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Futureproofness of the AM3 Socket

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April 26, 2009 1:27:37 AM

I am trying to find a motherboard socket that will be futureproof enough to last me for a while. I got the a 939 CPU only a few months before they announced or released (not sure) the AM2, and so I was kind of screwed with my current CPU, as there is no support for it. So now I am looking for a socket (most importantly) that will be future proof for the next couple of years and a CPU that will last me for a while. And once that CPU becomes insufficient for me, I want to make sure that my socket will be able to fit chips that came out after the chip I bought now to refit my mobo and still keep my PC up to par (sorry to word that way, I couldn't find a better way, read it a few times and it will make sense). So I looked at this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103674 and it seemed really good, but I don't know how future proof the socket will be. I know that i7 just came out, and it's super futureproof, but I don't know if it is REALLY worth it. With the same money I could be the worst i7 mobo and CPU, I could buy a GREAT AM3 processor, a good mobo, a new ATX case, and a bunch of RAM (or maybe just a little RAM). I WILL be doing a bunch of gaming (maybe Crysis for now, but I want to see what the future will bring, and I will definitely be playing future titles, so I want a processor that won't bottleneck my GPU when I get a new one). I WILL be doing a bunch of coding (Java, PHP, .NET stuff, SQL stuff and maybe C/C++), and I MAY do some assembly (if that impacts anything). I WILL NOT be doing anything like video encoding, mp3 encoding, or any really complex encoding stuff. I'm just going to be doing coding, gaming, and browsing. So can you tell me if the AM3 is futureproof enough for me, or whether that the i7 is SO good that I should get that instead?

Or can someone recommend another socket out now, or should I wait a while for a new one to come out?
April 26, 2009 4:57:53 AM

By the way, as far as coding, I'm not doing any type of really complex arithmetic functions or any types of super-huge applications that require a lot of processing power.
April 26, 2009 5:13:34 AM

amd's track record in changing sockets is not so good - intel had 775 from 2005 and it is still good today with cpus even if they are not the latest. a 4.25ghz air cooled or 4.4ghz core 2 based qx9650 will beat any amd cpu made today and probaby for a while. i7 D0 stepping will be running 4.2ghz on air no problems - c0/c1 run hot above 3.8ghz

So in the same time you got am2 am2+ am3, while intel made the 775 standard, the i7/i5 are needed due to change in chipsets and memory controller.

amd was very slow to go to ddr3 - way too slow - they should spent all the marketing money on the "true quad", fusion and spider and put into ddr3...........

On one had, i say your in good shape with am3 since ddr3 will be here a while and slow econmic times translates into delayed and slowed product release

intels own i5 and 955 chipset is delayed - why? too much oem parts in channel?????

now to your question:

i am pro intel, no doubt, the new amd cpu's are very competitive - i would recommend you stay with intel due to amd being on such shaky fincial ground and the dispute of the x86 and fab shop selling - so on that ground alone i say intel

keep in mind, as an anology i owned 13 toyotas most in the 80's lets face it amercian was bad, i have had GM since the mid 90's and they the mataince is less - while GM cars have lots of little issues they do not have big ones like the 1989 4runner that rusted out in 3 years - all the doors. my 1996 started only a few years ago looking like that.

my point: i would not buy GM due to the current fincial condition of the company - 260hp cobalt is the best small rocket made even 10k more jap cars can not touch it.

i also pt a $7000 transmision in stealth twin turbo and lost a timing belt on turbo eclipse

my point! go with intel!

i still might get that cobalt but i thinking of getting another 4runner instead
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April 26, 2009 5:33:46 AM

dragonsprayer said:
amd's track record in changing sockets is not so good - intel had 775 from 2005 and it is still good today with cpus even if they are not the latest. a 4.25ghz air cooled or 4.4ghz core 2 based qx9650 will beat any amd cpu made today and probaby for a while. i7 D0 stepping will be running 4.2ghz on air no problems - c0/c1 run hot above 3.8ghz

So in the same time you got am2 am2+ am3, while intel made the 775 standard, the i7/i5 are needed due to change in chipsets and memory controller.

amd was very slow to go to ddr3 - way too slow - they should spent all the marketing money on the "true quad", fusion and spider and put into ddr3...........

On one had, i say your in good shape with am3 since ddr3 will be here a while and slow econmic times translates into delayed and slowed product release

intels own i5 and 955 chipset is delayed - why? too much oem parts in channel?????

now to your question:

i am pro intel, no doubt, the new amd cpu's are very competitive - i would recommend you stay with intel due to amd being on such shaky fincial ground and the dispute of the x86 and fab shop selling - so on that ground alone i say intel

keep in mind, as an anology i owned 13 toyotas most in the 80's lets face it amercian was bad, i have had GM since the mid 90's and they the mataince is less - while GM cars have lots of little issues they do not have big ones like the 1989 4runner that rusted out in 3 years - all the doors. my 1996 started only a few years ago looking like that.

my point: i would not buy GM due to the current fincial condition of the company - 260hp cobalt is the best small rocket made even 10k more jap cars can not touch it.

i also pt a $7000 transmision in stealth twin turbo and lost a timing belt on turbo eclipse

my point! go with intel!

i still might get that cobalt but i thinking of getting another 4runner instead


Okay, so maybe they will not still be around for a while, but do you think they won't be around for at least 10 more years? And can you give me a socket that isn't i7...the second best, and that will be supported for a while on?
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April 26, 2009 5:43:45 AM

dragonsprayer said:
amd's track record in changing sockets is not so good - intel had 775 from 2005 and it is still good today with cpus even if they are not the latest.

That means nothing. Most of the time you needed to "upgrade" from LGA775 to LGA775 boards anyway since the chipset and/or BIOS had no support for new chips.
April 26, 2009 5:54:19 AM

randomizer said:
That means nothing. Most of the time you needed to "upgrade" from LGA775 to LGA775 boards anyway since the chipset and/or BIOS had no support for new chips.

So the Intel boards aren't anymore reliable in changing the socket?
April 26, 2009 5:59:58 AM

dragonsprayer said:
amd's track record in changing sockets is not so good - intel had 775 from 2005 and it is still good today with cpus even if they are not the latest.


Good attempt to obscure reality. But in truth Intels' track record in supporting newer "socket 775' chips in older "socket 775" motherboards is MUCH WORSE than AMD's track record in changing sockets.

There are currently some users with older AM2 motherboards that are running brand new Phenom II chips. (Lucky because they could get bios updates.)

Can you tell me how many socket 775 users with one of the older chipsets are running 45nm Quad core chips?


tooz said:
So the Intel boards aren't anymore reliable in changing the socket?


Some people wouldn't use the word "reliable". We would use the word "honest". It's all about marketing. It really looks good if you don't change the name of your socket for a long time. Even if in reality the socket specification has changed.

It is very simple: If a socket can support a newer chip with an official 'newer' socket with only a bios update that is MUCH better than having a socket that can't support the newer chips that the company calls the same socket.
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April 26, 2009 6:04:54 AM

tooz said:
So the Intel boards aren't anymore reliable in changing the socket?

Intel and AMD want your money and the motherboard manufacturers want your money. They aren't going to support old hardware forever, they want you to upgrade.
April 26, 2009 6:05:51 AM

keithlm said:
Good attempt to obscure reality. But in truth Intels' track record in supporting newer "socket 775' chips in older "socket 775" motherboards is MUCH WORSE than AMD's track record in changing sockets.

There are currently some users with older AM2 motherboards that are running brand new Phenom II chips. (Lucky because they could get bios updates.)

Can you tell me how many socket 775 users with one of the older chipsets are running 45nm Quad core chips?




Some people wouldn't use the word "reliable". We would use the word "honest". It's all about marketing. It really looks good if you don't change the name of your socket for a long time. Even if in reality the socket specification has changed.

So would you guys recommend the AM3 in my situation?
April 26, 2009 6:07:08 AM

marco324 said:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=355...

From a longevity standpoint, the AM3 platform is much wiser to invest in than LGA-775. Intel has already shown all of its cards there, Phenom II is the way to go if you're concerned about a long term upgrade path

http://www.anandtech.com/guides/showdoc.aspx?i=3552

amd will be coming out with the 800 chipset soon

Thanks for the input, I really think I might go with this combo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.186490

Sound good?
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April 26, 2009 6:08:04 AM

In a couple of years it will make no difference. You will need a new board, that part is guaranteed. What isn't guaranteed is when you will need to upgrade. i7 will last a little while longer than AM3 (with regards to CPU performance), but it will cost you more now.
April 26, 2009 6:14:23 AM

randomizer said:
Ii7 will last a little while longer than AM3 (with regards to CPU performance),


WHOOP WHOOP fan alert
: Your statement quoted above is an opinion stated as a fact.

The truth is he would be better buying an i7 OR an AMD with an AM3 motherboard. (If he is upgrading from a 939 then he MUST buy new memory. It would not be wise to even bother with DDR2 memory at this time; he should skip it and go directly to DDR3.)

I guess some people might still build a brand new 775 system... but that would not be optimal.
April 26, 2009 6:18:36 AM

keithlm said:

WHOOP WHOOP fan alert
: Your statement quoted above is an opinion stated as a fact.

The truth is he would be better buying an i7 OR an AMD with an AM3 motherboard. (If he is upgrading from a 939 then he MUST buy new memory. It would not be wise to even bother with DDR2 memory at this time; he should skip it and go directly to DDR3.)

I guess some people might still build a brand new 775 system... but that would not be optimal.

I know eventually, I need to buy a new one (even in a few years), but I want the one that would last longer, or if they're close, I'll just get the lower-price, budget AM3 socket, and with a Phenom II.
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April 26, 2009 6:24:56 AM

keithlm said:

WHOOP WHOOP fan alert

LMAO, I hate i7.
a b à CPUs
April 26, 2009 6:57:40 AM

randomizer said:
LMAO, I hate i7.


I do too. My PII 940 won't fit a 1366.
a b à CPUs
April 26, 2009 7:03:17 AM

Yea the motherboards are a pain eh? Pricey and incompatible with almost everything.
a b à CPUs
April 26, 2009 7:21:56 AM

How 'bout you consider my PII 940 and the $79 780G with 4 gigs of DDR2? That would fit on you 965 and clocked at 3.6GHz. it would kill your hot q6600!
April 26, 2009 7:28:17 AM

LOL i7 is Elite in itself, whether you hate it or not.... (if you ever run out of Toilet paper, just wipe your a$$ with an amd, its green and earth friendly)
April 26, 2009 7:55:31 AM

glad i could help good luck with the new build
April 26, 2009 12:51:14 PM

the LGA775 may have been around for longer than the AM2, AM2+ or AM3, however not all LGA775 CPUs work in all LGA775 sockets, sometimes a BIOS update will do it but in some cases even that won't help.
Whereas the AM3 CPUs will work in any AM2/AM2+/AM3 socket, possibly need BIOS update, but I've found that they do run even when not officially supported, the only exeption is if the wattage of the CPU is too high for some motherboards.

However I do agree that the 754 and 939 weren't around for very long at all and since they're architectually quite similar to the later AM2, I think theycould have theoretically made them compatible.
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April 26, 2009 2:09:30 PM

randomizer said:
Yea the motherboards are a pain eh? Pricey and incompatible with almost everything.


Ah, I wish for the socket 7 days again... awesome times... VIA, Intel and AMD all fit in the same socket. Upgraders' dream :love: 
April 26, 2009 6:09:53 PM

Alright, thanks a lot for the info and input, I really appreciate it. :bounce: 

Oh and can someone explain to me why I would get this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813136067 with one socket type supported instead of something with AM2/AM2+/AM3 all supported?

Nevermind, found it out: it's because of the memory frequency is higher on the AM3 only boards.
April 26, 2009 6:13:44 PM

There is no such thing as futureproofing. There is always going to be some sort of roadblock when it comes to CPUs and motherboard compatabilities. Just ask any AMD user who has a Nvidia 700a chipset board what they think about AM3 chips.

Also, AMD has gone through quite a few sockets over the past 4-5 years....754, 939, 940, AM2, AM2+ and now AM3 in a span of 5 years. Socket 754 came out in 2003....AM3 in 2008. 6 sockets in 5 years, not to mention the compatability issues of some AM2 and AM2+ chips/boards and the "WTF" that 940 was.

Intel has been with LGA 775 since 2004 and just now, 4 years later, introducted a new socket (i7, LGA 1366) which is NOT replacing it......i5 (LGA 1156) is replacing LGA 775 later this year...2009.

Anybody that wants to deny or argue this is wrong. The above information is FACT.
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April 26, 2009 6:29:55 PM

Now if I can get my e6600, e8400, Q6600 and Q9450, to run on my socket 775 945, I'll have this superior Intel compatibility thing all figured out. 915, 925, 945, 955, 965, 975, p35, x38, p45, x48. No compatibility issue with socket 775 there over the past four years.
April 26, 2009 7:08:32 PM

Same socket |= upgrade path
April 26, 2009 7:29:48 PM

Ok now i'm done reading these fanbois. If you want to go with amd go with am3 its gonna be your best bet for a later upgrade path. If you want intel a good 775 board will still last you a long time, before it goes obsolete think about it theres still not very much stuff that can take on multiple cores.. But 1366 is probably best bet in terms of being able to upgrade later on down the road, but it also costs a lot more to.
April 26, 2009 7:48:13 PM

spathotan said:

Also, AMD has gone through quite a few sockets over the past 4-5 years....754, 939, 940, AM2, AM2+ and now AM3 in a span of 5 years. Socket 754 came out in 2003....AM3 in 2008. 6 sockets in 5 years, not to mention the compatability issues of some AM2 and AM2+ chips/boards and the "WTF" that 940 was.

Intel has been with LGA 775 since 2004 and just now, 4 years later, introducted a new socket (i7, LGA 1366) which is NOT replacing it......i5 (LGA 1156) is replacing LGA 775 later this year...2009.

Anybody that wants to deny or argue this is wrong. The above information is FACT.


Firstly I wouldn't count the 940 a that was not a standard desktop socket like all the others mentioned, it was for opterons and FXs.

Secondly the AM2, AM2+ and AM3 are essentially the same sockets with a few improvement and mostly keeping full compatibility. Intel have also revised their 775 multiple times (new bus speeds...) but just decided not to give it a new name. The new names AMD gives them just makes it easier for the user to find the right motherboard for a processor.

Which in reality means that AMD had 3 sockets in 5/6 years whereas Intel have had 2 sockets in the same period.

So yes AMD have still had more sockets, and I think it was stupid them bringing out the 754 since the 939 came out a few months later.

Basically there's not a lot in it and usually when you come round to changing the CPU you upgrade other parts (GPU, RAM...) and other parts of the motherboard, like memory slots, are no longer suitable.
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April 26, 2009 7:50:40 PM

Quote:
If you want intel a good 775 board will still last you a long time


775 will last a long time as long as you are not planning to upgrade from the long list of future processors Intel will release for that dead end solution.
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April 26, 2009 7:54:27 PM

Devastator_uk said:
Firstly I wouldn't count the 940 a that was not a standard desktop socket like all the others mentioned, it was for opterons and FXs.

Secondly the AM2, AM2+ and AM3 are essentially the same sockets with a few improvement and mostly keeping full compatibility. Intel have also revised their 775 multiple times (new bus speeds...) but just decided not to give it a new name. The new names AMD gives them just makes it easier for the user to find the right motherboard for a processor.

Which in reality means that AMD had 3 sockets in 5/6 years whereas Intel have had 2 sockets in the same period.

So yes AMD have still had more sockets, and I think it was stupid them bringing out the 754 since the 939 came out a few months later.

Basically there's not a lot in it and usually when you come round to changing the CPU you upgrade other parts (GPU, RAM...) and other parts of the motherboard, like memory slots, are no longer suitable.


754 did not support dual channel memory. 939 did, but DDR. AM2 supported DDR2. 754 was/is left in production for cheap business solutiions. 939 did not support DDR2 and Intel launched 775. AM2 supplied that same memory 'standard' support. But, yeah I agree.
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April 27, 2009 8:38:26 AM

For the OP, if you wait a bit there will be another choice for you. Core i5 on LGA1156. Then you can look at both AM3 and LGA1156.

TBH, I think AM3 will last maybe 2 years depending on how long AMD plans on sticking with thier plans. But they can always change. There is another socket I have read about but haven't seen news.

The LGA1156 should last a while too. Intel wont have to rely on the chipset for CPU support anymore but still a BIOS update is always needed no matter what when you put a new CPU into a mobo.
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April 27, 2009 2:14:02 PM

as much as i like AMD (look at my builds), i don't think their next socket will be backwards compatible, though, the AM3 just came out so you might be able to keep it for a while. Also, you can always upgrade the GFX card(s) if you need to down the line especially if you have a quad.
April 27, 2009 3:43:56 PM

wow I am seeing a lot of BS around here at the moment.

amd is pretty much unpredictable in their upgrade path, we could get am3+ within a year from now or AM4 in 4 or 5 years or a completely different timeline.

however 1366 has it's unpredictable path too, fortunately Gulftown will work with X58 so i7 owners won't have spent $300 for nothing, however the future after that is unknown. But 1156 will probably follow in LGA775's foot steps.
a c 127 à CPUs
April 27, 2009 8:18:43 PM

mindless728 said:
as much as i like AMD (look at my builds), i don't think their next socket will be backwards compatible, though, the AM3 just came out so you might be able to keep it for a while. Also, you can always upgrade the GFX card(s) if you need to down the line especially if you have a quad.


This I can agree with. A quad will be pretty powerful I would say for the next 4-5 years at least in gaming ntil gaming really starts to use more than 4 cores. Some games can but the benefit will not be seen for a while since not all games are able to yet.

The only downside is that GPUs will start to get more powerful and the next gen or two wll start to push even a Core i7 or PII to its limits. I would say in two gens a Core i7 might become a bottleneck as would a PII but not to the point like it used to be.

Helloworld_98 said:
wow I am seeing a lot of BS around here at the moment.

amd is pretty much unpredictable in their upgrade path, we could get am3+ within a year from now or AM4 in 4 or 5 years or a completely different timeline.

however 1366 has it's unpredictable path too, fortunately Gulftown will work with X58 so i7 owners won't have spent $300 for nothing, however the future after that is unknown. But 1156 will probably follow in LGA775's foot steps.


We know that Intel is going to make its 6 core LGA1366 compatable. I think LGA1156 will be fine. Unlike LGA775 116 also has a IMC but no QPI. But as for every socket and CPU upgrade even if the CPU does have a IMC it will need a BIOS flash for support normally.

I guess the only true downside to a IMC though is that now the new CPUs can only be backwards compatable when a new memory tech comes out if they also decide to have the previous gen memory controller on it.
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