CPU swap advice please

SLP Firehawk

Limp Gawd
Jan 30, 2020
Hi. I am getting ready to undertake swapping my i7 3930k for an Xeon 1680v2 and frankly I'm scared. My MB is Asus P9X79 Pro. I will also be upgrading the AIO cooler from coolermaster 120mm (Seidon 120M) to coolermaster 240mm (Masterliquid ML240L) and due to the design of the case (HAF-X)I will likely have to remove the entire MB in order to access the rear of the cooling plate. This machine has many SSDs, a Matrox card, add-in SSD controller and optical drives, card reader so I am very intimidated.

Plan is to change the CPU and cooler and then boot to see if everything still works and what software licenses got broken in the process. Then I want to do a clean install of Windows 7 Pro because the old installation is quite old and has undergone many clones to progressively larger drives over the years. And then overclock the 1680v2 to a stabil reliable but faster speed to help with my software. I am dreading doing this Autodesk is about to cut off perpetual license activations so I have to do it now.

Any direction or advice or known good tutorials will be greatly appreciated. I've changed PSU, RAM, GPU, drives, fans, but never a CPU or MB in an expensive system like this. I don't wnat to break anything

case: https://www.coolermaster.com/catalog/legacy-products/cases/haf-x/
I have updated the BIOS to support the Xeon already
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[H]ipster Replacement
Sep 29, 2001
is the BIOS you have already compatible with the Xeon?
HAF-X has an access hole in the motherboard tray. Do you mean the HAF-XB? the horizontal one like this?
case corner.jpg


Dec 14, 2002
I tend to build rigs like that except that I usually go for a full tower case with plenty of room. I built a machine with a very similar board in it -- Asus P9X79 Deluxe. I've thought about doing a similar upgrade, but can't decide between the 1680v2, 2687Wv2, and the 2697v2.

You won't need to change the backplate for the CPU cooler on a socket 2011 board. They're built into the board. Same with socket 2066. You shouldn't need to take the board out unless you need to get it out of the way to install the radiator and fans for the larger AIO.


Jun 8, 2021
Well I will tell right off that you can only increase the multiplier on the 1680v2 to 43x, however you can still use the built in base clock straps like 125mhz to get higher. I almost thought about upgrading my 3960x but ended up just going 5900x build. Be sure that your bios is up to date or the 1680v2 won’t post as the 1680v2 is ivy bridge vs your sandy bridge 3930k.

As far as removing the motherboard, I’ve never hurt any of my mobos in all my years of taking apart and rebuilding rigs so as long as you are competent it should be a non-starter.


Fully [H]
Feb 1, 2005
First, I don't see any reason to worry about the rear cooling plate as the install for the cooler for X79 motherboards will probably include the existing backplate with included screws for LGA2011 (check the install of the AIO, but every AIO I've used just used the existing backplate for 2011). There are usually different screws for the thread pitch of the existing Intel backplate. So my first piece of advice is to understand how to install the AIO and what hardware you need.

Second, just be careful removing the old CPU and installing the new one to make sure you don't bend any pins in your motherboard socket.

Third, the software is more resilient than you think. The biggest difference is going to be the PCIe bus moving from PCIe 2.0 to 3.0 so that might throw it off, but it should be ok. Most of the motherboard didn't change. It wouldn't hurt to do a full re-install if you haven't done one in a while.