Upgrading old machine with unsupported CPU - Phenom II X4

Oct 11, 2018
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So I have an old Gigabyte board model : GA 880GM-D2H. I ran a Athlon II X3 450 in it for several years. I recently upgraded to an SSD and performance increased quite a bit. Now, when I stream the CPU is pegged at 100%. This machine is in my bedroom and used almost exclusively for streaming video (Netflix and YoutubeTV). I wanted to try and buy a CPU on the cheap that would breath some new life in the machine and maybe squeeze a few more years out of this old hardware.

So here is the question - Gigabyte had 3 revisions to this board and each have a different CPU support list. the Rev. 1.x boards (which is what I have) support the Phenom II X4 980, 960T, 955, 945 (and a bunch more). The newer revisions 3.x aned 4.x support a bunch of AM3+ CPUs but in the Phenom II X4 department they have the 980 along with the 975 and 970 (along with several others). If the Rev. 1.x board supports the 980 why wouldn't it support the 975 and 970 as well. Same architecture, specs, etc. just slower speed. I was trying to get a 980 on eBay but there aren't too many. There are some 975s and 970s but those aren't officially supported despite being basically the exact same CPU witha slower clock speed. I don't want to go from 3.7 GHZ (980) down to 3.2 GHZ (955) which is the next officially supported CPU. Question is, what is the liklihood that one of the in between CPUs would run on my machine? Should I strictly stick to the supported list or would I be okay with the 975 or 970? Again this isn't a gaming or power machine by any means. Just trying to squeeze a few more years out and get the most bang for my buck. Thanks for any insight!
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
I think I have fallen for this before with Gigabyte. They put a non-supported CPU on the list of supported CPUs. Under BIOS revision it says N/A = unsupported.

Double check though that you have a B2 stepping CPU. Usually a few steppings out there.

Otherwise I would say you should try for a return and go back to Phenom hunting.
 
Oct 11, 2018
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Sound advice and I think I may just go with the FX (the only one my revision supports) Just thought I might get a bit more performance out of the Phenom but FX is newer. Still though, why would literally the exact same chip be supported at a faster speed and not a slightly slower speed? That just kinda puzzles me.
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
Microcode, minor changes to the chipset, no idea. Certainly not a power issue. With AMD you do have to keep a close eye on the MT/s usually shows you the difference between the various AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+ CPUs. The FX might actually run slower in that board than on the ones designed for it. Not really sure.

Phenom X4 is probably faster than an FX4130 under some circumstances, but at least the CPUs are still available.
 
Oct 11, 2018
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Thanks for the replies Eximo. Took the advice and purchased a 4130 at local computer liquidator/refurbisher store. They had like 25 units that were all pulled from functioning machines. Got home today, installed it and wont even post. Pulled it, reseated it just to make sure everything was good. Pulled the CMOS battery, waited 10 seconds and tried it again. Nada. The cpu fan and case fans as well as the optical drive all come on but no beeps at all. Pulled it out and reinstalled old CPU and started up just fine. Thought it may need a bios update but I'm running the latest bios. The store offers a free exchange if the CPU is bad but I'm thinking it's something else. Just looking for any suggestions before I go try to exchange the CPU. Thanks again for the insight!
 
First off, video can benefit from hardware acceleration. I used a triple core Athlon II X3 paired with an HD 5450 and I could stream 720p no problem. I never figured out if 1080p issues I had were CPU, GPU, or memory related since I moved on from that system before I upgraded any of those things.

So then depending on what videocard you're using, maybe a CPU upgrade isn't necessary.
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
I think I have fallen for this before with Gigabyte. They put a non-supported CPU on the list of supported CPUs. Under BIOS revision it says N/A = unsupported.

Double check though that you have a B2 stepping CPU. Usually a few steppings out there.

Otherwise I would say you should try for a return and go back to Phenom hunting.
 
Oct 11, 2018
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Crap - That's exactly it. Didn't read the fine print I guess. But why would they put an exact model of a CPU on a supported list only to put an N/A next to it? Feel like that is somewhat misleading - like there is no other reason other than to trick people. As far as determining what stepping can I check that by looking at the CPU or does it need to be installed and running? The place I bought it from said I could exchange it if this one did not work but I think they meant for another of the same CPU (they had like 30). If all else fails I can install it in my downstairs HTPC that I built around the same time but with AM3+ socket (still running strong). It's on that mobo's supported list - and it's actually supported.
 
Oct 11, 2018
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Well, luckily the place will give me a refund. Returning today and back to the hunt for a Phenom II. Thanks for the help on everything! Definitely going to read a bit closer next time on the CPU supported list. :)
 

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