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IS IT POSSIBLE TO CHANGE A BIOS TO MAKE IT ACCEPT A PARTICULAR PROCESSOR?

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Julian A Smith

Registered
Joined
Apr 30, 2017
Hello Fellow OC Enthusiasts, I have finally located my ideal upgrade AMD processor for my HP laptop. The specs of the upgrade processor are virtually identical with the machine's OEM processor, save for the TDP (45W vs. 35W), and the number of cores ( 4 vs. 3). The area of difficulty that I'm anticipating is with the BIOS. If it becomes the case that the BIOS is not compatible with the processor, can someone please tell me is there any way to make the two components work together? Thanks so much!
 
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Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
I'd like to elaborate a little if I may.
It is possible to add microcode to a bios to accept unsupported processors, BUT, usually OEM products package their own bios's differently and thus make it very hard for a bios modder to do.
I can do it and have done it many times, but without a test subject I will not even attempt it.
Overall, I agree with Joe, stick to the upgrade list on OEM machines.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
I would add that it would be a good idea to see if there is a later bios version for that laptop that might already have the added microcode you need.
 
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Julian A Smith

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Apr 30, 2017
Thanks, Trents-I alresdy have the latest BIOS version (F.29) which HP has made available for my model. (BTW I like your scripture verse at the bottom of the screen--may many others take it to heart!)
 

Kenrou

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
It is possible to add microcode to a bios to accept unsupported processors, BUT, usually OEM products package their own bios's differently and thus make it very hard for a bios modder to do.
I can do it and have done it many times, but without a test subject I will not even attempt it.

What type of microcode can you add ? will the OS be able to use CPU's specific instructions like AVX/AVX2/FMA3 or will it run in a "compatibility mode" of sorts ?
 

Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
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Jun 9, 2013
What type of microcode can you add ? will the OS be able to use CPU's specific instructions like AVX/AVX2/FMA3 or will it run in a "compatibility mode" of sorts ?
Depends on the platform and what the board originally supports.
If the OS used supports the instruction sets of the CPU that is added, of course they will be used.
 

Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
Dear Mr. Scott did you get my message(s) over at HEATWARE?
You could have just messaged me here. I do not frequent Heatware. Only when I have to.
I must graciously decline your offer. It's not as easy as you think and I would need your unit to test on, which is a liability for me. By the time all was said and done, you could have just replaced your laptop and been a lot happier.
 
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Julian A Smith

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Apr 30, 2017
Well, thank you Mr. Scott--I'd be willing to do what was necessary to accomplish my goal but I respect your decision. Thanks.
 

rescuetoaster

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Jan 4, 2012
Let's take a step back here, because I did this exact thing with a phenom II laptop last year.
What model is the laptop, and what CPU are you thinking of putting in it? You might not be able to go off the reservation with your own choice, but you can certainly look up what CPU options were available when they sold it and choose from there.
I'm relatively certain I just threw in a triple core that wasn't on the list, and it worked. I did this because the new CPU was literally 6 dollars and really didn't care if it wouldn't accept it; so I wouldn't just wing it like that unless your upgrade is very cheap.
 

Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
It's a HP DV7, and I can't remember what 35w processor is in it, I believe N870, but he wants to put a 45w X940BE in it. I doubt the bios will support a BE processor, but I suppose it's possible. I advise against just because I already know the DV7's are heat plagued to start with. Adding more will just quicken it's already short life span. I've owned 2 triple core DV7's so I kinda know a little about them.
I declined to mod the bios for a couple of reasons.
1) nothing to test on.
2) if it goes bad, I don't want to go through another liability lawsuit. (long story but it's happened to me before)
 
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rescuetoaster

Member
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Jan 4, 2012
Completely agree - I did the upgrade in a poorly cooled laptop because I didn't particularly care what happened to it, and you make a good point, he should be aware of that.
I wouldn't have touched the bios either. That should be totally off the table.
 
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Julian A Smith

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Apr 30, 2017
Dear Recuetoaster, thank you for responding to my post. My laptop is a HP Pavilion Dv7 4171us. The OEM processor is a Phenom ll X3 N850 .
The processor I've chosen for the upgrade is the Phenom ll Quad-Core X940 HMX940HIR42GM Mobile Black Edition. The X940's specs are identical to the N850's except for the number of cores (4 vs. 3), TDP (45W vs. 35W), and clock frequencies (2.4 vs. 2.2 Ghz). My machine was purchased in 2011. The intro date for the N850 was 09/2010. The X940's intro date was 01/04/2011. End-of-life date for both processors was 3rd qtr. of 2011.
The X940 was not among the whitelisted processors from HP. As I noted, specs for both are identical except for items previously mentioned. The proposed upgrade could work, but, if I run into an area of difficulty it will most likely be the BIOS.
 
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Julian A Smith

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Apr 30, 2017
Dear Mr. Scott--the way I see it, I've little to lose--if I can get the thing to work, i.e., motherboard and processor working together the cooling problem will not be a problem for long because I've planned for quite a while building a my own enhanced cooling system using, among other things, peltier cooling techniques. I only need to get the system working!
 

ShrimpBrime

~MadHatDeLidder~
Joined
Apr 19, 2012
The X940's specs are identical to the N850's except for the number of cores (4 vs. 3), TDP (45W vs. 35W)

99.9% of the time if the bios is written for 35W processors, that's all that it will support and post. It probably won't brick the board to try a cpu that isn't on the support list however.

Also, you have to keep in mind the power delivery for this is not set up for anything beyond 35W in part of efficiency and poor power delivery.

I can tell you personally that Mr. Scott will not be modding your bios, And no one is going to recommend him to.

However if you really want to have fun and overclock on the cheap, find some classic/vintage hardware. Socket 939, 754, 478, A, Slot 1, 775. Heck even AM2/DDR2 stuff is dirt cheap.
 
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Julian A Smith

Registered
Joined
Apr 30, 2017
99.9% of the time if the bios is written for 35W processors, that's all that it will support and post. It probably won't brick the board to try a cpu that isn't on the support list however.

Also, you have to keep in mind the power delivery for this is not set up for anything beyond 35W in part of efficiency and poor power delivery.

I can tell you personally that Mr. Scott will not be modding your bios, And no one is going to recommend him to.

However if you really want to have fun and overclock on the cheap, find some classic/vintage hardware. Socket 939, 754, 478, A, Slot 1, 775. Heck even AM2/DDR2 stuff is dirt cheap.

Dear ShrimpBrime-according to CPU-World.com under their "Upgrading Socket S1", Sub-heading--'Other considerations'
Be careful when upgrading to CPU with higher TDP. If you have weak fan/heatsink then you may end up with a system, that automatically shuts down during heavy workloads. Usually, upgrading from 25W to 35W CPU, or from 35W to 45W CPU should not present a problem. If you want to be on the safe side then choose upgrade processor with the same or lower TDP.http://http://www.cpu-world.com/Sockets/Socket_S1_(S1g4).htm So, taking them at their word, all other things being equal, I would probably be ok with going from 35W to 45W TDP.