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Motherboard/CPU Compatibility Confusion

Last response: in CPUs
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November 27, 2011 3:33:24 PM

Is this motherboard and CPU compatible? I am starting to get very confused about FSB. I do not want to be underclocking my CPU.

ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I am under the understanding that the FSB on my motherboard (2600 MHz) must match my CPU FSB (4000 MHz) or the CPU will run below its fastest speed. This CPU is listed as compatible with the motherboard on the manufacturer's website, however right now I am taking that as "It will work, but not necessarily as fast as you want it to". I am also not finding motherboards with FSB at 4000 MHz so I am starting to think I am not understanding this right. On top of this, I am getting more confused when FSB is listed in MT/s on some components and MHz on others. Can someone please straighten me out?

Also wondering if it is possible to change the processor on the motherboard once I have installed it as I may want to upgrade in the future. For that I am looking at this:

ASUS Crosshair IV Formula AM3 AMD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a c 866 à CPUs
a c 1127 V Motherboard
November 27, 2011 3:44:27 PM

They are fully compatible the 2600 is effective 5200 and the effective on the CPU 4000 is actual 2000.
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a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
November 27, 2011 4:07:41 PM

The motherboard you chosen will work. However, if you plan to upgrade to bulldozer as time passes, you will need a AM3+ motherboard instead. I wouldn't spend over $200 much less $120 on a AM3 motherboard these days. Just buy the 955 and any AM3 motherboard. The cheapest one is like 770 series I think.

The 955 is black edition so it has an unlocked multipliers. This means you can overclock easily by increasing the multipliers ;) 
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a c 473 à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
November 27, 2011 5:49:01 PM

wintermint said:
The motherboard you chosen will work. However, if you plan to upgrade to bulldozer as time passes, you will need a AM3+ motherboard instead.


Based on performance, Bulldozer is not considered an upgrade.

Perhaps the Piledriver CPU core will be whenever it is released.
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November 27, 2011 6:22:41 PM

Will upgrading to a AM3+ motherboard set me up to be able to keep up with future components for a year or two? Or should I just go AM3 and upgrade when the next new thing comes out?
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November 28, 2011 5:16:45 AM

Tom's Hardware did a great review of the FX-8150 Bulldozer which uses the AM3+ motherboard, and the results were really quite disappointing.

Although they didn't test the AMD Phenom II X4 955 you're interested in getting, they did test the AMD Phenom II X6 1100T which is similar according to the Gaming CPU Hierarchy Chart.

Considering the AMD Phenom II X4 955 costs $165 less and performance is practically the same in most cases, my advice is to not bother with Bulldozer and spend the savings on a more powerful video card for gaming or a bigger monitor or just put it in the bank.
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November 28, 2011 8:23:04 PM

Thanks Zhenne thats good to know. I guess what I was really asking is, how long will AM3 be around, if I want to continue upgrading in the future is it worth it buy AM3+ now as thats what future chips will be. Will AM3 become obsolete quickly?
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November 29, 2011 12:23:24 AM

Based on the leaked AMD roadmaps they're going to concentrate on their APU series and their AM3+ processors from now on.

Therefore unless things change the most powerful AM3 processor you can get is the Phenom II X4 Black Edition 980.

However, that processor is well-tested and it's a good model and should last you a long time. Bulldozer is under performing for its cost and no one knows how its successor, Piledriver, will perform by comparison or how much it will cost or when it will be released. I've even heard some people suggesting that Piledriver will use an entirely new socket, although they may be confusing Piledriver with Trinity and nothing official has been said regardless.

You can pick the tried and true AM3 with Phenom or get an APU (read Tom's Hardware review) if you don't have demanding graphics needs (although that will require a different motherboard) or get AM3+ with Bulldozer and pay a lot more than you have to for similar performance to the AM3 with Phenom or wait for Piledriver to be released and upgrade then.

In my opinion, if you want to upgrade right now I'd go with the AM3 and Phenom. Even though AM3 doesn't have much of a future it still performs very well and paying $160 more for Bulldozer at this time seems foolish. Besides, even if Piledriver is the best thing since sliced bread, you should be able to sell the AM3 motherboard and Phenom for not much of a loss and upgrade and be able to enjoy their fast performance in the meantime.
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