Motherboard Madness

  • seekermeister
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I am one of those who keep clinging to outdated hardware, because I refuse to give up my PCI slots, which I have crammed. Unfortunately, I also use a 939 processor and motherboard. Most of the past motherboards for this have been discontinued, so little is available, and what is is either used or of low quality.

I have had a long series of motherboard failures, mostly due to using MSI in a couple of flavors. The current choices that I have found otherwise that are new I know little or nothing about, and I have had problems Googling very much about them. This has gotten me to wondering about using a motherboard designed for Opteron, but since they always seem to designate this processor, despite the fact that the motherboard is 939, I'm wondering if it would work using my 4400+ XP x2 processor? I understand that some Opterons are 940, which would obviously not be compatable, but does motherboards get picky about 939 processors?

If I can't go that way, then I must either get my Asus A8V repaired, at an unknown cost, or go to something like a Mach Speed MSNV-939 Motherboard, but the only user comment about this that I have found sounded just as bad as I feel about MSI.

I've got a closet full of motherboards now, and I do not want to just add to the collection of duds. I could really use some insight on this now, because the current motherboard installed is on it's last legs.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/Dev ... 1204020777

That site helps find compatible boards to Opteron processors.
  • seekermeister
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks, I know that my post wasn't very clear, but my question was about using my AMD64 x2 processor in an Opteron motherboard. The link that you gave was for matching an Opteron processor to an Opteron motherboard.
  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I understand what you're saying now. You might get a straight answer from some of the supply houses such as tiger direct or new egg.
They have helped me in matching components.
  • seekermeister
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The idea is good, but Newegg is on my blacklist, and TigerDirect is on my graylist...at least until I receive a refund from them which is overdue. I guess that I have gotten somewhat skeptical about anything that a salesman tells me.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I don't put a lot of faith in salesmen either but at the same time, you can double check their info somewhere else. Finding a good hardware guru is the problem.
  • seekermeister
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Gurus are as scarce as hen's teeth. I did find a guide on Ebay that was slightly helpful.

http://reviews.ebay.com/Maximizing-your ... 1:SEARCH:1

Apparently, you can put a 939 Opteron in any 939 motherboard, but the compatability is determined by the MB manufacturer. It wasn't clear exactly how to determine that compatability from the manufacturer's specs. For example, the guide said that the MSI K8N Diamond Plus is the least expensive MB that is Opteron compatable, but from the specs below, I see nothing that appears to be an Opteron listed.

• Supports 64-bit AMD® Athlon™ 64 / Athlon 64FX / Athlon 64 X2 processor (Socket 939)
• Supports Athlon 64 CPU: 3000+, 3200+, 3400+, 3500+, 3700+, 3800+, 4000+
• Supports Athlon 64FX CPU: FX-53, FX-55, FX-57, FX-60
• Supports Athlon 64 X2 CPU: 3800+ (E4 version), 4200 (E4 version), 4600+ (E4 version), 4400 (E6 version), 4800+ (E6 version)

Of course, what I want to do is still exactly opposite of what the guide is speaking of, but I'm assuming that this would apply in both directions.

I'm wondering if the compatability is really a technical issue, or if it is determined by the manufacturers whims based on marketing strategy?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm a skeptic like you are but sooner or later, you are going to have to trust something or someone. Maybe the best thing to do is ask AMD themselves.

http://www.amd.com/us-en/Corporate/Abou ... 0.html#Tip

There is an email address and phone #s on that site.
  • seekermeister
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hmm, I thought that all 939 AGP motherboards had been discontinued, but apparently I was wrong. I found this:

http://www.xpcgear.com/asusa8vx.html

It has less PCI slots than I would like, but I guess that I could live with only three. However, it also has 2 PCIe x1 slots, but I have no knowledge or experience with anything related to PCIe. Does the size of the slots or their rating about performance or just a matter of fitting a card? In other words, are those two slots significant or not?

EDIT: I found it even cheaper here:

http://yhst-62361108026679.stores.yahoo.net/69861.html

Makes it look pretty foolish to buy an old A8V on Ebay at twice the price.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

PCIe slots come in a variety of physically different sizes referred to by the maximum lane count they support, ie. x1, x2, x4, x8, x16 and x32. A PCIe card will fit into a slot of its size or bigger, but not into a smaller PCIe slot.


That's from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express

but here is a better site:
http://www.gen-x-pc.com/pci_basic.htm
  • seekermeister
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks. I scanned over both of those links, and I have a vague understanding now, but I still don't know just how useful those x1 slots are, because it is a matter of available cards that will fit. I guess there can be no clear answer, so I will just have to buy the MB, then wait and see if I need the slots or not.
  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The sizes confused me too. I always thought that PCI was PCI. Have fun, whatever you do.

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