T3600 Upgrade Recommendations?

I have a T3600 with H310 and E5-1607.  I've already upgrade the graphics card, but what next?

CPU upgrade?  To which one (what's the highest-performing CPU that'll work?)

RAID upgrade?  To H710 (512) or H710P (1024)?


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  • Adam Goldberg What do you plan to use the system for?

  • General use?  Some games (but I'm not a big gamer with big requirements), some video processing and some 3D CAD & CAM use.

  • I guess I should also say that generally my bottleneck is disk performance, so it seems like one of the better RAID cards (710, 710P) would be the most bang-for-buck, but there's also cost-effective upgrades from the E5-1607.

  • Nothing? Anyone?

    • Adam Goldberg 


      You can put an H710 or H710P Controller in the T3600.  It should use the same controller as the H310.  We have had some pretty impressive benchmarks with the H710P Controller.

      Upgrade your CPU to this one:


      Xeon 8C E5-2687W 3.1Ghz 20MB 8GTs Processor | 3.8 Max Turbo Frequency (SR0KG)


      Let me know if you have any questions.

    • Jbigticket23  Do you have any experience upgrading the CPU heatsink to accommodate the higher TDP of the 2687W?  It looks like standard "wide" LGA 2011 heatsinks with a longer shoulder bolt (to reach through the ILM not-threaded-for-Dell hole to the threads on the motherboard) would work...

      My 2687W has idle core temperatures in the 70C range, and under load goes to ~80 (and I haven't had the guts to stress test).

      I have a Noctua NH-U9DX i4 on order, it'll be in tomorrow, but I'm curious how (if) you've dealt with this.  I suspect I'll be able to find shoulder bolts to make it work.

    • Adam Goldberg We have tested the E5-2687W CPU with the T3600/T5600/T7600 Systems.  In every case we used the stock heatsinks.  We did not achieve the high temps that you are experiencing.  Did you apply fresh heatpaste when you installed the processor?  Also, what kind of heatpaste did you use?


      We have not tested the Noctua Heatsink.  I'd love to see some pictures and updated temperature info after it is installed.

    • Jbigticket23 It's a T3600 plus an RX570 and the E5-2587W with (fresh) Arctic Silver.    

      I'll try to write something about the installation experience.  It'll probably take a few days to order the proper length bolts, though... 

    • Jbigticket23  Update: I still haven't been able to mount the Noctura heatsink, but I did R&R the Dell heatsink in order to take measurements, and noticed that I'd been ... um ... a bit heavy-handed on the Arctic Silver.  Clean, reapply, now I idle at ~58-60C.  Still not ideal, but better.

      More news next week when I (hopefully) get the Noctura mounted.

    • Adam Goldberg Thank you for the screen shoot and update.  Are those idle cpu temperatures?

    • Jbigticket23 Yes, alas.  

      I didn't think to look at the core temps when the old CPU was in, alas.

      The temps did come down when I went a bit lighter on the Arctic Silver - from ~70 to ~60.  Maybe I'm still screwing up the heatpaste.

      Counting the hours until I can try to mount the Noctura.... 

    • Adam Goldberg those are very high idle temps.  We normally use heat paste produced by Shinetsu microsi.  


      I'd be curious to see what temps you would be seeing if you use the same heat paste.


      Heat Paste

    • Jbigticket23 

      Yea, those are high, no doubt.  I don't want to blame the heat paste -- if the paste is the problem, it's user error.  The Noctua came with different paste ... I don't know whether I should use it (and have two variables) or use the Arctic Silver with the Noctua (only changing one variable).

    • Jbigticket23 here’s the paste that comes with the Noctua sink. 

    • Adam Goldberg I've had horrible luck with arctic silver heat paste.  It's also a huge pain to clean off =(

    • Jbigticket23  Others have shown that the 130TDP E5-2667 idles in the mid-upper 60s (https://www.anandtech.com/Show/Index/5769?cPage=2&all=False&sort=0&page=5&slug=dell-precision-t3600-review-dells-new-enterprise).  Elsewhere, I've seen someone with the E5-1620 also have high temps (https://www.overclock.net/forum/246-air-cooling/1339489-high-temps-stock-setup-xeon-e5-1620-a.html).  

      What temps do you typically see?  Do you change any BIOS fan settings?

    • Adam Goldberg I'll get a test bed on the bench in the next few days and verify for you.  No, I don't typically change the fan settings.

    • Jbigticket23 Argh, update:

      Mechanically, I'm good.  The shoulder bolts I ordered are about 3mm too long, but a stack of 3 M5 washers fixes that, and the mechanical connection to the motherboard is essentially the same as stock (it requires a slight push to get the screws to catch the threads, and then there's about 5mm of threads ... which compresses the spring ~5mm, perfect.)  There's plenty of clearance to RAM and etc.

      Unfortunately, fan.  I bought the Dell 5-pin to standard 4-pin CPU fan connector cable, and am having a problem.  When I first power on the PC, the fan spins briefly then stops.  The BIOS complains of a CPU fan failure, and I can't get it to go.

      Changing BIOS settings on fan speed doesn't affect the CPU fan - it's still stopped.  The Natua heatsink comes with an inline cable to quiet the system -- by adding some resistance or something to the fan signals, with that inline, still no change.

      A multimeter verifies that the pins on the adaptor cable are connected and correct.

      Google finds that many people complain about this issue, and many people reply "huh? it worked for me without a problem."  I don't know where to go from here... I ordered another fan on the off-chance that there's something about the particular fan I have (and it can also be attached to the heatsink, yielding a two-fan sink, which is fine once I get things working.) 

      Anyone have any clues or hints?

    •  Jbigticket23

      I pulled the PWM pin out of the connector, and the fan runs at full speed (around 2000 rpm, continuously).  The system idles at mid-30s *C. 

      So, I'm happy with the cooling, but I'd like to figure out WTF is up with the fan/fan speed.  Maybe there's some incompatibility (or marginal compatibility) between the Noctua fan and the T3600 motherboard in terms of the PWM signals?

      Any ideas??

    • Adam Goldberg Hey Adam, those temps are much better.  Can you swap the stock T3600 cooling fan on to the Noctua heatsink assembly?

    • Jbigticket23 nope.  Dell stock fan is 80mm, Noctua is 90mm.

    • Adam Goldberg That's a bummer.  You could try hunting down a 90mm dell precision fan.  It might communicate better with the motherboard.  Another idea would be to install the T7910 liquid cooling heatsink.  Although, you'd to remove the 5.25" optical drive cage and vent the side panel to install the liquid cool heatsink.

      Like 1
    • Jbigticket23 Yea, I'm waiting to hear back from Noctua .. and I may swap the extra fan I bought in to see.  But honestly, I don't have any problem with the way it is now -- it's not too loud, and it's cool.

      Noctua includes an inline cable that will decrease the full speed from 2000rpm to 1500rpm.  If the noise is ever an issue, I can just stick that thing in.

      If I had an o-scope I could try to figure out WTF is going on with the PWM control... but I don't.

    • Adam Goldberg Far out.  Thanks for sharing your install!

      Like 1
    • Jbigticket23 Please feel free to put a pointer to that blog on the T3600 upgrade page.  I'm happy to help others if I can.  As usual, this stuff can be complicated.

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