Does a CPU upgrade / swap require a reinstall (Unraid, FreeBSD, etc)?

scp

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Aug 5, 2015
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I have a dual Xeon 5540 setup and want to swap out the CPUs for 5690s for more cores / threads. I'm running Unraid on this particular machine (purely for the VM functions).

Does swapping out CPUs generally require a re-install of an OS? Based on what I've read for Unraid, it doesn't appear to be the case, but what if I was running a Linux OS like Ubuntu, Debian, FreeBSD, etc?

Has anyone done an upgrade that way - everything the same just new CPUs?
 

StevenDTX

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Aug 17, 2016
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You will be just fine with unraid. Ive done three motherboard swaps on my main unraid box. Jones st a cpu swap is even easier.

Just to be safe though, backup your flash drive and take a screen shot of your array config.
 
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fractal

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Jun 7, 2016
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The only time you might run into difficulty is if you were changing from a single core processor to a multi-core processor. Changing from a pair of four core processors to a pair of six core processors should be a walk in the park.

Do be a little careful that your motherboard takes the newer generation processors and can handle the higher power. That would be my concern. The OS should be fine with the change.
 

EffrafaxOfWug

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Feb 12, 2015
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The only time you might run into difficulty is if you were changing from a single core processor to a multi-core processor.
I don't think this has been the case for quite a few years now, at least in the linux world; used to be the case you'd need a kernel with SMP explicitly enabled, then I think an option was added to automatically detect when it was running on SMP hardware (I think because running an SMP kernel on UP hardware introduced a small but noticeable performance overhead), and then I think pretty much everyone started shipping SMP kernels by default anyway.

Not sure how BSD handles it technically, but I've done mobo swaps with it and not run into any issues.

Linux handles hardware in a fundamentally different way to windows on most distros, detecting it every boot. As such you can generally take a hard drive that used to boot on your Athlon64 and plug it into a present day intel motherboard and have it boot cleanly.

Windows on the other hand reads a lot of its boot info from the system it's booting off, much of which is tied to device IDs which can change at the drop of a hat (and for which there may or may not be generic fallback options). Anyone who switched their SATA ports from IDE to AHCI back in the day can attest to what fun that was, trying to figure out which device IDs in the registry needed changing before the reboot... hardware changes like that don't require a reinstall to get working, but reinstalling on the new hardware was usually the simpler option for most people. FWIW my windows 7 workstation has gone through four motherboards (and four or five SSDs) since being installed back in 2009 :)
 

markarr

Active Member
Oct 31, 2013
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I have a dual Xeon 5540 setup and want to swap out the CPUs for 5690s for more cores / threads. I'm running Unraid on this particular machine (purely for the VM functions).

Does swapping out CPUs generally require a re-install of an OS? Based on what I've read for Unraid, it doesn't appear to be the case, but what if I was running a Linux OS like Ubuntu, Debian, FreeBSD, etc?

Has anyone done an upgrade that way - everything the same just new CPUs?
OS will be fine. Those CPU's are 135W and the # of boards that support those is smaller than the 95w X5670. Just make sure that they are on the mb compatibility list.