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MS-7388 K9 A2 CF CPU Support

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  • MSI-Microstar
  • CPUs
  • Phenom
  • Motherboards
Last response: in Motherboards
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April 16, 2010 6:38:59 PM

Hello I have the above motherboard in my computer.

It is a K9 A2 CF (written on the actual board), or a MS-7388 (found in SIW).

I currently have the AMD Phenom X4 9850 Black Editon CPU installed, at 2.5GHz.

I'm wondering what other CPU's from this family or others above it, like the Phenom II, would be able to work in this board.

I'm basically looking for the latest Phenom, or Phenom II that would go in here and work before needing to buy another board.

Please list compromises, if any exist for using later CPU's with this board, such as lower bus speed, reduced performance, etc...

More about : 7388 cpu support

a c 133 à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
April 16, 2010 6:52:58 PM

You can use any Phenom II in that board as long as you update the bios.

http://www.msi.com/index.php?func=prodcpu2&prod_no=1333...

You will see by the list that you can use them but you will have to download the latest bios for it.

That is a fairly good board and should last you a few more years with a Phenom II in it.
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April 16, 2010 7:06:49 PM

Will flashing the BIOS with the upgrade, but keeping my old CPU so i don't have to flash it later have any adverse affects?
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a c 162 à CPUs
a c 304 V Motherboard
April 16, 2010 7:09:40 PM

Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardware forum.

Yeah, as SAAIELLO says, the mobo support the last Phenom II processor.

Also, bear in mind that you maybe can lose a little performance with the processor and DDR2.
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a c 162 à CPUs
a c 304 V Motherboard
April 16, 2010 7:14:18 PM

Yeah, you need flash your BIOS with your old CPU and after that install the new CPU. You can use MSI Live Update if your don't feel very comfortable to do it.
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April 16, 2010 7:27:13 PM

I'm on Live Update now and the blue progress bar keeps going from left to right all the time but it doesn't appear that anything is happening.

Also, why are the RAM Slots on this board orange x2 and green x2?
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a c 162 à CPUs
a c 304 V Motherboard
April 16, 2010 7:50:36 PM

Uninstall Live update, and download the last version from the MSI's web page.

Exist 2x orange and 2x green because are for dual-channel. When you have 4GB (2x2GB) kit, that is for dual-channel, you install that stick in A0 and A1 slots (one orange and one green), with that you enable the dual-channel of your RAM
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a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
April 16, 2010 8:44:25 PM

I almost got that board instead of my GA-790X DS4. Glad I payed extra for the Gigabyte though. Anyway, early revisions of that board would sometimes crap out when you installed a 125W CPU and for a time BIOS updates to the board eliminated support for 125W CPUs. Apparently they somewhat fixed the issues since the board supports 125W CPUs again. I guess if you're board hasn't crapped out yet, then you're lucky and it should be just fine with a newer Phenom II CPU, after a BIOS update.
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a b V Motherboard
April 23, 2010 5:19:41 PM

Here's the thing with that board... There are 2 versions. I own an original, and ran into this issue myself.

The original will say "K9A2-CF" between the PCIe x16 slots, and the 2nd version will say "K9A2 CF V2" there. The difference? It's simple, yet still complicated... First, let's start by calling the original V1 and the revision V2.

The V1 had MOSFETS that were only adequate enough to support CPUs rated up to 95W TDP. The V2 used better MOSFETS that were capable of supporting CPUs up to 125W TDP. It also featured a heatsink on the MOSFETS themselves, making the two versions easily distinguishable.

MSI's problem is that they used to have separate support pages for each version. As you can see from SAAIELLO's post, they don't any longer and haven't for over a year now. So, until you can confirm what version you actually have, actual CPU support will vary. However, there still exists a major problem...

The biggest problem with these boards is the fact that a 125W TDP CPU will still work on a V1. With or without a BIOS update, the system will accept these CPUs, boot, load the OS, and everything will seem fine. That is, until the power distribution block of the mobo takes on heavy load stress. That's when it starts to fail. It can do that with 95W CPUs that are overclocked. (My 7850 Kuma is such a CPU, and it's performance would actually decrease when OC'd on my V1 board.)

Anyways... Just a head's up about that motherboard. Honestly, both are a PoS compared to newer boards available today, especially the V1. And, that's exactly why I replaced my V1 with a Gigabyte MA785G-UD3H. And yeah, I gave up a Crossfire-capable board for one that isn't, but I also got a board capable of supporting CPUs of up to 140W TDP, which allowed me to breathe new life into that 7850 Kuma by OC'ing it to 3.3GHz.

Please have a look at the 2nd half of this post from the MSI User forums, as it will explain and confirm all I have said:
http://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=129204.0
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April 23, 2010 11:05:44 PM

Okay, I just checked. The board says K9 A2 CF.

I'm interested in what the best or maximum CPU that this board could take normally without any disadvantages such as slow-downs.

I'm not interested in over-clocking or getting a new board, just what this one can take.
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a b V Motherboard
April 24, 2010 2:12:00 AM

Considering that 9850 you've already got installed is a 95W CPU, you're pretty close to the most powerful CPU that motherboard is designed to handle. You could throw in a Callisto-based Phenom II X2 550/555 and even OC it a little for a decent gain in MHz, but you'd lose 2 cores in the swap. You could opt for a Phenom II X3 720 or Athlon II X3 435/440, but then you lose 1 core and have zero OC headroom. Next up, the Athlon II X4 630/635, but again there's no OC headroom. Lastly, a C3-stepping Phenom II X4 925/945 could be installed, and you'd gain 300-500MHz along with the Phenom II's faster architecture, but with zero OC headroom yet again.

I'd just wait man, or drop ~$75 bucks like I did and scoop up a decent AM2+ Mobo before they all disappear and OC your 9850 some if you can. It should be able to get up to the 3.0-3.2GHz range with a bit more voltage and a multiplier change to 15-16. Of course, it'll probably also require some aftermarket cooling. Those stock Phenom coolers aren't very good.

One last thing you should consider... MSI's BIOSes for these boards can be buggy as all hell. I bought my 7850 Kuma CPU with the intention of replacing an Athlon X2 5000+ that was going to move into an HTPC machine since it was a 65W CPU and ran quite cool. So, in prep for the Kuma, I updated my BIOS from 7388v17 to 7388v18. The flash bricked it. I didn't screw it up and the file wasn't corrupted. This was a common problem. That BIOS would cause an infinite boot-loop whenever there were any USB or PS2 devices connected. Basically, you couldn't hook-up your mouse or keyboard, and were left with a totally unusable machine. If you can't use your keyboard, you can't re-flash the BIOS. I had to send it to MSI for an EPROM flash, and they reinstalled BIOS 7388v17. Outstanding! LOL
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