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To change or not to change CPU; that is the question.

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May 17, 2013 6:20:32 PM

First off, my apologies for such a long post, but its kind of a convoluted story.

I have a bit of a dilemma, and I'm looking for advice, instruction, opinions, chastising, etc. I tried for help on HPs forums to no avail.

I have a pre-built HPE Phoenix h9-1120t which is actually a very decent rig for a prebuilt (I know - go ahead and scoff). I've built several rigs over the past few years, and have had a dozen or so pre-builts over the past 10-15 years as well, and I can say without a doubt that this is by far the best made - most outstanding pre-built rig I've ever had- and I paid just under a $1000 for it. I could not have built this same spec'd rig for less than a grand (and I don't have time to anyway, I work 50-60 hrs/wk - wife-kids, that kind of thing). I think I got a pretty dang good deal + a 2 year warranty.

The current specs of it are:
HP Phoenix OEM case with the red lighting
i7 3770
Pegatron Formosa Z75 mobo
16GB of Crucial Ballistix @ 1600MHz (this is the only out of pocket added parts)
160GB Intel 320 [boot] SSD w/Win 7 Premium
Hitachi 1TB 7200RPM HDD
Corsair TX 650w PSU (already had)
MSI Power Edition GTX 670 OC (gift from my lovely wife)
HP OEM (Asetek made) liquid CPU cooling
HP BDROM
LG2262D 22" 1920x1080 LCD monitor (already had)
Razer Deathadder mouse (already had)

I've really had no issues so far (after about a year) and this is indeed a very fast rig, with a boot time of about 10-12 seconds. With my Power Edition MSI GTX 670 I get crazy good frame rates on ANY game including Crysis 3, BF3, Bioshock Infinite, you name it. I get upper 80s or 90s FPS on any map on BF3 with every single setting maxed on Ultra including HBAO turned on. In fact, I hit triple digits on most maps pretty regularly.

Ok enough about the rig's current specs. This post is because I got a brand new (opened box but brand new) i7 3770k CPU (its a whole different story, and no it's not stolen). I'm trying to decide if I should drop this CPU into my Phoenix, if for no other reason because I can.

You see, the HP Phoenix comes with this CPU option, but I picked the non k at the time because I wasn't planning on overclocking (which I wasn't clear that HP would allow anyway), plus I'm planning on building a Haswell rig sometime next year (It's my plan anyway unless my wife finds out).

My question is this: Should I drop this i7 3770k in my Phoenix? I checked with HP and it WILL NOT void my warranty as it is a supported processor, that is as long as I don't break something in the process, just like when I changed my PSU to the Corsair unit (which I did because it has a much beefier +12v rail than the OEM 600w Delta PSU). You can change/upgrade almost anything in these rigs as long as you don't break something in the process and it's a supported part.

The problem is there is no BIOS update available for my rig, and my BIOS doesn't have any Overclocking option for the k. In other words, the newer version of the American Megatrends Utility within the BIOS of the Phoenix's with the i7 3770k does have an option for Overclocking (although nerfed I know), it still allows for the unlocked multiplier adjustment.

Here is a pic of what that one (not mine) looks like:
http://i1277.photobucket.com/albums/y485/hapkiman1/OCph...

The version of the American Megatrends Utility in that BIOS is 2.15.1226 as you can see from the screen shot. This is not the same as mine which is 2.14.1219. But it is my exact same mobo. My A.M. Utility in my BIOS under the "Power" tab looks the same except the "Overclocking" selection is missing. Only the "Hardware Power Management" and "Thermal" choices are there. How can I update this? Is it possible? HP cust. service has no clue what I am talking about. Trust me I tried. My actual BIOS is AMI v7.09.

Look I know it's the same processor essentially, but I have it, and I've changed quite a few out before so I'm not worried about doing that. It's just that I want this "Overclocking " option in my BIOS, otherwise its a measly 100MHz bump and that's it - so its really not worth it (and yes I know about Intel's Extreme Tuning Utility program).

Since there is no way to flash or update the BIOS (there isn't any updates available for my rig), does anyone out there know if this option will appear when I drop in the new part or not?

Like I said -I can take any opinions, yelling, chastising, go ahead. I'm all ears and I have thick skin. Let me have it.

If I can't have the "Overclocking" option, I'll probably just sell the proc.

Thanks for reading for those of you that made it all the way to the end. You deserve a +1.
:-)

More about : change change cpu question

May 17, 2013 6:29:00 PM

nah you should probably just send it to me bro. in all seriousness, if it doesn't void your warranty, go for it. i mean, it's just the same cpu so you just gotta promise yourself you'll OC the crap out of it. and if your bios doesn't have OC options, see if there's any bios for your mobo that does have those options on google. i personally would just sell the k cpu and buy yourself a giant keg of beer for memorial weekend.
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May 17, 2013 6:34:34 PM

There are some third party software in which you can OC through that. I don't know if it would work on your system though, I know they work on mine but I built mine and it's an AMD rig...
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May 17, 2013 6:34:51 PM

I would stick with the non-k 3770. Unless you do a lot of CPU intensive work, the 3770 is already overkill for most games out there. Overclocking is something most people do when they are trying to get the most bang for their buck, or trying to set records. If you aren't too interested in either, save yourself the trouble, because a good, stable overclock takes time to achieve, and that seems to be something you may not have a great supply of.

As for your BIOS, try the latest BIOS update from HP, and if that doesn't work, maybe it has to do with the fact that your system was pre-built with a 3770 and wasn't planned for overclocking. And that brings us back to the first part; if you aren't going to overclock, no need to worry about the BIOS.

The bottom line is, consider the amount of time it'll take to figure out your BIOS situation and achieve the overclock you want, and consider the possible benefits you'll actually notice. I don't know about you, but anything past 60 or so frames per second doesn't make a difference to me, and besides, unless you have a 120Hz monitor, you ain't gonna see all them frames!
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May 17, 2013 6:51:00 PM

thismafiaguy said:
I would stick with the non-k 3770. Unless you do a lot of CPU intensive work, the 3770 is already overkill for most games out there. Overclocking is something most people do when they are trying to get the most bang for their buck, or trying to set records. If you aren't too interested in either, save yourself the trouble, because a good, stable overclock takes time to achieve, and that seems to be something you may not have a great supply of.

As for your BIOS, try the latest BIOS update from HP, and if that doesn't work, maybe it has to do with the fact that your system was pre-built with a 3770 and wasn't planned for overclocking. And that brings us back to the first part; if you aren't going to overclock, no need to worry about the BIOS.

The bottom line is, consider the amount of time it'll take to figure out your BIOS situation and achieve the overclock you want, and consider the possible benefits you'll actually notice. I don't know about you, but anything past 60 or so frames per second doesn't make a difference to me, and besides, unless you have a 120Hz monitor, you ain't gonna see all them frames!




i agree with this. unless you care tons about the minimum frames dippin low, there's no reason to go above 60fps. i myself am a HUGE fps snob, so when things start dippin down to like 40fps i get furious and i OC the crap out of my cpu it's seriously a disgusting habit i wish i wasn't like i am. but to each their own if you don't mind dips here and there in frames, just stick with what you got, sell that K, and holy cow bro get a huge keg of beer!
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