Question CPU upgrade/cooling question - help a noob

Sep 8, 2020
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I've got an old Dell Inspiron 570 that I'm trying to give a second life in a hobby electronics project. It came with an Athlon II X4 630. I'd like to milk a little more processing power out of this old machine and am considering a few possible CPU upgrades.

Here are a few options I'm considering.

The Athlon II X4 650 is the safest bet, but won't provide much improvement. The Phenom II x4 B97 provides the most boost and it's the same wattage as the existing CPU (95w). The Phenom II X4 955 comes in a close second, but runs at 125w.

I've read a few old posts where people installed the X4 955 in the Dell 570, they all spent a significant amount of time and money on cooling, but they were also overclocking.

Here are my questions.

If I were to install the Phenom II X4 B97 (95w) would I still need an upgraded aftermarket cooling solution, assuming I don't overclock it?

With the Phenom II X4 955 (125w), again assuming I don't overclock, what sort of cooler should I be looking at?

Many thanks!
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

You're on the right track with trying to keep within the same TDP as your current processor but the new processor only has a 400MHz added to it. I'd also be worried about the prebuilt's PSU and it's integrity. You might want to see if the prebuilt has any BIOS updates pending on it prior to dropping on the new processor. If the board is up to par and you have the option to add more cooling in the chassis(to aid airflow) you could get a 955 but then again, you'd be pushing it beyond your luck.

Sad thing about the cooling used on AM platform's of that era by prebuilt's had a proprietary heatsink that could only go so far before they went bust, so that's the other wall you're hitting.
 
Sep 8, 2020
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Thanks Lutfij.

So just to make sure I'm understanding, if I go from a 95w Athlon II X4 630 to a 95w Phenom II X4 B97, I've got a good chance of being able to run the stock CPU cooler (assuming the PSU is still going strong). But if I step up to a 125w CPU I can assume I'm going to need additional cooling.
 

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