Title says it all. My brother is interested in going the i3 route. Currently there arent many i3 mobos. There are however, many i5 mobos. Since they use the same socket type, would an i5 mobo be able to support an i3 after a bios update? Are there any hardware architecture differences that would prevent this?
Thanks for the replies. Overclkr, I wasnt referring to solely i3 boards. I guess I should have clarified. I was referring to i5 socket 1156 boards that were on the market before the release of the i3. Some of those boards are good budget/performance boards, but currently they do not claim support for an i3. I was wondering with a proper bios update would they be capable of doing so.
No worries, my point is this.... Most H55 boards are i3 ready but they are mini atx, if you want a full sized atx board you will need a P55. So yes you are right in terms of the board maybe needing a Bios flash before you install the new CPU. I dont think you will have an issue with a P55 board unless it is dated back when they were released. The newer P55's should have the correct bios needed for 32nm CPU's. You can always call a rep and ask =)
Gigabyte released a round of BIOS updates recently to support the new Clarkdale processors. Of course if you don't have a chip that will work in the board I'm not sure how you'll update the BIOS. You'll want to be sure what you get supports an i3 in its current state, as OvrClkr suggested.
Also, and you probably realize this, but one of the advantages of the i3s with the H55 or H57 chipset is that they have integrated graphics and support video out from the motherboard. With a P55 board you can't make use of the graphics that are part of the i3 CPU. You have to get a separate graphics card.
My brother currently has a HD 4850 1gb. His processor is an e2100, that we have overclocked to 2.6 or 2.8 ghz...I dont remember which. We figure he can get some more out of the GPU for another year or so. We never entertained the thought of using the on board i3 GPU.
My concern was the 3 atx boards that currently support i3. He has an atx case, and we both like the extra room afforded on atx boards. Micro atx really isnt something we want to consider. Also, the current boards that claim to support i3 arent all that great from what I can tell, but to be honest I just did a quick look on newegg. I havent had a chance to really research mobos yet. Learning whether current mobos will support with a bios flash was the beginning of my research.
I was hoping to wait a month and have him able to pick one up pre-flashed, which would save us the hassle of figuring out how to flash a mobo with a processor that it doesnt recognize.
The least expensive ATX board for socket 1156 at the Egg is a Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3L for $105. It runs all 1156 cpus using F3 bios, which is the first release listed (dated last November). No "pre-flash" would be needed to run a core i3.
Pick a board and look at the mfr website for bios/compatibility issues.