Travel back in time... i7-960 upgrade to i7-990X, possible? Worthwhile? - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community
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Travel back in time... i7-960 upgrade to i7-990X, possible? Worthwhile?

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Travel back in time... i7-960 upgrade to i7-990X, possible? Worthwhile?

Hi Overclockers,

I have an aging but still well loved system with:

  • Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R motherboard
  • Intel Core i7-960 3.2GHz 4 core 8MB CPU
  • 24 GB G.SKILL Ripjaws RAM (6 x 4GB DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz (9-9-9-24) F3-12800CL9T-12GBRL)
  • EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti hybrid

I'm thinking of upgrading the CPU to the best available for that motherboard, which appears to be the Core i7-990X 3.46GHz 6 core 12MB. Should I bother?

Is it even possible with my RAM? According to the specs here the i980X/i990X only support DDR3-1066 RAM, and I'm not sure my PC3-12800 qualifies for that - it appears to be running at 800MHz in CPU-Z. I only recently upgraded the RAM, so if it doesn't match, I definitely won't bother with the CPU upgrade until I move to a new chipset completely.

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us...33,47932,52585

Also, bonus question... does this also mean my tri-channel RAM is useless in future chipsets (i.e. I would be happy to stick with 4 x 4GB with a faster CPU/motherboard combination) or is it too slow/incompatible anyway?

Thanks for reading,

Annihilannic

Main system
(11 items)
CPU
Intel Xeon W3680
Motherboard
Gigabyte UD3R-X58A
GPU
EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti hybrid
RAM
G.SKILL RipJaws F3-12800CL9T-12GBRL
Power Supply
Antec
Cooling
Intel stock cooler
Case
Antec Three Hundred
Operating System
Windows 10 Pro
Monitor
Dell P2714H
Monitor
Samsung 730BF 17"
Mouse
Logitech G502
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 04:14 PM
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If you are going to overclock, get something cheap like a $30 Xeon W3670. Same performance as a 980X or 990X.

You can set a divider in the BIOS so your memory runs at its rated speed.
Set the BCLK to 200 MHz and give it however much voltage is necessary until it is stable.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I wasn't planning to overclock, but that sounds like fun and a lot cheaper than the 990X's I've seen so far, so I'll give it a go! Thanks for the tip.

Main system
(11 items)
CPU
Intel Xeon W3680
Motherboard
Gigabyte UD3R-X58A
GPU
EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti hybrid
RAM
G.SKILL RipJaws F3-12800CL9T-12GBRL
Power Supply
Antec
Cooling
Intel stock cooler
Case
Antec Three Hundred
Operating System
Windows 10 Pro
Monitor
Dell P2714H
Monitor
Samsung 730BF 17"
Mouse
Logitech G502
▲ hide details ▲
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 04:27 PM
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I am glad to see another X58 system rocking!

In addition to the suggested W3670 chip, also look at 6 core Xeons. I have an X5670 which has been running in my office machine for the past three years (upgraded from i7 920). Just check your board's compatibility. My EVGA X58 SLI had to be sent to EVGA to enable the CPU compatibility. Those can be had really dirt cheap - $20 shipped!
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Habs007 View Post
I am glad to see another X58 system rocking!

In addition to the suggested W3670 chip, also look at 6 core Xeons. I have an X5670 which has been running in my office machine for the past three years (upgraded from i7 920). Just check your board's compatibility. My EVGA X58 SLI had to be sent to EVGA to enable the CPU compatibility. Those can be had really dirt cheap - $20 shipped!
Seems to be! I'm tending towards the W3690, bit more expensive (still one third of the 990X prices) but higher clock speed...

https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard...rt#support-cpu

ETA: The W3670 and successors are also 6-core, the only difference I can see with the W5 series is 144GB memory and multiple processor support:

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us...17,52586,37113

EATA: Ignore all that, just noticed you said 'X'

Main system
(11 items)
CPU
Intel Xeon W3680
Motherboard
Gigabyte UD3R-X58A
GPU
EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti hybrid
RAM
G.SKILL RipJaws F3-12800CL9T-12GBRL
Power Supply
Antec
Cooling
Intel stock cooler
Case
Antec Three Hundred
Operating System
Windows 10 Pro
Monitor
Dell P2714H
Monitor
Samsung 730BF 17"
Mouse
Logitech G502
▲ hide details ▲

Last edited by Annihilannic; 04-01-2020 at 04:36 PM.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 04:38 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Annihilannic View Post
higher clock speed...
The W3680 and W3690 are basically identical to the 980X and 990X. All of these processors have an unlocked multiplier so they are simple to overclock. Add some voltage, increase the multiplier and you are done.

No use getting the more expensive W3690 over the W3680. The only reason to get the W3680 over the W3670 is for slightly easier overclocking. If you are not an expert at overclocking then increasing the multiplier is usually easier to get stable compared to increasing the BCLK. Both are pretty easy to do.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll look into the W3680 then. Seems my motherboard doesn't (officially) support the 6-core X56xx series, only the 4-core X55xx, but the W3680 is listed so seems like a safe bet.

Main system
(11 items)
CPU
Intel Xeon W3680
Motherboard
Gigabyte UD3R-X58A
GPU
EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti hybrid
RAM
G.SKILL RipJaws F3-12800CL9T-12GBRL
Power Supply
Antec
Cooling
Intel stock cooler
Case
Antec Three Hundred
Operating System
Windows 10 Pro
Monitor
Dell P2714H
Monitor
Samsung 730BF 17"
Mouse
Logitech G502
▲ hide details ▲
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 05:09 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Annihilannic View Post
Thanks, I'll look into the W3680 then. Seems my motherboard doesn't (officially) support the 6-core X56xx series, only the 4-core X55xx, but the W3680 is listed so seems like a safe bet.
W3680 will be an excellent upgrade and keep your system relevant for many more years of service!
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 05:50 PM
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Back in the day, I had a x5650 running on the lower end GA-EX58-UD3R.

I wouldnt worry about compatibility with the xeons. Pretty much if you have support for the 6 core i7s, then the xeons generally work. mostly it was OEM boards like the Alienware and other boards from prebuilts didnt really support the Xeons.

x58 was my all time favorite platform.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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In that case I'm torn between the X5680 and the W3680, which are available here in Australia for around the same prices (AUD $70-$80). Any deciding factors between those... ease of overclocking perhaps?

Main system
(11 items)
CPU
Intel Xeon W3680
Motherboard
Gigabyte UD3R-X58A
GPU
EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti hybrid
RAM
G.SKILL RipJaws F3-12800CL9T-12GBRL
Power Supply
Antec
Cooling
Intel stock cooler
Case
Antec Three Hundred
Operating System
Windows 10 Pro
Monitor
Dell P2714H
Monitor
Samsung 730BF 17"
Mouse
Logitech G502
▲ hide details ▲
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