EX490 CPU upgrade to LGA771 Xeon - Need BIOS?
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Author:  -Matt- [ Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:36 am ]
Post subject:  EX490 CPU upgrade to LGA771 Xeon - Need BIOS?

Hello, I'm new to MediaSmart servers and to this forum.

I did, however, do some reading before I bought my ex490 and was keen to try upgrading the CPU.
I came across these adaptors which allow the use of LGA771 processors in an LGA775 motherboard. ... 461aeb4b1c

Here is the how to guide:

I looked through the list of possible Xeon chips and then found a good deal on an L5430. This Xeon chip has TDP of 50W which is slightly higher than the stock Celeron 450 (TDP=35W) but is lower than the 65W E5200 chip found in the EX495.

The closest equivalent LGA775 chip seems to be the Q9400S although this has less cache and higher TDP.

Standard processor for EX490:

L5430 Xeon processor that I am using:

Q9400S Core 2 Quad (closest LGA775 equivalent to LGA 771 L5430 Xeon).Image

Standard processor for EX495

So I tried the Xeon chip and the good news is that the system boots up and works fine. The problem is that the CPU temperature is not reported correctly - in the MediaSmart software it says it is 36866C (PECI)! This means that the fans constantly run at full speed. I installed core temp on the server and cpu temperatures seem ok at ~55C (I didn't do that great a job with the arctic silver).

I read that people had the same issues when upgrading the EX485's. So I think that what is needed is a modification to the bios (to add the xeon microcodes). I tried flashing adaptation's bios for the ex485 viewtopic.php?f=17&t=10342; this booted but had the same fan speed problems.

I'm hoping that there is someone on this forum with the expertise that can help me to modify the bios to add support for Xeon chips.



celeron450.png [ 15.4 KiB | Viewed 25911 times ]
xeon_L5430.png [ 15.68 KiB | Viewed 25911 times ]
core2quad.png [ 19.36 KiB | Viewed 25911 times ]
pentium_E5200.png [ 29.36 KiB | Viewed 25911 times ]

Author:  -Matt- [ Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EX490 CPU upgrade to LGA771 Xeon - Need BIOS?

Well, I figured it out for myself. I modified and flashed the bios and now my CPU temperature is reported correctly and my fans are no longer running flat out.

Here are the steps:

Download the Linux* Processor Microcode Data File from Intel Ark: ... e&lang=eng

Unzip the archive - this will give you a .dat file containing all of the microcodes.

Use microdecode.exe to extract the .bin files containing the microcodes. ... luded.html

For my L5430 chip I needed the one called:

Use AFUWIN v4.xx (32 bit) to save a copy of the HP mediasmart bios.

Use MMTool to add the appropriate microcode and save the modified bios. ... 18692.html

Use AFUWIN to flash the new bios. I used the procedure described here:

Shutdown and Restart


Author:  -Matt- [ Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EX490 CPU upgrade to LGA771 Xeon - Need BIOS?

Here is the cpuz output:

2014-03-27 02.09.51.png
2014-03-27 02.09.51.png [ 346.46 KiB | Viewed 25949 times ]

Author:  -Matt- [ Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EX490 CPU upgrade to LGA771 Xeon - Need BIOS?

Mediasmart server console... no longer reporting a temperature of 36866 C!

Mediasmart.png [ 152.17 KiB | Viewed 25929 times ]

Author:  -Matt- [ Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EX490 CPU upgrade to LGA771 Xeon - Need BIOS?

And core temp results...
It could do with a bit better cooling ideally:
Note that since I upgraded the BIOS the CPU frequency can reduce when there is no load in order to save power.

core_temp.png [ 7.43 KiB | Viewed 25929 times ]

Author:  -Matt- [ Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EX490 CPU upgrade to LGA771 Xeon - Need BIOS?

Just for completeness I have flashed back the old BIOS ROM so that I can show the symptoms of incorrect microcode:

CPUZ: (Note the lack of SSE4.1 and VT-x)
cpuz.png [ 19.37 KiB | Viewed 25918 times ]

Console: (Note the CPU temperature!)
console.png [ 150.75 KiB | Viewed 25918 times ]

Core Temp:
core_temp.png [ 7.37 KiB | Viewed 25918 times ]

For anyone else who is using an L5430; here is my modified rom.
Rename the file from .txt to .rom first.
Then use AFUWIN on the mediasmart server to flash the BIOS.
(Follow the instructions linked above - make sure you "program all blocks" and opt to keep the ROM "optimum values").
new_bios.txt [512 KiB]
Downloaded 805 times

Author:  jpsoutlook [ Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EX490 CPU upgrade to LGA771 Xeon - Need BIOS?

Phew, lot of work. i just put Q9550S and swaped ram to 4gb, dunzo.

Author:  -Matt- [ Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EX490 CPU upgrade to LGA771 Xeon - Need BIOS?

My xeon chip cost less than £24 - Q9550S's are currently listed of ebay for arround £140.

Only differences are:

Q9550S ____|___ L5430
2.83 GHz .....|...... 2.67 GHz
65W ............|...... 50W

Plus; Xeon just sounds so much cooler than Core 2 :lol:

Out of curiosity:
What sort of temperatures does core temp report with the Q9550S installed?
What performance benefits did you see with the 4Gb ram? - I'm thinking of doing this too; did it increase file transfer throughput at all?

However - the next thing on my list is installing a picoPSU. I suspect a lot of heat and noise is coming from the stock PSU.

Author:  djlenoir [ Mon May 26, 2014 9:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EX490 CPU upgrade to LGA771 Xeon - Need BIOS?

Matt, would I receive any benefit from an updated BIOS if I am using a Q9550S? Will your provided modified BIOS provide those benefits, or will I need to modify manually?

I actually have the L5430 too and was all set to follow your instructions and use that, but I chickened out when I realized that I had to cut the pins off the socket to make the processor fit.

Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk

Author:  djlenoir [ Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: EX490 CPU upgrade to LGA771 Xeon - Need BIOS?

Matt may not be checking this thread any longer. I have now received my Q9550S and installed it, along with 4GB of RAM, and the VGA/PS2/Serial cable into my EX495. The processor appears to be working as it was immediately recognized, but I suspect that I would get the most out of it from what I have been reading on these forums by upgrading the BIOS.

Anyone with a EX495 that has upgraded your BIOS provide feedback and/or guidance please?

Should I upgrade?

Is there a modded BIOS already available that I can use?

If not, then just follow Matt's steps to modify the BIOS that is pulled directly from my server manually?

Author:  Ripstop [ Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: EX490 CPU upgrade to LGA771 Xeon - Need BIOS?

Just to add a little more information on this particularly interesting thread as I have gone down the Xeon Quad core route as well. I seem to be accumulating an ever increasing number of HP EX 49x homeservers... I just can't stop myself :)

I would say its definitely worth the effort and much better than my other server which has a Core 2 Duo E8400. I transcode a lot and needed the headroom.

Anyway I also decided to take a blade to the CPU socket and purchase an L5420 2.5Ghz model with a TDP of 50 watts. There is very little room for error on making these cuts and I would suggest a steady but sure hand is required. The pins in the socket are very close to the plastic stubs you have to cut. Just take your time and all will be well. I had to recut one of them as I hadn't shaved enough of the plastic off and so the CPU didn't re-seat properly the first time. The sticker patch is fiddly but again take your time.

I have also added the correct updated microcode's for the Xeon 5000 range and unlike most desktops there is only room for about 4 entries in the microcode table. Note the last updates were in 2010 and they should look something like this on an X510 running WHS2011 and an EX490 running WHS v1 :-
File comment: x510 microcode
MicrocodeX510.jpg [ 18.32 KiB | Viewed 25290 times ]

File comment: Microcode EX490
MicrocodeEX490.jpg [ 18.66 KiB | Viewed 25290 times ]

What you need is the CPU ID 1067a, 1167a and 4467a microcode for platforms 11 and 44 which is LGA775 and LGA771 multicore processors.

The one issue I have discovered as Matt found out is that without the microcode update the temperature is wrong as displayed by PECI. However I also found another issue which is not apparent. Even this temperature is displayed incorrectly as well. It makes no sense why a low voltage CPU with only a 50w TDW would be so hot at around 63 degrees.

We ll it isn't that hot as its being fooled by the assumption of a TjMax of 100 or 95 degrees for the processor. The TjMax value for a low voltage Xeon is only 70 Watts and not 100 Watts which introduces a 30 degree over estimated value. So in my case below we have a non offset display and a -30 degree offset for the correct TjMax value:-
File comment: TjMax no offset
NonOffsetLV5420.jpg [ 34.32 KiB | Viewed 25290 times ]
File comment: 30 degree offset
30-OffsetLV5420.jpg [ 32.92 KiB | Viewed 25290 times ]

Speedfan shows the correct value without any adjustment.
File comment: Speedfan results
EX490Speedfan.jpg [ 23.5 KiB | Viewed 25290 times ]

My only other issue is that the HP Console when it shows the PECI value is still showing it as incorrect and so the fans still use that value and I am not sure how to fix that.
File comment: EX490 PECI with L5420
EX490 PECI value.jpg
EX490 PECI value.jpg [ 3.39 KiB | Viewed 25290 times ]

Addendum: After reading a little more it seems that this is probably not the real value either as Intel state the margin of error below 50 degrees makes the value unreliable. In fact thinking about it 23 degrees on one core is slightly ridiculous. I suspect its somewhat higher than 30 but not as much as 60. So its actually anyone's guess :( Ultimately the server works fine and the fans aren't running above normal most of the time. Job done.

Cheers and hope this helps anyone. Any mistakes are my own and I accept full responsibility and constructive criticism :)

Author:  elusion [ Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EX490 CPU upgrade to LGA771 Xeon - Need BIOS?

where can i download the bios?. is this worth doing? matt hasnt responded in over a year.

Author:  Ripstop [ Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: EX490 CPU upgrade to LGA771 Xeon - Need BIOS?

Hi Elusion,

I have lived with the little L5420 for a while and found it very good but I then also upgraded a step further to the L5430 which is a 2.66GHz processor as I felt it just had the edge on raw single thread processing. The machine had to be rebooted a few times to see it but the BIOS's I have work fine. I can dropbox you my current BIOS from my core machine if you want or add them here if the mods are OK with that?

The only down side to these little processors is the fans do come on sooner as the CPU PECI temp is recorded as too high :) . So they can be a little noisy when transcoding. I have mine in the living room so its a pain sometimes. In this respect the Dual core machines are better. I mainly stream using my trusty Popcorn A-110 for that job which is silent.

On balance I would say a good dual core is the best choice (I use a Core 2 Duo E8600) but a Quad core Xeon is a very cool alternative. My BIOS supports both.

Let me know what you want?


Author:  Jachin99 [ Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EX490 CPU upgrade to LGA771 Xeon - Need BIOS?

I'm looking for the AFUWIN and microcode.exe downloads listed here. The links just bring me to their home page, and I'm not seeing it as an available download. Thanks

Author:  Ripstop [ Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EX490 CPU upgrade to LGA771 Xeon - Need BIOS?

Try this.... its a collection of what I used


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