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Which CPU is fastest for this motherboard?

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June 9, 2011 4:38:49 PM

Hello

Please could I call upon this communities expertise to let me know which is the fastest possible CPU that I can buy for this motherboard (I'm assuming it's the Phenom II quad core but do I need to be careful which one I buy?):

Motherboard description
•Manufacturer's motherboard name: Pegatron M2N68-LA
•HP/Compaq name: Narra6-GL6
Form Factor
•Micro-ATX: 24.5 cm (9.6 inches) x 24.5 cm (9.6 inches)
Chipset
•NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE nForce 430
Front-side bus speed
•2000MT/s (2.0 GT/s)
Processor upgrade information
•TDP: 95W
•Motherboard supports the following processor upgrades:
NOTE: Only socket AM2+ processors are supported with this motherboard.

◦AMD Phenom II Quad-Core
◦AMD Phenom II Triple-Core
◦AMD Phenom Quad-Core (A) 9xxx series (AM2+)
◦AMD Phenom Triple-Core (T) 8xxx series (AM2+)
◦AMD Athlon X4
◦AMD Athlon X3
◦AMD Athlon X2 (B) (AM2+)
Memory upgrade information
•Dual channel memory architecture
•Two DDR2 DIMM (240-pin) sockets
•Supported DIMM types:
◦PC2-5300 (667 MHz)
◦PC2-6400 (800 MHz)
•Non-ECC memory only, unbuffered
•Supports 2GB DDR2 DIMMs
•Supports up to 4 GB* on 32 bit PCs
*32-bit operating systems cannot address a full 4.0 GB of memory.
Video
Integrated graphics using nVidia GeForce 6150SE
*Integrated video is not available if a graphics card is installed.
•Integrated graphics using nVidia GeForce 6150SE
•Also supports PCI Express x16 graphics cards*
NOTE: *Either integrated graphics or the PCI Express x16 slot are usable at one time; they are not usable concurrently.

Audio
Integrated Realtek ALC888S Audio
*Integrated audio is not available if a sound card is installed.
•Number of channels: 6
•Audio CODEC: ALC888S
•Maximum bit depth: up to 24-bit
•Maximum sample rate: up to 192,000 Hz
•Supports SPDIF digital
Network
LAN: 10-Base-T
•Interface: Integrated into motherboard
•Technology: Realtek RTL8201N
•Data transfer speeds: up to 10/100 Mb/s
•Transmission standards:10-Base-T Ethernet
Expansion Slots
•One PCI Express x16
•Two PCI Express x1
•One PCI
I/O Ports
Back I/O ports

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Docume...



Thanks very much.

Rob.
June 9, 2011 5:46:00 PM

What are you replacing?

I believe AM3 processors will work on your motherboard. Important: This will be contingent on your motherboard's BIOS!!!

If there is a BIOS version that supports AM3 processors, just find the fastest 95W phenom II X4 that you can. I think you are limited the 925 and the 840. I'm going off of AMD's website. There might be some others available that aren't listed there anymore (they pulled some processors off of their list for some reason). You do need to be careful to get a 95W and not a 125W. I think the 925 will actually perform better than the 840 despite the lower clock speed (because the 925 has an L3 cache and the 840 does not). I'm not 100% on that, though.
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June 9, 2011 5:54:59 PM

The information HP gives clearly states the board is Socket AM2+ board and is limited to 95-watt and below CPUs. Beyond that, the information HP gives is spotty and contradictory as to what CPUs are supported. Physically and electrically, the board should at least support any quad-core and below Phenom II/Athlon II/Sempron CPU that draws 95 watts or less regardless of if they are Socket AM2+ or Socket AM3 CPUs. Socket AM3 is backwards compatible with AM2+ and all quad-core or less Socket AM3 CPUs will work in Socket AM2+ boards if there is BIOS support for the new chips. The Phenom II X6s are a little special; they will work in Socket AM2+ boards if the board has a split power plane. I can't tell if the HP board has a split or single plane, so we'll just forget the Phenom II X6s in your case.

As far as what CPUs your particular board supports, I can't tell you exactly since their information conflicts itself. The documentation says the board supports only Socket AM2+ processors yet lists the "Athlon X3" and "Athlon X4" as supported CPU lines. There are no Athlon X3 or X4 CPUs; they are Athlon II X3 and X4 CPUs. The Athlon IIs are all Socket AM3 CPUs, so one has to guess that at least some AM3 CPUs are supported. Also, there are no Socket AM2+ Phenom II X4s that are 95 watts or less- the two that exist are both 125-watt CPUs. All of the 95 watt and below Phenom IIs are Socket AM3. So, I'd hazard a guess the fastest CPU for you would be the C3-stepping Phenom II X4 955 (not black edition). It's a 3.2 GHz quad-core unit with a 95-watt TDP.
Related resources
June 9, 2011 6:04:29 PM

MU_Engineer said:
The documentation says the board supports only Socket AM2+ processors yet lists the "Athlon X3" and "Athlon X4" as supported CPU lines. There are no Athlon X3 or X4 CPUs; they are Athlon II X3 and X4 CPUs. The Athlon IIs are all Socket AM3 CPUs, so one has to guess that at least some AM3 CPUs are supported.


Yep. The info on that website is confusing. :( 

According to AMD's website, the X4 955 (not BE) is 125W.

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June 9, 2011 8:05:47 PM

The woods used to be full of nVidia 6150/430 chipset MBs that would have made quite a decent replacement for the HP Narra6-GL6 -- many that would run 125w -x4s & -x6s with much more manageable BIOS options. They were plentiful and got really cheap, but that well has run dry over the last few months.

Here is a Pricewatch search for yahs -- the PhII 955BE 125w is $105 with code EMCKDKA33 through the 15th --- maybe you can find a MB for it nice and cheap.
June 9, 2011 9:22:41 PM

Thanks for all the advice everyone, this is probably not as straightforward as I thought it would be.

The current CPU I have is an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ 2.6 Ghz

I would assume the Phenom II x4 will be faster, but will it be noticably faster.

I'll follow all of your advice and ring HP Support first, but I guess the 95W 925 will do the trick if the support say it will. Is this the one:

http://www.pcupgrade.co.uk/productdetails.asp?productid...

Thanks again for all your help, it's much appreciated.

Rob.

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June 9, 2011 9:44:14 PM

eightdrunkengods said:
Yep. The info on that website is confusing. :( 

According to AMD's website, the X4 955 (not BE) is 125W.


There are three different Phenom II X4 955s, according to CPU-World. The first is a C2-stepping model with a 125-watt TDP (OPN = HDX955FBK4DGI). The second is a C3-stepping model with a 125-watt TDP (HDX955FBK4DGM). The last is a C3-stepping model with a 95-watt TDP (HDX955WFK4DGM).

@wisecracker
That's not a bad idea, except that putting in an aftermarket motherboard will make the OEM install of Windows fail to validate. The steeply discounted OEM versions of Windows OEMs have look for certain things in the BIOS (namely the OEM's name as the board vendor) and fail to validate unless they see them. This is to enforce the "thou shalt not run this discounted OEM OS on another machine" clause in the OEM license. An aftermarket board will have a different vendor string in the BIOS and fail to validate. The OP can safely ignore this if he runs a non-Windows OS or a non-OEM version of Windows on his machine (a full retail version, a cracked version, etc.)

@skybluerob
The Phenom IIs are core for core and clock for clock something around 15-20% faster than a 512 KB L2 Athlon 64 like your X2 5000+. They also have twice the core count. You should see a decent boost in CPU performance in all tasks, and some things will be much faster if they are highly multithreaded. However, if you really want to make your computer feel snappy, you probably want to get an SSD and reinstall your OS on there instead of getting a faster CPU. A lot of the slowness of computers, particularly ones that have been around a few years, is a slow mechanical hard drive choked up with years of a Windows installation collecting crud. OEM computers also often don't have enough RAM, which makes them swap out to that slow hard drive and really slow down everything, so I'd make sure you have at least 4 GB of RAM in the machine as well.
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June 10, 2011 2:38:51 PM

@ skybluerob


Based on a discussion of a person in a similar situation as you, probably the best CPU would be the Phenom II x4 945 which the individual was able to install on his Pegatron M2N68-LA Narra6 version 6.01 motherboard.

The link is a follows:

http://www.bios-mods.com/forum/archive/index.php/thread...

I suggest you read through the entire thread which is only two pages long.


Also, MU_Engineer suggested that you get a SSD. Just in case you do not know what that is, it stands for Solid State Drive. It's basically a flash memory hard drive and since it does not have any mechanical parts, it is basically faster than your standard hard drive. It will not increase your CPU's performance, however, your overall experience with Windows should be a little more fluid since a SSD cuts down on loading and saving times.

Since I do not own a SSD, I cannot tell you how much "snappier" your PC will. Perhaps MU_Engineer can share his experience.
!