Integration of Boxed Intel® Core™2 Processors in the 775 Land Package


Install & Setup



Boxed Intel® Desktop Processor in the 775-Land Package
The overview and technical installation instructions below are for professional system integrators building PCs that use the boxed Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme, the boxed Intel® Core™ 2 Quad processor, and the Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor with industry-accepted motherboards, chassis and peripherals. Product information can also be found in the processor product brief, frequently asked questions and selling guide for each respective processor.

Click or the topic for details:

The Boxed Intel® Desktop Processor

Processor overview

See the Product Brief for details on the performance enhancing features of the respective boxed Intel® processor. Additionally, see the following pages for additional steps required for enabling certain processor features:

Included with the Boxed Intel® Desktop Processor in the 775-land Package
  • Intel® Core™2 Family Processor in the 775-land package
  • Intel® Designed Thermal Solution with support for Intel® Quiet System Technology
  • Thermal interface material (attached to the heat sink)
  • Installation Instructions and Certificate of Authenticity
  • Intel® inside logo label

The boxed processor in the 775-land package refers to processors in the 775-land Flip-Chip Land Grid Array (FC-LGA4) package with an Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS) that aids in heat dissipation to a properly attached fan heat sink.

Boxed Intel® Processor Thermal Solution Overview

As processor power has increased, required thermal solutions have generated more noise. Intel has added an option to the boxed processor that allows system integrators to have a quieter system in the most common usage.

Previous generation boxed Intel® fan heat sinks contain built-in circuitry to control fan speed. They have a thermistor in the fan hub which measures the chassis ambient air temperature. The fan circuitry then adjusts the fan speed to properly cool the processor at the slowest speed allowable. If the chassis ambient temperature is cool, then the processor will run slower and quieter. If the ambient temperature is hot, then the fan will run faster.

This fan was designed to work in a variety of operating conditions so it had to be designed in such a way that it would cool the processor when running at its maximum power at any given ambient temperature up to 38°C (39°C for Intel Core 2 Extreme processor). In normal operating environments the processor rarely reaches its maximum power rating.

Under most conditions the fan is spinning faster and louder than necessary. (The fan heat sink is required to work this way so that it will properly cool the CPU in all specified operating environments.)

Intel has been aware of customer concerns over increasing fan noise. Intel has now designed a new fan speed control technology to take advantage of the fact that the processor is not always running at its maximum power. This was done by basing the fan speed control on actual CPU temperature and power usage.

The speed of the new fan heat sink is controlled by the additional 4th wire of the fan cable. (The new technology is sometimes referred to as 4-wire fan speed control.)

The additional 4th wire sends a signal from the motherboard to the fan heat sink to control its speed. There is a thermal diode in the processor which measures actual CPU temperature. The processor sends information to the motherboard about its specific thermal requirements and the actual processor temperature. The motherboard then uses this information to optimally control the speed of the processor fan.

Note The boxed processor fan heat sink circuitry will not allow the fan to spin faster than necessary in order to meet worse case power usage at any given ambient temperature. The thermistor control is always active to limit maximum fan speed. (The Intel Core 2 Extreme processor actually has the fan thermistor disabled to allow maximum user flexibility in overspeed environments. If the motherboard does not support 4-wire fan speed control the fan will spin at full speed.)

The Max Temp represents the upper set point or worse case ambient temperature of 38C. The Min Temp represents the lower set point or the slowest possible fan speed at an ambient temperature of 30°C. (Also see Table 1.)

The acoustic benefits of the 4-wire based fan speed control may vary depending on the specific motherboard implementation. (The acoustic benefits are reliant on the motherboard implementation of fan speed control.)

Intel has recently developed a new revolutionary motherboard based fan speed control included with Intel® 965 chipset (and newer) based motherboards called Intel® QuietSystem Technology (Intel® QST). This new technology uses a PID controller that can measure the rate of change of the processor temperature, thus predicting when the processor will reach its maximum temperature. If implemented correctly by the motherboard manufacturer, the control algorithm will operate the processor fan at minimum speed under most operating conditions. Since Intel QST can predict when the processor will reach its maximum temperature, it will delay increasing the fan speed until just the right moment in order to keep the processor from exceeding its maximum temperature. Consult your motherboard manufacturer to see which motherboards they offer with support for Intel QST.

A 4-wire fan does not guarantee a quieter system. If the processor is being used in a hot environment and under heavy loads, the fan will have to run fast enough to properly cool the processor. The internal chassis temperature is required to be maintained at 38°C or lower (39°C or lower for Intel Core 2 Extreme processor ).

Table 1. Boxed Processor variable fan heat sink set points

For Boxed Intel Core 2 Quad Processors and Boxed Intel Core 2 Duo Processors in the 775-land package2
Internal Chassis Temperature (°C) Boxed Processor Fan Heat sink Set Points

X <= 301

Lower Set Point: Fan speed constant at lowest fan speed. Recommended temperature for nominal operating environment.

Y = 35

Recommended maximum internal chassis temperature for boxed Intel® Core 2 Duo processor-based systems.

Z >= 381

Higher Set Point: Fan speed constant at highest fan speed.

1 Set point variance is approximately ±1°C from fan heat sink to fan heat sink.

2 The boxed Intel Core 2 Extreme processor has the fan thermistor disabled to allow maximum user flexibility in overspeed environments. Motherboard based fan speed control is required to operate fan at lower speeds.

Identifying a Boxed Processor

Figure 3. Processor Box Label

Boxed processor test specifications (or S-Specs) marked on the integrated heat spreader of the Core 2 Duo Processor identify specific information about the processor. Using the Product Specifications and Comparisons tool and the information marked on the processor, a system integrator can verify the appropriate processor number, speed rating, stepping, lot number, serial number, and other important information about the processor. The numbers marked on the processor should match the numbers on the processor box label (see Figure 3). If the processor is already installed in a computer system then use the Intel® Processor Frequency ID Utility.

Once the boxed processor is installed in a system, the fan heat sink covers the integrated heat spreader and all the markings on the processor. The label on the box of the boxed processor (that has the processor number, speed information, test specification, and lot number) should be photo copied and taped to the inside of the chassis for reference. This will allow quick access to the information that is no longer available on the top of the processor when the heat sink is installed. If a system's processor is later upgraded or replaced causing the photocopied information inside the chassis to have incorrect information, the photocopy should be replaced, removed or visibly marked as obsolete to avoid confusion.

Platform component selection

Motherboard selection

Motherboards used with the boxed Intel Core 2 Extreme processor, the boxed Intel Core 2 Quad processor or the Intel Core 2 Duo processor must specifically support the Intel® Core™ micro-architecture. In general, look for a motherboard which uses one of the following chipsets:

  • Intel® P35 Express Chipset
  • Intel® G33 Express Chipset
  • Intel® Q965 Express Chipset
  • Intel® G/P965 Express Chipset
  • Intel® 975X Express Chipset (required for support of Intel Core 2 Extreme processor only)
  • Intel® 946GZ Express Chipset
  • Intel® 945G/P Express Chipset

It is important to verify that the specific motherboard model and revision support the specific boxed Intel processor number being used. Motherboards may also require a BIOS update in order to support specific processors. Intel provides The Source Motherboard List and the Tested Motherboard List for your convenience in choosing a suitable motherboard.


PCG is a processor power specification to help identify thermal solutions, power supplies, and chassis that will meet specific power requirements. The PCG mark can be found on the box label and engraved on the IHS of the processor. PCG information for a specific processor can be found at the Product Specifications and Comparisons page.

The PCG mark does not promise compatibility. The PCG mark specifies likely component compatibility with processor electrical requirements. Compatible chipset, BIOS, drivers, hardware, and operating system are required. Contact your hardware vendor for specific support of the respective boxed Intel processor.

Fan Heat Sink Support

The boxed processor includes a high quality unattached fan heat sink specifically designed to provide sufficient cooling to the boxed Intel processor when used in a suitable chassis environment. The fan power cable must be connected to the motherboard power header as shown in the processor installation notes (included in the boxed processor package).

The motherboard 4-pin header uses two pins to supply +12V (power) and GND (ground). The fan uses the third pin to transmit fan-speed information to motherboards. The fourth pin allows motherboards that support 4-wire fan-speed control to control the fan speed based on actual processor power consumption. The motherboard must have a 4-pin fan power header located close to the socket.

Note Refer to your motherboard manual for the location of the CPU fan power header.
Chassis selection

Systems based on the boxed Intel processor in the 775-land package must use a chassis that comply with the ATX specification (revision 2.2 or later) or microATX specification (revision 1.0 or later), depending on the motherboard form factor. Intel® recommends system integrators using ATX form factor motherboards to choose a chassis that complies with the ATX specification (revision 2.2 or later). Likewise, system integrators using microATX form factor motherboards should choose a chassis that complies with the microATX specification (1.0 or later).

It is recommended to use a chassis on the Tested Chassis List to ensure proper chassis airflow, electrical support (ATX12V or SFX12V power supply), and compatibility with the respective boxed Intel® processors using an Intel® Desktop Board. Chassis that pass this thermal testing provide system integrators with a starting place for determining which chassis to evaluate.

The chassis must also support a lower internal ambient temperature than many standard ATX and microATX desktop chassis. The internal chassis temperature for systems based on Core 2 Duo processors in the 775-land package should not exceed 38°C (39°C for the boxed Intel Core 2 Extreme processor) when the chassis is used in a maximum expected room temperature of 35°C. Most chassis designed for the boxed Intel processor use extra internal chassis fans to improve airflow and many include ducting to bring cool air directly to the processor fan heat sink. Intel® tests chassis with the boxed Intel processor and the Intel Desktop Boards for minimum thermal requirements. These chassis meet Intel's processor specifications with the Intel Desktop Boards. It is strongly recommended that system integrators perform thermal testing on the chassis selected for each configuration of boxed Intel processor-based systems, even when using a chassis on the Tested Chassis List.

Power supply selection

Power supplies must comply with the ATX12V 2.2 design guidelines (see the Form Factors Web site for details) and supply additional current on the 12V power rail through a 2x2 connector. The Intel Core 2 Duo processor requires a minimum of 8 Amps continuous and 13 Amps peak for 10ms on 12V2. All Intel® Core 2 Duo processor-based systems require either the standard 2x10, 20-pin ATX power connector or the new 24 pin ATX power connecter as well as the 2x2, 4-pin 12V connector. Each motherboard/platform may have additional requirements based on graphics cards, TV tuners, ADD2+, HDD, ODD, chassis fans, etc. Consult the motherboard and system component documentation to determine additional power supply requirements. Intel tests power supplies to determine a minimum level of electrical compliance. Consult the Tested Power Supply List for more information.

Integrated systems based on boxed Intel® processor

Integrating Boxed Intel Processors in the 775-land Package

Motherboards supporting the boxed Intel Core 2 family processors include a manual with installation instructions. Consult this manual in addition to the boxed processor manual before building a boxed Intel® processor-based system. The boxed Intel Processor in the 775-land package integration video also shows the installation process using a boxed Intel® Desktop Board (mechanical installation procedures are identical for both the Intel® Pentium® 4 in the 775-land package processor and the Intel® Pentium® D processor). In addition, the following information can aid system integrators in successfully integrating a system based on the boxed Intel Core 2 Duo processor in the 775-land package.

Installation instructions

ATX Installation of the Intel® LGA775-based Processors

Operating system support

Nearly all modern operating systems designed for Intel® architecture have support for the boxed Intel® processor, although some may require specific versions or processor support files. Microsoft Windows Vista* and Microsoft Windows* XP (with SP2) support the Intel® processor. Additionally, Linux* distributions offer support for the processor. Other vendors may have support for the Intel Core 2 Duo Processor in their operating systems. System integrators should verify that the operating system they have selected supports the Intel Core 2 Duo Processor.

Operating system support for Intel® 64 can be found in the Intel® 64 How to document.

Software optimization

Applications optimized for multi-threading can benefit even more on a dual core processor. No additional optimizations are required.

With specific drivers that use the SSE3 instructions, graphics accelerators, audio hardware and software, and other system resources can experience substantial performance gain. Graphics card vendors typically highlight support changes with new driver releases. Download and install the latest drivers from the vendor's Web site. Also, verify that the driver version contains optimization for the Intel Core 2 Duo Processor.

Many applications also take advantage of 64-bit computing with specific optimizations for the Intel Core 2 Duo processor. In order to take advantage of Intel 64, an entire hardware & software solution stack is required, ranging from processors and device drivers to operating systems, tools and applications. Contact your software vendor for available Intel 64 support.

System performance is greatly affected by proper operating system and driver installation processes. For example, it is important to install the latest Intel® Chipset Software Installation Utility immediately after installing most Microsoft operating systems to ensure proper drivers for the chipset are installed prior to installation of other drivers. System integrators should confirm boxed Intel Core 2 Duo processor-based systems are optimally configured and integrated.


Boxed Intel processor-based systems require proper integration. System integrators that follow the guidelines in this document will experience higher customer satisfaction by providing higher quality systems.

  1. Power savings from Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technology may vary depending on system usage and design.
  2. Enabling Execute Disable Bit functionality requires a PC with a processor with Execute Disable Bit capability and a supporting operating system. Check with your PC manufacturer on whether your system delivers Execute Disable Bit functionality.
  3. Intel 64 requires a computer system with a processor, chipset, BIOS, operating system, device drivers and applications enabled for Intel 64. Processor will not operate (including 32-bit operation) without an Intel 64-enabled BIOS. Performance will vary depending on your hardware and software configurations. For more information including details on which processors support Intel 64 or consult with your system vendor for more information.