Question How to learn about cpu/mobo compatibility

May 22, 2020
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Hey all,
Instead of asking if my old pc parts are compatible with the new ones I was thinking about getting, I am more interested in learning how you learn which parts of compatible with each other and why?

If its the answer is just to google it, then my apologies, I just assumed there was a way of understanding the parts and why they would work well with each other or not.

Thanks
 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
The vast majority of devices used in computers rely upon standard interfaces to work together. For example:

CPU sockets will only work with CPUs that use the same socket type.

GPUs use PCIe slots (older standards exist but are no longer used).

PCIe devices/slots, generally, are backward compatible with earlier versions.

Memory slots are specific to the type of memory used (DDR3, DDR4), you can't mix versions.

It would be easier to know what you have now (make/model of each component) and what a future system needs to do for you. From that info, options can easily be determined. Knowing your budget helps a lot.

You can also use PCPartpicker to spec out a system, even using some older parts, to see what will work together.
 
Just to add to this - if you have a motherboard and want to know what parts are compatible, your best option is to look up that board on the manufacturers website (the board should have the specific model number printed on it somewhere).

Most manufacturers have a support section which covers everything you need to know about the board, including CPU support as well as the original manual for the board that covers compatible memory, info about expansion slots and so on. With motherboards it's also worth paying attention to the bios revision (usually listed in the CPU support section) as often CPU's come out after the board was released, so the board needs a bios update in order to work with the newer cpu - a common issue when upgrading or working with older parts.
 
May 22, 2020
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Thanks you two, really appreciate the replies!
I'll look into PCPartpicker and check out the different manufacturers support section as well.

Realy appreciate it.
 

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