This is a hypothetical upgrade that I'd like to make, if possible. I've tried researching this online, but the X4 980 has only been out a month. MSI's website states that this particular board supports the 3.2ghz Phenom II X4 965, so theoretically it isn't a big ask, with both processors being 125w TDP. The reason I want the highest stock speed available is because some mysterious system instability prevents me from overclocking the CPU (via the BIOS cell menu multiplier - even to 2.8ghz; crashes instantly with Prime95), and the SB600 doesn't allow the FSB to go beyond 200mhz.
I almost got that board myself a few years ago, but went with my Gigabyte board instead simply because of my budget (I was poorer then). Anyway, that board is suppose to be one of the better overclocking 790FX boards from that era so I think it's just your CPU. My board also has the SB 600 and I OC'd my Athlon 5000+ non BE by raising the base multiplier (FSB) and got just shy of 3.2Ghz. Your instability could be that your CPU needs more voltage, you didn't adjust your RAM settings, or you need to lower your HT Link Multiplier.
I should also add that overclocking with a Phenom II BE is different than overclocking with an Athlon X2 BE. With the Athlon, the RAM speed is determined by a divider where the CPU speed is divided by some number to obtain the RAM speed. Raising the Multiplier can change the RAM speed so having tight timings on your RAM may be causing your instability. On Phenoms, the memory controller speed is multiplied from the base speed (FSB though it's not an FSB), so raising the multiplier does not automatically change the RAM speed. Even so it's best to lower the HT link on Phenoms as well when overclocking simply for stability and the HT link is the last thing to affect performance.
I forgot to mention that my OS is Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1. HDD is 500gb, 5400rpm.
To be honest, after all the effort I've expended trying to overclock the RAM and CPU (to no avail), I've developed an mild aversion to that practice - it's brought me nothing but frustration and disappointment, so I don't think I can be bothered with that anymore (believe me, I've tried almost everything, having researched diligently). I just want things to work straight out of the box now... I suppose I'm still a console gamer at heart, having grown up in the 16-bit era of SNES.
I'd be satisfied with last year's 5770 (128-bit, 800 shader units) if it wasn't still only £10 or so cheaper than the 6790 - essentially the same card with double the bus width, according to the review here. I have a Samsung 22" 1680 x 1050 widescreen monitor that I bought in a fire sale for £50, and I want to play (WO-)Warcraft at native resolution on Ultra settings. Also, having just replaced the CPU cooler and bought another 2 matching modules of RAM off ebay, I like the idea of 'maxxing out' this machine - or at least making it semi-future-proof for the next couple of years. Prior to yesterday, there'd been no upgrades since the system was built in April 2008.
Running the latest games on high settings isn't really important to me - the 6790 is probably overkill for what I need.
The question is - in absence of official confirmation from the MSI horse's mouth, is there any reason why the Phenom II X4 980 shouldn't work with this board? I think that any upgrage beyond what I'm planning (DDR3 ram, AM3, etc) would necessitate a new motherboard, and I'm not looking to build a new rig anytime soon. The idea of a SSD drive is also tempting, since W7 takes a while to boot up.
Regarding the DIMM slots amd power draw - I was tempted to get 2x2gb (especially with the Golden Orb II diameter clearence issue), but being slightly irrational; I have to admit that having all 4 slots full is aestheically pleasing - and I didn't want the 2 original Dominator modules to be rendered redundant.
Interestingly, MSI says that this board (with BIOS firmware version 1.B, for Thuban support) will run a AMD II X6 Phenom 1090t, but doesn't specify whether 1100t will work - and yet there are some reliable accounts of people running the 1100t on this board without problems, which suggests that the x4 980 will probably work OK, even without MSI's official blessing.
Sorry to necro, but I figured an existing thread would be a good place to ask as opposed to making an entire new one. I'm upgrading my Phenom2 X4 940 to an 1100T, but when trying to flash the BIOS on my K9A2, it simply doesn't happen. Anyone have any similar issues with Live Update 5? It will go through the entire install process, restart (flashing in windows as I don't have a floppy drive) and Live Update tells me I still have version 1.0 installed.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Criticisms? I'll answer whatever you like, and I appreciate the help in advance.
It is (im pretty sure) 7378v1B.zip is version 1.B0. The MSI site has it at that one, as well. I'm going off the assumption that was made earlier in the thread that the 1090T BIOS will also work with the 1100T