Tuesday, March 15th 2011

AMD FX Zambezi Processors Compatible with ASUS AM3 Motherboards Using BIOS Update

AMD's upcoming FX series "Zambezi" desktop processors based on the "Bulldozer architecture are also expected to bring with them compatible motherboards, as AMD, on a number of occassions, stated that the chips will require a new socket (referred to as AM3+) and compatible chipset, and that the chips will be incompatible with existing AM3 socket and existing chipset. Information available with SweClockers points to the contrary.

According to the source, motherboard major ASUS is planning to provide support to AM3+ processors to some of its existing AM3 motherboards using mere BIOS updates. That's right, Zambezi will indeed be backwards compatible with AM3 and existing chipset, only what remains to be seen is if the processors will perform to their full potential and overclock well on existing platform. Amongst ASUS' Schindler's list are top of the line AM3 models, such as ROG Crosshair IV Formula and Extreme, M4A89TD PRO/USB3, and even AMD 890GX-based motherboards such as M4A89GTD PRO. The list also shows certain AM3+ motherboards that use dated chipsets such as 760G, probably the entry-level of ASUS' M5A series of motherboards.

Source: SweClockers
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145 Comments on AMD FX Zambezi Processors Compatible with ASUS AM3 Motherboards Using BIOS Update

#1
Mussels
Moderprator
brandonwh64 said:
Hmm this is interesting, you notice that they have to release a M5 series board to use am3+ on older chipsets like 760G
maybe asus knew this was coming and planned ahead on their high end/latest boards?
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#2
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
Mussels said:
maybe asus knew this was coming and planned ahead on their high end/latest boards?
Maybe, but why 760G? what benifit would you get out of having to BUY a 760G board to use a newer CPU? wouldnt getting a AM3+ board in the first place more logical if you have to buy a board anyway?
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#3
JrRacinFan
Served 5k and counting ...
Methinks, the processors that are going to get released will have socket counterparts. AM3 & AM3+.

Let's say a possiblity of an FX1000 and an FX1000+. Who knows.....

@Brandon
Same reasoning one would purchase an H55 over P55.....

You already know my take on the whole ordeal.
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#4
Mussels
Moderprator
brandonwh64 said:
Maybe, but why 760G? what benifit would you get out of having to BUY a 760G board to use a newer CPU? wouldnt getting a AM3+ board in the first place more logical if you have to buy a board anyway?
because sooner or later there WILL be budget AM3+ CPU's, as AM2 fades away completely.
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#5
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
JrRacinFan said:
@Brandon
Same reasoning one would purchase an H55 over P55.....

You already know my take on the whole ordeal.
BUT H55 and P55 are close to the same. when it comes to 760G and 890G there is a big difference.

why buy something thats OLD tech with a new bios/CPU socket when you can get a 890G for maybe alittle more that has more features for around the same price?
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#6
Mussels
Moderprator
brandonwh64 said:
BUT H55 and P55 are close to the same. when it comes to 760G and 890G there is a big difference.

why buy something thats OLD tech with a new bios/CPU socket when you can get a 890G for maybe alittle more that has more features for around the same price?
because they have tons of 760G chipsets laying about they need to sell, most likely.
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#7
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
Mussels said:
because they have tons of 760G chipsets laying about they need to sell, most likely.
That would be my guess as well, IF they would just release a bios for 760G and such, i would agree to that but having to buy a 760G WITH new socket is a waist IMO
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#8
JrRacinFan
Served 5k and counting ...
brandonwh64 said:
BUT H55 and P55 are close to the same. when it comes to 760G and 890G there is a big difference.

why buy something thats OLD tech with a new bios/CPU socket when you can get a 890G for maybe alittle more that has more features for around the same price?
Power consumption and marketing. If one didn't need all the bells n whistles I'd buy the older tech.
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#9
Mussels
Moderprator
brandonwh64 said:
That would be my guess as well, IF they would just release a bios for 760G and such, i would agree to that but having to buy a 760G WITH new socket is a waist IMO
it wont be, over time.


for example, i ran my x6 thuban on my 780G/785G (i upgraded) board(s) for a while, and had zero performance loss (at stock!) doing so compared to my later bought 890FX board.

the new socket could be a cheap, excellent upgrade path for non OCers and people who just use mid range hardware/low end AM3+ CPU's
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#10
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
Mussels said:
it wont be, over time.


for example, i ran my x6 thuban on my 780G/785G (i upgraded) board(s) for a while, and had zero performance loss (at stock!) doing so compared to my later bought 890FX board.

the new socket could be a cheap, excellent upgrade path for non OCers and people who just use mid range hardware/low end AM3+ CPU's
Yea that was nice to run a thuban in a AM2/AM3+ board BUT! having to buy a new motherboard just because a CPU has *EXTRA PINS* doesnt justify it.

IF they would have not added extra pins and just did a bios update like with thuban then it would be super sweet.
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#11
JrRacinFan
Served 5k and counting ...
@Brandon
Perfect analogy; dropping a corvette engine into a camaro frame with the same rear end tranny.
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#12
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
JrRacinFan said:
@Brandon
Perfect analogy; dropping a corvette engine into a camaro frame with the same rear end tranny.
I would say that would be with 785G

760G would be like shoving a corvette engine in a chevette

Posted on Reply
#13
Mussels
Moderprator
brandonwh64 said:
Yea that was nice to run a thuban in a AM2/AM3+ board BUT! having to buy a new motherboard just because a CPU has *EXTRA PINS* doesnt justify it.

IF they would have not added extra pins and just did a bios update like with thuban then it would be super sweet.
its not for people buying new boards as a replacement, its for people upgrading from say, 478, 775 or 939. not everyone is only one generation behind.
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#14
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
Mussels said:
its not for people buying new boards as a replacement, its for people upgrading from say, 478, 775 or 939. not everyone is only one generation behind.
Well if you were upgrading from say 939 and you could get a 760G with new socket for say 65$ but you could get a 870G for 80$ which one would you go for? personally i would pay a little more for newer tech.
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#15
Mads321
JrRacinFan said:
Methinks, the processors that are going to get released will have socket counterparts. AM3 & AM3+.

Let's say a possiblity of an FX1000 and an FX1000+. Who knows.....

@Brandon
Same reasoning one would purchase an H55 over P55.....

You already know my take on the whole ordeal.
That would make no sense, now that Asus has released the info, that AM3 motherboards, can be upgraded to AM3+ without any new pinhole. So an AM3+ FX1000+ can be fitted into the same motherboards as the FX1000
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#16
JrRacinFan
Served 5k and counting ...
Mads321 said:
That would make no sense, now that Asus has released the info, that AM3 motherboards, can be upgraded to AM3+ without any new pinhole. So an AM3+ FX1000+ can be fitted into the same motherboards as the FX1000
I have a feeling, from a marketing perspective it COULD make perfect sense. Some of the higher end models getting a counterpart released for the AM3 compatible boards. Also neither yourself nor I, know the different SKU's of Zambezi chips.

And in my scenario; the so called FX1000+ wouldn't be able to fit in the current AM3 boards due to the extra pin.
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#17
Mads321
JrRacinFan said:
I have a feeling, from a marketing perspective it COULD make perfect sense. Some of the higher end models getting a counterpart released for the AM3 compatible boards. Also neither yourself nor I, know the different SKU's of Zambezi chips.

And in my scenario; the so called FX1000+ wouldn't be able to fit in the current AM3 boards due to the extra pin.
So why in the world, would Asus call their AM3 boards AM3+ ready? Why not call them Zambezi ready, Bulldozer ready or AMD-FX ready?

So "from a marketing perspective", you'r saying that an AMD FX1000+ CPU, would have the same pincount as an AMD FX1000 CPU?

Be cause the + model would (according to Asus), fit in the AM3+ ready motherboard (with the AM3 socket) - you see? It makes absolutely no sense.

But I guess that now Asus has made up their mind, calling AM3 motherboards with AM3 sockets AM3+ ready (AM3+ would be referring to a socket until now), they have changed the whole naming-scheme from AMD - since they refer to 939, AM2, AM3 etc. as a socket - has nothing to do with "marketing perspective".
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#18
JrRacinFan
Served 5k and counting ...
Mads321 said:

So "from a marketing perspective", you'r saying that an AMD FX1000+ CPU, would have the same pincount as an AMD FX1000 CPU?
No, I'm saying the pin count could potentially be different.
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#19
Mads321
JrRacinFan said:
No, I'm saying the pin count could potentially be different.
I was being sarcastic - but you get the point. If AMD release FX1000 CPU that fits in Asus AM3 -> AM3+ BIOS-updated motherboard, then what will the FX1000+ ready motherboard be called? AMD3++ ready? Makes no sense.
Posted on Reply
#20
devguy
AMD will not be making separate AM3/AM3+ Bulldozer's. There will be only AM3+ versions, and should motherboard manufacturer's somehow get them running in AM3 boards, good for them, but it will be unsupported by AMD.

As for mid-range and lower processors, I highly doubt the AM3+ platform will see anything other than AMD FX series processors. I suspect that like lga1366, AM3+ will be exclusively high-end, and that all mid-range will be powered by the Llano A-series APUs, and the low-end/ULV powered by the Brazos C/E-series APUs. Could that change? Sure. But if it does, any slower AM3+ chips will certainly not get the FX moniker. Here's a list of the upcoming mid-range products.
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#21
JrRacinFan
Served 5k and counting ...
Mads321 said:
I was being sarcastic - but you get the point. If AMD release FX1000 CPU that fits in Asus AM3 -> AM3+ BIOS-updated motherboard, then what will the FX1000+ ready motherboard be called? AMD3++ ready? Makes no sense.
Also your seeing AM3+, I am seeing Bulldozer. 2 totally seperate things. A new socket versus a new stepping/platform/model of cpu.

devguy said:
AMD will not be making separate AM3/AM3+ Bulldozer's. There will be only AM3+ versions, and should motherboard manufacturer's somehow get them running in AM3 boards, good for them, but it will be unsupported by AMD.

As for mid-range and lower processors, I highly doubt the AM3+ platform will see anything other than AMD FX series processors. I suspect that like lga1366, AM3+ will be exclusively high-end, and that all mid-range will be powered by the Llano A-series APUs, and the low-end/ULV powered by the Brazos C/E-series APUs. Could that change? Sure. But if it does, any slower AM3+ chips will certainly not get the FX moniker. Here's a list of the upcoming mid-range products.
Then why make a whole new chipset? Then why make a whole new socket?
Posted on Reply
#22
arroyo
JrRacinFan said:

Then why make a whole new chipset? Then why make a whole new socket?
$$ money $$ It's all about it.
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#23
JrRacinFan
Served 5k and counting ...
arroyo said:
$$ money $$ It's all about it.
Exactly my point, which makes them valid to making a AM3 ready Zambezi and an AM3+ ready Zambezi chip. Essentially making pin count different, as for the difference in pin count...

Unsure what it would change or be. Again all speculation on my part and I think i might be putting too much thought into this.
Posted on Reply
#24
devguy
Why did AMD make the 8xx series chipsets when the 7xx chipsets seemed to do fine? Well, among other minor things, it really added proper support for AMD TurboCore 1.0 technology. From speaking with Asus engineers who managed to make the TurboCore "work" on my 790FX board, they said it was more of a hack, one that even after two BIOS revisions, I still keep turned off because it is buggy.

The 990FX chipset should include HTT3.1, PCI-Express 3.0 (I think), and TurboCore 2.0 support. I suspect the latter to be the most relevant in AMDs decision to exclude AM3 boards, as I don't believe per-core voltage modification is supported (and if it is, likely not how the Zambezi chips require it). In the past, AMD chips never had much of a performance difference from HTT 1.0 -> 2.0 and so on, but maybe it will be more important for Zambezi?

Unfortunately, I don't see native USB3 support coming (I think the Llano chipset will be the only one to see that), but I do foresee many new motherboards being released supporting the UEFI standard over the BIOS.

The question I have for some of you all is that if the reason is money, why would Asus be making Zambezi compatible BIOSes for current motherboards? A stronger argument is why would they announce them now, potentially hurting future motherboard sales, instead of just silently releasing updates once they've become satisfied by AM3+ motherboard profits?
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#25
JrRacinFan
Served 5k and counting ...
Ok so what I am getting out of your post, the extra pin all surrounds the additional features of the new chipset. Yay, Nay? Could be?

/rhetorical thoughts

devguy said:

The question I have for some of you all is that if the reason is money, why would Asus be making Zambezi compatible BIOSes for current motherboards? A stronger argument is why would they announce them now, potentially hurting future motherboard sales, instead of just silently releasing updates once they've become satisfied by AM3+ motherboard profits?
Exactly what i am questioning as well.
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