The best way to tell if a processor is out of the box compatible with a motherboard


Sep 12, 2013
So the point of my tutorial is I want to make it as easy as possible for the everyday user to figure out if that sweet processor, or that sweet motherboard that they are looking at is compatible with one another. Forums like this are nice but you sometimes do get some mixed responses and wrong answers that can cause that motherboard that you ordered to be incompatible with that processor that you ordered. I'm not going to layout every single chipset, socket, motherboard combination out there, but I will give you links to some good websites that have the info that you seek. Now what is out of the box compatible? out of the box compatible is just that, you take the motherboard and processor brand new out of the box without any updates and it works. Now I watched this video of a guy building a brand new system for himself with this fx900 asrock extreme 3 motherboard and this 8350 processor and I was thinking to my self there is no possible way this will work because I knew for a fact that processor wasn't compatible out of the box at that point with that motherboard. you can watch the video here by the way this is just part of his build. I believe there was a part 1, 2, and 3 to the computer build. Now the funny part about these videos is normally when you watch videos like this they show the computer being powered on with the bios screen etc.. So that was my first clue that this build that he was talking about being so amazing and dot dot dot, really wasn't any more than a case with computer parts that can't turn on because of the motherboard being incompatible with the processor. I did find multiple videos of people doing the same thing, they would build a system with a processor and motherboard that had known compatibility issues but they would post it up on youtube saying hey guys let me show you this amazing build for $xxxxx amount. But back to the original video. Now just to be 100% I was correct I contacted the company directly and asked them will this work. I asked the guy for a simple yes or no answer and he said no the email looked like this

The cpu is not compatible with the ASRock model you described

ASRock America Support

Asrock America Inc.

Of course I would cut out the parts of the email that had personal information in it but you get the point.

Now what I like to do is unless I 100% have no other choice and I'm working on an older system, I only like to focus on the 10 most recent chipsets and their compatibility, Don't try to learn every single possible chipset and its compatibility with processors. try to stick to like what I do 10. Back when I first branched out of just the A+ and the computer repair stuff I wanted to learn about networking, and I noticed that I am one of those kinds of people who try to have a photographic memory about everything, and learn every single piece of information in an I.T book. Well that was bad when I started to learn about networking, I wanted to learn everything about it in great detail but only to find out it would cause me to slam my head into my wall every night. Don't do this when it comes to learning about chipsets and motherboard compatibility. Just do some basic research one website for intel processors that I use is this all that you do is click on the desktop boards icon on the page and look for the chipset that the board that you want has, and then go through that list and try to find your board, and then after that it is as simple as select and then looking through the list of processors compatible with that board. Another website that you can use but not as user friendly is this might take you a bit longer to find your desired motherboard and processor. but all that you do is click on the manufacturer of the motherboard that you want, and then on the right hand side you will see a Filter by socket: option, and then after that you can compare all of the chipsets and processors that are compatible with one another from that manufacturer for that socket. For AMD sadly they have a really poor compatibility layout and some of the motherboards that they list that they claim are compatible, are not. For people planning on buying a new AMD processor either go to the cpu-upgrade website, or go to the manufactures website of the motherboard and look to see if it is compatible. The biggest tip that I can give you is never be afraid of sending the motherboard manufactures website, Not the people from Intel or AMD but the company that you plan on buying the motherboard from and ask them either by email or phone, hey is this compatible with this and this. Some of the technical services will ask questions like what is your motherboard serial number etc... just put fake information in if you don't already own the motherboard or processor. Just be true to what you plan on putting in the system, like treat it as if you already have all of the parts that you plan on using. When you get into the question section just ask is this motherboard and processor compatible with one another, and they will give you a good honest answer back. You could also call them which would probably be the fastest way possible to find out if you want live assistance.

One more thing that I want to cover quick is what does Rev:1.0 and so on means. Well remember how the xbox 360 had several different updates to the components from the first day that it released, until the day they released the xbox one? You know the first models had a terrible rep because of the 3 red rings of death so they changed some of the components that caused that issue and upgraded to somewhat better quality Components. I won't go over each issue, or what caused that issue on each motherboard. Lets just say purchasing a $500 re flow station did pay for itself in a few months. But now the reason I say this is because motherboard revisions work the same way. Lets say Bob bought ASUS motherboard X rev: 1.0 and Jim a few months later bought the same ASUS board but it was REV:1.1. Now Bob has been getting very annoyed because he can't lock in his overclocks that his friend Jim told him about, no matter what voltage he puts on the Vcore he just can't get this overclock to work. What Bob doesn't know is that Jim's motherboard in its revision had a few upgrades to the whole power delivery of his ASUS motherboard, that Bobs did not. So Rev: 1, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2, 3, 4, 5, and so on are all updates that the manufactures have made to the board to either improve performance,support even more processors out of the box without any updates, because the manufacture has already applied the update to that motherboard before it gets shipped off.

My personal preference for places that I like to order motherboards from are
what I have noticed is they both receive the new revisions of the motherboards faster than any other companies, at least for the U.S. I believe that it is because they get rid of their stock faster than anyone else when it comes to things like motherboards.

I know this was sort of long but thanks for reading if you got through all of this.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to message me

As of 4/4/2014 I will no longer be on toms. You can find me at with the same username