Core 2 Duo X9000

What is fast? When in Vista you double click on Firefox’s desktop icon and it’s ready to go. When Thunderbird loads just as quickly. When Visual C++ 2008 loads even quicker. When MPLAB, something that usually takes quite some time to load takes the amount of time Firefox used to take to load. Intel’s Core 2 Duo X9000 is one fast beast. It runs at a slightly higher voltage than the T5270 when powering off of the battery (1.0375V vs 1.01V), but it does correctly clock down to 1Ghz when appropriate. Vista estimates the same battery life as with the T5270. Vista’s performance checker evaluates the processor as a 5.6, up 1 whole point from the T5270’s 4.6, additionally the memory metric went up a full point to 5.0 from 4.0. The only thing holding this back now is the X3100 graphics, but the purpose is not a gaming laptop so I can deal with that. Though I must say it does run Sim City 4 quite well.

Installing the chip was easy. The thermal assembly was held on with four screws near the processor and one near the heatsink. Finding my Arctic Silver 5 took longer than replacing the processor, this was mainly due to the remodeling that we are doing. I did a quick 20 minute burn in with CPU burn-in, one process for each core, and then shut down the laptop. The performance gain was not entirely noticeable until after letting it cool down for the first time. A few more CPU burn-in cycles and that Arctic Silver will get setup for better thermal conductivity.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

2 thoughts on “Core 2 Duo X9000

  1. Hello,
    I have a Vostro 1700 and was looking around the web to see if the X9000 CPU would fit into the 1700. Looks like you put it into the 1400, will it go into the 1700?? If so, what do I need to do??

    Thanks, Tim

  2. Tim,

    If you take a look at the Vostro 1700’s service manual page for the thermal-cooling assembly. In that it will tell you how to remove and replace the thermal assembly. You must remove the thermal assembly before replacing the CPU. In the figure on that page, the line labeled 2 points near the location of the CPU socket.

    The CPU socket for mobile processors is a zero installation force socket that uses a screw loading mechanism (as apposed to the levers used in desktop configurations). Luckily the socket is labeled with instructions for which direction the screw needs to be turned. Swap the CPUs, “lock” the socket, and reassemble the heat assembly as per the service manual’s instructions.

    Note: It is recommended that you carefully remove any excess thermal pad from the heat assembly, and clean it per the instructions Arctic Silver provides. Then apply thermal compound (preferably Arctic Silver 5) to the CPU core (per the same instructions found in the link above) before reinstalling the thermal assembly.

    Prior to doing this you should first verify that you have the latest BIOS revision (you can find out when booting, as the dell screen tells you your BIOS version), if you don’t, grab the latest one from Dell’s support website. Install it (will require a reboot or two, and that you are running Microsoft Windows), if everything works after the new BIOS is applied, then you are ready to replace the CPU. The BIOS upgrade is mandatory for 45nm chip support (any with the Penryn core).

    Hopefully that points you in the right direction. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarifications or any additional help.

    -John Havlik

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