Dell Latitude E5420 CPU upgrade

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Deks, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    Hi guys.

    I've got a used E5420 laptop which I am currently using until I can find a replacement for my Acer Helios 500 PH517-61 (all AMD hw) which bit the dust after a latest BIOS update (done correctly) corrupted the BIOS and ended up being 'repaired' for over 1 month with no end in sight (and because they failed to repair it up to 28 days, I was offered a refund or a replacement - but there is no viable replacement in UK for the Helios 500 in the same price range with those kind of specs and cooling - and I'd prefer avoiding Intel).

    So, as a temporary backup, I'm currently using the E5420 I got from someone a while back.
    It originally came with i3-2310M cpu. Has a G2 Socket (Socket 988B rPGA).

    I wanted to upgrade the unit for a low amount of money to 'tie me over' until I can get my refund and find a suitable replacement.

    I checked online on compatibility of this socket and various CPU's.
    There is a Sandy Bridge i7-2720QM which is quad core... but that CPU is 45W, and the E5420 came with i3-2310M which is 35W.
    So, I'm not too sure if the cooling in the unit would be able to handle a 45W CPU (otherwise I do think the 2720QM would work in the laptop as I think someone else upgraded that succesfully... but they didn't show what the thermals are like, only that the CPU works)... unless you could provide me with some info that the cooling could handle the 45W.

    Otherwise, I also looked into i7-3612QM. It's a 35W quad core Ivy Bridge CPU which also has a better IGP (maybe not by a lot, but still) ... that would be a 'perfect' replacement, and its compatible with the socket in E5420.
    Now, question is, would the 3612QM work in the E5420?

    The latest BIOS for E5420 is A14 which was released in 2014 and I have it installed on this E5420.
    The 3612QM was launched in 2012.
    So, there's a chance the microcode supports it (if Dell included it)... and if someone has info on this, I would appreciate it.

    If not, I might get the SB quad in that case (provided the unit can handle 45W)... or a more powerful SB dual core.
    However, I don't see too much point in updating from 2c i3 to 2c i7... the differences in clocks aren't too huge and the performance impact would be relatively small if I'm not mistaken.
     
  2. ssj92

    ssj92 Neutron Star

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    Ah my favorite design from these models...

    3rd gen CPUs will not work despite the same socket.

    Officially supported CPUs:

    PRC,B710,1.6,SNB,1C,J1,P
    PRC,B800,1.5,SNB,2C,Q0,P
    PRC,B840,1.9,SNB,2C,Q0,P
    PRC,I3-2310M,2.1,2C,SNB,J1,P
    PRC,I3-2330M,2.2,SNB,2C,J1
    PRC,I3-2330M,2.2,SNB,2C,J1,P
    PRC,I5-2410M,2.3,2C,SNB,J1
    PRC,I5-2410M,2.3,2C,SNB,J1,P
    PRC,I5-2430M,2.4,SNB,2C,J1
    PRC,I5-2430M,2.4,SNB,2C,J1,P
    PRC,I5-2520M,2.5,2C,SNB
    PRC,I5-2520M,2.5,2C,SNB,J1
    PRC,I5-2540M,2.6,2C,SNB,J1,P
    PRC,I7-2620M,2.7,2C,SNB,J1,P
    PRC,I7-2640M,2.8,SNB,2C,J1
    PRC,I7-2640M,2.8,SNB,2C,J1,P
    SVC,PRC,I3-2350M,2.3,SNB,2C,J1
    SVC,PRC,I5-2540M,2.6,2C,SNB,J1

    Unofficially I have only seen 2720QM working:

    2820QM:

    So I can say look for a 2720QM or 2820QM whichever is cheaper.
     
  3. TheQuentincc

    TheQuentincc Notebook Consultant

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    From experience you can try every sandy bridge cpu on this laptop, even an XM one should work but the cooling will not follow the load
     
  4. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    Yeah... no XM... that would likely be too much.
    It would be nice to have a quad core inside (in this case 2720QM would be the better choice as it would be cheaper and only 100MhZ lower than 2820qm - plus as a result, maybe a bit lower thermals by default if that video of 2820qm in E5420 is any indication).

    That said, there's also the option to undervolt 2720qm too and ensure lower temperatures.

    Plus, I was also planning on upgrading the RAM to 16GB and SSD to 500GB... all in all it would come to about £160 for complete set of upgrades.
    I can handle that and I can keep this laptop as a 'backup' just in case once I finally get a new laptop.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  5. yrekabakery

    yrekabakery Notebook Virtuoso

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    Nope, not on mobile Sandy Bridge. Haswell was the first gen with voltage control.
     
  6. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    Ah I see.
    Well, either way, I pulled the trigger on 2720qm, so I'll test it out in my system.
    If it overheats after continuous testing (or give it a week or so) I'll return it and get i7-2620M most likely.... but if the 2820QM test in E5420 is any indication, I think 2720qm will be fine for what I need it.

    SSD will be here tomorrow and CPU on Wednesday.
    Will keep you guys posted on the upgrades in case you're interested.
    I still have the RAM to upgrade to 16GB, but that will probably wait a couple of weeks.
     
  7. yrekabakery

    yrekabakery Notebook Virtuoso

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    You can probably also use ThrottleStop to adjust the power limit down to 35W if need be.
     
  8. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    That would certainly keep the temperatures in check... but would that result in much performance loss?
    I take it this would require of the CPU to downclock itself.
     
  9. ssj92

    ssj92 Neutron Star

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    Just be sure to use a decent thermal paste and go from there.

    Throttle stop can be used to lower TDP and even the turbo ratios.

    At the end of the day you have two more cores, 4 mores threads, it will still run faster than the dual core.

    I am sure your CPU will run within spec in that laptop.


    Side note: I am surprised we haven't seen a Helios 500 R2 with 3900X and RX 5700 XT yet.
     
  10. yrekabakery

    yrekabakery Notebook Virtuoso

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    The degree of downclocking or performance loss will depend on how strenuous the workload is. Since power varies quadratically with voltage, shaving off 10W shouldn’t result in a large drop in voltage/frequency.
     
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