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
Add your own comment

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

#1
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
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.
Well Intels High-end will be LGA 2011, 1366 should be phased around the time AM3+ hits the market.
Posted on Reply
#2
johnnyfiive
So where can I buy a CH Formula IV with the extra pin hole??!?!?

How is this possible?
Posted on Reply
#3
devguy
CDdude55 said:
Well Intels High-end will be LGA 2011, 1366 should be phased around the time AM3+ hits the market.
Lol, that's really not the point I was trying to make... And AM3+ CPUs should be out in June, whereas LGA 2011 CPUs aren't expected until Q4 2011.
Posted on Reply
#4
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
devguy said:
Lol, that's really not the point I was trying to make... And AM3+ CPUs should be out in June, whereas LGA 2011 CPUs aren't expected until Q4 2011.
I was only addressing your mistake, 1366 isn't made to fight with AM3+, LGA 2011 is (and it'll probably beat bulldzoer more likely no matter when it comes out.)

Everything else makes sense.
Posted on Reply
#5
devguy
CDdude55 said:
I was only addressing your mistake, 1366 isn't made to fight with AM3+, LGA 2011 is (and it'll probably beat bulldzoer more likely no matter when it comes out.)

Everything else makes sense.
Lol, what I was trying to say was that I think that the AM3+ platform will exclusively house high-end products, much in the same way that the LGA1366 platform hosts exclusively high-end products (and likely lga 2011 will too). I wasn't specifically saying they were designed as competition for each other.

.
Posted on Reply
#6
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
devguy said:
Lol, what I was trying to say was that I think that the AM3+ platform will exclusively house high-end products, much in the same way that the LGA1366 platform hosts exclusively high-end products (and likely lga 2011 will too). I wasn't specifically saying they were designed as competition for each other.

.
That's possible, but i would think they would make desktop mid range/low end chips exist in the newer socket, as APU's may not provide enough power for others that don't have money for the highend. But that could be the reason why they are allowing AM3 chips onto AM3+(for midrange/budget users)

I too am awaiting bulldozer benches.:)
Posted on Reply
#7
dezz
Some more info on that why only some of AM3 boards can support Zambezi, possible compromises, etc. (autotranslated)

devguy said:
Lol, what I was trying to say was that I think that the AM3+ platform will exclusively house high-end products, much in the same way that the LGA1366 platform hosts exclusively high-end products (and likely lga 2011 will too). I wasn't specifically saying they were designed as competition for each other.
The new high-end will be the 8-cored one, but there will be 6- and 4-core versions, as well.
Posted on Reply
#8
JF-AMD
AMD Rep (Server)
AMD is supporting BD on AM3+ sockets only. Period.
Posted on Reply
#9
Mads321
@JF-AMD

So I guess then Asus forgot to mention, that it's only brand new revisions of current AM3 models, fittet with a new AM3+ socket, which will support BD aka. be AM3+ ready.

I couldn't get my head around Asus' AM3 -> AM3+ BIOS-upgrade story, but they can only mean revised models then - not models sold with AM3 socket.

Well then, shame on Asus for getting peoples hopes up. I know allot of people will be dissapointed when it turns out, that only the latest (probably unsold at the moment) revisions of their:

Crosshair IV Extreme
Crosshair Formula IV
M4A89TD PRO/USB3
M4A89TD PRO
M4A89GTD PRO/USB3
M4A89GTD PRO

motherboards, are compatible with BD, because those boards are all sold (until today i guess) with the AM3 socket - not the AM3+

Or am I missing something here?
Posted on Reply
#10
dezz
@[USER=93722]Mads321[/USER]: No, those on the upper half of that table at ASUS are earlier boards with an AM3 socket, this is clear.

JF-AMD didn't say it's impossible, just that AMD won't support it. Probably not without a good technical reason they have decided this way.

From now on it's the responsibility of the motherboard makers if your new AM3+ CPU happen to not work reliably or at all with your older AM3 board, despite the BIOS update. ASUS (and probably MSI) has decided to take this responsibility, in case of some of their boards. Most probably those that has been tested to work reliably with certain Zambezi variants, though.
Posted on Reply
#11
Mads321
@deez

Okay, so that will make BD pin-compatible with AM3. I just thought BD had an extra pin, and that this extra pin would make it impossible to mount it in a socket AM3 (hence the AM3+ socket, with room for one extra pin).

Either that, or Asus will be handing out nail-clippers, to get rid on the extra pin on BD..

This stuff is confusing to say the least.
Posted on Reply
#12
Tomisw
Asus said that zambezi will be compatible at first because zambezi will not have the damn pin that its not included in am3 socket. The problem is turbo core 2.0 and some power options like Clock Gating and Fast-Switch VID.
Posted on Reply
#13
TheLaughingMan
Tomisw said:
Asus said that zambezi will be compatible at first because zambezi will not have the damn pin that its not included in am3 socket. The problem is turbo core 2.0 and some power options like Clock Gating and Fast-Switch VID.
It will have that pin.

They are basically phasing out AM3 socket right now on their boards. Any new revisions to those boards will come with the new BIOS and an AM3+ socket. Since old chips work on the new socket, it will not affect current sales and set them up to be the first with actual AM3+ boards you can buy. They are trying to beat out ASRock to market who showed their AM3+ board a while back.
Posted on Reply
#14
Tomisw
TheLaughingMan said:
It will have that pin.

They are basically phasing out AM3 socket right now on their boards. Any new revisions to those boards will come with the new BIOS and an AM3+ socket. Since old chips work on the new socket, it will not affect current sales and set them up to be the first with actual AM3+ boards you can buy. They are trying to beat out ASRock to market who showed their AM3+ board a while back.
just it
http://www.pcgameshardware.de/aid,816216/Bulldozer-passt-per-BIOS-Update-doch-auf-AM3-aber-mit-eingeschraenkten-Features/CPU/News/
Posted on Reply
#15
Tomisw
TheLaughingMan said:
It will have that pin.

They are basically phasing out AM3 socket right now on their boards. Any new revisions to those boards will come with the new BIOS and an AM3+ socket. Since old chips work on the new socket, it will not affect current sales and set them up to be the first with actual AM3+ boards you can buy. They are trying to beat out ASRock to market who showed their AM3+ board a while back.
http://www.pcgameshardware.de/aid,816216/Bulldozer-passt-per-BIOS-Update-doch-auf-AM3-aber-mit-eingeschraenkten-Features/CPU/News/

The notice
Posted on Reply
#16
NC37
Aww man, no support for my nForce 570...boo AMD :P

hehe

Wonder what they'll do with the budget lines. The Athlon quads were popular for people that didn't need the L3. Just built a system for a friend that is AM3. I'd be a little irritated if there wasn't an upgrade path for it.
Posted on Reply
#17
Melvis
[H]@RD5TUFF said:
! If I have to buy a new mobo for their next processor, I may as well go to an Intel then.
:wtf: That makes no sense at all.

[H]@RD5TUFF said:
All will be revealed in about 2 and a half months, until then it's all speculation and bologna until AMD says something. I personally hope they at least support 8 cores on AM3 otherwise this is a fail on AMD's part.
You must be pissed at intel then?
Posted on Reply
#20
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
dezz said:
A platform is not only a socket, but the electronics behind it. The difference is only a pin on the socket, but there can be differences in the electronics, too. That's what I tried to tell you.
Yes, but he and AMD both said the socket wasn't compatible. Obviously it is.


dezz said:
That's right.
So you agree that obviously the processors are compatible with the old platform, there is not power plane issues or anything like that, because ASUS was able to get the new processors working with the old boards via just a BIOS upgrade. Good, glad we got that sorted then.

dezz said:
Probably only with compromises...
The only compromises would be that the processors run slower in the old sockets, AMD has never seemed to care about that in the past.

dezz said:
Perhaps not without technical reasons. Like I said, power planes, etc.
You did say that in the past, but you also agreed that obviously that isn't the case since ASUS doesn't seem to have a problem with it.

dezz said:
But AM2 CPU's has had only a DDR2 controller, so they coudn't even work with the DDR3 memories on AM3 boards!
Yes, that doesn't matter. My point was that the extra pin was removed from AM3 so that AM2 processors couldn't be inserted. In this case, they've added a pin to AM3+ so they can't be inserted in AM3 boards. But that has nothing to do with the fact that AM3+ processor do in fact work on the old platform, AMD just decided to not allow it.
Posted on Reply
#21
[H]@RD5TUFF
Melvis said:
:wtf: That makes no sense all.
Sure it does, if I have to buy a new mobo to make the new processor work why not go Intel, the main reason I was interested in the new AMD processors is because I figured they would be backwards compatable, if there not then I see no reason to pursue second best performance only to possibly save a few dollars



Melvis said:
You must be pissed at intel then?
^

Melvis said:
:wtf: That makes no sense all.
Agreed Melvis.

Clearly you seem to have animosity against myself and Intel, grow a thicker skin ?:ohwell:
Posted on Reply
#22
TheLaughingMan
Tekie you are still assume that ASUS is the one telling the truth. I still don't think it is just a BIOS update. I think they are going to released rev. B for all those boards with the new socket. I think they just built the BIOS first.
Posted on Reply
#23
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
TheLaughingMan said:
Tekie you are still assume that ASUS is the one telling the truth. I still don't think it is just a BIOS update. I think they are going to released rev. B for all those boards with the new socket. I think they just built the BIOS first.
There is no reason for ASUS to lie. They say just a BIOS update is all that is required. I have no doubt that they will release a revision that uses the actual AM3+ socket, so that the extra pin doesn't get in the way, but that is it. From what they have said, the old boards just need a BIOS update and they will support the new socket(I'm guessing with the removal of that pin).
Posted on Reply
#24
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
I don't get it, since AM3+ has an extra pin(942 pins for AM3+ compared to 941 pins on AM3) that means it won't physically fit into an AM3 socket, so a BIOS update would be useless in that regard unless the pin gets removed. Plus it has been stated multiple times that Bulldozer will be AM3+ only, i really don't understand how ASUS is planning to go around that with solely a BIOS update.
Posted on Reply
#25
devguy
Here's the situation, as posted at XtremeSystems:
am3 socket: 941 pin holes
am3+ socket: 942 pin holes
---
am3 cpu: 938 pins
am3+ cpu: 940 pins

And Asus have already routed (activated) the 2 extra pinholes on the am3 socket for the boards on their list (940pin-938pin), and the 940pin am3+ cpu is physically able to be placed in the 941 pinhole am3 socket.
Garner what you will from that. Basically, just because there are extra pin slots in a socket, doesn't necessarily mean that a processor has a corresponding pin to put inside it.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment