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Old Dell mobo with Xeon processor...

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February 4, 2011 5:30:50 PM

Hey everybody,

There is an old Dell machine using the Dell Precision WorkStation 530mt motherboard. The processor is a Xeon 2ghz Socket 603.

Online I found a socket 3ghz Xeon for not much money at all and was wondering if there would be any compatability issues?

Also if anybody is familiar with WCG if there would be much of a performance boost?

I know its an old machine but it just sits here and I figure it can do some crunching in the background...

http://www.compuvest.com/Desc.jsp?iid=479610
a c 99 à CPUs
February 4, 2011 5:50:32 PM

JDub_68 said:
Hey everybody,

There is an old Dell machine using the Dell Precision WorkStation 530mt motherboard. The processor is a Xeon 2ghz Socket 603.

Online I found a socket 3ghz Xeon for not much money at all and was wondering if there would be any compatability issues?

Also if anybody is familiar with WCG if there would be much of a performance boost?

I know its an old machine but it just sits here and I figure it can do some crunching in the background...

http://www.compuvest.com/Desc.jsp?iid=479610


You might actually have some compatibility problems running those 3 GHz chips in your motherboard. There are three different Socket 603 Xeons out there: the original 180 nm "Foster" units with 256 KB L2 cache, 130 nm "Prestonia" units with 512 KB of L2 cache, and then 130 nm "Gallatin" units with 512 KB L2 cache and 1-4 MB of L3 cache. The CPU at Compuvest is one of the Prestonias.

Generally you would want to look at the vendor's website to see what CPUs are supported by the board you have. There isn't much information about the 530MT online, but the one thing I did find out is that it uses RDRAM memory. That means the chipset is an i860 and quite a few i860-based boards do not support anything besides Fosters. The Fosters came in speeds up to 2.0 GHz, and Prestonias start at 1.6 GHz, so your 2.0 GHz chips could be either. If your existing chip is a Prestonia, then the 3 GHz units will work. If it's a Foster, then it might work but might not work. If you want to tell what CPUs you already have, either fire up a program like CPU-Z, go into the BIOS and see how much L2 cache each chip has, or go pull the CPUs from the motherboard and look at the gold writing underneath the CPU. The third number is the cache, so a Foster would say something like "2000DP/256L2/400/1.75V" and a Prestonia would say something like "2000DP/512L2/400/1.5V" (bolding mine.)
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February 4, 2011 5:59:26 PM

I thought Prestonias and Gallatins were socket 604?
Not 603.
Could be wrong...
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Related resources
February 4, 2011 6:04:34 PM

Using EVEREST Home Edition it id's the CPU as following to be exact :) 

Intel Xeon, 2000mhz
Prestonia
x86, MMX, SSE, SSE2
L2 Cache 512 kb
603 Pin Socket Type

Is that enough info?

By the way awesome response MU_Engineer, thanks a lot!
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February 4, 2011 6:18:23 PM

king smp said:
I thought Prestonias and Gallatins were socket 604?
Not 603.
Could be wrong...


Prestonias are available in both forms, with the 400 MHz FSB versions being put into Socket 603 packaging while the 533 MHz FSB units were put in Socket 604 packaging. The Xeon MP Gallatins were all Socket 603, while the Xeon DP Gallatins were all Socket 604.
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a c 99 à CPUs
February 4, 2011 6:20:30 PM

JDub_68 said:
Using EVEREST Home Edition it id's the CPU as following to be exact :) 

Intel Xeon, 2000mhz
Prestonia
x86, MMX, SSE, SSE2
L2 Cache 512 kb
603 Pin Socket Type

Is that enough info?

By the way awesome response MU_Engineer, thanks a lot!


Yup, that's enough information. You've got a Prestonia, the 3.0 GHz Prestonia thus should work for you.
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February 4, 2011 6:25:43 PM

MU_Engineer said:
Prestonias are available in both forms, with the 400 MHz FSB versions being put into Socket 603 packaging while the 533 MHz FSB units were put in Socket 604 packaging. The Xeon MP Gallatins were all Socket 603, while the Xeon DP Gallatins were all Socket 604.


Got to love Intel with the socket changes LOL
Should have known not to doubt you. :) 
Thats why I put in "could be wrong" to cover myself
Thanks for the info.

I do know that in US ebay that older Xeons used from stripped server and workstations are cheap.
I bought two 3.2 L3 1mb s604 from a recycler in Arizona for under $20 USD.
alot of business class equipment is scrapped properly unlike home towers so the supply is plentifull.
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February 4, 2011 6:29:13 PM

Thanks a lot guys, really helpful!
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February 4, 2011 6:40:45 PM

king smp said:
Got to love Intel with the socket changes LOL


Intel didn't stay with Socket 603 very long, and the only reason I can think of is the oddball packaging in Socket 603 with the BGA chip sitting on an interposer was more difficult to make than the more normal Socket 604 packaging where the die sat directly on the package substrate. Intel sure had Socket 604 stick around a long time, though as it was their Xeon MP socket until LGA1567 came out in 2010.

Quote:
I do know that in US ebay that older Xeons used from stripped server and workstations are cheap.
I bought two 3.2 L3 1mb s604 from a recycler in Arizona for under $20 USD.
alot of business class equipment is scrapped properly unlike home towers so the supply is plentifull.


Server parts are super plentiful on eBay and most are very reasonably priced if they are more than a generation behind current. You also don't have to worry too much about them being abused and being flaky as you do with consumer parts, since servers can't be overclocked and are generally run by people with at least half a clue. I have gotten several pieces of old server equipment off eBay and think it's great. I also got two Socket 604 3.2 GHz Gallatins off eBay from a recycler as well, and IIRC they cost about $25 for the pair.
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February 4, 2011 7:29:48 PM

" Intel sure had Socket 604 stick around a long time, though as it was their Xeon MP socket until LGA1567 came out in 2010."

Do you teach a class anywhere near New Jersey USA?
I would definiltley pay to be in that class :) 
Those old dual Xeons from about 2004-2005 can still be pretty useful.
I upgraded from mine only because the mobo/chipset only supported IDE and AGP.
As far as processor(s) went for what I used it for browsing,encoding/ripping,audio mixing/photoshop it still was viable.
Of course even a 1.8ghz Core2Duo will outperform a dual 3.2ghz and at lower temps and wattage.
But back in their day those dual xeon workstations were top of the line systems.
The dell rep told me that my Dell Precision 450 sold for about $4000 brand new.
Now it is a $150 USD on Craigslist LOL







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February 4, 2011 8:01:54 PM

king smp said:

Do you teach a class anywhere near New Jersey USA?
I would definiltley pay to be in that class :) 


Nope, I work in healthcare in the Midwest. Computers are a hobby of mine and I particularly like server hardware, so that's why I know a bit about it.

Quote:
Those old dual Xeons from about 2004-2005 can still be pretty useful.
I upgraded from mine only because the mobo/chipset only supported IDE and AGP.
As far as processor(s) went for what I used it for browsing,encoding/ripping,audio mixing/photoshop it still was viable.
Of course even a 1.8ghz Core2Duo will outperform a dual 3.2ghz and at lower temps and wattage.
But back in their day those dual xeon workstations were top of the line systems.
The dell rep told me that my Dell Precision 450 sold for about $4000 brand new.
Now it is a $150 USD on Craigslist LOL


Old server gear is still pretty useful for certain tasks, mostly because it can hold reasonable amounts of memory and has a decent amount of bus bandwidth. The old dual 3.2 GHz Xeon setup I have is being used as a file server. No desktop from earlier than 2005-2006 or so would work since they were all standard PCI-based and would bottleneck horribly. The old servers with multiple PCI-X buses can handle much more bandwidth and are much cheaper than buying newer desktop hardware and PCIe controllers to do the same tasks, plus the old servers are still more reliable. They do chew up a few more watts than a newer desktop and require larger cases, but that's a tradeoff I am willing to make :D  In fact, I am probably going to be getting another old server with a bunch of PCI-X slots and dual-port gigabit cards to make a firewall/router here in the not so distant future. I'm sick of dealing with non-upgradeable, underpowered, frequently-dying consumer routers and can't afford enterprise network hardware, so I'll roll my own.
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February 4, 2011 8:35:01 PM

:Nope, I work in healthcare in the Midwest. Computers are a hobby of mine and I particularly like server hardware, so that's why I know a bit about it."
know a bit about it....
I am 40 and have owned a computer since 1981.
I have had vocational ac/dc electricity and electronics.
Even took classes in the 80's studying BASIC and PASCAL
I repair/refurb/sell them for a living.
You usually "take me to school" with some of your posts.
I better study harder LOL
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April 4, 2011 11:54:00 AM

JDub_68 said:
Hey everybody,

There is an old Dell machine using the Dell Precision WorkStation 530mt motherboard. The processor is a Xeon 2ghz Socket 603.

Online I found a socket 3ghz Xeon for not much money at all and was wondering if there would be any compatability issues?

Also if anybody is familiar with WCG if there would be much of a performance boost?

I know its an old machine but it just sits here and I figure it can do some crunching in the background...

http://www.compuvest.com/Desc.jsp?iid=479610


Hi all,

I currently run my dell precision 530 with two gallatin sl79v's (3.0ghz with 4mb cache each) and 4GB of pc800 rambus rimms on riser cards, this combined with an hd3850 agp card makes it run all new games like crysis2, bioschock 2, battlefield bad company , etc.. etc..

People are amazed on how fast it is and all panic if I show them the motherboard from 2001 :)  :) 
Am now going to buy an pci-x sas card to hook it up to an ssd boot disk with dual 15k sas disks for fast data, I have even ordered an pci-x to pci-e 4x epansion card (pex8114) so that I can connect the latest pci express videocard to it.... can't wait to get the results in.

Friendly greets

Kevin

p.s: not every ws 530 motherboard can handle the sl79v's for that you need at least bios a11
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April 4, 2011 6:11:33 PM

kdevries said:
Hi all,

I currently run my dell precision 530 with two gallatin sl79v's (3.0ghz with 4mb cache each) and 4GB of pc800 rambus rimms on riser cards, this combined with an hd3850 agp card makes it run all new games like crysis2, bioschock 2, battlefield bad company , etc.. etc..

People are amazed on how fast it is and all panic if I show them the motherboard from 2001 :)  :) 
Am now going to buy an pci-x sas card to hook it up to an ssd boot disk with dual 15k sas disks for fast data, I have even ordered an pci-x to pci-e 4x epansion card (pex8114) so that I can connect the latest pci express videocard to it.... can't wait to get the results in.

Friendly greets

Kevin

p.s: not every ws 530 motherboard can handle the sl79v's for that you need at least bios a11


I just retired my Dell Precision 450 dual Prestonia 3.2ghz 1mb L3 this past December
She was still more than capable as an office/encoding/ripping/light gaming rig but I needed to move on to Sata/PCI-E
Parts for her were getting too expensive (have you seen the prices for old AGP cards on Ebay!!!)
I still have a soft spot for that old tower :) 
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April 4, 2011 6:34:22 PM

Quote:
how's you monstrosity of a unit running, any upgrades or changes to it.?


It's running very well and is about as stable of a machine as I've ever worked on. The only changes I've made to it since I put it together was to cut holes in the side panel of the case for six 120 mm fans to blow cool air at the motherboard and to remove the external SCSI knockout panel below the I/O port bracket to install a 92 mm exhaust fan, which is the biggest that would fit there. The only problem with the case is that it doesn't have all that great of airflow but it is big enough to stuff a lot of seriously hot parts inside. Those changes helped quite a bit, although I think I will want to remove the four 92 mm left front intake fans and attach them with silicone sealant to dampen their vibration and thus cut the noise by a lot. About the only thing I would think about upgrading in the next couple of years would be to swap out the Opteron 6128s for some Bulldozer-based Opteron 6200s since the motherboard will take them. I'm planning to wait for them to show up on eBay for cheap before doing that, so it might be a couple of years.

king smp said:
I just retired my Dell Precision 450 dual Prestonia 3.2ghz 1mb L3 this past December
She was still more than capable as an office/encoding/ripping/light gaming rig but I needed to move on to Sata/PCI-E
Parts for her were getting too expensive (have you seen the prices for old AGP cards on Ebay!!!)
I still have a soft spot for that old tower :) 


That's the rub, machines of that era are pretty much incompatible with modern hardware and when stuff on them dies or needs upgraded, it gets pricey and it is frequently just better off to retire the older machines. They don't have SATA ports, PCI Express, or even USB 2.0 in most cases so you are stuck using a bunch of PCI/PCI-X add-in cards to try to interface with modern hardware. The old LSI Logic PCI-X SATA controller card in my dual Gallatin system recently decided to flake out on me and start ignoring attached HDDs until it simply refused to work at all. The motherboard has no PCIe slots or onboard SATA ports, so it was pretty much unusable without that card. I ended up getting a TYAN dual Socket 940 motherboard with PCIe and four SATA-300 ports + 2 GB of RAM + two Opteron 265s for quite a bit less than a halfway-decent used PCI-X card for the old Gallatin board. The fact that the Opteron setup uses less power and is considerably more powerful is just icing on the cake.
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April 4, 2011 7:07:04 PM

Quote:
^
motherboard will take the Bulldozer new technology.?
i haven't look into that, seems to good to be true.
can't wait for real benchmarks.


Socket C34 and G34 motherboards are able to take Bulldozer-based CPUs, since the sockets were introduced only about a year ago and are backwards-compatible with nothing. AMD apparently designed the sockets and the associated platform to be able to take Bulldozers from the get-go.
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April 4, 2011 8:52:28 PM

Quote:
^
seems that you are set then..
ever game on that beast of yours.?


I very occasionally will play Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Sauerbraten, or a similar game. My system handles them very well, but mostly because the games are older and/or pretty graphically undemanding. Games don't scale well beyond about 3-4 cores at the moment, so my machine essentially acts like a 2.0 GHz Phenom II X4 with a GTS250. That's not really all that impressive. It should be able to handle current AAA games acceptably (e.g. being able to keep above 30 fps at low-medium detail at the monitor's native resolution) but certainly not brag-worthy. Now video encoding, disk image compression, and code compiling is a much, much different story as my machine would leave i7-990Xs in the dust almost all of the time. Those are the tasks I got the machine for and it handles them very well. Gaming wasn't much of a priority.
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April 5, 2011 12:27:24 AM

Quote:
^
understood.
you have an actual workstation, not just a rig posing as a workstation..


Yup, I'm a workstation/server kind of guy, not a gamer. My other machines are an HTPC powered by a TYAN i7520SD server board and two Xeon LV 2.00s (essentially Core Duo T2500s), a file server powered by a TYAN Tiger K8WE workstation board with two Opteron 265s, and a Dell Latitude E5400 laptop (go look at a picture of one, it's what comes to mind when you think of "corporate laptop") that spends >95% of its runtime at work. All of them run Linux- the HTPC runs i686 Gentoo and the rest of them run Debian 6.0 amd64. I got bitten by the "Real Work Machine" bug, not the gaming bug. :D  Nothing against gaming, but I think my niche is in professional/enterprise hardware.
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April 5, 2011 12:56:31 AM

Quote:
^
a linux freak too... LOL.


It's mostly due to me liking Linux, but also due to economic reasons. Buying Windows isn't cheap, especially the Business or Ultimate versions that can recognize two CPUs. And no, I don't particularly care to find out what rootkit is embedded in a warez version of Windows, which is why I would buy it if I used it. Putting Windows on my three machines that came as parts and thus didn't come with any preinstalled OS. Linux is freely available and runs very well on workstation/server hardware. There's really no reason for me not to use it. However, I'm not one of those Linux zealots so don't worry about that.
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April 28, 2011 1:48:49 PM

king smp said:
I just retired my Dell Precision 450 dual Prestonia 3.2ghz 1mb L3 this past December
She was still more than capable as an office/encoding/ripping/light gaming rig but I needed to move on to Sata/PCI-E
Parts for her were getting too expensive (have you seen the prices for old AGP cards on Ebay!!!)
I still have a soft spot for that old tower :) 


It is going to be tough for me too to let go of my trusty old ws530 for the moment she still doing fine, got the sata/sas card in and that should give her an another year or so...., linux runs great on it... compiled a low latency pre-emptive monolotic kernel (no modules support :, just the drivers for the hardware that is there).
Am going to order a chieftec 4x sas backplane and 4x 15k 147gb (very good price on these), the nice thing is that I can migrate all sata/sas components to my next machine (dell 7400 low entry and update it in the future)

Nice to have discovered that I am not the only workstation fan :)  ... love to have server technology on my desk

greets
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April 28, 2011 3:40:55 PM

I would love to have a newer dual Xeon setup again but they are so expensive :cry: 

I almost had a Dell Precision 3500 (?) with two dual core xeons for $375
but the wife wanted to go on a family vacation (darn women and their priorities-they just dont understand!)
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May 2, 2011 7:06:04 AM

Yeaah those xeons run pretty good.
Am getting an precision 690 or a t-series dell for my next machine
Like you I would also love to have two fully blown duocore's rather then two quads (will wait untill these become cheaper and then upgrade)

Again nice to read that dual xeon workstation's are so beloved

:) 

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May 2, 2011 7:31:29 AM

I dound a use for the Old Duallie
I started doing network rendering so
now she is a headless tower with a stripped OS
and just gets fed video render jobs from my main tower
so my main tower isnt tied up with %100 cpu usage
The jobs are not time critical (videos for Youtube and daughter's PSP)
it is only used a couple of times a week so it is turned off
normally to save electricity

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