Chad Don Cooper Projects and ponderings…


771 – 775 Xeon CPU Mod

Through some late night surfing I recently discovered the socket 771 to 775 CPU mod. Provided you have a socket 775 Intel motherboard with a supported chipset, there's a good chance you can run a server class Xeon CPU in your humble old desktop motherboard.

Knowing this, curiosity got the better of me, not least since I had a salvaged EVGA nForce 790i Ultra SLI Motherboard sat in my garage which I've been meaning to test for ages anyway. The motherboard is pretty nice considering it's 8 years old. Triple SLI, DDR3, 1600MHZ FSB... I always felt having it collecting cobwebs.

One (albet expensive at £10) pre-flashed BIOS chip later I was ready to look at which CPU to buy. Now the fastest CPU, which actually demands a 1600MHz bus is the 3.4GHz 12MB Intel Xeon X5492, but those are running at £60+ due to the increased demand. Although the board is probably worth £100 working on eBay, I wasn't about to risk buying a CPU for an untested board. Instead I opted for an Intel Xeon X5460 3.16GHz 12MB cache with a FSB of 1333MHz, the same as the RAM I had. Given that it cost me £20 delivered from Korea, I plan on overclocking it as much as humanely possible using the 1600Mhz headroom.

The mod is pretty simple. You connect some of the pins on the underside of the CPU with a pre-made piece of tape and cut the tabs off the CPU socket allowing the chip to sit flush.
I've not had time to test yet as I need to source a cheap PSU for the build. Speaking of which I've also got an Ati 7850 with a blown mosfet and chipped resistor to fix, if that happens then I could have a nice little ghetto gaming rig.

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