Want to know if a CPU is compatible with your computer?

I've seen a lot of "Is this CPU compatible with my system" posts. So I figured I would create a post with some guidelines. Please feel free to post comments for any errors, improvements or additions.

For any information about your computer you do not know, you will be able to find out through the use of the program CPU-Z, including motherboard information:

For CPU compatibility with your system, you will want to look at 4 things:

1. Socket support.
The CPU has to be compatible with your motherboard's socket. Here is a brief list of mainstream CPUs and the sockets they will work in as of June 2010:
Athlon 64: AM2, AM2+
Phenom (includes Athlon): AM2, AM2+
Phenom II (includes Athlon II): AM2, AM2+ AM3

Core 2: socket 775
Core i3/ i5/ i7 (8xx models only): 1156
Core i7 (7xx models only): 1366

Additional reference:

2. Chipset support.
Reseach your chipset (I find wikipedia is surprisingly good for this) to find the CPUs compatible with that chipset. Chipset manufacturers include AMD, Intel and Nvidia.

Additional reference:

3. Motherboard wattage support must support the TDP of given CPU.
Listed on most manufacturer's websites, even OEMs like HP.

4. Bios support.
This is easy with a motherboard you bought non-OEM. Simply visit the Motherboard manufacturer's website, look up your Motherboard model and look for "CPU support".
This is more difficult with OEM motherboards. (motherboards that came with computers purchased from the likes of HP, Acer etc. These are OEM manufacturers) They will only ever officially support the CPUs that they came with originally.
There is always the odd chance that if the chipset is compatible, the CPU will work, regardless. If the bios is not compatible, it might not work properly. From incorrect speeds to just not working at all. The only way to know for sure if your CPU will work in the case of steps 1-3 checking out but step 4 not checking out is to try the CPU in the computer or find another person with the exact same computer who has tried your "new" CPU in their computer. That said, if it meets steps 1-3, it will likely work.
Reply to enzo matrix
9 answers Last reply
More about want compatible computer
  1. Well presented!
    Reply to treefrog07
  2. Question, how can you find out what CPUs are compatible with your BIOS and what are not?
    Reply to cheddar
  3. You forgot second generation Intel 1155 and don't forget to update for the Bulldozers coming out on wednesday.
    Reply to samuelspark
  4. cheddar said:
    Question, how can you find out what CPUs are compatible with your BIOS and what are not?

    u can try this site,hope its will help you ;) :http://www.cpu-upgrade.com/mb-Intel
    Reply to eaglefire67
  5. Wwhat about high-end Enthusiast Intel i7 and Xeon LGA 2011 motherboards? I guess that since there are 3 flavors of the LGA-2011 pin layout, you kind of skipped over that? :D
    Reply to Karsten75
  6. I realize this is old but i'm crossing my fingers, I cannot figure out if BIOS will work if I upgrade CPU. I have a Lenovo C560 with the following

    Manufacturer LENOVO
    Model INVALID (10SC1-F01150-01R)
    Version Lenovo C560
    Chipset Vendor Intel
    Chipset Model Haswell
    Chipset Revision 06
    Southbridge Vendor Intel
    Southbridge Model H81
    Southbridge Revision C2
    Brand LENOVO
    Version INKT26AUS

    Changing out Pentium G3240t for i5-4570t, The 4570t was and is offered as an option for this model. Does that mean it will work with the BIOS, everthing else, power, socket etc checks out.

    Thanks, sorry for resurrecting the thread.
    Reply to RmeNayv
  7. I have an inspiron 570 motherboard and I want to know the fastest cpu and gpu that can work on it. Currently have a phenom ii x4 965.
    Reply to MA_1
  8. MA_1 said:
    I have an inspiron 570 motherboard and I want to know the fastest cpu and gpu that can work on it. Currently have a phenom ii x4 965.

    Resurrecting an old thread would not do any good to you, 965 is the strongest so far, confirmed. To get about 15-20% performance bump, you need to do overclock and this is it, overclocked can make you play BF4 on HIGH with GTX660 or probably GTX 750TI.
    Reply to Kisianik
  9. Intel i7 870 is compatible with chipset H57 but Xeon x3470 is not listed there but those two CPUs are similar. Xeon still has a chance to work on my board even though it is "not" listed in the chipset compatibility page
    Reply to csandreas1
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