I have a computer that uses a Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI (AMD Athlon 64 X2/ 64 FX/ 64, socket 939 platform) motherboard. I would like to upgrade the CPU (Athlon 64 3500+) with a faster one. My question is: can I use an Opteron 64 X2, Socket 939 CPU in this motherboard even though that CPU family is not specifically referenced in the motherboard spec's? Any help would be appreciated, thanks in advance.
Although the dual core 165's thru 185's are marketed as Denmark cores, CPU-Z will identify them as Toledo cores, which is the same core as the X2 4000, 4400, and 4800. Essentially, the 939 X2 4000 @ 2.0Ghz (if you can still find one) is the desktop counterpart of the Opteron 170 @ 2.0Ghz. The Opteron 1xx series have 1Mb L2 cache per core, and they use standard DDR unregistered, non-parity memory, so the only difference other than price, is that the Opteron is a server / workstation class processor.
Opterons are more stringently fabricated, tested, selected and binned for stability, and are yielded from "cleaner" silicon semiconductor material. They operate at lower voltages and temperatures per clock, as compared with their X2 desktop conterparts, which make the Opterons the best overclockers. The 170 is statistically the highest overclocker, often achieving 50% on high end air cooling, depending upon stepping.
The overclocking limit for clean 90 nanometer dual core AMD's is about 3.05Ghz. Of course, they're all unique, and there are always exceptions. My previous rig was an Opteron 170 @ 3.0Ghz. It's an excellent CPU, and an inexpensive equivalent to the 2.8Ghz FX-62 Flagship chip. Opteron 170's are currently selling for $184.99.