Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

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Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:25 pm

Dropped a Phenom II 945 (3.0 GHz quad core) into my Asus M3A78-CM (Socket AM2+) mobo eariler today, and the system came right up on the new CPU without incident. Been running various apps (and Folding@home in the background) for a few hours, and it has been rock solid so far. The system is also noticeably more responsive (I use virtualization a fair bit, so I can actually take advantage of those extra 2 cores).

And if/when I decide to upgrade the motherboard, this processor is Socket AM3 (and DDR3 RAM) compatible!

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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:31 pm

I heard a rumor the new chips wont support AM2+ so I may try to sell my setup before next spring
however, the 6 core prices might drop nicely so I'm just going to tread along happily for now
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:06 pm

Speaking of which, what's the fastest chip that is worth putting into an AM2+ board:
Foxconn A6VMX AM2+/AM2 AMD 690V Micro ATX AMD Motherboard.

I know I'll be limited to the 1ghz Hypertransport, so I'm also not sure if the fastest chip isn't going to be able to stretch it's legs.
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:10 pm

I don't know if it's "worth putting into" your motherboard, but the Phenom II 955 Black Edition is a comparative bargain.
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:12 pm

Yeah, this rocks. I'll probably just get an X6 down the road rather than upgrading the entire system again.
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:13 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:I don't know about "worth putting into," but the Phenom II 955 Black Edition is a comparative bargain.

We'll I'm pretty sure that the BE-2350 is currently limiting the 4850, so Just considering my options. That way I can also throw the BE-2350 into my ex470 WHS.
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:44 pm

Synchromesh wrote:Yeah, this rocks. I'll probably just get an X6 down the road rather than upgrading the entire system again.

BIOS support may be an issue; none of the X6 chips are on the M3A78-CM supported CPU list. Which is odd, since they are supported on the M3A78-EM (which is a very similar board).
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:31 am

just brew it! wrote:
Synchromesh wrote:Yeah, this rocks. I'll probably just get an X6 down the road rather than upgrading the entire system again.

BIOS support may be an issue; none of the X6 chips are on the M3A78-CM supported CPU list. Which is odd, since they are supported on the M3A78-EM (which is a very similar board).


This AMD plan actually helping alot of people with better CPU power Without lossing alot of money ..:)

I also kind of confuse right now either to get a AM3 board with existing AM3 CPU or wait till the new AM3+ board come out..:(
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:44 am

mghong wrote:This AMD plan actually helping alot of people with better CPU power Without lossing alot of money ..:)
Not with this latest twist, especially for those who bought AM3 boards thinking they can put the shiny new Bulldozer CPUs in them. But this is the tech business no one should be under any delusions that this is not going to happen.

mghong wrote:I also kind of confuse right now either to get a AM3 board with existing AM3 CPU or wait till the new AM3+ board come out..:(
Same principle applies. If you need a box you need a box. Use the computer to the fullest. If you must care about upgrade, then buy the cheapest AM2+ (reuse your DDR2 if you have them) or AM3 board that you can find. By the time you want to think about AM3+, pass it on to a separate build (for yourself or friends/family) or sell it to help fund the new build.
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:39 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
mghong wrote:This AMD plan actually helping alot of people with better CPU power Without lossing alot of money ..:)
Not with this latest twist, especially for those who bought AM3 boards thinking they can put the shiny new Bulldozer CPUs in them. But this is the tech business no one should be under any delusions that this is not going to happen.

mghong wrote:I also kind of confuse right now either to get a AM3 board with existing AM3 CPU or wait till the new AM3+ board come out..:(
Same principle applies. If you need a box you need a box. Use the computer to the fullest. If you must care about upgrade, then buy the cheapest AM2+ (reuse your DDR2 if you have them) or AM3 board that you can find. By the time you want to think about AM3+, pass it on to a separate build (for yourself or friends/family) or sell it to help fund the new build.



Great philosophy...i buy it , lucky i come back to browse TR and find new build guide too..

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but though of changing samsung to WD VelociRaptor for OS disk...or get a Samsung F3 and build a RAID 0/1...:) :D become evil. :evil:

..
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:17 pm

mghong wrote:WD VelociRaptor for OS disk...

Why, with SSDs becoming cheaper every day? The Velociraptor, as good as it is, seems like a Very Poor Idea in this day and age.
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:01 pm

morphine wrote:
mghong wrote:WD VelociRaptor for OS disk...

Why, with SSDs becoming cheaper every day? The Velociraptor, as good as it is, seems like a Very Poor Idea in this day and age.


SSD with intel 40G = 409

But Velociraptor with 150GB = 390 different in term of price vs performance still a big gap to go.
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:13 am

just brew it! wrote:
Synchromesh wrote:Yeah, this rocks. I'll probably just get an X6 down the road rather than upgrading the entire system again.

BIOS support may be an issue; none of the X6 chips are on the M3A78-CM supported CPU list. Which is odd, since they are supported on the M3A78-EM (which is a very similar board).


I'm pretty sure my current board supports X6. Last time I googled there were quite a few mentions of people putting those CPUs in it without problems. I'm still not doing because those 2 extra cores are not essential for gaming quite yet plus X6s are fairly expensive. But down the road - who knows?
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:45 am

Is this the one: http://www.onhop.ca/catalog/product/10668396 (I assume there's only one 945...). The upgrade you did is exactly what I'd like to do, so if this is the CPU is the site just wrong showing it as AM3?
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:49 am

Chaseme wrote:Is this the one: http://www.onhop.ca/catalog/product/10668396 (I assume there's only one 945...). The upgrade you did is exactly what I'd like to do, so if this is the CPU is the site just wrong showing it as AM3?

All current socket AM3 processors are backward compatible with socket AM2+. The potential stumbling block is BIOS support; if the mobo manufacturer has not released a BIOS update, the newer AM3 chips may not work.

Sometimes it also depends on the revision level of the motherboard itself. In the case of the M3A78-CM, the mobo needs to be at least rev 1.01G to support the 95W Phenom II X4s.
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:55 pm

Ah nice, I didn't know this! I will check into my mobo for more details then!

Edit: So my board seems to support most new AM3 CPUs. http://www.gigabyte.com/products/produc ... id=2814#ov

I'm pretty impressed for this low end low cost 2yr old board!
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:21 pm

Woot. My AM2+ board has a BIOS update for six-core processors, and while I can't afford one now, I do intend to buy one eventually. Maybe early next year.
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:03 pm

Yeah my AM2+ motherboard in my sig has an update for the X6 as well. Who'd have thunk it. :)
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:31 pm

Chaseme wrote:Ah nice, I didn't know this! I will check into my mobo for more details then!

Edit: So my board seems to support most new AM3 CPUs. http://www.gigabyte.com/products/produc ... id=2814#ov

I'm pretty impressed for this low end low cost 2yr old board!

Yup, ditto here. The only "gotcha" for the M3A78-CM boards I've got seems to be the 6-core AM3 CPUs (and that may yet change with a future BIOS update). The M3A78-CM was a low-cost board too; it was nominally aimed at the corporate desktop market. But it had a feature set which made it a pretty good fit for a budget "power user" desktop system (or even a server-on-the-cheap) as well -- 4 DIMM slots (with real ECC capability and a maximum RAM capacity of 8GB), 6 SATA ports, and on-board DVI. That's why I own two of them myself (and recommended it to friends and co-workers until Asus discontinued it).
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:18 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Chaseme wrote:Ah nice, I didn't know this! I will check into my mobo for more details then!

Edit: So my board seems to support most new AM3 CPUs. http://www.gigabyte.com/products/produc ... id=2814#ov

I'm pretty impressed for this low end low cost 2yr old board!

Yup, ditto here. The only "gotcha" for the M3A78-CM boards I've got seems to be the 6-core AM3 CPUs (and that may yet change with a future BIOS update). The M3A78-CM was a low-cost board too; it was nominally aimed at the corporate desktop market. But it had a feature set which made it a pretty good fit for a budget "power user" desktop system (or even a server-on-the-cheap) as well -- 4 DIMM slots (with real ECC capability and a maximum RAM capacity of 8GB), 6 SATA ports, and on-board DVI. That's why I own two of them myself (and recommended it to friends and co-workers until Asus discontinued it).


Last week i finally get myself a rig and finish it by 4am next morning..:) , instead of follow TR guide , i get a X2 555 and unlock the core to X4 ..:)
and a AM3 motherboard which capable to run 6Core without any problem. In case Bulldozer is release by Q12011 i can slot in the X6 once price drop..:)
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:59 am

just brew it! wrote:Yup, ditto here. The only "gotcha" for the M3A78-CM boards I've got seems to be the 6-core AM3 CPUs (and that may yet change with a future BIOS update). The M3A78-CM was a low-cost board too; it was nominally aimed at the corporate desktop market. But it had a feature set which made it a pretty good fit for a budget "power user" desktop system (or even a server-on-the-cheap) as well -- 4 DIMM slots (with real ECC capability and a maximum RAM capacity of 8GB), 6 SATA ports, and on-board DVI. That's why I own two of them myself (and recommended it to friends and co-workers until Asus discontinued it).

Looks like Asus has released a BIOS update to support 6-core CPUs on the M3A78-CM!
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:43 pm

Holy crap... and my old M2A-VM HDMI supports Phenom II quads with a beta BIOS flash? I thought Socket AM2 wasn't compatible with Phenom II (that you needed at least Socket AM2+)...?

Interesting. (And pretty cool...)
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:39 am

just brew it! wrote:Holy crap... and my old M2A-VM HDMI supports Phenom II quads with a beta BIOS flash? I thought Socket AM2 wasn't compatible with Phenom II (that you needed at least Socket AM2+)...?

Interesting. (And pretty cool...)


AM2 (non-plus) does not support HyperTransport 3.0 or the split power planes used by Phenom II. So you're limited to HT2.0 and it can't put the CPU cores and the IMC to sleep separately. That's the only difference between AM2 and AM2+ that I know of.
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:56 am

FuturePastNow wrote:
just brew it! wrote:Holy crap... and my old M2A-VM HDMI supports Phenom II quads with a beta BIOS flash? I thought Socket AM2 wasn't compatible with Phenom II (that you needed at least Socket AM2+)...?

Interesting. (And pretty cool...)


AM2 (non-plus) does not support HyperTransport 3.0 or the split power planes used by Phenom II. So you're limited to HT2.0 and it can't put the CPU cores and the IMC to sleep separately. That's the only difference between AM2 and AM2+ that I know of.


Yes, which means that the processors that actually require the split power planes will not work on the AM2 (non-plus) boards. So in practice, the best processor you can put on them is the 945; the 955/965/970 won't work, and neither will the Thubans.

A friend of mine also did this recently by the way: he bought a Phenom II X4 945 and put it on his Asus M2N-SLI (AM2), replacing his old Phenom X4 9850. Works pretty sweet he says. I'd do the same with my M2N-E but I'm broke, so I asked him to sell his 945 to me when he upgrades to Bulldozer next year. :^)
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:04 am

vvas wrote:the processors that actually require the split power planes will not work on the AM2 (non-plus) boards. So in practice, the best processor you can put on them is the 945; the 955/965/970 won't work, and neither will the Thubans. A friend of mine also did this recently by the way: he bought a Phenom II X4 945 and put it on his Asus M2N-SLI (AM2), replacing his old Phenom X4 9850. Works pretty sweet he says. I'd do the same with my M2N-E but I'm broke, so I asked him to sell his 945 to me when he upgrades to Bulldozer next year. :^)

What about the Athlon II X4s? I imagine all of those will work, yes? I find that option a particularly interesting one in older AM2 boards.
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:21 am

flip-mode wrote:
vvas wrote:the processors that actually require the split power planes will not work on the AM2 (non-plus) boards. So in practice, the best processor you can put on them is the 945; the 955/965/970 won't work, and neither will the Thubans.

What about the Athlon II X4s? I imagine all of those will work, yes? I find that option a particularly interesting one in older AM2 boards.


Yes, it looks like it. My motherboard's CPU compatibility list has the 635 and the 640 on it, so I assume they're fine. And you're right, if I were buying a new processor right now to upgrade, the 640 seems to be a better value for money compared to the 945.

As usual, caveat emptor: All the above is conditional to the motherboard manufacturer having released a newer BIOS version that provides support for these CPUs. So before doing anything, check their website for BIOS updates and/or your motherboard's CPU compatibility list.
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:33 am

Micro Center has been running some extremely sweet deals lately where basically you buy an Athlon II X4 and you get a mobo free. They are not the elite mobos, but they are certainly better than my GA-MA690-GM2 690G based motherboard that has pretty much the suckiest south bridge ever.
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:53 pm

that has pretty much the suckiest south bridge ever.

Well, it sucked less then the southbridge before that (clue: that southbridge was released long before the AMD/ATI acquisition), which was so bad that when Uli had a better southbridge, most motherboards switched to that one. And just before the AMD/ATI acquisition, NVIDIA bought Uli which caused uncertainty about that southbridge, as NVIDIA had a competing chipset.
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:49 am

yuhong wrote:
that has pretty much the suckiest south bridge ever.

Well, it sucked less then the southbridge before that (clue: that southbridge was released long before the AMD/ATI acquisition), which was so bad that when Uli had a better southbridge, most motherboards switched to that one. And just before the AMD/ATI acquisition, NVIDIA bought Uli which caused uncertainty about that southbridge, as NVIDIA had a competing chipset.

Yep, I remember that. Nvidia promptly coffined the Uli south bridge too, and eventually it's entire chipset business. Nvidia definitely goes for the jugular!
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Re: Gotta love that AM2+/AM3 migration path...

Postposted on Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:00 pm

A few minutes ago I dropped a Phenom II 955 BE into my other M3A78-CM (this is the one that powers my home desktop... the other one was the box I use at work). I had originally wanted to go with a 6-core... but the prices on the quads were just too hard to pass up. Other than the installation of the new HSF being a little fiddly (mostly due to me being too lazy to uncable everything to allow me to move the system out from under the desk, so I was doing this by flashlight while lying on the floor) the upgrade went completely without incident.

I'm back up with 4 cores of 3.2 GHz goodness. Subjectively, the desktop feels a lot snappier; a near-50% increase in raw clock speed will do that!

Now I can trickle down the Phenom 9550 I just pulled to one of the other AM2 systems that are still running only dual-core...

Edit: The stock cooler that came with it looks pretty nice. Thin copper fins and heatpipes, and reasonably quiet.
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