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Upgrading a DC7700 processor (CPU)

DC7700
Microsoft Windows XP

Yes, I know most people will consider this system a dinosaur, but money is tight at the moment and this is what I have. I'd like to upgrade the CPU, which I can do for not much cost, but I want to get the most "bang for my buck".

 

My system currectly has an E6600 CPU running at 2.4Ghz. I've already checked and know that the E6700 at 2.66Ghz is the highest officially supported processor.

 

However I've seen people claim that you can use higher processors in this system. One post on another forum said that the E7600 was the fastest CPU the poster had gotten to work. Posts in these forums suggest that the E7600 will work, but that the FSB will only run at half speed unless you use a third-party program to change the clock speed. Supposedly that was required because the BIOS hadn't been updated to support CPUs higher than the E6700.

 

I have two questions;

 

1. Was the BIOS ever fixed, or is a third-party utility still needed to manually set the bus speed with the E7600? If so, is there a program that can be used to do this at each boot?

 

2. Will using such a CPU in the DC7700 cause any stability issues? Or can the FSB speed accidentally get switched back by errant software between reboots?

 

I would be OK with having to have Windows run a small utility to change the FSB speed at each boot if it would give me a cheap (if minor) speed increase. What I would NOT be OK with would be having an unstable system, or one where the speed can get randomly downgraded by a software glitch.

 

Why do I want extra speed? I like emulators and while I know the difference in CPUs wouldn't work miracles, it might just be enough to make some of the games that lag slightly, play at the proper speed. Besides, why not upgrade to the fastest CPU possible if I can do it for a fraction of the cost of a new system? 3.06Ghz E7600 chips can be found on eBay for under $10.

 

 

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Hi:

 

I can answer your first question.

 

No, the BIOS glitch has not and will never be fixed, so the only way to get the E7600 to work is to run that utility.

 

If you do not know how to create a batch file to run the utility, you will have to launch it each time windows starts.

 

I do believe they wrote some instructions on how to automatically launch the utility.

 

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Thank you for the reply.

 

I'd be fine with creating a script to execute when Windows starts (although I'd have to Google how to actually get it to execute said script), however, I'm a little fuzzy on the actual command(s) that I need to use and so far Googling hasn't been much help. I've read that I need to use CPUID to change the multiplier to 11.5, and seen the command line arguments for hiding the main window and enabing muliplier management, but beyond that, I'm a little unsure of the process. Am I correct in thinking that the multiplier needs to be set separately for each processor? If so, it seems that I need to use;

 

CrystalCPUID.exe /HIDE /CQ /F1 /P1 /E

CrystalCPUID.exe /HIDE /CQ /F1 /P2 /E

 

Is this correct?

 

Also, if I install an E7600 @ 3.06Ghz, do you think my current Heatsink and fan will be enough? This is what I currently have (the fan is sandwiched in the middle of the heatsink);

 

Heatsink.jpg

 

Finally, my BIOS is only V01.10, so I assume I would need to flash it to 1.16? If so, can you give me some reassurance that this is a fairly reliable and painless procedure? I downloaded the 1.16 BIOS and looked at the instructions and it seems simple enough, but I've never actually flashed a system BIOS before. I'm actually a little afraid to. I get nervous when I update drivers. 🙂

 

Side question; Why is it that driver/firmware filenames never match the instructions? They claim the file is called "SoftPaq.exe" when it's actually called "sp54368.exe". And why do all driver and firmware updates have such cryptic names? What's wrong with "BIOS 786E1 V01.16.exe"? Or if they want an eight character name "BIOS116.exe"? Or even "786E1116.exe"? 🙂

 

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You're very welcome.

 

Unfortunately, I wouldn't know how to get the utility to automatically run.

 

Heat sink...If that is the stock HP heat sink, it should be fine. 

 

HP does not offer any other optional heat sinks for other processors. They have one type for the CMT and one for the SFF.  Yours looks like the one off the CMT.

 

The processors are of the same wattage, so I don't think you will have an issue there, and no one reported any overheating problems with the stock heat sinks/fans.

 

http://ark.intel.com/compare/41495,27250

 

Yes, if you are at BIOS v1.10, you will have to go to v1.16.

 

The best thing to do is to flash the BIOS using the F10 BIOS flash method.  It is very easy to do, and you don't have to be in Windows to do it. 

 

I have zipped up and attached the instructions to run the various ways to update the BIOS below.

 

You want the info under the F10 Setup BIOS Flashing section.

 

The more complicated thing you may have to do is to update the microcode as well. 

 

Most people have done this after they updated the BIOS.

 

You will have to update the microcode if after you update the BIOS, and install the E7600, you get a microcode error on start, and/or the processor fan goes crazy.

 

See this discussion for how to update the microcode...

 

http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Desktop-Software-and-How-To-Questions/invalid-processor-microcode-updat...

 

As for your last question, since I don't work for or represent HP, I don't know how or why they name the driver files the way they do.  However, I can tell you that 'sp' is an abbreviation for SoftPaq.

 

Good luck with your processor upgrade.

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I'm sure I can figure out how to get the program to run automatically. If not, I can do it manually each time I boot. However, I need to know if I have the correct commands to properly change the multiplier. I've heard that overclocking can damage the system and I don't want to install a new processor and then just use trial and error.

 

As for the microcodes, I was under the impression that the 1.16 BIOS included the latest available microcodes. It says it includes 1.06. Are the ones in the linked newer than that?

 

I don't mean to be a PITA, I just want to make sure I understand exactly what needs to be done. I'm very protective of my system, so I like to have any changes fully planned out in advance so there aren't any surprises.

 

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Hi:

 

There are no commands needed to change the multiplier, and you will not be overclocking the processor, since it will be 50% 'clocked,' without running the utility.

 

The utility has a graphic user interface.  You just select the clock speed you want (and you want the max to bring the processor to 100% clock speed).

 

Unfortunately, I have given you all of the information I can.

 

I am pretty sure you will need to run the microcode update though.

 

I think the microcode update contains some different microcodes than the BIOS update does.

 

You'll just have to wait and see what happens after you install the processor.

 

There are inherent risks you take when you install unsupported processors, update BIOS', Microcodes, etc.

 

The official specs state the Conroe E6700 2.66 Ghz is the best processor you can install in the dc7700 without jumping over the potential hurdles you will face.

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I apologize for the long delay in responding. Various stuff came up in real life and to be completely honest, I was starting to get a little discouraged.

 

>There are no commands needed to change the multiplier, and you will not be

>overclocking the processor, since it will be 50% 'clocked,' without running the

>utility.

>

>The utility has a graphic user interface.  You just select the clock speed you want

>(and you want the max to bring the processor to 100% clock speed).

 

Looking at the GUI, the only thing that seems to let me change anything is the menu option "Intel Enhanced Speedstep Control" which lets me change the multiplier. Currently it says it's 9.0 for my E6600 processor (I didn't try changing it). There's an option to create a Desktop shortcut and if I do that, it has the following properties;

 

CrystalCPUID.exe /F3 /P1 /E

 

The /F3 is supposed to set the multiplier, the /P1 specifies processor 1 and the /E exits the program, presumably after doing what it needed to do. Presumably the command line parameters exist so that you don't have to use the GUI each time and can automate the process by using a batch file.

 

The ReadMe has information on setting the multiplier to various values, but unfortunately the instructions are a little vague, and the above command doesn't seem to jive with the information in the file. Specifically the /F3 doesn't correspond to a 9.0 value in any of the tables it provides.

 

There's also an option for Multiplier Management, but it doesn't explain what that actually does. Selecting it in the menu just puts a checkmark next to it. I don't know if that's required to be enabled to allow the program to change the multiplier or not.

 

And I'm also still not clear on whether the multiplier needs to be set infividually for each core or whether setting it for one will set it for the entire processor. CrystalCPUID treats each core as a spearate processor.

 

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Hi, @Rekrul :

 

I received a message in the forum that you replied to this post.

 

But the your post has been deleted for some reason.

 

After you install the E7600, I believe that you will have higher multiplier options in the utility, and all you need to know is that you have to set it to the max (which I believe will be 11 for the E7600).

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>I received a message in the forum that you replied to this post.

>

>But the your post has been deleted for some reason.

 

That's strange. I still see my message directly above yours. It starts with "I apologize for the long delay in responding." That's the only message I've posted recently, although I did edit it a couple times to correct some formatting.

 

>After you install the E7600, I believe that you will have higher multiplier

>options in the utility, and all you need to know is that you have to set it to

>the max (which I believe will be 11 for the E7600).

 
In another thread, you told someone that it should be set to 11.5 (your second post);
 
 
I'm just trying to figure out if I can set it up so that it will make the change automatically when the system boots. To be clear, the part I'm uncertain about isn't making the program run at boot, such as from a batch file, it's making sure that it will automatically change the multiplier for me so that it doesn't have to be done manually each time, and that it makes the correct changes.
 
I really don't mean to be a pain in the *** about this, I'm just very cautious. I'm sure other people swap CPUs like they do optical drives and are willing to experiment, but I like to know exactly what I'm doing before changing things that could potentially cause problems.
 
If I need to do a little work to get such an upgrade working properly, so be it. I just don't want to install the chip, select the wrong options and potentially damage my motherboard, or have it half-working, but run into problems down the line.
 
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Yes, I see it now too.  It wasn't there when I logged on this morning.

 

You're just going to have to figure it all out, based on all the previous info you have read. 

 

As I stated in one of my earlier replies, you have to set the utility to its maximum multiplier setting to get 100% out of the processor...if it is 11, or 11.5 or whatever it is, so be it.

 

Good luck!

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