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Performance of AM3 chip in an AM2+ board

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May 4, 2011 9:58:02 PM

So first, I am correct in thinking that AM3 chips work in AM2+ correct? They are setup to handle DDR2 or 3?

From there, I was wondering, at what point is an upper-tier chip overkill with diminishing performance gains since the board and memory are a previous generation.

Basically I'd love to throw a new 6-core into my AM2+ setup to update it, but I am thinking that I may not see significant differences from purchasing a lower priced quad core since they aren't truly meant to run with DDR2 in the first place.

Thanks for your help!
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May 4, 2011 10:28:18 PM

For one AM2+ boards are limited to DDR2 RAM which provides lower bandwidth than they would get an a DDR3 motherboard. Even so, this can be partially compensated with low latency DDR2 RAM thus reducing the difference. Generally, an AM3 CPU will operate with a lower HT Link Speed in an AM2+ board, but that's the last thing to affect performance and can be manually set anyway ^_^. The difference is small though and won't hugely affect performance assuming you're using some decent DDR2 1066 RAM in dual channel mode.
May 4, 2011 10:29:46 PM

and AM3 socket cpu will fit in an AM2+ socket motherboard. you just have to make sure that the motherboard has the right BIOS which will support the AM3 cpu's. as for performance, i believe its like a 5% to 10% performance loss in some cpus. not really sure though
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a b à CPUs
May 4, 2011 10:30:02 PM

Unless you use programs that specifically make use of more than 4 cores you will not see much of a benefit over going with a quad core of similar speed. It's true that the X6 CPUs have turbo core, but a 955BE can be easily tuned to run at 3.7GHz and above assuming a decent cooler.
a b à CPUs
May 4, 2011 11:15:28 PM

im pretty sure you will struggle to run those 6 cores in an am2 board.
May 5, 2011 12:07:04 AM

most am2+ boards only support a max TDP of 95 watts dont they?
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