[SOLVED] Questions about CPU compatibility on OLD workplace computers

Didntchaknow

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Jun 13, 2019
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Hey all!

My job has recently had some real processing issues on our (fairly old) workspace computers. As I'm one of the only folks with comp building experience, I was asked to look into what needed upgraded and to do some replacements on those two computers.

From what I can tell, the biggest issue on both is the CPU (one is running Intel i3 3320 and the other is i3 2120), and that's what I'll be addressing first.
Desktop #1 is a fullsize tower with a MSI Z77A-G43 motherboard. It has the i3-3320. From what I can tell, I could replace that with a i7-3770k and would have no issues with compatibility, and would hopefully gain enough processing power to keep that comp running for at least a few years.
Desktop #2 is a "mini" tower (I'm not sure of the exact format) with a Dell 0F6XSP motherboard. This is the one that's running i3-2120. From what I can find on the interwebs, this Dell motherboard has a LGA1150 CPU slot. I also plan on looking for a low profile heatsink that could fit in this small case.
My questions for y'all:
Will desktop #2 be compatible with an i7-3770k or is it not that far forward compatible? If not what would work better?
Am I correct about the compatibility of desktop #1? Are there any issues you can think of?

Also yes, preferably I would just build a new comp. However, we are a small business and I would prefer to keep costs down :) if you think it would be worth it to ask my manager to let me build two new comps, let me know :)

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide! Let me know if you need any further info!
 

Eximo

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Yeah, you can get an off the shelf Dell with an i5-12400 for $530. Really not much reason to stick with 2nd and 3rd gen.

If you have a second gen Dell, stick with 2nd gen. So an i7-2700. But you would have to check the wattage of the cooler. If they used different sized coolers, you shouldn't try and put a faster CPU in there.

I see nothing wrong with getting a cheap i7-3770 and dropping it in that larger desktop. I would not waste the money on an i7-3770k though.

Even the used market for 10th gen desktops hasn't caught up with reality. They are only $50 less than a new 12th gen.
 
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punkncat

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You would need to check BIOS revisions to see if there was something available. Being a Dell, the cooler could be an issue as well. Likely going to have to locate the stock cooler that would have come with, if such exists. I would search to see if the specific model mini tower was released with that CPU before attempting to convert it.

IMO, for the labor and price/part hunting you will do concerning this I would recommend attempting to find some 4th gen or newer Dell Optiplex machines with the amount of RAM you wish to have and budget for SSD if you can't find them equipped with. Of course you will also need to make sure you have any keys to programs you use and such and hope they will still install these years later.

I have two 3770 currently in use. One of them at the house here in the media spot for now, and the other at the shop. They are workable, but the age is really starting to show. With that said, I compare the work computer to around the same performance as something like the Ryzen 2xxx laptop CPU experience. It's totally do-able.

I still have a 4690 in use as well for my son, and it runs circles around the 3xxx CPU's and thus my suggestion.
 
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Lafong

Respectable
This is the one that's running i3-2120. From what I can find on the interwebs, this Dell motherboard has a LGA1150 CPU slot. I also plan on looking for a low profile heatsink that could fit in this small case.

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/sku/53426/intel-core-i32120-processor-3m-cache-3-30-ghz/specifications.html

Per above link, Intel says the 2120 uses LGA 1155, not 1150.

Those 2 machines are about a year apart and about 12% apart in performance on a broad benchmark.

I don't know if the 3700k is compatible with the board on your 3220.
 
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USAFRet

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My job has recently had some real processing issues on our (fairly old) workspace computers. As I'm one of the only folks with comp building experience, I was asked to look into what needed upgraded and to do some replacements on those two computers.
Buy new systems.

It will not cost a lot more, be fully under warranty, and absolutely crush those old things in terms of performance.
 
Hey all!

My job has recently had some real processing issues on our (fairly old) workspace computers. As I'm one of the only folks with comp building experience, I was asked to look into what needed upgraded and to do some replacements on those two computers.

From what I can tell, the biggest issue on both is the CPU (one is running Intel i3 3320 and the other is i3 2120), and that's what I'll be addressing first.
Desktop #1 is a fullsize tower with a MSI Z77A-G43 motherboard. It has the i3-3320. From what I can tell, I could replace that with a i7-3770k and would have no issues with compatibility, and would hopefully gain enough processing power to keep that comp running for at least a few years.
Desktop #2 is a "mini" tower (I'm not sure of the exact format) with a Dell 0F6XSP motherboard. This is the one that's running i3-2120. From what I can find on the interwebs, this Dell motherboard has a LGA1150 CPU slot. I also plan on looking for a low profile heatsink that could fit in this small case.
My questions for y'all:
Will desktop #2 be compatible with an i7-3770k or is it not that far forward compatible? If not what would work better?
Am I correct about the compatibility of desktop #1? Are there any issues you can think of?

Also yes, preferably I would just build a new comp. However, we are a small business and I would prefer to keep costs down :) if you think it would be worth it to ask my manager to let me build two new comps, let me know :)

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide! Let me know if you need any further info!
Machine #1
What kind of problems are you seeing?

Just to take a peek.
Down load this.
UBM

Reboot and wait a few mins.
Run UBM with the browser closed.
Post a LINK to the results page.
 

Corwin65

Honorable
Buy new systems.

It will not cost a lot more, be fully under warranty, and absolutely crush those old things in terms of performance.

USAFRet is on point.

Other than hardware costs, how much productivity will you lose having to deal with troubleshooting and trying to upgrade those systems that will only provide a short lived boost.

I say it all the time, cost of doing business.
 
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Eximo

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Yeah, you can get an off the shelf Dell with an i5-12400 for $530. Really not much reason to stick with 2nd and 3rd gen.

If you have a second gen Dell, stick with 2nd gen. So an i7-2700. But you would have to check the wattage of the cooler. If they used different sized coolers, you shouldn't try and put a faster CPU in there.

I see nothing wrong with getting a cheap i7-3770 and dropping it in that larger desktop. I would not waste the money on an i7-3770k though.

Even the used market for 10th gen desktops hasn't caught up with reality. They are only $50 less than a new 12th gen.
 
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USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Why bother?
Just to see what the options are.
Well, there is no real option.
Upgrade or Replace.

Here we have 2 ancient systems. Nothing you could really do to bring them up to this decade performance.

We have a person who is "one of the only folks with comp building experience"...NOT the actual "IT guy".
So trying to 'upgrade' these old things would be taking his time away from he is actually paid to do.

Later, all maintenance and fixes are on him again, taking even more time from his actual job.

This is a company that does <whatever>. Not a home system,


If I was the "IT guy" in that company, there would be NO question of "upgrade" vs "replace".
Sell these old things for $100 each, and buy new.
Here, he's not even "the IT guy".
 

Didntchaknow

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Thanks for all the info!

I should have mentioned, both of these computers are built, not premade. Taking a look at the mini unit #2, it has an aftermarket heatsink and other aftermarket components(to my relatively untrained eye). It's not a stock set up, it just uses a very old Dell motherboard rather than any other motherboard(don't ask me why. I wasn't around when these were built lol)

It sounds like, from y'all's suggestions, that replacing the CPU in #1 isn't a bad idea, and that I should go for the i7-3770 (rather than the 3770K?). I would go for something better, like punkncat suggested, but from what I can tell the 3770k is the highest compatibility for that motherboard.
I'm definitely also taking y'all to heart on just replacing the other unit. The one complication with #2 is that it is a mini unit (and needs to stay the same size) due to its current location. I think I will be looking in to the cost for a unit of the same size with better functionality, and going for prebuilt so that its care is out of my hands.

I do appreciate the concern for this taking time out of my job, but I am more than happy to take it on and since I was asked explicitly to replace parts, and not machines, I decided to check in with y'all and make sure that was possible :)
 

Eximo

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Both the 3770 and 3770k run at 3.9Ghz maximum by default. Only if you spent the time to overclock the 3770k would it be any faster. Top CPU in each generation tends to retain more of its value, so you would be paying more for no reason.

OEM motherboards are notorious for not supporting newer chips then what was available at release as well. You could try and take the i3-3220 and put it in there, I doubt it would work. That would save you that much more by not buying and risking a second chip. Similar power output as well.

Even a used slim desktop isn't going to set you back much though.

$215, Slim i7-7700.

https://www.newegg.com/dell-precision-3420-business-desktops-workstations/p/1VK-0001-5Z6J2
 
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Well, there is no real option.
Upgrade or Replace.

Here we have 2 ancient systems. Nothing you could really do to bring them up to this decade performance.

We have a person who is "one of the only folks with comp building experience"...NOT the actual "IT guy".
So trying to 'upgrade' these old things would be taking his time away from he is actually paid to do.

Later, all maintenance and fixes are on him again, taking even more time from his actual job.

This is a company that does <whatever>. Not a home system,


If I was the "IT guy" in that company, there would be NO question of "upgrade" vs "replace".
Sell these old things for $100 each, and buy new.
Here, he's not even "the IT guy".
Perhaps this decades perf is not what's needed.

That's why it's nice to put all the options on the table and then make a choice.
 
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punkncat

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Sell these old things for $100 each, and buy new.
Even that would be highly hopeful, price wise. As I have mentioned before I have/had a line on older Optiplex and like systems being taken out of service which were typically 4th gen machines. I could pop in a cheap SSD, clean them up, and sell for $80-100 but that was BEFORE W11 dropped. Now, all those machines do is sit. The last batch I did sat for way too long, and I just passed on another batch due to it.
I am fairly sure that all these old system are not going to be much sought after by the general PC public as many of them have no idea what to do when you load them with Linux. It's a good move for the machine, but not popular enough for wide acceptance and purchase for many.
 
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Didntchaknow

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Jun 13, 2019
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Both the 3770 and 3770k run at 3.9Ghz maximum by default. Only if you spent the time to overclock the 3770k would it be any faster. Top CPU in each generation tends to retain more of its value, so you would be paying more for no reason.

OEM motherboards are notorious for not supporting newer chips then what was available at release as well. You could try and take the i3-3220 and put it in there, I doubt it would work. That would save you that much more by not buying and risking a second chip. Similar power output as well.

Even a used slim desktop isn't going to set you back much though.

$215, Slim i7-7700.

https://www.newegg.com/dell-precision-3420-business-desktops-workstations/p/1VK-0001-5Z6J2
Thanks you for writing this out for me! This is exactly the info I needed, and put very concisely as well!

I think the idea of trying the 3220 in #2 would be a good move, or just getting a new slim. I'll have to take a look at dimensions and bring that up to the boss man.

Otherwise, per folks suggestions, I think I will just attempt to replace the CPU in #1. Neither of these comps need top of the line performance, considering they've been surviving(barely) on the systems they have now, and I probably won't attempt to overclock these systems as I don't want my coworkers to have to give up their comps for that extra step.

Thanks again!
 

Didntchaknow

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What are they used for?
What specific applications?
They're very lightweight. Mini, #2, is used for point-of-sale, Google, and general Microsoft Suite(excel, word, etc) programs. #1 is used for our shipping software, (tons of tabs on) Google, and Microsoft Suite.
 

USAFRet

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They're very lightweight. Mini, #2, is used for point-of-sale, Google, and general Microsoft Suite(excel, word, etc) programs. #1 is used for our shipping software, (tons of tabs on) Google, and Microsoft Suite.
Given that, I would split this out.

"point-of-sale, Google, and general Microsoft Suite(excel, word, etc) programs" needs to be 2 different systems.
POS on one (its current system), the rest on some new replacement system.

"#1 is used for our shipping software, (tons of tabs on) Google, and Microsoft Suite."
This should probably be replaced.
 

Didntchaknow

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Given that, I would split this out.

"point-of-sale, Google, and general Microsoft Suite(excel, word, etc) programs" needs to be 2 different systems.
POS on one (its current system), the rest on some new replacement system.

"#1 is used for our shipping software, (tons of tabs on) Google, and Microsoft Suite."
This should probably be replaced.
#2 is our center/backup for the POS, with the main system being 2 ipads, so it is essentially already distributed through three systems. The POS is not bogged down by the desktop. Both of these comps are mostly facing issues with loading webpages, printing labels, and printing packing slips.

Like I said originally... Ideally I would replace both of these systems with full custom builds, or even inexpensive prebuilts, but alas. That's why my route is CPU replacement where I can :)
 

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