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Old AM2 mobo and phenom compatibility research here

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  • CPUs
  • Compatibility
  • Motherboards
  • Phenom
Last response: in CPUs
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February 27, 2008 3:07:16 PM

Just to check out the veracity of the amount of AM2 phenom ready mobos being so low, I started to check each manufacturer website to find out what's going on.
In this research, I included only old AM2 motherboard, and release version -not the prerelease-. AM2+ is out of the challenge for obvious reasons. Most of the AM2 needs a bios update, but some AM2 asrocks are phenom compatible out of the box, as asrock has been using old chipsets more recently.

In alphabetical order:

Abit:
1 out of 12 motherboards are Phenom Compatible.
AN-M2HD - Geforce 7050 - uATX

Aopen:
0 out of 1

Asrock:
15 out of 25
http://www.asrock.com/support/Phenom.asp

Asus:
13 out of 20
http://event.asus.com/mb/am2_plus/

Biostar:
3 out of 26
http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en-us/support/faq.php?S_I...

DFI:
0 out of 11
http://us.dfi.com.tw support section

ECS Elite Group:
2 out of 22
http://www.ecs.com.tw/extra/2007/Phenom/index.html

Gigabyte:
14 out of 17
I just visited each AM2 motherboard at www.gigabyte.com.tw

MSI:
11 out of 28
msi.com.tw -> service -> cpu support.

Sorry if I missed some manufacturers, actually. But lets talk about these contenders I temporary choose for this.
the winners are:
Asrock with 15 AM2 phenom ready mobos.
Gigabyte with 14
Asus with 13
MSI with 11.

In %:
gigabyte has 82% of their AM2 mobos ready for phenom.
Asus 65%
Asrock 60%
MSI 39%

TOTAL (all manufacturers in this test):

59 out of 162 mobos are Phenom ready, that's 36%

TOTAL (only Asus/Asrock/Gigabyte/MSI):

53 out of 90 mobos are Phenom ready, that's 58%

What I see is that the main reason for a motherboard to be incompatible with phenom is the lack of a 4MBit bios. In the case of Asrock alone as example, all incompatible mobos have that single difference face to face with the phenom ready ones. But of course, anyone can recheck if this is the case in all the rest of the manufacturers.

Of course not all the mobos are available, many are just out of stock/discontinued. But the point is that you can always find used ones on ebay or something.

More about : am2 mobo phenom compatibility research

February 27, 2008 4:23:34 PM

Nice work and quite interesting. Thanks for sharing it.

I remember the article on the main-page. It seems some manufacturers have added support.

The ugly side of this is, we still don't know how well the phenom does work on those boards that now do support it.
February 27, 2008 5:07:09 PM

i agree... it would be good to see an article on the performance difference between phenom on am2+ and am2.

and i dont get gigabyte, i asked them if they would be supporting pheom with my board (gigabyte GA-M55S-S3) a few weeks after the first phenoms became available and they said the board can not support phenom. LIES! i had a big argument with the guy telling him not to lie to me lol and now a few months later i find it is supported and gigabyte have the 2nd highest % support for phenom on am2!

oh well atleast i have an upgrade option when the phenoms get better
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February 27, 2008 5:16:39 PM

Nice work. Its good to see the original number growing from what it was which was very low but still AMD should have given these vendors all the info such as needing a 4MB BIOS and what not.

Still all together thats quite low and I am sure there are a few vendors missing there. I too want to see the performance difference between AM2 and AM2+. Mainly it will be memory bandwidth but still.

I will feel sad for anyone who bought an AM2 that is yet to be supported and may not. They had hopes of Phenom and may be let down. But lets give it till November 08 since that will be a year and we will see if that changes.
a c 127 à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
February 27, 2008 5:19:54 PM

psymanproductions said:
i agree... it would be good to see an article on the performance difference between phenom on am2+ and am2.

and i dont get gigabyte, i asked them if they would be supporting pheom with my board (gigabyte GA-M55S-S3) a few weeks after the first phenoms became available and they said the board can not support phenom. LIES! i had a big argument with the guy telling him not to lie to me lol and now a few months later i find it is supported and gigabyte have the 2nd highest % support for phenom on am2!

oh well atleast i have an upgrade option IF the phenoms get better


Since there is no guarantee that B3 or 45nm will make it better I corrected it for ya.
February 27, 2008 6:00:15 PM

well, once I get a Phenom, I will test it out on my Asrock AM2NF3.
but I will do my testing my way against my actual A64 X2 4400.
Heavy multitasking, video encoding-and-capture, gaming, etc.

BTW, Jetway has a lot of AM2 mobos, same with Foxconn but their webs are so bad and annoying that I left that job for any soul interested in checking 30-50 more motherboards...

The numbers are a bit low, yes. But Isn't the TLB bug the reason why the mobo needs a 4MBit bios? Meaning that this could change once the B3s are out? Just thinking.
February 27, 2008 6:37:35 PM

I'm glad to see my Asus M2N-E was on the list, looks like I just need to do a bio's update
April 5, 2008 1:16:02 PM

know this is an old tread but with the b3's out now i thought it would be intresting to note how many mobo's are still incompatible. my msi k9a platinum still has no bios update and it even has the 4mb bios needed.
April 12, 2008 3:54:34 AM

im trying to revive this thread also as i want to pair a 9600 with my ga-m57sli-s4. i'm not too worried about the performance impact - htt speeds and ddr2 1066 ram will result in a minimal increase compared to what 4 cores may do for certain apps. also, from what i've read, the tlb erratum rarely if ever occurs in everyday use and gigabyte allows users to turn the fix off in the bios. my question is for thefumigator: how did your tests go?
April 12, 2008 11:54:28 AM

What I'm wondering is how many of the AM2 boards with Phenom bios support 125 watt B3's. I know my wife's ASUS 690G supports 95 watt B2, it was the only board in the original Tom's article that worked with a bios flash right out of the box.

Maybe the best bet for the old AM2 boards (and the voltage challenged motherboards with 780G chipsets -- not the chipset's fault by the way) is a 95 watt Phenom triple core due out around next month? Previews disabling one B2 core showed the triples virtually did as well as the quads in games and most apps -- even ones supporting 4 cores.

!