Mac OS POSTing but not booting after CPU Upgrade

I have a 2009 Mac Pro flashed to 5,1, with Catalina installed on a sata ssd. I upgraded my single W3250 with a X5690 off of ebay. The issue that came up is this: on powering on it chimes, shows the apple logo loading screen, goes up about halfway the progress bar and then restarts. It seems a fairly common symptom so here’s what I already did, unsuccessfully:

  • Reseated CPU and RAM
  • Applied the correct tension on the cpu heatsink
  • Running with the original video card
  • Reset the NVRAM (multiple times)
  • Tried recovery mode, tried booting from a Catalina installer
  • Pray to Tim

People on this forum with a similar situation get told that it’s a HDD problem, but I don’t have an OS on them. It doesn’t seem a hw problem to me, like overheating, bent pins or dead resistor/capacitor. The machine worked perfectly before. I have not yet tried switching CPU for a sanity check, I wanted to dig as deep as I could before blaming it on a faulty ebay processor (vendor has great reviews) - could be a random logic board problem that came up while switching the cpu.

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