02-27-2013 08:47 AM
I have a xw8600 running two Xeon E5420 processors, 16 GB RAM, 2 HDD, 1 SSD, a EVGA GTX580 3GB video card and 2 optical drives on the standard 800 watt power supply. Currently all temperature readings that I can access are in the normal range.
I am considering upgrading the processors to X5460 Xeons. Is there some way to determine if the extra 80 watts that may be required running the X5460 Xeons will overstress the 800 watt power supply?
Solved! Go to Solution.
02-27-2013 11:07 AM - edited 03-04-2013 07:11 AM
First, load up the latest BIOS for the xw8600 if you have not already done that.
You're running two 80 watt max TDP processors there, and the X5460's are each 120 watts. The amount of hardware you have in that xw8600 is not excessive, and your power supply will handle that extra 80 watts total without a problem.
You'll want to read up on the "performance" heatsink/fans for those higher wattage processors..... aka "double tall" which we have discussed here. Do a search on both terms. The double talls have two fans, a bit different wiring and better cooling capacity. They make more noise, of course. Speaking of which, on my xw8400 my baseline fan speed goes up when I'm using 16GB RAM, but not with 12GB. Here is a link to my prior post on the "double tall" performance heatsink/fan for the xw8600 and use of it in a xw8400. There is info in there that is worth reading:
Lets say you really just want the zip but are not going to be hammering these processors hard. You probably could get away with sticking with your original heatsink/fan and initially watch your quad core temps with HWMonitor (free) to make sure that your work load does not cause thermal stress while you get an idea of how things go. From prior work on the wiring of these for an xw8400 project it appears that adding in a jumper RPM sense wire from socket 3 to socket 5 would be how to spoof the xw8600 motherboard into thinking it had a "performance" heatsink/fan installed. It would be seeing RPM sense data from both socket 3 and 5 this way, which is what a stock-wired xw8600 double tall heatsink/2 fans device provides. The motherboard can recognize that a higher wattage processor has been installed. Or, just buy two of the double talls off eBay.
The X5460's on eBay are about 140.00 for two, used, and you want the latest sSpec code which is SLBBA. You cannot use processors that are not listed in the microcode of the BIOS, by the way, and you see the list in the xw8600 QuickSpecs latest version.
Given that Intel is selling new X5460's with this sSpec code at about 1250.00 each that sounds like an eBay project. Do your eBay search under "SLBBA".
I have a xw8400 that I upgraded to 2 x X5365 quad cores, also 120 watts max TDP, and the double tall heatsink/2 fans devices did not exist for the xw8400.... so I got one xw8600 double tall and one single tall, and did the wiring mod posted about in the forum here to duplicate the xw8400's wiring scheme (different from the xw8600 wiring scheme). The processor under the single tall runs a bit hotter than under the double tall, but not by much. I've been running them simultaneously for months now, no problem. There are pics and more in that post. So, personally I'd experiment with the single tall plus RPM jumper wire from socket 3 to 5 approach first and use the xw6600/xw8600 heatsink/fan type you have ownership of already.
04-27-2013 08:15 AM
Thanks again for a very precise and thorough answer to my CPU upgrade question. My busy schedule finally allowed some time to do the upgrade. After completing your heat sink "spoof" everything seems to be working fine. CPU core temps reported by CPUID Hardware Monitor are as follows:
CPU 0 idle state 47, 45, 46, 50 deg C
CPU 1 idle state 36, 35, 38, 38 degC
CPU 0 100% for 5 minutes 82, 78, 79, 80 deg C
CPU 1 100% for 5 minutes 74, 69, 66, 67 deg C
The 8-13 deg C difference between the CPU 0 and CPU 1 temps is most likely due to the heat sinks. CPU 0 has the short single fan standard heat sink that came with the xw8600. CPU 1 has a Cooler Master S3N-7WUTS-05-GP heat sink ( I had to make special spacers to make this heatsink compatible with the xw8600 mounting dimensions). The Cooler Master heat sink is about 20% smaller that the standard heat sink and although it's smaller fan runs at near twice the RPM of the standard heatsink fan, there is no noticeable increase in operating noise.
An interesting side note: The xw8600 was originally purchased with a single Xeon E5420 CPU; I installed the second Xeon E5420 CPU myself and used the fan cooled intel heat sink that came with the retailed boxed Xeon. Before the upgrade CPUID Hardware Monitor was reporting near identical temperatures except CPU 0 (with standard HP heatsink) showed the lower values and CPU 1 (with intel heat sink) showed the higher values.
04-27-2013 10:18 AM - edited 05-02-2013 10:37 PM
Great to hear back from you, and congrats on your project. You actually are the first I know of to implement my deduced "spoof" that will allow a xw8600 run with a standard "single tall" HP heatsink/fan when it sees a 120 or 150 watt processor (or 2) in place. Normally the motherboard for that workstation demands to see a high performance double tall double fan heatsink installed if it detects greater than or equal to 120 watt processor(s) in place. Here is some added info for others to use in the future:
The first generation of these xw workstations, the xw6400 and xw8400, had a moderately better performaning single tall heatsink than the single tall heatsink that comes with either the xw6600 or the xw8600.... the fans themselves are identical between each generation, generally, but the heatsinks are different and the wiring of the fans is a bit different also. That first generation heatsink was more expensive to produce, its HP part number is 398293, and there were 3 subtypes..... with the part number having a final modifier of -001, -002, and -003, respectively. The -003 version has one of its 4 potential heatsink cooling tubes absent; the other two have all four positions populated with cooling tubes. Also, these 3 all had a ground jumper wire from pin 1 to 5. For the next generation heatsink fans that jumper wire is gone and thus if it is a single tall then the receptacle for the 5th motherboard pin's socket is empty at the fan's plug end. You can read up on that from the post referred to above.
So, if you want to use the moderately better xw6400/xw8400 heatsink/fan as "single tall" heatsink with the spoof for the 120W and higher processors that are HP-certified to work in the xw8600 then do this: Get the -001 or -002 versions (not the -003 one) of the first generation heatsinks. Remove the fan from the heatsink. Clip out the ground jumper wire from the pin 1 end of the jumper.... best to pull that metal pin receptacle from it's plastic socket position to get as much insulated wire length as possible. Put pin receptacle 1 back in place. Expose about 3/16" of bare wire from the cut end of that jumper wire.
Pull pin receptacle 3 (RPM sense wire) from its position. Carefully solder the bare wire to the pin 3 repeptacle's metal surface, and replace the pin 3 receptacle into its place in the 5-pin plug for that heatsink's fan. That jumper wire will now simultaneously feed RPM sense data from the fan motor to both pin 3 and to pin 5, keeping the xw8600 motherboard blissfully ignorant of the fact that it does not have in place a double tall heatsink with two fans independently feeding RPM sense data to pin 3 and pin 5, respectively.
The soldering is tricky, and there is very limited space in the plastic socket space for the little metal receptacle, so you don't want to try to jamb two full sets of insulation plus your soldering down in there..... use just enough bare wire that the jumper wire's insulation starts at the upper edge of the plastic socket. That technique works best.
This spoof has been found to be reasonable to do with a 120 watt processor, especially if using one of the earlier type of heatsinks noted above. Not so sure about doing it with one of the xw8600 HP-certified 150 watt processors, but I would not hesitate to do the experiment with one and see if the temps stayed fine.
eBay is your friend on these projects, but the fastest (150 watt) processors are always going to cost you more/unit of speed because they are much more rare than the fast alternatives (120 watt).
Another tip. The core thermisitors (4 of them in each quad core) were never intended to be highly accurate for measuring absolute temps. So the variance you will see from core to core in the same quad core is generally not of much interest. What those thermisitors are good for is seeing the temp change overall..... I average the 4 and compare the averages during rest versus stress.
The best temp/fan speed monitoring I have found is via HWMonitor, free from cpuid.com. Don't accept the freebie(s) offered during the install process and you get the full free program only. There is a pay version that is good also, if you like to figure out the details and label each item. I use the free one and a cheat sheet.
SpeedFan, as an alternative, works just OK in the xw6400/xw8400 but does not read correctly in the xw6600/xw8600. Always run the latest BIOS, and there are some fan speed/temp info you can get in those later version workstation's BIOS that is worth knowing about, including the RPMs for the front PCI fan if you have one installed and the chipset fan speed. HWMonitor will not get you those two.
06-22-2013 09:16 PM
No matter what I cannot seem to be able to get this to work on my xw8600. I've been able to make the front HDD LED blink twice, but there are no audible beeps.
The closest error code that the service manual suggests is processor thermal protection.
I've swapped CPUs without resetting CMOS. Now it just hangs up on a black screen.
Not sure how to proceed from here.
08-06-2013 01:04 PM
Have you got around your problem with the two blinks?
I have just got hold of the same board and I cannot power it up at all - system shuts down immeditely after switching on and the LED starts to blink twice. The CPU which I use is E5430.
10-14-2014 09:30 PM - edited 10-14-2014 09:36 PM
I don't see that processor listed in the latest QuickSpecs for the xw8600, attached. You sure you have that correct? You can use the free CPUz program from CPUID.com to probe your processor.
Later BIOS versions for the xw series workstations supposedly allowed mixing different sSPEC codes for the same processors, but I prefer to always use the same sSpec codes if I'm adding a second processor to a workstation. That can entail removing and cleaning the single processor you have in place, so you can see the laser etching on the top of the processor clearly and can capture its true sSpec code. It is good practice for when the second one arrives, and you ensure having clean new thermal paste in place for both that way.
On eBay many of the sellers and buyers don't know much about the benfits of getting the latest sSPEC code processors (they have Intel improvements built in) so the cost of the latest version is generally the same as an older version. You sometimes can find good prices by searching for the processor name, and making sure the one you want has the correct sSpec code in the picture. That's a bit more risky than searching for the sSpec code itself.
10-15-2014 07:33 PM - edited 10-15-2014 07:37 PM
Here you go.... that is a 120W processor and the motherboard may ask you to provide that processor with a "performance" heatsink/fans, which is double tall and has two identical fans to those used on the single tall heatsinks. The Intel link on their "Ark" site:
Go to the left hand sSpecs link and you'll see Intel made two sSpec versions, SLASB and SLBBE. Those are the C0 and E0 steppings, respectively, and they still have new stock for you at $912.00 USD for the SLBBE (E0) one. That is the latest version.
Contrast that with about $35.00 used off eBay right now, searching for SLBBE.
I'd be interested.... are you already running one of those processors and getting away with the motherboard not nagging you for a performance heatsink? It was my understanding that the xw8600 motherboard was programmed to want that for all 120 Watt and 150 Watt processors.
In case you hit that issue you can look up my wiring spoof to make the motherboard think you're using a two-fan heatsink when you are only using a normal single tall heatsink/single fan. Monitor temps for a while if you choose to do that, and I believe the xw6400/xw8400 -001 and -002 heatsinks have higher cooling capacity than stock single tall ones for the xw6600/xw8600. They both fit the sockets equally well, so if you need to buy a new heatsink I like the earlier single-tall ones better.
10-15-2014 07:45 PM
Actually my xw8600 has been running a x5450 but I do have a double tall and my plan is to buy another double tall fan for the second processor. But anyways if I have the older sspec code processor should I buy two x5450 s with the newer sspec codes or not?? What do you think thanks !
10-16-2014 06:25 AM
I'd check the current processor and get a second one to match it, personally.
The xw8400 did not have the option of the double tall heatsink/2 fans even for the hotter processors, and in my xw8400 I am running two X5355 processors (120 W max TDP each). One has a xw8600 era double tall heatsink/two fans over it and the other has a 398293-002 single tall (from the xw6400 era). They cool nearly the same, probed with HWMonitor from CPUID.com during both regular and stress testing (Prime95) use. HP cooled 120W processors on the xw8400 with that type of single tall heatsink straight from the factory. The -003 version of that heatsink is missing one of its heat tubes to keep cost down, so I avoid that one.
This is why I would feel comfortable doing the wiring spoof with your new 120W processor. What that entails is getting a -001 or -002 version heatsink, clipping free the ground jumper from pin 1 to pin 5 (cut it at the pin 1 end) and joining that cut end to the pin 3 wire (which feeds RPM info from the motor to the motherboard). In that way you feed RPM data back to the xw8600 motherboard via both pin 3 and pin 5, which is the net result of the double tall wiring if you take a close look.
10-16-2014 11:31 AM
I also have another question? If you look at cpubenchmark.net this is how I have checked the performance of each CPU including the x5450,the e5440, etc. Do you think this is a good way to decide on the performance of each processor. Check it out if you care to? If so tell me what you think. Thank you for all your help scott , you really have helped make my understanding of this computer grow through our direct conversations and through your comments on other forums. You really do make these forums become helpfull for everyone and an enjoyable place to converse. Thanks
10-16-2014 01:50 PM
Happy to help. The intent of the tips on the wiring spoof is to document for you and others using this forum an alternative to trying to track down the rare and expensive double tall-double fans processor heatsinks for the xw8600 if one is upgrading to faster processors. As noted above, the motherboard is programmed to "demand" presence of one of those heatsinks for processors drawing 120 W or more max TDP. This method prevents that, safely, in my opinion.
I probably would not do that for a 150W max TDP processor, and also would not do that for a workstation that I was going to run in a hot room at near 100% for long projects. I run my finished workstations at 100% for all cores with Prime95 for 12 hours and consider them ready for release when they pass that. I paid careful attention to core temps with the two 120W max TDP processors in the xw8400 mentioned above, and saw them both stabilize at a nice temp with those two different heatsinks before I walked away for the night.
Signing off on this topic......