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Upgradable xeon

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  • Xeon
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Last response: in CPUs
September 3, 2010 1:40:56 PM


I am planning to build a dual Xeon quad (or 6 core) core machine using the Intel S5520SC Shady Cove.

I am wondering if its possible to use a single processor with some type of dummy processor. I want to be able to upgrade to 2 processors down the road when I can afford it.

Ive been searching the forum and haven't been able to find an answer.


More about : upgradable xeon

a c 137 à CPUs
September 3, 2010 2:21:42 PM

New boards detect the cpu and shut off the unused socket.
September 3, 2010 2:31:01 PM

I am looking at Intel Xeon X5680 Westmere 3.33GHz Six-Core , So you saying I can build it like normal and leave the other socket set empty, then later just plug another in and it will just start working!

Another quick questions, I mainly us maya, maxwell and a few parametric programs which are heavy computationally, I know the dual 6 cores would work amazingly for rendering but what type of difference is it between 1 or 2 cpu's when modeling in maya.. any idea?
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February 15, 2011 3:16:48 PM

Hi Blend -

I'm looking to build the exact same system (one X5680 to start, adding a second when i can afford it) - i'm looking at basing it on the Intel S5520SC (Shady Cove) mobo as well.

The specs seems to say there are limitations regarding GPUs (crossfire being limited to cards <300w)... I'm looking at the XFX5770 that seems to draw min. 450W, but only one of them.

Wondering how your system worked out (looks like you were using it for graphics) - did the Shady Cove end up working out? What GPU are you using?

Hope it's all a success story, I'd look forward to some comforting that my system is gonna work!

February 15, 2011 3:18:54 PM

keep in mind that you will need a processor of the same stepping / type .. but ya you can.
February 15, 2011 8:50:23 PM

hey dadiggle -

Thanks for the reply!

i'm using the puter for audio composition and production (not straight ahead-recording live audio.. rather, HEAVY soft synth use that is real cpu instensive, but not gpu intensive).

the x5680 chip is the 1366 interface with dual QPI - (vs. 980x -single QPI) and i'd prefer to spend the couple hundred bucks ONCE, and get a mobo i can grow in to down the road... the other board i'm looking at is the new EVGA Classified SR-2...

That's my biggest/real question:

For what i'm using it for - are there any reasons i should steer clear of either of these boards:

Intel S5520SCR
EVGA Classified SR-2

Thanks for thoughts...

February 15, 2011 10:21:47 PM

EVGA board is the best dual intel board on the market today. Also a single 5680 is going to get it's ass kicked by a cheaper pair of 5620's

Hey - Sorry - didn't see your post from earlier with the links.... good to see that my considering of the sr-2 echoed your previous endorsement!

I hadn't even ever seen the 5620s before - those are ridiculously cost effective!

Have you seen any specs on what OCing x5680s looks like on sr-2 mobos? - though i could easiliy see the dual 5620s kickin the one 5680 (esp. when you take $$ into mind) - i'm thinking of the ridiculous place when, at some point, i put the second 5680 on the sr-2 to have both running....

Either way - looks like you're giving a real + for the sr-2... have you heard of any downfalls (if any) of the S5520SC? - the one big thing seems to be that a) you can't OC CPUs & b) the Crossfire limitations on GPUs that are > 300watt....

Any other thoughts?
February 16, 2011 1:20:49 PM

Thanks to you all for your thoughts and suggestions...

Looks like the best bet is to go for the SR-2 over the S5520SC....


- easier integration for SLI/Xfire
- more PCI expansion options
- 2x SATA3
- USB 3
- overclocking
- I have seen reports of the S5520SC 'running real hot'


- max RAM only 48GB vs. 96GB
- form factor size
- no 1394/Firewire (my sound card is Firewire)

re: processor - though the cost is a lot less, 2 x 2.4gHz 8M Cache Quad 5620s doesn't get me excited as much as (at some point) 2 x 3.33 gHz 12M Cache Hex 5680... the DAWs I use distribute load over cores quite efficiently, BUT some of the plug-ins eat CPUs for breakfast. They easily kack a 2.2 AMD Athlon Quad (yes, yes, no comparison to either of these chips) and the plug-ins are only getting more of an appetite with every new release. I've come to terms with the fact that 15 years ago i used to spend $3K on a high-end consumer computer... now that I am actually a professional in my industry it shouldn't be a stretch to spend $4-6K on a system.... 80% of people in my biz work on Macs (and I just can't go there), but the systems they're on are in that similar price range (familair?) ;) 

As far as video - though there's not really any video processing/modeling/rendering going on per se - there is the multiple display aspect... As it is right now, i've got a dual display set up that i would easily expand into a 3 monitor setup within the one app (Sonar).... Since I creat music for Television/film - i could easily see expanding into other monitors, one dedicated to the source video I'm working on (vs. having it floating in a window on one of the monitors with my DAW), as well as potentially a 5th monitor for playback in a recording booth for talent to be watching.....

Almost seems that Mac users have always had the definitive line between 'consumer' and 'professional' lines of products with price tags to match. As a PC user, that line (for me) seems to have gotten blurred, getting away with the high-end consumer PCs for the past 6-8 years... (whatever the most powerful computer sold at Best Buy or Future Shop was, seemed to get me by for a couple of years)... I'm really looking forward to a computer that I can 'grow in to'....

Thanks again for your posts - you've really convinced me on the SR-2... looking forward to getting this new system even more now!