Question Would it be possible upgrading a dell T7500 with my HD 7970

draj8devin

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I am contemplating purchasing a secondhand Dell t7500. It has 48 GBS of ram and an unspecified Xeon CPU with a Quadro 600GPU. There is no hard drive.
I wanted to ask would it be reasonable to add a SATA SSD and HDD, another Xeon CPU and adding my Asus HD 7970 (replacing the Quadro 600).
To add the HD 7970 I will probably have to use 6 to 8 pin connectors so I can connect the HD 7970.
Any info or experience in this topic would be great, thank you
 
Here's one at userbenchmark running an HD7950.
https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/8149813
There are many more running R9-280X,290,380,390 etc. Those came with dual GPU options so power shouldn't be an issue.
The 2nd CPU requires a CPU riser assy.that came separately. Many resellers of those let you spec. a system. You may come out ahead buying a 2 CPU configuration from the start.
The fastest CPU is the X5687 4C/8T. A pair of those would be nice. But there are many 6C/12T options also.
If it comes with a low powered Xeon it may not have the heatpipe cooler to run a faster one later. Be sure you understand what you are and are not getting for your money.
You might discuss your plan at the Dell Workstation Owners Club.
https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/dell-workstation-owners-club.243124/#post-3830958
 
From what I can find the T7500 can support up to a 300W card in Slot 2 and 225W in slot 4. It has two PCIe 6 Pin and one PCIe 8 Pin power connector. From the pictures I can find of the wiring harness.

Is there a specific reason for this purchase? Fully decked out these systems tend to run fairly pricey and they are using old tech.

PSU: While the spec sheet of the PSU is 1100Watt. The PSU is also old. It may no longer be capable of handling the load it once did. It's also a hugely inefficient PSU which isn't even 80+ certified. It'll waste a lot of power. It says up to 85% efficient but is as low as 65% efficient. You might be able to use a new PSU. But one for that load gets expensive for such an old computer. It appears to use a standard 24 Pin ATX connector but would need rather long 8 pin EPS cables for the two CPU.

CPU: The CPU are quite old. They aren't suitable for modern gaming. If that is your interest. Each can consume a lot of power even on idle. Those old Nehelem/Westmere were horribly inefficent. Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge were big upgrades in power efficiency. A modern Ryzen 2600 will handily beat a single X5690 in performance and energy efficiency. The Ryzen also has a lot of new instruction sets the x5690 does not support.

SATA: As far as I an tell this uses SATA II. You'd want a bootable SATA III card for SSD.

GPU: You could sell it and do a near price match swap for a much faster and greatly more efficient GTX 1060.

I'd suggest selling the GPU and taking the money you'd spend on this system for something modern which is much more energy efficient. The money saved in power consumption should make up the difference pretty quick. Especially when you factor in additional air conditioner usage. While the T7500 looks impressive. There aren't many reasons to run one today.
 
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draj8devin

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From what I can find the T7500 can support up to a 300W card in Slot 2 and 225W in slot 4. It has two PCIe 6 Pin and one PCIe 8 Pin power connector. From the pictures I can find of the wiring harness.

Is there a specific reason for this purchase? Fully decked out these systems tend to run fairly pricey and they are using old tech.

PSU: While the spec sheet of the PSU is 1100Watt. The PSU is also old. It may no longer be capable of handling the load it once did. It's also a hugely inefficient PSU which isn't even 80+ certified. It'll waste a lot of power. It says up to 85% efficient but is as low as 65% efficient. You might be able to use a new PSU. But one for that load gets expensive for such an old computer. It appears to use a standard 24 Pin ATX connector but would need rather long 8 pin EPS cables for the two CPU.

CPU: The CPU are quite old. They aren't suitable for modern gaming. If that is your interest. Each can consume a lot of power even on idle. Those old Nehelem/Westmere were horribly inefficent. Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge were big upgrades in power efficiency. A modern Ryzen 2600 will handily beat a single X5690 in performance and energy efficiency. The Ryzen also has a lot of new instruction sets the x5690 does not support.

SATA: As far as I an tell this uses SATA II. You'd want a bootable SATA III card for SSD.

GPU: You could sell it and do a near price match swap for a much faster and greatly more efficient GTX 1060.

I'd suggest selling the GPU and taking the money you'd spend on this system for something modern which is much more energy efficient. The money saved in power consumption should make up the difference pretty quick. Especially when you factor in additional air conditioner usage. While the T7500 looks impressive. There aren't many reasons to run one today.
Thank you for the response. I was thinking of doing this system because i found a secondhand t7500 for 80aud (52 USD), and i was thinking of upgrading it with my gpu.
 
Not quite true about the old CPUs and modern gaming. The 3 channel DDR3 lets them keep up fairly well. With the older GPU he has it won't be an issue, it has a low level of DX12 support anyway.
But many people prefer the smaller single CPU T3500 X58 chipset workstation which can run some of the unlocked CPUs and be overclocked. There is also a 2 CPU T5500 which is the same Mid Tower size as the T3500. The T7500 IS beastly.
But anyone can go to userbenchmark,com and pulll up many examples of each one and see how they compare to newer tech.
https://www.userbenchmark.com/System/Dell-Precision-WorkStation-T7500/4566
https://www.userbenchmark.com/System/Dell-Precision-WorkStation-T5500/78
https://www.userbenchmark.com/System/Dell-Precision-WorkStation-T3500--/2522
I had one T3500 user running a GTX2080 turn it down to 720P to try and bottleneck the overclocked CPU and nothing happened.
The old CPUs do not support the newer AVX instruction set. So there is a some truth there.
As far as the price it depend on what's included. if it has a low powered Nehalem, Aluminum heatsink, and needs a CPU riser for what you want to do then you will have to spend more. But maybe step by step suits your situation. If it has one of the faster 6 core 12 thread Gulftown CPUs and the big heatsink you may not need that 2nd CPU. X5690 6C/12T, and X5687 4C/8T are solid choices.
In the unlikely event that you have a problem with the Dell workstation PSU, there are plenty more where that came from.
It has RAID 0 BIOS support, a pair of cheap small SSDs will get you SATA3 performance. 3 or more if you need to go faster. But an SATA2 SSD provides a huge boost over an HDD anyway.
 
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draj8devin

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Thanks for the responses guys, there is a photo of the insides and I thought I would post it up here to see if you guys could notice if the riser tray or anything else that could help me.

Thanks
 
That's the low end heatsink for low powered CPUs. The 2 white squares on the MB behind the heatsink are the sockets where the 2nd CPU riser would go, and it's missing the shroud that directs air through the heatsink and down onto the RAM.
Here is the manual, you can see what the complete machine is supposed to look like.
https://downloads.dell.com/manuals/all-products/esuprt_desktop/esuprt_dell_precision_workstation/precision-t7500_service manual_en-us.pdf?dgc=SM&cid=54597&lid=spr1143390441&linkId=44419264
U402F is the heatpipe cooler for the T7500. you can shop for a better price if you like.
https://www.serversupply.com/ACCESSORIES/HEATSINK/PRECISION/DELL/U402F.htm
Some people list the smaller U016F as fitting the T7500, but it's for the smaller T3500/5500 models.
Vendors with the heatsink may have the shroud also.
For the older games that will run you don'y need a 2nd CPU.
The almost 3.9GHz turbo speed of the X5687 would serve you well.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-Xeon-X5687-3-6GHz-Quad-Core-AT80614005919AB-Processor/132762711932?_trkparms=aid=1110006&algo=HOMESPLICE.SIM&ao=1&asc=226724&meid=30382a9e870845a9b9bfc4529b9976ac&pid=100005&rk=4&rkt=12&mehot=ag&sd=124113827198&itm=132762711932&pmt=1&noa=0&pg=2047675&algv=SimplAMLv5PairwiseWebWithDarwoV1&brand=Intel&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851
The T7500 CPU riser has 6 RAM slots, . H236F is the correct one. Not cheap. hard to find the complete assy. with both fans and shrouds for under $100 USD.
https://www.amazon.com/H236F-Precision-T7500-Secondary-Board/dp/B014VUB1HU/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&m=A3307Y790PRDJ6&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&qid=1589456832&refinements=p_4:Dell&s=merchant-items&sr=1-8
The W715F is the T5500 version with 3 RAM slots and can be found for less.
The 2nd CPU riser sockets have been known to malfunction. I wouldn't bother. Safer to buy a known working machine if you need that capacity.
 
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draj8devin

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That's the low end heatsink for low powered CPUs. The 2 white squares on the MB behind the heatsink are the sockets where the 2nd CPU riser would go, and it's missing the shroud that directs air through the heatsink and down onto the RAM.
Here is the manual, you can see what the complete machine is supposed to look like.
https://downloads.dell.com/manuals/all-products/esuprt_desktop/esuprt_dell_precision_workstation/precision-t7500_service manual_en-us.pdf?dgc=SM&cid=54597&lid=spr1143390441&linkId=44419264
U402F is the heatpipe cooler for the T7500. you can shop for a better price if you like.
https://www.serversupply.com/ACCESSORIES/HEATSINK/PRECISION/DELL/U402F.htm
Some people list the smaller U016F as fitting the T7500, but it's for the smaller T3500/5500 models.
Vendors with the heatsink may have the shroud also.
For the older games that will run you don'y need a 2nd CPU.
The almost 3.9GHz turbo speed of the X5687 would serve you well.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-Xeon-X5687-3-6GHz-Quad-Core-AT80614005919AB-Processor/132762711932?_trkparms=aid=1110006&algo=HOMESPLICE.SIM&ao=1&asc=226724&meid=30382a9e870845a9b9bfc4529b9976ac&pid=100005&rk=4&rkt=12&mehot=ag&sd=124113827198&itm=132762711932&pmt=1&noa=0&pg=2047675&algv=SimplAMLv5PairwiseWebWithDarwoV1&brand=Intel&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851
The T7500 CPU riser has 6 RAM slots, . H236F is the correct one. Not cheap. hard to find the complete assy. with both fans and shrouds for under $100 USD.
https://www.amazon.com/H236F-Precision-T7500-Secondary-Board/dp/B014VUB1HU/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&m=A3307Y790PRDJ6&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&qid=1589456832&refinements=p_4:Dell&s=merchant-items&sr=1-8
The W715F is the T5500 version with 3 RAM slots and can be found for less.
The 2nd CPU riser sockets have been known to malfunction. I wouldn't bother. Safer to buy a known working machine if you need that capacity.
Thanks so much for all the information. I decided not to go for it because the costs in Australia to get the 2 CPUs, heat sinks and the CPU riser would exceed the point of picking this up.
 

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