I have been reading a lot on this mod, most of the important stuff is concentrated here, http://www.delidded.com/ , and after acquiring a compatible mobo the tinkering urge has possessed me again.
Some background here : in the last few months I have been hit with a crippling condition, called CIDP, that evolved quite fast on me and took me by surprise, (I had a few precursory signs but unfortunately they were not able to detect it, the few times I have been at emergency at the hospital), I went to work till the last day I could, so to say, I am pretty much an workaholic, before meeting my fiancee, and some time after, I was working mostly all days off and holidays, the only times when I wasn't working the holidays was when I worked on contract at Reitmans, as I was working on a project that ran only weekdays (they were upgrading the OS on the POS machines, across the country, Reitmans has around 1000 stores across Canada, from NFL to BC) and now I work at Videotron in Montreal. At Videotron, due to it being unionized, working on holidays is allowed only in the order of seniority, and they have limited places, even if you want to work there will be no more place, as most seniors will want to work, and some of them will double shifts in the same day, basically doing 16 hours in a row!, while being at Bell Mobility in Dorval (yes, close to the airport) most of the old/senior agents didn't want to work the holidays, so I was always having an opportunity to work on holidays, score some more bucks, for upgrades you know!  😛
So I am stuck home with a lot of time on hands and getting bored out of my skull here, so I am tinkering around the house, mostly on my PCs.
I changed lady's PC with one of those Zotac mini PC, one based of a Celeron from the Ivy Bridge family, with 4 GB of DDR3 SODIMMs ( that I actually got for free from Soullessone21 here with the occasion of another buy ) and a SATA III SSD, Crucial M4, (that thing reboots lightning fast) , and this gave me access to a Intel Q45 chipset mobo, that will probably be the test mule for the project. The mobo is Intel DQ45CB, very good, rock solid mobo, no OVC options of course, awesome audio solution, has an ADI codec, I liked that mobo a lot and still do, but I am willing to sacrifice it on the altar of modding. Will ad some pics later.

This is the DFI mobo. I got this in a buy from Shadowmeph on HWC, for 50$ i got also 8GB RAM and a Q6600. It was a bit abused in its life, actually it would not boot when I received it, scratched my head, did a couple of cmos resets, I didn't know back then but the CMOS battery was dying. This board has an interesting option in the bios, it would back up the settings from an ovc profile, and even if you do a bios clear it will not remove those settings, and if they are too agressive it will not boot. It has an option to try and reboot a number of times after a failed boot, but that option was set to 0! In the end it rebooted, like this I discovered that the FSB was jacked up to 369! I dialed down to default values and it worked just fine. A few days after I sold the Q6600 for 50$, thus recouping the money spent on the whole setup. 

Ok, I took a break and brewed me a coffee with maple syrup and taken some pics. This is the Intel mobo, the DQ45CB, this is the first time I notice those capacitors next to what seems to be the codec, probably that is why that thing is so good. Notice the removed CMOS battery, it donated it to the DFI board so that this one can live a better life. Onboard is a C2D E7400 with a low profile Intel OEM heatsink, very quiet!

I already have a second machine that I can fall off in case this thing goes south, recently I build a system with a mini-itx MSI H81i and a Pentium G3258, but I am not really too hot about it : audio is lower quality than the DFI or the Intel, no RAID, option present on both DFI and Intel, I think I will sell it if the opportunity arises. I am not doing this thing for money, but for my own experience and … excitement  😛
I spent all the C2D days in the AMD camp, had a few systems, after that I dabbled with Intel systems and had a few that remained close to my heart as memories, one of them, my absolute favorite was a SR-2 setup, got a MountainMods 18 Silver case and PSU from Rison, and the rest, mobo cpus and fans from gingerbee, all shipped to 3.0charlie's place and he was kind enough to assemble everything, that was an awesome system, IIRC the CPUs were some hexcore Xeons ES, awesome powered platform, that thing was doing 100-120k PPD on SMP in Folding at Home. You know what I find ironic? In his avatar on HWC, 3.0charlie says "I kill SR-2s", well, this is the one SR-2 he didn't kill!
The other system that I loved very much was another X58 setup, I found this place in US where you could have a cheap Asus Sabertooth X58 (I think it was 90CAD at the time), and after much trouble (had to do a wire transfer to a US bank, that alone was 30$) I got it home. I slapped a hexacore Xeon L5639 on it and being cooled with a CM212 it went to 3.0 GHz with no issue. This CPU does not even appear on Intel's ARK, it was not an ES, it was a server pull, operating at 2.13GHz and it was a 60W part! I sold the setup to 3.0charlie and he clocked the crap out of it, I think he went at 3.5GHz at 1.35V. Yep, those were the 2 systems that I loved most, both Intel based, so that is why I am going for another Intel setup.

![SR-2 in silver MM case.jpg](/public/imported_attachments/1/SR-2 in silver MM case.jpg)
![SR-2 in silver MM case.jpg_thumb](/public/imported_attachments/1/SR-2 in silver MM case.jpg_thumb)

Thanks for sharing MARSTG, your collection looks like its almost as bad as mine 🙂

I have never tried the SR-2 but have seen a lot of them pop up these days.

keep us posted on how the 771 goes 🙂

So one day the DFI mobo decided that it will not post anymore. It already gave me some signs before, ( powering off for more than 24 hours it would not keep the altered bios values ) and was acting weird, like it was not allowing me to enter bios at boot, or it would not recognize my E8500 correctly, was saying it was doing just 9x333MHz when in fact E8500 is clocked at 3.16GHz 9.5x333, loading default values would solve the issue. So when I got my G3258 setup I left it alone completely. A week or 2 after that I thought a lot about it and one day I just replaced the CMOS battery from the Intel board and surprise, it booted up just fine. The BIOS batteries are identical on both boards, I think they are CR2032 or something. So now the board is stable, I powered it off for more than 24 hours and it came up right away after turning on the PSU, I have an older Antec EarthWatts 380 Green, so all good there. I took the time to upgrade the bios as well, there was a beta bios on the DFI website adding support for Q9000 series CPUs, did that with the USB flash drive method, felt pretty hardcore for me, as I am born in the Windows 98 era when it comes to PC. I would like my system to stay like this on the table, with all the innards showing, I procured an already modded Xeon X5460 from Soullessone21 (yep, the guru here  ;D) and will make the necessary arrangements with 3.0charlie and pay him a visit to hack the socket and install the heatsink. I had a bad experience when trying to swap Intel OEM heatsinks from one system to another, so I am not really touching them again.

Oh yes, one other thing is that, apparently, no one on kijiji is buying a board that does not have the rear I/O panel, too many anal retentive individuals there,  :-X and as this thing is missing the I/O panel, this system will be mine most probably, so future-proofing a bit here. Yeah, how cool is gonna be when I am gonna be able to play the latest games with my hacked Xeon mod that will cost me less than 100$, when 99% of the gamers will have to shell at least double going just for the CPU? This setup coupled with a GTX750Ti should make for a nice punch at 1080p. Now, games wise I don't game that much, I have NFSHP2010 that I play to death, I like the graphics a lot and the game is made single core, so even my E8500 keeps pace just fine with it.
Oh yes, something about the ovc on this board : board seems pretty capable, lots of voltage options, heatsinks on the VRMs as well, my E8500 went as high as 4 GHz but with stability issues, everything was corrupting, works stable at 3.5GHz however, I guess the Intel OEM heatsink, ( the one for the Q6600, the one with copper core ) shows its limits here. Hopefully a CM212 will offset that.

Ok, so we are on. I decided to keep the Intel stock heatsink, after all Q6600 is rated for 105W and it looks pretty beefy, with that copper core, so today I removed the E8500, my lady helped and cut the plastic pins from the lga 775 socket, inserted the Xeon X5460 and booted. Successful boot from the first try!

That is awesome and damn powerful… watercooling and overclock asap!

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