- List of LGA 771 & 775 CPUs + Current Prices
- Where can I get an adapter?
- Why would you want to do this?
- How does the adapter work?
- Minor modification to the LGA 775 socket is also required
- Motherboard Compatibility
- Recommended LGA 771 Xeon processors
- Tested motherboards
- Detailed instructions for completing this MOD
- Troubleshooting Problems
There are two requirements that your motherboard must meet in order to be able to run LGA 771 Xeon processors:
- You must have an LGA 775 motherboard with a compatible chipset.
- Your bios must support an LGA 775 CPU that's similar to the Xeon you want to run.
We'll explain how to verify these things in the sections below. And later in this guide, there's also a list of motherboards that have been tested with this MOD.
First, make sure your motherboard's chipset is compatible
The chipset we're talking about here is technically called the Northbridge chipset. You can usually find what chipset your motherboard has by looking at its specification list.
Chipset compatibility table
Note: For known compatibility issues and more details, please see the bullet points (which are shown right after the table).
|Xeons that are compatible with each chipset|
|Chipset||5xxx Series||3xxx Series||45nm||65nm|
|P45, P43, P35, P31, P965|
G45, G43, G41, G35, G33, G31
nForce 790i, 780i, 740i, 630i
GeForce 9400, 9300
|Q45, Q43, Q35, Q33|
|nForce 680i and 650i||Yes||Yes||Maybe|
- What do 5xxx series and 3xxx series mean?
- Issues with Intel brand motherboards
- Nvidia's nForce 680i and 650i chipsets don't officially support 45nm quad core processors
- My chipset isn't listed here. Will this work for my motherboard?
- Our guess as to why some chipsets don't support the 5xxx series Xeons (but do support the 3xxx series)
If you don't need more details about the topics shown above, you can skip ahead to the next section: Next, make sure your BIOS supports a similar LGA 775 CPU.
What do 5xxx series and 3xxx series mean?
By 5xxx series we mean any Xeon whose model number ends in 5xxx (this includes all the E5xxx, X5xxx, and L5xxx processors).
Issues with Intel brand motherboards
Note: This information only applies to motherboards actually manufactured by Intel. We haven't heard of any problems with ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, or any other brands.
Some motherboards made by Intel don't work with this mod
For some reason, some Intel brand motherboards that have a compatible chipset and support a similar LGA 775 processor do not work with this mod (please see the list of tested motherboards for the model numbers).
It may not be possible to update the CPU microcode on an Intel brand motherboard
This is sometimes needed to install Windows 8.1 64-bit or to enable all of the CPU features (like Speedstep, SSE 4.1, or VT-X). The older non-E0 stepping processors often don't need a microcode update to enable these features, so if you do try it, buy one of those.
The reason this may not be possible is because Intel has their own proprietary BIOS that nobody currently knows how to MOD (even by manually hex editing the BIOS).
Nvidia's nForce 680i and 650i chipsets don't officially support 45nm quad core processors
Some motherboards with these chipsets have worked with 45nm quad core Xeons, and some haven't (please see the list of tested motherboards for more details). This is likely due to some motherboards unofficially supporting 45nm quad core processors.
My chipset isn't listed here. Will this work for my motherboard?
The mod will still likely work if your BIOS supports a similar LGA 775 processor.
If you do try it, please let us know how it goes by leaving a comment at the bottom of this page.
Our guess as to why some chipsets don't support the 5xxx series Xeons (but do support the 3xxx series)
Xeons with model numbers that end in 5xxx are allowed to be used in motherboards that support 1 or 2 physical processors (this is called dual-processor support). However, the 3xxx series Xeons cannot be used in a multi-processor system (they're labeled as supporting uni-processor configurations only).
The E0 stepping E5440 and X3363 Xeons both have the same CPUID (1067A), which means they're both made from the same silicon and are basically the same internally. Additionally, there's no noticeable difference between them (other than one has dual-processor support), so it looks like this could be causing the problem. Some chipsets may be checking for this and may be blocking the system from booting.
Next, make sure your BIOS supports a similar LGA 775 CPU
Important: Make sure you only buy Xeon processors with a FSB and TDP supported by your motherboard.
How the compatibility table shown below works
Hopefully the table shown below is pretty self explanatory, but here's an explanation if it isn't. Each row shows an LGA 775 processor in the 1st column. If your motherboard and BIOS support that processor, you can run the LGA 771 Xeons shown in the second column (if your chipset supports it).
You should only buy Xeons with a FSB and TDP less than or equal to the values shown (unless your motherboard supports higher).
|If your motherboard and BIOS support the following CPU:||You can run these Xeons (if supported by chipset):||Max FSB|
(unless motherboard supports higher)
(unless motherboard supports higher)
|Core 2 Quad Q9650||Any 45nm quad core Xeon||1333||95W||View Xeons|
|Core 2 Quad Q9550S||Any 45nm quad core Xeon with a TDP of 65 W or lower||1333||65W||View Xeons|
|Core 2 Quad Q6700||Any 65nm quad core Xeon||1066||95W||View Xeons|
|Core 2 Duo E8600||Any 45nm dual core Xeon||1333||65W||View Xeons|
|Core 2 Duo E6850||Any 65nm dual core Xeon||1333||65W||View Xeons|
For a list of all the compatible Xeons, their features, and current prices, visit this page.
- Some of the Xeons have a higher FSB or TDP than their similar LGA 775 CPU
- How to check what TDP your motherboard supports
- How to check what LGA 775 processors your motherboard supports
- Be careful if you have a prebuilt system (like a Dell)
If you don't need more details about the topics shown above, you can skip ahead to the next section: Recommended LGA 771 Xeon processors.
Some Xeons have a higher FSB or TDP* than their similar LGA 775 CPU
* TDP is a measure of how much heat your processor's cooling system will have to handle.
Because of this, you need to make sure your motherboard supports the FSB and TDP of the Xeon you're buying. Some motherboards will not boot processors with a TDP over 95W (or 65W for low power boards).
TDPs for some common Xeon processors
- L54xx series has a max TDP of 50W
- E54xx series has a max TDP of 80W
- X54xx series with a 1333 FSB has a max TDP of 120W
- X54x2 series with a 1600 FSB has a max TDP of 150W
How to check what TDP your motherboard supports
Our list of tested motherboards (shown later in this guide) has max TDP numbers for many motherboards, so you should check there first.
If your motherboard isn't in our list, a good way to check if your motherboard supports 120W and above processors is to check its CPU support list. If your system supports overclocking or extreme edition processors (like the 130W QX9650), you should be able to run the 120W X54xx series Xeons (the 150W ones will also probably work). However, if your system only supports the 95W Q6600 with a G0 stepping (and not the 105W B3 stepping), your system may only support 95W and lower processors.
If you aren't sure what TDP your motherboard supports, I'd recommend going with the 95W and lower Xeons only.
How to check what LGA 775 processors your motherboard supports
If you're unsure what LGA 775 processors your motherboard supports, please read the following article: How to Check if Your Motherboard Supports a Specific Processor.
Be careful if you have a prebuilt system (like a Dell)
Prebuilt computers (like Dell) sometimes use different motherboards (depending on what parts come with the system), and the motherboards may not support the same processors, so you'll need to figure out which motherboard you have.
You should be able to find the model number with CPU-Z.
Recommended LGA 771 Xeon processors
Right now, the following 45nm Harpertown Xeons with a 1333 FSB seem to be the best deals. These are quad core and have high multipliers (ratios), which means they should also overclock easily.
- 3.16 GHz X5460 for $11 on eBay (120W TDP)
- 3.00 GHz E5450 for $6 (80W TDP)
- 3.00 GHz X5450 for $10 (120W TDP)
For more prices and detailed specs on all of the Xeons, visit this page.