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08-02-2021

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Lenovo ThinkStation C20 Upgrades (Processor and OS)

2021-08-02, 21:37 PM

Hi! I have an old Thinkstation C20 I got on ebay a few years back and I was thinking about trying to upgrade the processors in it. Right now I have dual Xeons (e5620) in the machine and I was thinking of upgrading to two X5672 processors. I have looked around the internet and on here and believe the X5672 will work in my machine. I was just hoping to get some advice on what else I might need to update before plunging into buying the processors. I'd like to run Windows 10 on the machine too. Right now it's still using Windows 7, but since that's end of life, I'd like to try and run windows 10, but I haven't seen any confirmation that it's possible on this machine (the one post I saw about on these boards was originally in French).

 

Basically my plan for now is to 1) update the bios on the machine 2) upgrade the CPUs 3) upgrade to windows 10. I'd appreciate some advice on each of those.

 

Mainly I'm nervous about updating the bios because I've never done it on a machine before (perhaps this makes me a bad computer user, but if it ain't broke, I don't want to try and fix it!). My understanding is the Thinkstation C20 has the option to update the bios in Windows, so that's a little more comforting since I have experience installing things in Windows. The thing I'm second most nervous about is installing Windows 10 on the machine if it isn't officially supported. I have an old Dell I updated from Windows 7 to Windows 10 a few years ago and that Dell hasn't been the same since. It's sad how slow Windows 10 made it, but Microsoft kept prompting me to update and I never imagined I'd get the nag about an OS update if it wasn't going to be compatible with my machine. Thank you in advance for your time and help!

 

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5269 Posts

02-22-2010

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Re:Lenovo ThinkStation C20 Upgrades (Processor and OS)

2021-08-03, 17:43 PM

Dual X5672 CPUs should be supported on C20.  Since you're already running a Westmere class CPU in your system now with the E5620s, flashing BIOS prior to the upgrade probably isn't required from a CPU microcode perspective, but it's always good advice anyways just to make sure you have the latest code overall.  The flash from OS method is a good choice if you're not familiar with normal BIOS flashing procedures.

 

Also since your original CPUs are 80W TDP, you should be able to continue to use your existing heatsinks as they should be good for up to 95W TDP.  Once you get beyond 95W TDP you would need to change heatsinks...but that's only supported on C20x.

 

For the win10 upgrade, you're really on your own with this.  C20 ceased development and production well before win10 ever came out, so it was never officially qualified or supported.  I'd suggest searching the forums to see where other people might have run into problems with this type of upgrade and any tips on how to solve them.  Drivers is going to be the biggest issue you'll face most likely.




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2 Posts

08-02-2021

United States of America

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Re:Lenovo ThinkStation C20 Upgrades (Processor and OS)

2021-08-04, 0:41 AM

Thanks for the input! I just pulled the trigger on buying new processors and will update the BIOS in the next couple days. 

 

I will continue searching the forums for information on Windows 10. I saw a couple posts where C20 owners were running it, but there was no mention of the performance. The posts were about other things, but it's encouraging to see some folks have been able to install Windows 10 on the older machines.  I saw someone mention a VM as a way to test hardware compatibility, so I may try that for a trial run. I'm also going to see if Windows still has a restore function for moving from an older version of Windows to a newer one. If that's still the case, I will just give 10 a shot and if it's too slow after a couple weeks, I'll go back to my reliable Windows 7. 

 

Thanks again!

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