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Swapping out my motherboard and PSU.

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December 8, 2012 7:17:38 PM

Hello,

I have a dell 9100 (forgive me) and was looking to swap out a couple parts. Essentially I want to be able to overclock my i7 920 to about 3.4ghz if at all possible. Based on my limited knowledge I'm thinking for sure I'll have to change my motherboard and PSU, could you guys give me some recommendations with the idea that I will try to overclock my cpu to 3.4ghz. I have a 5870 that I wont be touching, but perhaps the suggestions will account for me swapping that out further down the line?

Thanks in advance!
a c 125 K Overclocking
a c 248 V Motherboard
December 8, 2012 7:27:43 PM

First, access the bios and see if there are some options to OC your cpu without changing the motherboard.
On a I7-920 you are looking for the ability to increase the FSB.

You probably can keep your psu if it is working well with your 5870.
A 550w psu can run a card as good as a 7970 or GTX680.
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a b K Overclocking
a b V Motherboard
December 8, 2012 8:58:00 PM

You would probably have to reinstall Windows when you swap the motherboard, keep that in mind.
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December 8, 2012 9:38:04 PM

geofelt said:
First, access the bios and see if there are some options to OC your cpu without changing the motherboard.
On a I7-920 you are looking for the ability to increase the FSB.

You probably can keep your psu if it is working well with your 5870.
A 550w psu can run a card as good as a 7970 or GTX680.


Currently I have a 525 Watt psu, but if you think It'll hold up that's great. I have looked through the bios and there is no option from what I can see (no MB Intelligent Tweaker). Unless there is another option?
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December 8, 2012 9:38:51 PM

Deemo13 said:
You would probably have to reinstall Windows when you swap the motherboard, keep that in mind.


Thanks, that's not a problem.
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a c 125 K Overclocking
a c 248 V Motherboard
December 8, 2012 10:46:55 PM

What size motherboard does your case take? ATX, M-ATX?
You will need a X58 based motherboard which is two generations obsolete.

I would seriously consider marketing your i5-920 on E-bay, you will get about $90 for it.
Then buy a 2500K or 3570K and a Z77 based motherboard.
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a b K Overclocking
a b V Motherboard
December 9, 2012 5:27:41 AM

I don't think the 920 is all that old.
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December 9, 2012 10:50:25 AM

geofelt said:
What size motherboard does your case take? ATX, M-ATX?
You will need a X58 based motherboard which is two generations obsolete.

I would seriously consider marketing your i5-920 on E-bay, you will get about $90 for it.
Then buy a 2500K or 3570K and a Z77 based motherboard.


I'm not sure about the size, but from looking inside, my motherboard has "5DN3X" written on it. Thanks for the suggestion but I'm thinking as long as I can get my 920 to a stable 3.4ghz I'll be happy.

Also, kind of off-track but are there major differences between my i7 920 at 3.4ghz and a 2500k which I think runs at 3.3ghz? I'm mainly using this PC for gaming so not looking for anything overkill.
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a c 125 K Overclocking
a c 248 V Motherboard
December 9, 2012 1:56:53 PM

Dan_Veracity said:
I'm not sure about the size, but from looking inside, my motherboard has "5DN3X" written on it. Thanks for the suggestion but I'm thinking as long as I can get my 920 to a stable 3.4ghz I'll be happy.

Also, kind of off-track but are there major differences between my i7 920 at 3.4ghz and a 2500k which I think runs at 3.3ghz? I'm mainly using this PC for gaming so not looking for anything overkill.


I think this is your motherboard:
http://www.ascendtech.us/dell-5dn3x-studio-xps-9100-mot...

It has 7 expansion slots, so it is a ATX size.
Your case will also fit a smaller M-ATX or even ITX sized motherboard.

For gaming, you need fast cores, and really only 2-3 of them for most games.
The hyperthreads on your i7-920 will rarely get used, and If you can, I would suggest you disable hyperthreading in the bios if you can.
They use residual cycles of the main core, and are, perhaps equivalent to 1/4 of a full core.
If a game is not hyperthreading aware, it could get dispatched on one of the slower hyperthreads.
A overclock to 3.4 should be possible. It represents about 25% over stock.

Passmark rates a i7-920 @2.67 as 5008. If we deduct 25% for the performance due to the hyperthreads, then the base rating is 3756 for gaming at stock.
Applying a 25% overclock to 3.4, you get a gaming rating of 5008.

For a 2500K @3.3, the passmark rating is 6845. Applying a 30% overclock to 4.3, you get a gaming rating of 8898.

A 3570K@3.4 has a base rating of 7130. Applying a conservative OC of 25% to 4.3 you get a gaming rating of 8912.

Considering that a 3570K runs cooler with a more conservative OC, and that it sells near the 2500K price, I would favor the 3570K for gaming.

If you live near a microcenter, they will sell you a 2500K for $160, or a 3570K for $170. A nice deal except for the 8.5% sales tax.

You should be able to find a Z77 based motherboard for <$110.

By comparison, X58 based motherboards tend to be more expensive, in the $150-$200 range.

Lastly, you probably will not need to reinstall windows 7 if you change your motherboard.
I changed out my son's X58 based motherboard for a 1156 based motherboard, and windows booted, allowing me to only need to install the chipset drivers from the cd included with the new motherboard.
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December 9, 2012 2:20:54 PM

Best answer selected by Dan_Veracity.
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December 9, 2012 2:24:26 PM

geofelt said:
I think this is your motherboard:
http://www.ascendtech.us/dell-5dn3x-studio-xps-9100-mot...

It has 7 expansion slots, so it is a ATX size.
Your case will also fit a smaller M-ATX or even ITX sized motherboard.

For gaming, you need fast cores, and really only 2-3 of them for most games.
The hyperthreads on your i7-920 will rarely get used, and If you can, I would suggest you disable hyperthreading in the bios if you can.
They use residual cycles of the main core, and are, perhaps equivalent to 1/4 of a full core.
If a game is not hyperthreading aware, it could get dispatched on one of the slower hyperthreads.
A overclock to 3.4 should be possible. It represents about 25% over stock.

Passmark rates a i7-920 @2.67 as 5008. If we deduct 25% for the performance due to the hyperthreads, then the base rating is 3756 for gaming at stock.
Applying a 25% overclock to 3.4, you get a gaming rating of 5008.

For a 2500K @3.3, the passmark rating is 6845. Applying a 30% overclock to 4.3, you get a gaming rating of 8898.

A 3570K@3.4 has a base rating of 7130. Applying a conservative OC of 25% to 4.3 you get a gaming rating of 8912.

Considering that a 3570K runs cooler with a more conservative OC, and that it sells near the 2500K price, I would favor the 3570K for gaming.

If you live near a microcenter, they will sell you a 2500K for $160, or a 3570K for $170. A nice deal except for the 8.5% sales tax.

You should be able to find a Z77 based motherboard for <$110.

By comparison, X58 based motherboards tend to be more expensive, in the $150-$200 range.

Lastly, you probably will not need to reinstall windows 7 if you change your motherboard.
I changed out my son's X58 based motherboard for a 1156 based motherboard, and windows booted, allowing me to only need to install the chipset drivers from the cd included with the new motherboard.


Thanks a bunch! At this rate I think I will wait it out a bit longer and just upgrade to a Z77 and a 2500k, as I don't want to be paying comparable amounts for a x58 only to have to upgrade sooner.
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a c 125 K Overclocking
a c 248 V Motherboard
December 9, 2012 2:38:28 PM

Dan_Veracity said:
Thanks a bunch! At this rate I think I will wait it out a bit longer and just upgrade to a Z77 and a 2500k, as I don't want to be paying comparable amounts for a x58 only to have to upgrade sooner.


With haswell due to arrive in next spring, that might be an opportune time to upgrade.
Haswell will bring another 15% price performance boost, and will need a new lga 1150 motherboard.

On the other hand, if you need an upgrade now, and a 2500K or 3570K is right, you will have no compelling need to upgrade to haswell.
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