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Upgrading a Server Processor

Posted on 2014-04-24
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Last Modified: 2015-05-07
I originally setup a server on an Intel i3 processor but now the server requires more 'oomph'

Can i simply swap to a higher processor - in this case im thinking quad core xeon which the motherboard supports?

Ive read a couple of forums historically that say it isnt as straight forward as one might imagine.

Current Setup
Intel i3-3220
16.0GB DDR3
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
Exchange Server 2010 SP3
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Question by:dh1james
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by:
Lee W, MVP earned 50 total points
ID: 40021141
Yes, you can replace the processor with any procesor the motherboard supports.  Just make sure the replacement CPU has the same technologies - example - Some CPUs may not have some or all virtualization features but are otherwise compatible - if this system is a virtual host, that could create problems.
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by:frankhelk
frankhelk earned 50 total points
ID: 40021218
I havn't done that before, but if the MB supports it it should be OK. Maybe you'll need to upgrade the BIOS - you could check that on the manufacturers support website.

Maybe you'll need the OS install media to install OS drivers for the new CPU.

Maybe Windows requires to be activated again (it might suspect to be cloned onto another system).
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 40021235
You won't need OS install media.  2008 R2 is an SMP kernel only and should see the CPU fine.

Good point on BIOS - you do have to do that sometimes - so it's a good time to make sure your BIOS is up to date.

While it's POSSIBLE you'd have to reactive Windows, it's HIGHLY unlikely - Windows allows hardware changes... it's MULTIPLE hardware changes (like those seen when a motherboard changes) that cause re-activation in most cases.
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Author Comment

by:dh1james
ID: 40021270
Thanks to everyone - im convinced enough to give it a go over the weekend whilst the server can be taken offline.

Ill post an update (good or bad) afterwards...
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 40021595
You will need to update the settings in your Bios unless the Bios recognizes the processor and all it's settings by itself. you should upgrade the Bios firmware.  I would check with the Motherboard's manufacturer to get the latest update. You should also verify that that motherboard will support the exact model and speed of the processor before purchasing it. some companies may not provide a refund on a processor because of the nature of the item.

You should also have your Windows Install DVD ready incase Windows doesn't want to start for any reason.
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 40025751
Have I answered your question completely?
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Author Comment

by:dh1james
ID: 40028887
Upgrade went successfully with absolutely no issues whatsoever, windows didn't require reactivation and the BIOS coped perfectly well.
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