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Can I use a CPU that's a higher wattage than my motherboard supports?

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March 3, 2012 12:18:12 AM

I'm looking to purchase the phenom 965 which is a 125w processor and my motherboard (m5a78l m lx) says it can only support a 95w processor. What would happen if I tried to use the 965 with my motherboard? Does it help at all that I have a decent power supply? (750w)
a c 205 à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
March 3, 2012 12:30:07 AM

The board might not support that chip, the micro code on the CPU identifies its power requirements so the board might detect that and refuse to run. If you look at the CPU support list for that board it supports the 945, the 960, 960T, 1035T, etc, but specifically does not support the 95 W versions of the 955 or 965, or anything with an unlocked multiplier, so i dont think it will accept it.
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM3Plus/M5A78LM_LX...


If you do get it to accept it it will likely run fine for a while but the board will have a shortened lifespan since you are going to be stressing the VRMs harder. If you try doing a heavy OC on it though you will likely kill the board in fairly short order as its VRMs aren't meant to handle a large amount of power like the higher end boards are, its only 4 phase and has no heatsink on them.


In short, since we can't be sure it will work, i wouldn't try it, you might end up with a CPU you can't put in your system, just get one on the list.
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a c 113 à CPUs
a c 234 V Motherboard
March 3, 2012 12:48:47 AM

Since it isn't supported, a warning should be posted if the BIOS is properly implemented and then it may shutdown. Worst case is the VRMs will fail when running the CPU at high load (running benchmarks will do it), but that could also become an opportunity to get a better motherboard.
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a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
March 3, 2012 2:48:41 AM

this board supports daneb, zosma, thuban, zambazi cores but limited by 95w
means it can run even 980 but you will need to put vcore at around 1.2v to keep its tdp lower to prevent your board from damage and to keep cpu stable.
It can also support 1100t but you will still need 1.2v vcore.

It may even stand all 125w without any undervolting or even some overclocking. Boards can support more tdp cpu than rated but at tdp above rated the board haven't passed all quality tests of industry.

If you want 955/965 then try to find 95w oem c3 otherwise you can buy box c3 be.
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March 3, 2012 4:24:20 AM

Alright thanks for the responses
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