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I've still got an ooooold ASUS M3A motherboard sitting around that I never got around to buying anything for. Now I'm finally in the financial situation to put some money towards it, and I'd like some help.

My first problem is: will any AM3 CPU work in any AM2+ motherboard? My understanding is that AM3 CPU's are backwards compatible with AM2+ motherboards, so can I be 100% certain that if I buy an AM3 CPU, it'll work (more or less) fine with my M3A board? For review, here's the M3A's specs and such: ASUS M3A AM2+

If the answer to the above question is yes, would the Athlon II X2 250 work fine?

Moving on, I also picked 4GB of G.Skill DDR2-800 CL5-5-5-15 RAM. I didn't bother with 1066mhz DDR2 since the read that the M3A has some issues with running it. Should be ok?

Finally I went with the PowerColor Radeon HD5750 1GB video card. There are other brands to pick from however, any recommendations? I'm a Sapphire guy for the most part, but the only offering I saw was a Vapor-X version that I didn't really like. How is XFX? Gigabyte?

Anyway, any help you can give me, especially with the CPU question would be great. I hope to get this thing going in 2 weeks if no problems arise.
 

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According to the link you provided, that mobo seems to only allow for AM2/AM2+ CPUs with a max of 95watts. However, that's not to say it won't actually work. If you have a look here you'll find some success storied of AM3 CPUs and the M3A. AM3 is definitely the way to go, so if you're feeling bold then you could try one on your board.
 
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Ya the main thing with AM cpu's is AM2 cpu's have 2 ddr2 dram controllers and only do simple dividers ie. CPU clock / 8 to CPU clock / 5. AM2+'s have 1 ddr2 dram controller and 1 ddr3 dram controller and can do simple clock dividers and ratiod dividers (ex. 3xcpu/10)
AM3 cpu's only have 2 ddr3 controllers and can't do simple dividers only the higher speed DDR3 dividers. So if you have 4gb of ddr2 you aren't going to be using it with an AM3 cpu.
 

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The motherboard you have is good to go for an AM3 CPU. I really don't think you"ll notice that much of a difference between AM2+ and AM3. My second rig is AM2+ and I honestly can not tell the difference between AM2+ and AM3. If you already have an AM2 board just use it to save some cash.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Hephasteus
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So if you have 4gb of ddr2 you aren't going to be using it with an AM3 cpu.

What are you talking about? I used 4gb and 8gb of DDR2 on my Phenom II x4 955 BE just fine.

As for OP, if you're saving money you can go with an AM2/AM2+/AM3 Mobo and stick with DDR2 RAM. If you already have it and it's not giving you problems, there's no need to upgrade. Just make sure also the mobo supports 140W CPUs so you can get the new Hex cores when they come out and all you need to do is a bios update.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi guys, thanks for the help. I will bite the bullet and go for the AM3 Athlon II cpu. My grand plan for this build is to upgrade the motherboard, RAM and graphics down the line. I figure if I go for an AM3 CPU now though, I can carry it over later when I get a proper AM3 board, DDR3 RAM and a better gpu. So that's why I just went with DDR2-800 for now. It's just cause I HAVE to on this board.

There was a person on that link to the ASUS forums that said they had gotten an Athlon II 250 to run, but they then posted 4 days later that they got locked out of the computer and had to go back to a 6000+
I hope that won't be my case.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Kvjavs
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What are you talking about? I used 4gb and 8gb of DDR2 on my Phenom II x4 955 BE just fine.

As for OP, if you're saving money you can go with an AM2/AM2+/AM3 Mobo and stick with DDR2 RAM. If you already have it and it's not giving you problems, there's no need to upgrade. Just make sure also the mobo supports 140W CPUs so you can get the new Hex cores when they come out and all you need to do is a bios update.

Ya I was asleep when I made that post. AM3 does have a ddr2 controller.
It's the am2+ that doesn't have a ddr3 controller.
 

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my m2a board has a x250 working nicely
that and its running at 3.6ghz
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Kvjavs
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Haha it's okay, it happens. I was just like "wait a moment what?"

It's confusing. Because I was thinking in terms of motherboards when I posted that. There's boards that only have ddr3 and will take only am3 cpu's. There's boards that have 2 ddr2 slots and 2 ddr3 slots and will take am2+ and am3 cpu's and there's boards that only have ddr2 slots that will take all of the chips. It's hard to translate cpu to motherboard. LOL
 

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Originally Posted by Xeqn
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my m2a board has a x250 working nicely
that and its running at 3.6ghz

Awesome. That puts me at comfort even more, considering that isn't even an AM2+ board, just a normal AM2 board, right? I guess if you can get it oc'd like that, I should be able to run it stock with no problem.

Anyway many thanks to you guys. I know the CPU is weak and the RAM will be useless soon, but it's just because I don't feel there's a need to get a good AM3 CPU until I get an AM3 board, and the DDR2 RAM is just cause I have to use it on this M3A board. Down the line I will be grabbing a nice AM3 board and some DDR3 RAM, at which point I'll swap the Athlon II over and probably overclock it a bit. I reckon that should be a nice setup until I stick a quad in there.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Kvjavs
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What are you talking about? I used 4gb and 8gb of DDR2 on my Phenom II x4 955 BE just fine.

As for OP, if you're saving money you can go with an AM2/AM2+/AM3 Mobo and stick with DDR2 RAM. If you already have it and it's not giving you problems, there's no need to upgrade. Just make sure also the mobo supports 140W CPUs so you can get the new Hex cores when they come out and all you need to do is a bios update.

You can't use DDR2 on an AM3 board.

USE THE KIS RULE (keep it simple)

1. on an AM2+ mobo it can only use DDR2, but since the phenom II's still have the DDR2 IMC you can use them on a AM2+ mobo provided you flash the bios to one that supports AM3.

2. you under no circumstances can use DD2 on an AM3 mobo at all full stop unless it's one of those mongrel mobo's that can support the use of both DDR2 and DDR3 which I have only seen a couple.

3. those mongrel mobo's mentioned before, I'm guessing can only run the ram at the same speed as the slowest module.

So in short if this is a new build you'd be better off going the AM3/DDR3 mobo.
Because what is the point of investing in a dying technology when the current is about the same price as the old ?.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by smash_mouth01 View Post
You can't use DDR2 on an AM3 board.

USE THE KIS RULE (keep it simple)

1. on an AM2+ mobo it can only use DDR2, but since the phenom II's still have the DDR2 IMC you can use them on a AM2+ mobo provided you flash the bios to one that supports AM3.

2. you under no circumstances can use DD2 on an AM3 mobo at all full stop unless it's one of those mongrel mobo's that can support the use of both DDR2 and DDR3 which I have only seen a couple.

3. those mongrel mobo's mentioned before, I'm guessing can only run the ram at the same speed as the slowest module.

So in short if this is a new build you'd be better off going the AM3/DDR3 mobo.
Because what is the point of investing in a dying technology when the current is about the same price as the old ?.
I know you cannot use DDR2 on AM3 only Motherboards. He stated though you cannot use DDR2 with AM3 CPUs.
 
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