Simple AMD CPU and Mobo Compatibility Question (Hopefully)

Hi, I'm hoping this is the right place to put this between the CPU forum and the Motherboard forum.

I have a friend who wants a new CPU, the problem is she's using AMD and I use Intel. I know next to nothing about AMD but I've tried to help her out anyway.

Here's what I've figured out:

She wants to run World of Warcraft, FRAPS, Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro most likely at the same time, but not always. Right now she has an AMD Phenom 9500 Quad-Core (2.2 GHz) which apparently suffers from some hardware bug that makes WoW unplayable and leaves her computer frozen constantly.

Instead of making her buy an Intel mobo, I tried to help her get a much better AMD cpu.

Her Mobo is an ASUS M3N78 PRO, which is no longer sold on Newegg so I'm not sure if the results I'm getting there are the same board. The board's listed (here: have an AM2+/AM2 cpu socket type and support Phenom FX / Phenom / Athlon 64 FX / Athlon 64 X2 cpus. Assuming that is her Mobo, of course.

Now I initially suggested this ( processor but I see it has an AM3 socket type. Am I correct in that it would not work with her current board?

Second question: The actual CPU types. I then suggested this ( which has an AM2+ socket type. However, it's a Phenom II X4 which is not listed as supported by her Mobo. Unless Phenom II is compatible with Phenom? Looking at the list of AMD mobos ( I see under CPU types there is a Phenom II X4 listing, but only 9 results. Does she need to get one of these 9 boards? If not, can someone suggest a processor that would work with her motherboard? She wants to be able to do everything listed above without it freezing up constantly.

I really only know Intel CPUs.

Thanks in advance for any help/advice.
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  1. Best answer
    AM3 is backwards compatible with AM2+ boards. Some AM2 boards like the ATI/AMD 690G are compatible with AM3 cpus but it varies as some manufacturers don't support older motherboards with the necessary bios updates.

    The Phenom 955 is listed as compatible in the asus web site so you should be able to use it no problem.
  2. Ok, thanks.

    Another question (off topic) I have, what's the big difference between that Phenom 955, and an Intel Core 2 Quad?

    The price difference is ridiculous. The Core 2 Quad looks worse.
  3. The Core 2 Quad is better, but doesn't begin to justify the price difference IMHO (especially if you can drop-in a Phenom II). I'd go with the 940.
  4. the c2q aint better the 955 is actually a lil better then the 9770
  5. You may want to consider the Athlon II X4 620 Propus and a 4Gb (2x2Gb) kit of RAMs (if she has a 64-bit OS).

    In order to prevent the existing computer from freezing you can try to 'ungang' the memory controller in the BIOS.
  6. If she is tech savvy why not consider the cooler runing 95W TDP x4 925 now just $139 on Egg? Every bit a Deneb and yes that 6mb L3 will reap in more performance vs A2X4 620 in Photoshop, file compression and archiving apps No one said a non BE chip can't be clocked later down the road either hehe

    Here we see the P2X3 710 with a core less but thks to its 6mb L3 pulling ahead of A2X4 620 in archiving (if that is mission critical hehe)
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