you have now most likely.

Depending on your budget, you might consider replacing the motherboard and CPU. Of course, that would mean replacing your OS too.

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By chance, do you know what processors are availible for myself to upgrade to, then?

That was my original question.

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As I mentioned, you should contact Dell for processors that are compatible with your board.

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Trying to do some comparisons myself - I find two identical specs for two different processors

re. http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=50028 http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=50028 and http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=50026 http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=50026 .

Am I a bit naiive expecting that a different name implies differences in the spec?

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One big difference between the Intel Core i3 and Intel Core i5 processors is the Turbo Boost Feature. The Intel Core i5 processor has it.

You might want to look at the 2nd generation Intel Core processors (2xxx series numbers). The two parts that you are comparing are no longer on the Intel Processor price list (http://intc.com/priceList.cfm http://intc.com/priceList.cfm) and they are both first generation Intel Core processors. You can't buy the processors at the prices quoted in the price list unless you buy in bulk, but it will tell you what the latest production parts are. Last year's processors are still a good value, however.

Here is a FAQ on the Turbo Boost feature: http://www.intel.com/support/processors/sb/CS-029908.htm?wapkw=(turbo+boost http://www.intel.com/support/processors/sb/CS-029908.htm?wapkw=(turbo+boost)

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Way to hijack my thread...

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They are basically the same except the 470 supports Turbo Boost and the other doesn't. Neither of which will fit your motherboard by the way. You should to be looking at processors that will fit the LGA 775 socket. The Intel E-Series (E2000-E8000) and X6800 have the LGA 775 socket. This line of processors is referred to as the Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor.

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I was told on the Dell site that for my board for the Dell Optiplex 745, which is socket 775, the best I can get is an Intel Quad Core q6700, which is what I plan to purchase.

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Well, there you go. Appearently, a shout to Dell did help.

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Well, sort of.

The exact answer was "I got the q6600 to work on mine, I assume the q6700 will work".

So, fingers crossed...

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Keep a close eye on the on-board voltage regulator temperature (if sensor equipped). Those processors are in the 95-105W range while your original was 65W, I think. That can put a critical load on your board if the processor hits 100%. This has nothing to do with the case power supply--I'm speaking of the voltage regulator on the motherboard.

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It states that the max output is 280w for my power supply, if that means anything.

How do I determine what you are talking about?

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NO! Read my statement.

Although your PS will have to supply enough power for all your peripherals too.

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Like I stated, how do I determine what you are asking for, ha.

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Your motherboard was designed for a 65W processor. All the electrical traces (copper lines on the board) and the on-board voltage regulator were designed to handle a 65W load (plus an engineering allowance). If you use a 95-105W processor running at 100%, that puts you over the design specs for the motherboard. You could smoke the motherboard. And once you let the "good smoke" out, it can't be put back in.

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How do you know this, though?

There are folks using my computer with the q6600, which has similar specs...

Mine's using two Intel Pentiums, that has to be at least 100w.

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I think you're wrong about it handling only 60w.

 

I'm using dual Pentium D processors, and they both max out at 100w.
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You could be right. I only used the 65W as an example because that's what the Core-2 draws on some chart I remember seeing and your motherboard used that processor. You can get the correct current draw from the processor's design specifications available from Intel. These documents are available for all Intel processors online and for free Keep in mind that a processor can and will go over it's rated current draw under certain circumstances (startup and coming out of sleep states). If you recall from my original reply, I stated that you need to go to Dell to get the specifications for your motherboard and find out what processors are compatible.

If it was up to me, I'd throw the motherboard in the trash and start fresh with current technology or give the PC to someone that doesn't need multi-gigaflop processing power.

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These are actually quite good PC's. They were originally meant for servers, so they were designed to be on 24/7. That's why the heating, etc., is so well done, and why the fan is so good/loud.