Dell manufactured three generations of the PowerEdge 2900 server model. It is important to understand the differences among the system boards prior to upgrading or replacing processors. In addition, Dell recommends updating to the most current BIOS prior to installation. When adding a second processor to a system, make sure to select an identical CPU with matching spec code (e.g. SL9RX, SLANU, etc).
Generation I system boards (motherboards) support Intel Xeon 5000/5100 series dual-core processors only. They will NOT work with any quad-core CPUs like the 5300/5400 series with 8M/12M cache, respectively. Example part numbers of Generation I system boards include J7551 and TM757.
Generation II system boards support Intel Xeon 5300 series quad-core processors with 8MB cache and are backwards-compatible with the dual-core 4MB cache 5000/5100 series. If the front of your system chassis is labeled with a "II," your system is upgradeable to the Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processor 5300 series. Example part numbers of Generation II system boards include YM158.
Generation III system boards support Intel Xeon 5200/5400 series processors with 6MB and 12MB cache, respectively. They are backwards-compatible with quad-core 8MB cache 5300 series processors as well as dual-core 4MB cache 5000/5100 series CPUs. Dell also added support for 8GB DIMMs so Generation III system boards can support up to 96GB of RAM. If the front of your system chassis is labeled with a "III," your system is upgradeable to the Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor 5400 series. Example part numbers of Generation III system boards include NX642.
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