How much energy can a mobo handle?

I recently posted in the Gigabyte section asking whether or not the Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H could support the AMD Phenom ii x4 965 140W cpu and got great help. I found out that AMD says it does BUT Gigabyte says it doesn't. I digress.

My question is, if a mobo says it supports a 140W cpu, what does that mean exactly? When you see cpu testing, you see the cpu using up to 250W or more at load and when just in normal use at about 90W. Does the 140W support mean that the mobo can handle a 140W cpu at full load? I would assume this to be the case. How much energy can a mobo actually handle? I'm trying to understand why a mobo that says it can handle 140W cpus but the manufacturer says it can't. I just want to know how a mobo handles wattage from the cpu.

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  1. Quote:
    I just want to know how a mobo handles wattage from the cpu.

    The MB has voltage regulators to regulate power in from the PSU. If the PII 965 is on the MB CPU support list, the unit is supported by the MB.
  2. Thanks badge.

    Okay, I understand that part. I'll clarify my question further. I'll first note that the mobo cpu support list does NOT include the PII 965 140W version, however it clearly says in the mobo overview and on the box that is supports 140W cpus. I am wondering how much power does a cpu actually need to run? As I mentioned in my initial post, I assume 140W support means the mobo will support 140W cpu at full load. Is that correct? Which in turn would mean that if just running the cpu at normal usage (ie. web surfing, couple apps open, etc), the mobo SHOULD be able to handle the cpu, even if it says it can't because the required power by the cpu is much lower than the 140W TDP. Or am I just wrong on this?

    Sorry, I'm just trying to understand the power distribution and requirements the components of a computer need and how it all works together. As you can see, I'm new to this.

    Thanks again.
  3. The MB supports REV. 3 125w PII 965.

    This explains the REV. 3 and the reduction of required wattage for the PII 965. If you have not already purchased that MB, find a different board that supports the REV. 2 140w unit if that is what you need. I suspect that GB board 'may' run the REV. 2 PII 965, but underpowered and impropely and that spells potential stability problems.
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