I Bought a Dell Inspiron 3520 about a year ago(beginning of 2015). The computer was probably around two years old guessing from when I bought it based off cpu was release Q1 2012 and the chipset in the motherboard is HM75 which came out Q2/2012 and the bios on the motherboard by dell was A04 which came out Q3/2012. So i'm guessing that the computer was made Q3 or Q4 and released around chirstmas 2012 or early 2013. It has a i3 2370 sandy bridge 2.4 dual core cpu with G2 or ppga988 socket (best 2ndgen I3 chip). I have did a lot of research into updating the chip but found out that I didn't have to stay with a sandy bridge cpu that many people where putting the newer Ivy Bridge cpu's in the ppga988 socket and working. Doing research found out a lot of it had to do with your bios. Well the other night I updated the bios to dells latest update for this motherboard to A10 from A04 which was a major jump and the A10 was released the very end of 2013 in Nov so pretty much 2014. I'm almost certain that this bios can run the Ivy bridge chips because the bios is over a year and a half newer then the chips where made. Now here are the questions: one the motherboard and two the ram
When I run cpuz it says the motherboard is running a southbridge HM75 Rev 04 but the chipset is sandybridge. I am looking at some 3gen Ivy Bridge I7 chips the 3840 and 3820 QM's or might look at a few other models because these are older chips and I"m not going to pay a arm and a leg for older tech when I'm just trying to max out this older computer. They do have XM chips which are a little faster but use more watts and create more heat I'm not trying to put that much stress and heat smashed in this little laptop with old tech. I don't understand how the chipsets works or their limitations. Assuming the bios A10 (which it should its running newer LGA chips), the I7 chip, and ram(which I will get too) is all up to par can the motherboard give me all the speed and features of the I7 8threads 4 core processor with 8 mb cache?
Second question is the ram. the I7 can do up to 32gb of ram ddr3 at 1333/1600. Can the motherboard keep up? My motherboard only has two ram slots. So I could put two 16gb chips in the ram but from my understanding is the more slots with smaller ram run fast then the less slots and bigger storage example a 4x8gb vs a 2x16. Which I can't do 4x8 because I only have two slots so is 16gb chips over kill not to mention pricey?
The bottom line is your computer is only as fast as your weakest link and that is the older hardware on the motherboard the HM75 southbridge sande bridge chip set. I don't know if it can handle four cores which I would have to check but I believe it should the 2nd gen I7's had 4 cores. If anyone could help me out on this motherboard issue that would be amazing! Like I said price is a issue and overkill (not much of a difference in quality or speed) I want to get this running fast as possible without spending what it would cost to buy a new computer for 700 to 1000 bucks to make old tech run up to par with low rated newer tech. Thank you for reading! Hopefully it wasn't too long but I have tried to look at this at all angles and get to the bottom of the problem.