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Motherboard & CPU upgrade advice

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February 14, 2012 7:43:50 AM

Hey people.

I've got an ASUS M2N68-AM PLUS motherboard with an AMD Phenom X3 8650 CPU.

Recently the CPU has been busted and I need a new one. I thought of just getting the same one, play it safe and work with what I know, (since I know very little) but now I'm considering taking the opportunity to upgrade.

According to the ASUS website my motherboard can take the Phenom X4 9750 (HD9750WCJ4BGH) or Phenom X4 9750 (HD9750WCJ4BGH). Both 3.5 Ghz which as far as I know, is an improvement on the 2.3Ghz I use to have.

So does anyone have any advice on these models?


Something else I have been considering is upgrading the Motherboard as well. Now as I understand it my AM2+ motherboard takes DDR2 RAM and an AM3 Motherboard takes DDR3 RAM which is generally more expensive RAM. So to save me having to change RAM, if I am upgrading my Motherboard am I right in saying that I should stick to another AM2+??????

a b V Motherboard
February 14, 2012 8:58:48 AM

I think you will find DDR2 to be more expensive these days as it is older and in less demand.

Assuming everything else is working for you, and if you can still find a Phenom X4 9750 at a reasonable cost, I would do that. Most places I checked no longer stock the 9750.

If you could state your budget and location or preferred parts web sites, I might be able to help further.
February 14, 2012 9:09:06 AM

Thanks for the reply.

Am I right in saying that if I have an AM2+ then the RAM must be DDR2? My flatmate in uni built my PC but now he's working at Google so can get chatting to him as easily lol.

I guess I'd be looking to spend £60-£80 for a CPU. The CPU I had seemed good enough but I want to try and be sure what I get now will set me up for at least a few more years. I am looking to upgrad from Vista to Windows 7 though. Not sure if that will affect my choice of CPU
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February 14, 2012 9:09:45 AM

Oh and my location is Northern Ireland
February 14, 2012 9:14:48 AM

Sorry I've just noticed a mistake in my post. The 3.5Ghz CPU's listed on the ASUS website which should be compatible with my current Motherboard are the Athlon IIX2 275(ADX275OCK23GM),3.5GHz,1MB,rev.C3,65W,SocketAM3 or the Phenom IIX2 570(HDZ570WFK2DGM),3.5GHz,512KB,rev.C3,80W,SocketAM3
February 14, 2012 9:24:58 AM

Sean_24 said:
Hey people.

I've got an ASUS M2N68-AM PLUS motherboard with an AMD Phenom X3 8650 CPU.

Recently the CPU has been busted and I need a new one. I thought of just getting the same one, play it safe and work with what I know, (since I know very little) but now I'm considering taking the opportunity to upgrade.

According to the ASUS website my motherboard can take the Phenom X4 9750 (HD9750WCJ4BGH) or Phenom X4 9750 (HD9750WCJ4BGH). Both 3.5 Ghz which as far as I know, is an improvement on the 2.3Ghz I use to have.

So does anyone have any advice on these models?


Something else I have been considering is upgrading the Motherboard as well. Now as I understand it my AM2+ motherboard takes DDR2 RAM and an AM3 Motherboard takes DDR3 RAM which is generally more expensive RAM. So to save me having to change RAM, if I am upgrading my Motherboard am I right in saying that I should stick to another AM2+??????


You could also keep the same motherboard and use a more recent processor

http://ca.asus.com/en/Motherboards/AMD_AM2Plus/M2N68AM_...

you have a list here of all compatible processors with your motherboard you easily drop in a Phenom II 960 black edition in canadian prices about 120$ and keep all other components the same.

if you want to go through the motherboard/processor/ram upgrade then i suggest you take a serious look at the competition. With the current crop of processors the core i5 from intel have a definite performance advantage right now.
February 14, 2012 9:42:16 AM

Thanks Opteron.

Thats the list I was looking at on ASUS. I just don't know one CPU over another lol. A quick search is showing the Phenom II 960T at around £100 which I guess I'd be willing to spend.

With my lack of knowledge it prob is a bit risky for me to go the full upgrade route. I have 4Gb RAM and a Geoforce 9800GTX graphics card. And everything was fine for my general computer and gaming needs until I busted the CPU. So just changing the CPU will most likely suit me.

I'm looking to upgrade the OS to Windows 7 and maybe install a SSD so if I manage all that I should be happy :wahoo: 

a b V Motherboard
February 14, 2012 9:57:53 AM

It appears that if you have the latest revision of that motherboard which is 2.01G, and the latest BIOS, you can upgrade to any CPU on the list. This revision number is stamped on the motherboard next to the part number, usually in white lettering.

I am having trouble locating the older CPUs. I checked one place in Northern Ireland called Marx Computers, and several shops I know of in the UK, but all I am finding it seems are the new FX series, or the new A4-A8 APU's, and a X2 250 which is a bit lesser spec than you have now.

If your board is an older revision, there is one option I can think of to save money and that would be a new hybrid motherboard. This would allow the use of the old ram with a newer CPU. http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/motherboa...
February 14, 2012 10:08:34 AM

If I buy a CPU such as the Phenom II 960 black edition, and my BIOS number is less than 1701, I need to do a BIOS flash then by the sound of it.

The hybrid sounds like a good option. I would never have thought of that. It would also allow me to change the RAM at a later date to DDR3 without any problems.

What exactly is the benefit of DDR3 over DDR2 anyway?
a b V Motherboard
a b à CPUs
February 14, 2012 10:16:22 AM

960t is a good cpu and maybe available in your area
a b V Motherboard
a b à CPUs
February 14, 2012 10:16:53 AM

960t is a good cpu and maybe available in your area
a b V Motherboard
February 14, 2012 10:22:55 AM

Yes a bios flash would likely be in order depending what version you have now. The motherboard manual call tell you how to locate the current version on the screen.

Supposedly the DDR3 will allow you to use the CPU to it's fullest potential. For one thing the bus interface will be a bit limited, but honestly I have put new AM3 CPUs in several old AM2+ DDR2 boards and could not tell much difference. I have one such quad core that now resides in an AM3+ motherboard with DDR3 and have not really noticed the difference. I just needed some of the capabilities of the new board.

In general I do not recommend Asrock boards, but these hybrid things do seem to work well. If you were running a high powered gaming rig, I would point you towards ASUS or Gigabyte and DDR3 memory.
February 14, 2012 10:31:37 AM

Well I will just have to wait until I get home to check the version. I don't have my manual but I should be able to get one from ASUS hopefully.

Also, when I upgrade my OS. Im I correct in saying that 32bit works best with my DDR2 RAM and that 64bit wouldn't reach its full potential unless I had DDR3 RAM?

As for gaming, I would play the odd agme here and there. Assassins Creed, Dead Space and a few others, and DDR2 has been fine so far
a b V Motherboard
February 14, 2012 10:40:14 AM

32 bit is for up to 4gb ram. Over 4gb and you need 64 bit Windows. Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit will take up to 16gb ram, and over that you have to use the Professional or Ultimate version. DDR2 or 3 does not matter.

You can use 64 bit on 4gb ram, but 8gb is the sweetspot where it really starts to shine.
February 14, 2012 10:59:48 AM

My current Motherboard is Maxed at 4Gb but I see the hybrid can take 8Gb so thats another plus for that if I was looking to go 64bit. Decisions, decisions lol.

February 14, 2012 1:08:31 PM

tlmck said:
This Tom's chart might help also. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-overcloc...


Thanks for this. The 960T isn't listed but the 955, 965 and 970 versions are and they are ranked pretty high so I guess the 960T should be a good choice. Reviews are pretty positive as well.

I think this is the CPU I will go for, so hopefully when I check my BIOS version it will be able to support the CPU. Im not sure about flashing as I hear its real risky if your not experienced. If it is I will work away with it until I'm set to change OS and then I may go for the hybrid motherboard. And if it isn't then I may go straight for the hybrid
February 14, 2012 2:27:08 PM

Thank you for all your replies. I will give this a shot and see how I get on
February 15, 2012 12:56:23 AM

its really going to depend on your budget if your still able to do what you want with your current set-up then swapping out the processor is the logical thing to do. just make sure you check the socket and make sure it is for am2+/am3.

You can also look at the athlon x4 645 / Phenom II x4 920/930/940/950 etc etc.

If your looking at changing motherboard/processor/ram i suggest you take a serious look at the core i3/i5 processors from intel currently they are giving the best bang for the buck in pretty much all combined benchmarks. You can look up the info right here on toms hardware and quite a few sites will confirm what im saying.

I currently have an amd build athlon x2 7750 black edition 4gb of ddr2 ram 500gb hd and a radeon 5770 1gb.
February 15, 2012 3:50:57 PM

Hello,i also was thinking about upgrading my CPU and motherboard.

Currently have an athlon 250 x2, 4gb ddr3, hd6670 ddr3, ASUS m4n68t-m le

Should i upgrade just the CPU?

Going tu use for gaming and 3ds

thanks for future reply
February 15, 2012 7:55:40 PM

opteron1983 said:
its really going to depend on your budget if your still able to do what you want with your current set-up then swapping out the processor is the logical thing to do. just make sure you check the socket and make sure it is for am2+/am3.

You can also look at the athlon x4 645 / Phenom II x4 920/930/940/950 etc etc.

If your looking at changing motherboard/processor/ram i suggest you take a serious look at the core i3/i5 processors from intel currently they are giving the best bang for the buck in pretty much all combined benchmarks. You can look up the info right here on toms hardware and quite a few sites will confirm what im saying.

I currently have an amd build athlon x2 7750 black edition 4gb of ddr2 ram 500gb hd and a radeon 5770 1gb.



Well my budget varies. I don't want to throw out a lot of money all at once. I prefer to upgrade in steps if possible.

My 960T arrived today, and my BIOS revision is 2.01G so I think that means it should be ok. The ASUS webpage for my motherboard says that if my version number is greater than BIOS 1701 it should work. Should that be 1.701 though??

If this processor works then my next step will be to look for a new motherboard and RAM so I can get Windows 7 64bit and get the most out of it. But i'll be happy with what i've got for now if it works lol
February 15, 2012 8:00:00 PM

Actually ignore what I said on my BIOS version. 2.01G is the motherboard version and not the BIOS
February 16, 2012 7:06:47 AM

So I put in the new CPU and started up the computer and all I got was a blank screen. Is this what you get if the BIOS isn't up to date?
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