IT and Tech

An upgrade on a downgrade

A little over a month ago when the Abyssian Knights Kickstarter was in full swing, I sold my Intel Skylake based CPU/Mobo/Ram to a friend of mine to fund some of the marketing.

Ended up resurrecting my old Core2Quad system. Even overclocked, it still felt a bit sluggish so I decided to see to see if I could get any el-cheapo chips off ebay for my ghetto socket 775 system. Then I found some people selling some old socket 771 Xeon X5460’s that have been modified to fit in the socket 775 mobo.

That was a month ago. The chip finally came in today. I think I spent like $30-$40 for it. I figured, if it works, great, if not it wasn’t a huge loss. Dropping in the chip, I was expecting some serious issues but it ran without any problems except for the system telling me “BIOS update recommended. To unleash this CPU’s full power, please perform BIOS update procedure” or something like that. I already had the latest BIOS for my board (from way back in 2010), but I figured what the hell, I’ll give it a shot.

BIOS updated. Same thing, then I read something about some BIOS microcode that had to be edited to get it to work. Rather than spend the rest of my day trying to figure it out, I found a handy Chinese site that already had a version of my BIOS with the microcode edits. Did the update and BAMN. No more nagging screen. It didn’t seem to make the system any more stable but whatever.

In case anyone else is in the same position I’m in with an old ass socket 775 that’s looking to upgrade to a Xeon (cause you’re also too cheap to spend money on a real upgrade). Here’s the Chinese site with the socket 771 microcode injected BIOS updates.

Overall, everything feels a bit snappier. My Cinebench scores went up a decent amount (no where near my workstation at the studio). Ended up overclocking the thing from 3.16ghz to 3.475ghz. It’s running completely stable (so far).

Definitely worth the $40!

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