I am looking into a cheap upgrade to replace an aging Athlon XP. The system is mostly used for internet and email, with some light childrens games. I am interested in the Athlon LE-1600 with a Gigabyte AM2 690V motherboard. The Athlon looks like a good processor for the price, but it appears to be fairly new. The Gigabyte motherboard would have to have the most recent bios to support the LE-1600.
I am wondering what would happen if I bought the pair (plus some memory and other items), but the motherboard did not have the most up to date bios? Would the chip work in the board enough to get the new bios installed? Or would I need a supported chip to get the bios updated.
I know that on the old Socket A boards you could put the newer chip in and it would just run at a slower speed, or if there was a jumper for the fsb, you could set that first to get it working. It seems that the AM2 chips are more complicated though, so I was just checking.
Thanks for the reply. I have done bios flashes before. They are not hard. I was just wondering if I could do it using a processor that the board did not recognize. I may just order a low end brisbane instead, but they start at about $20 more and our budget is tight. Maybe it shouldn't be THAT tight.
I was also looking at a Celeron 420. I would like to do some minor overclocking, and the Celeron looks better for it. But decent motherboards are quite a bit more money. I want something with onboard video that will work with the kids games.
You should be fine without the bios update. It may post as "unknown cpu", but should still run at the correct speed. If you have pc2700 or pc3200 ddr on your old system, newegg has a foxconn nforce4 board with socket 939 3500 for $60 plus shipping. I still use socket 939; it is almost as fast as am2. Only negative is you'll still need a heatsink and low end pci-e graphics card with this combo. I use lesser brand motherboards and don't notice much difference in longevity. The lesser brands have fewer bios updates available and fewer overclocking settings, but seem to last just as long as asus, abit, etc.
Thanks for the info. Now I feel more confident about trying the single core LE-1600.
If I had more DDR, then I think I would go for that Foxconn board. I only have 512MB of PC2700. Even if I do NOT get more now, I would need to get more soon. The cost for DDR is almost double the cost of DDR2, so if I am putting out the money to upgrade now, I think it makes sense for me to get the AM2 system.
Really, almost anything available now would be better than the XP 1700+ that I am currently using - even a Sempron.
I've just built my home server using that CPU and a Gigabyte mobo. My BIOS didn't support the CPU but it did POST and run Windows fine, it just appeared as an unknown processor. Updating the BIOS let it detect that it was an Athlon LE.