For strange administrative reasons (market segmentation I suppose) we can get a cheap Dell workstation but only with the Threadripper PRO 5945WX with 12 cores. I would like to replace that CPU with a AMD Threadripper PRO 5975WX with 32 cores, i.e. more cores, same family.

Would that be a difficult task for someone with limited hardware experience ? (I can change RAM or hard disk, but never changed CPU or motherboard...)

Would that invalidate the guarantee of the machine even for stuff that have nothing to do with the CPU ?

Any videos suggestions for that (that's one of the very few cases where videos would be more suited than text..) ?

  • What research have you done so far? 1) We at least need the mobo model. 2) requesting off-site resources is off-topic. Any links to external sites could break in future, leaving this question without an answer.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 19 at 8:04
  • @Tetsujin : I can't find the mothermoard information. It's a Dell Precision 7865 that is not yet with us, and in the specs I can find everything except the Motherboard model. I know only, from the AMD specs, that both CPUs uses socket "swrx8". I have also found a AMD produced video on installing the CPU on amd.com/en/support/kb/faq/cpu-install-tr
    – Antonello
    Sep 19 at 8:21
  • 1
    @Tetsujin Motherboard model is pretty pointless as Dell uses custom motherboards in all their systems. More important question is if this same model is also offered with the other CPU as option. (If so the bios will support it, if not chances are high the new CPU won't work.) 2nd concern is if the power-supply is powerful enough to deal with the new CPU. Actual hardware install is not more complicated than any other CPU upgrade, but the question remains if it will actually work.
    – Tonny
    Sep 19 at 8:43
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    With the Threadripper Pro 5xxx series processors it's so much worse than just "voided warranty". Processor and mainboard are paired to each other. You can't use the CPU on a different mainboard, nor can you swap in a different CPU. Not even from within the same model series. All you can swap are RAM and disks.
    – Ext3h
    Sep 19 at 14:28
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    Just to clarify: With an aftermarket CPU and WRX80 based mainboard, you can swap them around as you like, nothing gets locked in automatically. But for OEMs, AMD has provided the option to prevent swapping out the CPU aftermarket, as well as salvaging the CPUs from retired systems. Applies to Dell, Lenovo, HP.
    – Ext3h
    Sep 19 at 14:31

1 Answer 1


After the additional clarification in the comments upgrading the CPU should be reasonably straightforward. But if you don't have any experience with this it is a good idea to have someone with experience around.
This is rather expensive stuff to make a mistake on...

As always with a CPU upgrade start by making sure the computer has the latest UEFI firmware. Upgrade first if it is an older version.
Then remove all external cables (especially the power cord) and open the case.
If you have ESD measures use them. If you don't have them at least touch a grounded object (like a nearby radiator or the metal housing of a grounded electrical appliance), before you start and every few minutes while you are working on this.

Remove the cooling fan/heatsink assembly from the CPU. This should be some kind of mechanical fixing. Usually some screws or a retaining clip. That can vary.
Undo those first and then pull the cooler off straight upwards. You don't want to pry it off or put uneven pressure on the underlying CPU.
The cooler may be really stuck because the cooling paste (or pad) between CPU usually acts as glue. A slight rotating motion may help.

(P.s in order to give yourself some working room you may want to temporarily remove the video-card and other PCIe cards if present.)

Then follow the instructions from the video you already linked in the comments. It is an excellent instruction. Where they are removing the protective plastic cover from the frame you will be removing the old CPU instead, but it works exactly the same way.

After you have installed the CPU as per the video the last step is to re-instate the cooler assembly.
Before you do that you will have to remove the old cooling-paste (or pad) from the bottom of the heatsink and try to avoid scratching the surface of the heatsink while you do that. You want this as smooth as possible.
First scrape of the majority with a soft plastic spatula (old credit card works pretty well too) and then wipe of the rest using a tissue and some iso-propyl alcohol.
Then apply a couple of drops of fresh cooling paste on the bottom of the heatsink. (Don't overdo it. You only need the paste to form a thin film between CPU and heatsink. It shouldn't squeeze out from underneath the heatsink.)
Then place the cooler back on the CPU and fasten it, in the reverse order of taken it out.
(The Dell website may have a instruction on replacing the cooler assembly. Look at that first!)

  • Thank you, but now I am warried from the comment of @Ext3h that motherboard and CPU are actually unseparable in OEM systems... do you have any reference on these situations?
    – Antonello
    Sep 20 at 4:19
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    @Antonello I see his comments and I wasn't aware of that. I only deal with retail Threadrippers were this is never a concern. If he is right this will make it impossible to upgrade. Found a reference for this myself: servethehome.com/…
    – Tonny
    Sep 21 at 13:51
  • thanks for link. I didn't know it..
    – Antonello
    Sep 21 at 21:07

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