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Question Are Intel S and K CPUs interchangeable?

tobym70

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Oct 12, 2012
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Can I put a i7-4790k into a Dell motherboard, when Dell have the i7-4790S specified as the max compatible CPU? It's not a few PC, that spec is from old (2014) documentation.
 
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Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Usually, yes, but in this case it would be a good idea to verify through the Dell forums or if you can find a CPU support list for the motherboard that came in your Dell, that would be even better.

The reason being, often OEMs like Dell only offer CPU support in the BIOS for CPU models they INTEND to offer with a given model, as they REALLY PREFER to not see people upgrading or replacing hardware, but buying new hardware instead when something goes wrong or performance starts to not keep pace with the demands of software.

If your EXACT Dell model came with an option for the K sku, then it will probably work. If it didn't, then it MIGHT work. Knowing the exact model and submodel, or express service tag number, of your Dell, would help to determine that.

I'd like to say offhand that yes it will work, but too many times we've run into issues where no, it won't, because one of those is a much lower TDP CPU than the other and the motherboard VRM and cooling configuration just might not be good enough to run the higher TDP unlocked SKU.
 
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tobym70

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Great, thank you, that's kind of what I thought. The computer (Optiplex 9030 AIO) came with an option for the S CPU but not, as far as I can tell, the K
 
Great, thank you, that's kind of what I thought. The computer (Optiplex 9030 AIO) came with an option for the S CPU but not, as far as I can tell, the K
In an AIO, I would tend to almost say with certainty that it will not simply because of the cooling necessary, especially if looking at the 4790k. I put one of those in my Dell 3020 and set the stock heatsink fan to 100% which usually works to run a higher wattage processor--but not with the 4790k--I had to buy the 'performance' heatsink to make sure it wouldn't throttle itself under load.
 
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tobym70

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Oct 12, 2012
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In an AIO, I would tend to almost say with certainty that it will not simply because of the cooling necessary, especially if looking at the 4790k. I put one of those in my Dell 3020 and set the stock heatsink fan to 100% which usually works to run a higher wattage processor--but not with the 4790k--I had to buy the 'performance' heatsink to make sure it wouldn't throttle itself under load.
Ok, that's good to know - I had wondered if that might be the case (as it's pretty tightly packed in there)
 

DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator
Unfortunately, AIOs tend to be "disposable" computers, combining the price and upgradeability of a laptop with the portability of a desktop. Most of the time, the only upgrades that are practical are RAM and storage.
 

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