CPU upgrade, broken system.

Hi there

So i'm fairly new to all of this, and any help is appreciated, but some things may need to be approached in noob terms for me.

I decided to buy a new processor, after checking my mobo's CPU support, i got a AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 960T Black Edition 95W Edition 3.00GHz (Socket AM3) Processor.
Previously, i was using AMD Athalon 64 X2 DUal Core Processor 5000+ (2 CPUs), ~2.6GHz

On initial installing, i was getting no display output, so i switched back, updated my BIOS, then switched to the new one, got display, brilliant.

But on start up, my computer was running even slower than usual, so i checked task manager.

CPU usage at 100%, almost constantly, even though under the list of processes (viewing all users) the processes barely added up to 20%

My system doesn't even seem to see the processor, instead was displaying "AMD processor model unknown, ~800MHz"

Fairly sure that can't be right.

I checked that it was physically a clean install, seems fine to me.

Back on the old one for now, running fine, but i'd really like to hope that i can upgrade my computer and not have pissed away £80.
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  1. The motherboard you have shows it supports AM2 and AM2+ CPU's. The processor you have bought is an AM3 CPU. Not so hot on AMD myself so I can't guarantee compatibility or not.


    I had similar issues to this not long ago and there's a few trouble shooting things you can do to test what's going on.

    Firstly make sure Task Manager has the box ticked saying "Show Processes from all Users"

    If that still doesn't show what's happening then you can download a free tool called Process Explorer which works much better than Task Manager.


    It's likely there will be a program conflict or something similar causing this issue.
  2. Hmm i thought i'd be safe with this one given that it's on the list of supported CPUs for my motherboard.

    I'll give the process explorer a go, provided i can maintain the patience to use it, since with the new processor in, my PC runs incredibly slow
  3. It should be fine. Try reconnecting and re-seating everything. I didn't have a problem with AM3 processors on any AM2+ boards.
  4. I've switched between them about 20 times now, and checking that it's sitting properly was the first thing i checked.

    After giving process explorer a blast on both CPUs this is what i'm seeing.

    Old CPU (dual core, 2.6g)

    New CPU (quad core, 3g)

    Clearly this isn't right.

    Any suggestions? as i said, i assumed the AM3 CPUs would be fine, given that after googling my mobo, all the specs seemed to point me in the direction of AM3 CPUs, but perhaps i've ballsed up somwhere :S
  5. Looking it over, my board is AM2/AM2+, the CPU is AM3.

    I've clearly ballsed up here, BUT after a bit of googling, most people seem to say it should still run fine, any ideas?
  6. Hmm, looks like i might have this case solved, i didn't read the "fine print"

    AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 960T Black Edition 95W Edition 3.00GHz (Socket AM3) Processor

    And my board's CPU support mentioned almost every model BUT this one.
    Unless anyone thinks i should still be able to get this working, i'll be trying to send this back and get a replacement.

    Sorry to have wasted your time, and thanks
  7. What is your motherboard? Most AM3 chips run in most am2+ boards as long as the board is updated, though you may not have full features of the chip and or it may nor be fully recognized and use all the cores. You might also check other model boards in the motherboard family to see if any of them have support for the 960T.
  8. GF8100 M2+ SE Ver. 6.x,
  9. The mobo list doesnt show any Thuban/Zosma core support on its list. The stuck at 800MHZ thing is what generally happens then. I suspect the people saying it worked for them have boards that state AM2+ with AM3 compatibility.

    You can either try to return the CPU and attempt to get a quad core deneb or if you budget allows grab an AM3/3+ board (start as low as £35) and 8GB DDR3 (also around £35). 960T is a nice little CPU i have one personally if you can budget it i would do the mobo and RAM.
  10. So you didn't re-install your OS, right? You only updated the firmware of your board to the latest one? Have you tried to update the AMD chipset drivers, too? Does your BIOS recognize the CPU properly (it should show the name and specs at boot)?

    If the BIOS doesn't show the proper name and specs of the CPU at boot after the latest firmware upgrade, you need a new board or a different CPU.
  11. In terms of getting a new board, am i likely to hit even MORE issues with that? from a complete noob perspective, it's sounding like more hassle!

    It looks like my board should work with AM3, since it lists plenty AM3 CPUs as compatible, the only thing that stands out as an issue to me is i got a model which isn't specified as compatible.

    I updated the drivers, and the chipset drivers, and no it doesn't recognise the CPU at all
  12. My budget is pretty low atm, i would happily spend another £50 or so if it means i can get this working, especially if it's an upgrade to the system, i'm just apprehensive of facing more similar issues due to my own cluelessness!

    Ideally, if it was possible to get this CPU talking to my board it'd be amazing, although i don't see it happening. Unless i can work this out by tomorrow, i'm sending it back and trying to pick up a CPU that i KNOW is compatible with my board (as i failed to do in the first place)
  13. http://www.cclonline.com/product/70208/M5A78L-M-LX-V2/Motherboards/Asus-M5A78L-M-LX-Socket-AM3-Motherboard/MBD0253/

    Asus M5A78L-M LX Socket AM3+ £37 and it allows core unlocking so you may make that 960T a stable 6 core 1605T!


    GeIL Enhance DDR3 8GB £33.98

    Total £71.27

    You could get the mobo £5 cheaper if you dont want the option to unlock cores. You could save £17 as well if you only want 4GB RAM.

    That £71 should keep you running for a fair while though. The board is AM3+ so supports FX as well and hopefully Piledriver in future.
  14. What sort of benefits would i get from core unlocking?

    Also, i'm only actually using 3.25g (or whatever 32-bit systems see) RAM atm, so i could easily cope without upgrading to 8gb.
  15. well IF the CPU unlocks stable you go from a 4 core 960T to a 1605T with 6 cores. If though it doesnt always work but as the board costs a fiver more than one that doesnt and also gives you AM3+ for the future may as well go for it. If you only need 4GB ram that will save you around £17.

    Ohh other thing. If you do this DDR2 sells nicely on E-bay right now i sold some recentley so you will make a few £ back there.
  16. sounds like a good plan of action, but to be perfectly honest, i'm very worried at the prospect of replacing my board, i could end up £150 down, no working PC, and a bunch of parts :S

    How big a job is it?
    How likely am i going to hit issues?
    And i assume i'd need to re-install windows yeh? (which would be a hassle, but a good thing since i've got a 64bit version kicking around somewhere)
  17. Changing the mobo is easy as unscrewing the old one from your case putting the new one in and placing the GPU, RAM, CPU etc (or place the first then screw the mobo in). Re-installing the OS is advisable but its not a must it'll most likely ask you to reactivate windows. If you have a 64bit may as well add that then if you want more than 4GB in future you are all set. I think this method would set you up for a bit longer than staying on the AM2+ and DDR2.

    (excuse any typos i did proof read but done alot of typing today eyes are tired)
  18. You most likely have to re-install your OS, but try without first, there's a chance it works. I replaced 2 motherboards, AMD, too and it worked without re-install in the past. Keep in mind, even if it works, a re-install is the cleaner solution that makes sure everything works in the long run and also allows you to go 64bit in the first place - if you have a version laying around, like you said.

    Besides of the OS and considering you get it done right (which is not that hard), there won't be any issues.
  19. After a bit of thinking, i've decided i'm gonna stick with 32-bit atm, since my PC is mainly used for gaming, just to help compatibility issues, so i'm gonna skip the ram as well (and my wallet is happier)

    In terms of convenience, since i'm not changing OS, i'd love to be able to kludge it and not bother re-installing windows, but i'm told since it's an asus board i'm looking at here, and my current one is not, i'd definitely have to reinstall? is there any truth in this?
  20. No generally you don't have to reinstall, windows will just ask you to reactivate it. As whatsthisnoise states though its generally advisable.

    You would need to get a new 4GB RAM for your new board though as its DDR3 and your current stuff will be DDR2, like i said though you will recoup some of that on Ebay if you choose. 8GB is nice but 4GB is still enough currently and its easy enough to toss more in if you ever need to in future.
  21. GeIL Enhance DDR3 4GB (2x2)


    £17 so with mobo around £55 total. should keep you running a while. The reason i picked that RAM not the single stick for a quid less is that its better to have the 2 sticks running dual channel.

    *edit to add* i recentley shifted some 1GB DDR2 sticks on Ebay for a fiver each so you can recoup most if not all of the new RAM selling the old.
  22. Thanks for all the help, seriously, it's amazing.

    I'll likely be back in a few days complaining my board doesn't work! :D
  23. LOL well do update us when its all done. You'll be fine its a relativley easy swap over just sounds more drastic than it really is.
  24. I'll use this thread if i'm having issues, and i'll definitely let you know how i get on, thanks again!
  25. Worked without a hitch!

    Almost :P

    My DVD drive is so friggen old (like everything else i own!) that it wasn't compatible with my new board, so i couldn't boot off the disc it gave me, but after transferring that to an external HDD, it worked great!

    Thanks again for all the help!
  26. Your welcome glad to hear it all went well :)

    SATA DVD drives can be snagged cheap as chips if you ever need one.
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