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Compatibility of Xeon 5xxx in my board

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Hi everyone,

I found a cheap Xeon L5640 online and I'm considering buying and overclocking it, but I am wondering if it is compatible with my motherboard. It's not stated on ASUS's site, so I am wondering if there is any chance it would work. I do a lot of heavily multithreaded video and photo processing work and I so I can gain a lot from the extra 2 cores if I can get the CPU to work. Thanks for the help.
 

bogmali

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It should be compatible, Westmere's and Nehalem's are identical except one is 32nm while the other is 45nm, also the 2 additional cores. It'll drop right in, make sure your BIOS is version 1501 which is the newest.
 

Fitseries3

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it will work. make sure bios is up to date before you put the new chip in.
 
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Thanks for the help guys. I just placed the order, and I'll reply to this thread once I receive and test it.
 

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Stop

Don't buy a Xeon "L" if your intention is to overclock it. You *might* be able to OC it a little. But the "L" series are low power and already at the edge of their performance envelope. If you want to OC get the regular "E" versions. I know this from experience. No problem OC an "E" by 20% and be 100% stable with proper cooling. Thermal management would kick in if not properly cooled resulting in lower than expected performance, but it was still 100% stable. Whereas, I couldnt even get the "L" to boot on OC, let alone run stable.
 

Fitseries3

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L's OC similar to E's and X's... they just have lower multi's to keep TDP down.

dont expect 4ghz out of the L chips though

~220bclk is max
 
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I'm looking to reasonably get 3.6GHz out of it, which would mean 200 bclk. I want to leave a little margin for thermal headroom since my water loop would be at its limits with a 4GHz processor due to my use of low speed fans. I can switch my order to an E5649, which is the same price, a little faster, but potentially would use more power when overclocked. Do you think that switching would be a wise choice?
 
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They're both the same price. Is there any power advantage (when overclocked) to one over the other? I'm assuming the L is a better-binned processor, but am I wrong?
 

Fitseries3

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L is just low power. unless you are running it 100% load 24/7 you wont notice a huge difference in power bill.
 
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But would the L achieve the overclock at a lower voltage than the E or is there no difference?
 

Fitseries3

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not lower voltage no.... just lower TDP aka power draw.

when you OC though.... you increase the TDP so its probably gonna draw same amount of power as any 6core cpu at that speed.
 
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OK, thanks for the help Fitseries3, I'm going to stick with the L5640 instead of switching to the E5649.
 
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I just received my CPU this morning. I ended up going for the E5649 instead of the L5640. It does work in the board, and I am typing this post on that system.

There are some quirks with the Xeon compared to an i7 in this board. The max 6-core turbo is supposed to be +2 as with all the 2xQPI Xeons, but it only turbos to +1 as an i7 would. The memory multiplier is limited to either 6x or 8x, but this isn't a big issue since the higher memory multipliers are useless at high bclk. The biggest issue is that the CPU is locked with an uncore:bclk ratio of 18:1, which kind of hinders overclocking.

I have successfully gotten this CPU to work at 4GHz (200bclk x 20) @ 1.3V. I'm sure I could get it to work at lower voltages, which I will try soon, but I want to confirm that this voltage is stable first. It has already passed 10 "high stress level" instances of IntelBurnTest, and I plan to run it longer just to ensure stability.

What I am worried about is the QPI/VTT voltage. Since at 200bclk the uncore is forced to run at 3.6GHz, it needs a high VTT. I am using 1.4V, and the system becomes unstable any lower, even at 1.3925V. I want this system to last at least two years, so I am wondering if this voltage level will kill the CPU prematurely. I see specifications online stating that the Gulftown max safe VTT is 1.35-1.4V, but I have also read that this depends on CPU temperature as well. At 4.0GHz and IntelBurnTest load the CPU is at 55°C, which I'm not sure is low enough to enable these higher voltages. I know that this is a high temperature for a water cooling system, but I have my loop tuned to be quiet at the expense of slightly higher temperatures.

Please reply with any advice or thoughts on this setup. Thanks!
 
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OK, the CPU is stable, and I was able to get the core voltage a little lower. I still have to tweak the memory since it's only running at 1200MHz CL7 right now and I want to get it to 1600MHz, preferably at CL8 and not CL9. My settings are:

4.0 GHz Core (200bclk x 20)
Vcore: 1.288V (at max load, using offset)
3.6 GHz Uncore (200bclk x 18)
VTT/QPI: 1.400V
1.20 GHz Memory (200bclk x 6) CL7
Vmem: 1.65V

60°C max IntelBurnTest 8GB

The question still stands though, will the high VTT kill the CPU prematurely?
 

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If ya got one of the boards with a funky socket, then yes, it might, based on where damage to CPU has been on those boards. However, 1.35 V or 1.4 V seems a common setting in XMP for many high-performance DIMMs, so should be fine if ya got a reliable board.
 
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OK, one final question. If the high voltage was killing the CPU, would the CPU slowly degrade over time and become unreliable at the higher clocks, or would it just die unexpectedly one day and not start? I'm OK with the first scenario, since the CPU would still work at stock speeds, but I don't want the latter to happen.
 
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