Question A CPU upgrade - but what of power and other dangers?

mft004

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Hello wizards; I am a novice and I seek your guidance.

My machine is a mostly stock Dell 8940; it came with i7 10700 2.9ghz, 8gb RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB - I just added a spare RAM stick to make it 16gb RAM total.
I want to to upgrade the CPU so that the base clock truly is no less than 3.4ghz and I've identified the i7 11700k 3.6ghz as a possibility - given that both CPUs use the same LGA1200 socket for my Dell's H470 chipset.
The question is, will this single change be too much for my PSU, or could it do some other damage to that stock XPS build, which in either case will lead to power-offs and a reduction of the PC to dust? The PSU is 'Model L360EBM-00', or 'Dell P/N 2VDOG', so I'm guessing 360watts.
I admit my reasons for the upgrade are odd. Battlefield 2 is a 2005 title which has mods supporting up to 64 ai players, but it only uses one core. So you can have the most powerful GPU and plenty of RAM but if the base clock speed of the processor is below say 3.4ghz, expect slideshow city when all 64 players are engaged on a close quarters combat map. A few years back my old PC had an i7 4790, a humble thing today but it had 3.6ghz base clock and handled Bf2 with ease. So it's a frustrating mistake I've made assuming that this newer Dell could do better without checking a simple thing like base clock. But perhaps an upgrade is possible rather than buying a whole new machine. Please do let me know your thoughts!

Kind regards,
Mark
 

CompuGuy71

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Upgrading the CPU of a pre-built machine is a difficult task at the best of times. It can totally be done but it'll most likely throw you some more hardware change messages when you try to boot.

Some machines, if windows notices a big hardware change it'll deactivate your OS. Depending on how your machine was set up when you bought it that motherboard could be locked to that CPU and that CPU to that board. I don't think Dell locks their machines like some of the other OEMs but I'd bet they don't make it super easy to do.
 

mft004

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At the time of the Dell purchase I did also buy a cooler, though didn't install it and forgot about it at the time because I didn't have thermal paste. This is the cooler: "VWD01 For DELL XPS 8940 Dell G5 5090 CPU Cooler fan with heatsink 0VWD01 MWXCG"
So with the bigger cooler and the new CPU, you think that the power would hold out?
 

CompuGuy71

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At the time of the Dell purchase I did also buy a cooler, though didn't install it and forgot about it at the time because I didn't have thermal paste. This is the cooler: "VWD01 For DELL XPS 8940 Dell G5 5090 CPU Cooler fan with heatsink 0VWD01 MWXCG"
So with the bigger cooler and the new CPU, you think that the power would hold out?
Wait... Dell sold you a machine without even a stock cooler installed? How have you been running this machine?
 
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mft004

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Wait... Dell sold you a machine without even a stock cooler installed? How have you been running this machine?
Sorry I used the wrong wording there. It came with a cooler but it's basically just that little fan, as opposed to the additional cooler I bought separately that looks like a tower block, so a fan but surrounded by a heatsink on either side. Apparently conflicting views as to its overall strength but generally agreed to be better than just a fan.
 
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mft004

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Many thanks gentlemen - I'm reassured and am gonna go for it!
Just one little extra question from the novice. My Dell likes to upgrade BIOS about every month of its own accord without asking me. So the last upgrade was about a week ago. Would there be any other change to the software which I need to check before opening up the case and going to work?
 
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rgd1101

Don't
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Many thanks gentlemen - I'm reassured and am gonna go for it!
Just one little extra question from the novice. My Dell likes to upgrade BIOS about every month of its own accord without asking me. So the last upgrade was about a week ago. Would there be any other change to the software which I need to check before opening up the case and going to work?
the psu might need to look at.
 
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mft004

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the psu might need to look at.
Ah you mean the 360w PSU might need to be upgraded to the other option out there, 500w PSU?
The Cooler Master PSU calculator suggested that my build with 11700K installed would take me over the line to 371 watts, but the 11700F would reduce that to 311 watts. I'm happy to go for 11700F if the only limitation there is the requirement to keep using my GPU at all times. It seems the base clock speed stays at that good high of 3.6ghz for both processors.
 
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Reactions: artk2219
Hello wizards; I am a novice and I seek your guidance.

My machine is a mostly stock Dell 8940; it came with i7 10700 2.9ghz, 8gb RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB - I just added a spare RAM stick to make it 16gb RAM total.
I want to to upgrade the CPU so that the base clock truly is no less than 3.4ghz and I've identified the i7 11700k 3.6ghz as a possibility - given that both CPUs use the same LGA1200 socket for my Dell's H470 chipset.
The question is, will this single change be too much for my PSU, or could it do some other damage to that stock XPS build, which in either case will lead to power-offs and a reduction of the PC to dust? The PSU is 'Model L360EBM-00', or 'Dell P/N 2VDOG', so I'm guessing 360watts.
I admit my reasons for the upgrade are odd. Battlefield 2 is a 2005 title which has mods supporting up to 64 ai players, but it only uses one core. So you can have the most powerful GPU and plenty of RAM but if the base clock speed of the processor is below say 3.4ghz, expect slideshow city when all 64 players are engaged on a close quarters combat map. A few years back my old PC had an i7 4790, a humble thing today but it had 3.6ghz base clock and handled Bf2 with ease. So it's a frustrating mistake I've made assuming that this newer Dell could do better without checking a simple thing like base clock. But perhaps an upgrade is possible rather than buying a whole new machine. Please do let me know your thoughts!

Kind regards,
Mark
Hey there,

TBH, I don't really get why you need to swap up.

Whilst the base clock for your CPU is 2.9ghz, in practice it will rarely run under 3.8ghz on all cores when doing a heavy task (and this is with an AVX load) or when at idle. This of course does depend on your cooling too. The point being is your CPU is plenty enough for your GPU and then some. In terms of BF2, and the CPU clocks, simply monitor that with an OSD, and watch what speed your CPU hits. Intel CPU's have a boost algorithm, that will dynamically adjust your clock speeds on the fly. Unless you have poor cooling, your CPU will rarely be sitting at it's base speed of 2.9ghz when gaming.

Switching up to an 11th Gen over what you have, isn't a great upgrade. Normally you would consider at least two bumps in gen on gen.
 
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rgd1101

Don't
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Ah you mean the 360w PSU might need to be upgraded to the other option out there, 500w PSU?
The Cooler Master PSU calculator suggested that my build with 11700K installed would take me over the line to 371 watts, but the 11700F would reduce that to 311 watts. I'm happy to go for 11700F if the only limitation there is the requirement to keep using my GPU at all times. It seems the base clock speed stays at that good high of 3.6ghz for both processors.
if 11700f work for you that probably better option with that psu. do use that new tower cooler too
 
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mft004

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Hey there,

TBH, I don't really get why you need to swap up.

Whilst the base clock for your CPU is 2.9ghz, in practice it will rarely run under 3.8ghz on all cores when doing a task (and this is with an AVX load). This of course does depend on your cooling too. The point being is your CPU is plenty enough for your GPU and then some. In terms of BF2, and the CPU clocks, simply monitor that with an OSD, and watch what speed your CPU hits. Intel CPU's have a boost algorithm, that will dynamically adjust your clock speeds on the fly. Unless you have poor cooling, your CPU will rarely be sitting at it's base speed of 2.9ghz.

Switching up to an 11th Gen over what you have, isn't a great upgrade. Normally you would consider at least two bumps in gen on gen.
I do get what you're saying; it's just that memory I have in the back of my head, of that older i7 4790 laughing off the Bf2 64 bot workload like it was nothing, whilst I'm here with the newer 10700 and it can be slideshow city. But are you suggesting that I should try the new cooler first, in case a temperature limitation caused by the sub-par stock cooler is preventing my current CPU from working harder and mastering Bf2?
 
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I do get what you're saying; it's just that memory I have in the back of my head, of that older i7 4790 laughing off the Bf2 64 bot workload like it was nothing, whilst I'm here with the newer 10700 and it can be slideshow city. But are you suggesting that I should try the new cooler first, in case a temperature limitation caused by the sub-par stock cooler is preventing my current CPU from working harder and mastering Bf2?
Well, yes, a better CPU cooler might be needed., but not sure what would fit in that case. At least open the case (when unplugged) and check that the fans aren't clogged up and do a bit of housekeeping to start with. You can also run the PC without the side cover on, and see if that extra air makes any difference.

With all of that said, I'd be looking more on the software/driver side right now, rather than a hardware fix.

Are all your system drivers up to date? Chipset, sound, lan etc? Are your GPU drivers the most up to date? What about the bios? What windows power plan are you running? It should be on high performance. Try change power plan and see if that makes a difference.

Rule these things out as fixes, then we can address hardware issues. Monitor your system with HwInfo (sensors only), run Cinebench R23, and watch your clockspeeds by running HWinfo along side it. Lets find out if your CPU is throttling. This could be why there's issues with BF2.
 
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Hello wizards; I am a novice and I seek your guidance.

My machine is a mostly stock Dell 8940; it came with i7 10700 2.9ghz, 8gb RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB - I just added a spare RAM stick to make it 16gb RAM total.
I want to to upgrade the CPU so that the base clock truly is no less than 3.4ghz and I've identified the i7 11700k 3.6ghz as a possibility - given that both CPUs use the same LGA1200 socket for my Dell's H470 chipset.
The question is, will this single change be too much for my PSU, or could it do some other damage to that stock XPS build, which in either case will lead to power-offs and a reduction of the PC to dust? The PSU is 'Model L360EBM-00', or 'Dell P/N 2VDOG', so I'm guessing 360watts.
I admit my reasons for the upgrade are odd. Battlefield 2 is a 2005 title which has mods supporting up to 64 ai players, but it only uses one core. So you can have the most powerful GPU and plenty of RAM but if the base clock speed of the processor is below say 3.4ghz, expect slideshow city when all 64 players are engaged on a close quarters combat map. A few years back my old PC had an i7 4790, a humble thing today but it had 3.6ghz base clock and handled Bf2 with ease. So it's a frustrating mistake I've made assuming that this newer Dell could do better without checking a simple thing like base clock. But perhaps an upgrade is possible rather than buying a whole new machine. Please do let me know your thoughts!

Kind regards,
Mark
Upgrading CPUs on branded systems can be difficult sometimes.
 
Reactions: artk2219

mft004

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Well, yes, a better CPU cooler might be needed., but not sure what would fit in that case. At least open the case (when unplugged) and check that the fans aren't clogged up and do a bit of housekeeping to start with. You can also run the PC without the side cover on, and see if that extra air makes any difference.

With all of that said, I'd be looking more on the software/driver side right now, rather than a hardware fix.

Are all your system drivers up to date? Chipset, sound, lan etc? Are your GPU drivers the most up to date? What about the bios? What windows power plan are you running? It should be on high performance. Try change power plan and see if that makes a difference.

Rule these things out as fixes, then we can address hardware issues. Monitor your system with HwInfo (sensors only), run Cinebench R23, and watch your clockspeeds by running HWinfo along side it. Lets find out if your CPU is throttling. This could be why there's issues with BF2.
Yep the dust levels are nice and low right now in there. All drivers including GPU and BIOS look to be up to date and the power plan has been on high performance since I got the PC.

Now for Cinebench and HWinfo, bear in mind I've never used them before so I may well have used them wrong. Attached are four printscreens, one of Cinebench after it had done its run and the other three are of HWinfo (sensors only), before and during the Cinebench run. There's also a Csv file generated by HWinfo, from the point of Cinebench start to the finish, but again I'm not sure what info I should be looking at there. Hope that this may be of some use!
Before Cinebench
During Cinebench (render 1)
During Cinebench (render 4)
Cinebench result

Just to add that the as yet uninstalled big cooler is about 11.5cm in depth and there looks to be about 13.5cm space between the motherboard and the other side of the PC case.
 
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Looking at those results, your CPU doesn't seem to be dropping lower than 3.2ghz and averaging about 3.6 all core through the multi bench. Which is slightly lower than where I'd expect it to be. I suspect this is because of the case, and cooling system in the Dell, which will often just be mediocre, or just not enough to cool powerful CPU's. I'd look at getting a better cooler, which might bring the temps under control, and allow your CPU to boost a little higher and for longer for more performance. Getting a new CPU to drop in there may not fix this issue, because the root of the problem will still exist.
 

Zerk2012

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Hello wizards; I am a novice and I seek your guidance.

My machine is a mostly stock Dell 8940; it came with i7 10700 2.9ghz, 8gb RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB - I just added a spare RAM stick to make it 16gb RAM total.
I want to to upgrade the CPU so that the base clock truly is no less than 3.4ghz and I've identified the i7 11700k 3.6ghz as a possibility - given that both CPUs use the same LGA1200 socket for my Dell's H470 chipset.
The question is, will this single change be too much for my PSU, or could it do some other damage to that stock XPS build, which in either case will lead to power-offs and a reduction of the PC to dust? The PSU is 'Model L360EBM-00', or 'Dell P/N 2VDOG', so I'm guessing 360watts.
I admit my reasons for the upgrade are odd. Battlefield 2 is a 2005 title which has mods supporting up to 64 ai players, but it only uses one core. So you can have the most powerful GPU and plenty of RAM but if the base clock speed of the processor is below say 3.4ghz, expect slideshow city when all 64 players are engaged on a close quarters combat map. A few years back my old PC had an i7 4790, a humble thing today but it had 3.6ghz base clock and handled Bf2 with ease. So it's a frustrating mistake I've made assuming that this newer Dell could do better without checking a simple thing like base clock. But perhaps an upgrade is possible rather than buying a whole new machine. Please do let me know your thoughts!

Kind regards,
Mark
The boost speed is 4.8 already on the 10700 so why upgrade?
It's possible Dell has gimped the processor some for power or heat reasons and the settings are probably locked in BIOS.
 

mft004

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Well I went ahead and installed that larger cooler as advised and I'm glad I did! The machine's definitely cooler now and near silent. Beforehand there was a whir when the machine was on and during Bf2 or similar heavy work, a louder whir. Have tried Bf2 now on the most troublesome maps and... no whir :D Still a drop in fps during the really intense firefights, but not as bad as before. So I think I'll accept that. Looking back on my previous PC, the one with the 4790, maybe that was indeed the perfect CPU for a single-core hog game; but it only lasted about 2 years before it conked out - maybe I ran it into the ground without thinking.
Thanks again to all posters - I'm glad I checked in here before trying something foolish!
 

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