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Upgrading my Dell studio XPS CPU


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#1 MaggieDarkmoon

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 03:55 PM

UPDATE: Please read the entire conversation before replying! Thank you, I hate repeating myself.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

I'm going to try to give all the info I can.
First off this is a laptop, HOWEVER my CPU is on a slot not integrated!
 
Laptop Specs:

OS: Windows 7 64x home premium - genuine
Model: Dell Studio XPS 1645
Motherboard manufacturer reference: WDH9C
CPU: Intel Core i7-720QM @ 1.6ghz
GPU: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730
RAM: 8 GBytes DDR3 1600
 
I know my motherboard is not what came standard with this machines basic model. Because It has an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 graphics card in it which has 1gb dedicated vram on it. Most listed 1645's have lower end cards, I don't know if this information helps.
 
Why I want to upgrade: I found out after ordering in 2x8gb ripjaws and receiving them yesterday that this CPU can not handle more then 8gbs RAM. NOT HAPPY! The Bios saw the RAM and everything! (People where saying that windows 7 64x home premium was the cause, which makes me laugh because my wife is running 16gb flawlessly right now on that OS) I gave her my 16gb ram sticks for the time being for her 8gb ram sticks set, both ripjaws same speed so not a bad deal. I'm just glad the 16gb is not a wasted!

 

My computer does get hot while running games and such, around 150F to maybe 160F. I'm thinking my heat sync is damaged because it has some melting and dents in it. It's a copper heat sync by the way. I do replace my thermal paste on a regular basis if I think it's running low, which I determine by how much heat I can feel through the keyboard. I am planning on replacing my heat sync, fan and getting a new cooling pad with more fans. So I am not sure if heat will be a determining factor for my CPU upgrade.
 
So after some digging I discovered my CPU is a rPGA988A slot type. The link below shows all the CPUs that fit this slot type.
http://www.cpu-world.com/Sockets/Socket%20G1%20(rPGA988A).html

 

Overall:

I want a CPU that can handle 16gb ram with a higher clock speed. (I was looking at the 940xm but I just saw it only supports 8gb ram. Is that true?) If you all could help me with this I'd be very grateful, unless you know of a way to make this machine accept the 16gb ram!


Edited by MaggieDarkmoon, 07 May 2016 - 11:45 PM.


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#2 Frizzlee

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 05:24 PM

You are correct on the part where Windows 7 64x Home Premium will accept 16GB RAM.  However, the limitation is indeed your CPU. The Intel Core i7-720QM @ 1.6ghz has a maximum physical memory of 8gb, which I'm sure you already know.

 

 As for the 940xm which you are looking at for upgrading, that also has a maximum physical memory of 8GB.  

 

I did some digging and I was unable to find a Processor with the Socket type PGA988/G1 that is able to support 16GB RAM. :thumbdown:

 

A possible solution you could look into is finding a new motherboard with a different socket type that will support a CPU that can handle the 16GB RAM that fits into your laptop.  However if you are going to choose this path, I would just save a little more and purchase a new machine in the future.

 

Also, I have read that upgrading your BIOS and then clearing your CMOS could possibly be a solution into getting your CPU to recognize the RAM, however I have no immediate knowledge of this. But that could be a solution to look into.

 

As for your computer running hot, you can always replace the heat sync if you think it is broken.  Usually when gaming it is common for your laptop to get hot. A possible reason is that the thermal paste isn't transferring the heat properly, but it sounds like you know how to apply it.  Typically the same socket type processors should be compatible with the same heat syncs, so you shouldn't run into a problem with upgrading your CPU and the heat sync not fitting.

 

My two cents: Having only 8GB is not the end of the world, assuming you aren't running out of memory constantly. Typically for gaming you should not need more than 8GB RAM.  Also, if you aren't running out of memory constantly, upgrading to 16GB RAM, you really would not see a physical difference. If you are using applications for rendering and such, that is where the more RAM would come in handy.  Otherwise, upgrading to 16GB RAM would not increase your computers speed significantly.

 

Hopefully this helps and puts you onto the right track.



#3 MaggieDarkmoon

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 06:01 PM

You are correct on the part where Windows 7 64x Home Premium will accept 16GB RAM.  However, the limitation is indeed your CPU. The Intel Core i7-720QM @ 1.6ghz has a maximum physical memory of 8gb, which I'm sure you already know.
 
 As for the 940xm which you are looking at for upgrading, that also has a maximum physical memory of 8GB.  
 
I did some digging and I was unable to find a Processor with the Socket type PGA988/G1 that is able to support 16GB RAM. :thumbdown:
 
A possible solution you could look into is finding a new motherboard with a different socket type that will support a CPU that can handle the 16GB RAM that fits into your laptop.  However if you are going to choose this path, I would just save a little more and purchase a new machine in the future.
 
Also, I have read that upgrading your BIOS and then clearing your CMOS could possibly be a solution into getting your CPU to recognize the RAM, however I have no immediate knowledge of this. But that could be a solution to look into.
 
As for your computer running hot, you can always replace the heat sync if you think it is broken.  Usually when gaming it is common for your laptop to get hot. A possible reason is that the thermal paste isn't transferring the heat properly, but it sounds like you know how to apply it.  Typically the same socket type processors should be compatible with the same heat syncs, so you shouldn't run into a problem with upgrading your CPU and the heat sync not fitting.
 
My two cents: Having only 8GB is not the end of the world, assuming you aren't running out of memory constantly. Typically for gaming you should not need more than 8GB RAM.  Also, if you aren't running out of memory constantly, upgrading to 16GB RAM, you really would not see a physical difference. If you are using applications for rendering and such, that is where the more RAM would come in handy.  Otherwise, upgrading to 16GB RAM would not increase your computers speed significantly.
 
Hopefully this helps and puts you onto the right track.

 
 
Tch darn, I was hoping one of them would support 16gbs. Sadly there are only 3 motherboards that will fit this machine and they all have the same slot. All the others have a lower end ATI, I don't want to give up my current ATI.

I do have a new 2016 Dell saved in my amazon wishlist. It'll cost 755$ but it will well exceed my required specs for my daily use. A new CPU that would fit is like 300$-500$, so yeah... I guess I'll just save up for that new computer. In case your interested:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D3G30W2/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=2E1SJ0W5T7RAT&coliid=I1JBSSDI33U87G

I actually did try the BIOS/CMOS and it didn't work. I WISH! I also tried resetting defaults on the BIOS. I have the most up to date BIOS on this machine which is version A13. Thank you for the suggestion however.

I'm going to be buying a refurbished fan and heat sync in the upcoming months. Since it will take some time to save up for that new machine. Hiowever my heat is not as bad as some temperatures I've seen reported for this model. I'm getting about 60C on second life and I've heard of people getting 90C on just web browsing! They probably hadn't cleaned out their heat syncs lol! I personally just feel this machine shouldn't be this hot. Although in those forum posts I read, people reported their fans sounding like jets. Mine has never done that and it's been cleaned many times so more then likely my fan is dying. I did buy this computer used from a pawn shop for 300$, luckily the issues with it where slim. It was also a steal with all the upgraded components.

I'm getting no where near maxing my ram. However I did notice something interesting when I switched to my new sticks (the 2x4gbs). The CPU is able to properly turbo boost up to it's 2.8ghz now. I think my old 2x4gb ram sticks actually had some kind of issue. I think they may have even been the original installed RAM for this computer, which would make them 7 years old. Things are loading faster and I'm having nowhere near as much troubles connecting to the internet and staying on.
 
Thank you very much!



#4 Fascist Nation

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 09:57 PM

....My computer does get hot while running games and such, around 150F to maybe 160F. I'm thinking my heat sync is damaged because it has some melting and dents in it. It's a copper heat sync by the way. I do replace my thermal paste on a regular basis if I think it's running low,....

 

I am planning on replacing my heat sync, fan and getting a new cooling pad with more fans. .....

Frizzlee is correct on everything.  But especially that 8GB ought to be fine on your system.  I doubt you have ever exceeded it.  You can find out by checking your virtual memory allotment.  Assuming you didn't size it manually it would only have increased over the default amount if the system needed it.

 

Thermal paste does not go anywhere.

 

You cannot buy a new mobile CPU...Intel does not sell them to the retail market.  You may be able to find a used CPU salvaged, but they tend to be expensive.  It has to be for the socket.  The cooling system--which I doubt you can replace with a better one because this isn't a desktop--is essentially proprietary.  Unless a hotter CPU model featuring the 940XM was in the model line and required an upgraded heat dissipation system then you are stick.

 

That said:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/322099593334?lpid=82&chn=ps&ul_noapp=true - this is a good price and in the USA

 

http://ark.intel.com/products/43122/Intel-Core-i7-720QM-Processor-6M-Cache-1_60-GHz

http://ark.intel.com/products/43127/Intel-Core-i7-940XM-Processor-Extreme-Edition-8M-Cache-2_13-GHz

 

http://ark.intel.com/compare/49666,43122,43127 - would say the 940XM meets my acceptable upgrade for $170 rating.

Still no way to go to 16GB in that laptop.  So will it work?  No, yes or yes but the BIOS won't correctly name it but it runs so who cares.  Good luck.  10W hotter. 

 

Be sure your BIOS is as up to date as they ever made it before you try the swap to improve your chances.

 

You could also try a i-640M  Way faster but 2 cores. Most games don't use more than two cores, but.... 10W less than now thermally.  The chipsets used in your laptop supported both upgrades.  Dell likely did not include the chips microcode in the BIOS.   But a die shrink.  Next gen family so less likely to work.  $80 gamble. 

https://starmicroinc.net/intel-core-i7-640m-2-8ghz-mobile-oem-cpu-slbtn-cp80617004152ae/ - reputable dealer

 

My recommendation based upon what you state you want: Buy a new gaming laptop or better yet a freaking gaming desktop--a real one not the marketing jobs with "gamer" slapped on them. 


Edited by Fascist Nation, 07 May 2016 - 10:12 PM.


#5 MaggieDarkmoon

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 11:52 PM

Fascist Nation: "Thermal paste does not go anywhere."

No it doesn't go anywhere HOWEVER it does expire and lose efficiency over time just like all things. I just re-did my thermal paste just because, and the stuff was like sand! Afterwards My CPU & GPU dropped 50F each! I guess I didn't replace it a few months ago when I thought I did. Heat problem solved.

 

Thermal paste does expire! I don't care what people say online. Any IT or hardcore gamer who maintains their own machines knows this. People who say that thermal paste doesn't expire... are idiots. I'm just gonna sit there and laugh when their CPU/GPU light up like a bonfire.
 

Fascist Nation: "You cannot buy a new mobile CPU...Intel does not sell them to the retail market.  You may be able to find a used CPU salvaged, but they tend to be expensive.  It has to be for the socket.  The cooling system--which I doubt you can replace with a better one because this isn't a desktop--is essentially proprietary.  Unless a hotter CPU model featuring the 940XM was in the model line and required an upgraded heat dissipation system then you are stick."

Uhuh... there is a brand new one right here (link) and every other one on that list has brand new ones. They may not be fresh from Intel's corp, they could just be ones people never opened. Still none the less it's new, not used at all. You can also custom order all sorts of things from Intel and other brands.
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-i7-940XM-Processor-PGA988A-2-13GHz/dp/B00SGSLLFQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462681989&sr=8-1&keywords=i7+940xm

 

That said:
 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/322099593334?lpid=82&chn=ps&ul_noapp=true - this is a good price and in the USA
 
http://ark.intel.com/products/43122/Intel-Core-i7-720QM-Processor-6M-Cache-1_60-GHz

http://ark.intel.com/products/43127/Intel-Core-i7-940XM-Processor-Extreme-Edition-8M-Cache-2_13-GHz
 
http://ark.intel.com/compare/49666,43122,43127 - would say the 940XM meets my acceptable upgrade for $170 rating.

Uhm, thank you but I will not buy from ebay. ebay supports the seller and not the buyer. I use amazon because they support the buyer not the seller.

I already looked over all of those CPUs. Although I wanted the 940xm normal not extreme. I don't think they are the same because when I looked at (I think) the 920xm the extreme and normal had two different clock speeds.
 

Still no way to go to 16GB in that laptop.  So will it work?  No, yes or yes but the BIOS won't correctly name it but it runs so who cares.  Good luck.  10W hotter. 

 

So I can run the other CPU it would just make my machine hotter?

Alright although in my last reply I did say i'm just going to get a new laptop since a new CPU is half or more of the cost of this new high end machine.
 

Be sure your BIOS is as up to date as they ever made it before you try the swap to improve your chances.

 

I already told Frizzlee my BIOS is at the most up to date version that Dell has provided for this machine. A13. I wish it was that simple of a fix.

 
 

My recommendation based upon what you state you want: Buy a new gaming laptop or better yet a freaking gaming desktop--a real one not the marketing jobs with "gamer" slapped on them.

I would buy a desktop if I didn't need to be so mobile due to my in real life situation. If you look back in the conversation I actually linked the laptop I am wanting to get. I don't know if it's what you'd call up to date for hardcore gamers but I don't tend to play any newly released games. However that machine I know can play the new Doom coming out so I'm happy enough. My normal is just secondlife without all the super fancy settings because I don't care for them.

 



#6 Frizzlee

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 12:10 AM

I do have a new 2016 Dell saved in my amazon wishlist. It'll cost 755$ but it will well exceed my required specs for my daily use. A new CPU that would fit is like 300$-500$, so yeah... I guess I'll just save up for that new computer. In case your interested:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D3G30W2/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=2E1SJ0W5T7RAT&coliid=I1JBSSDI33U87G

 

The only thing I suggest is try to find a machine you like with a SSD inside! You will not regret it. It may be a little extra, but completely worth it!  :bananas:

 

Or swap out the HDD for a SDD.


Edited by Frizzlee, 08 May 2016 - 12:11 AM.





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