Questions of Compatibility: AMD, AM3, and Bulldozer

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News Posted: Wed, Apr 20 2011 12:39 PM

Questions of Compatibility: AMD, AM3, and BulldozerIt's been several weeks since Asus announced that certain socket AM3 motherboards would support AMD's upcoming Bulldozer processors. Since then, we've turned up additional rumors on the nature of such support. MSI has also announced its own plans to retrofit some existing AM3 boards with Bulldozer compatibility. What follows is the general shape of the situation as we currently understand it...

Questions of Compatibility: AMD, AM3, and Bulldozer

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rapid1 replied on Wed, Apr 20 2011 12:59 PM

"AMD has said only that they don't support Bulldozer on AM3." I think seeing as they are the CPU and chipset manufacturer that would be the final word.

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Marco C replied on Wed, Apr 20 2011 1:07 PM

@Rapid1 - Official support and support are two different things. Remeber the Abit VP6? BP6? :) Motherboard makers can do lots of interesting things...

And keep in mind, Asus, MSI and GB have all said they will have some level of support for Bulldozer on some current boards. We're just trying to figure out exactly what that means.

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Good write-up thanks. I've been wondering about this since the announcement. It just sounds like msi and asus want to sell some am3 boards now to those who want to wait for the am3+ boards/processors to come out. AMD boards aren't super expensive to begin with, it just seems like a good idea to me to buy a board to match the processor.

Now you're just mashing it!

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Do you guys have any idea when you will get boards/processors to test?

Now you're just mashing it!

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rrplay replied on Wed, Apr 20 2011 1:11 PM

Looks like the prudent thing to do would be to wait for the mainboard manufactures to get up to speed with possible revisions after Bulldozer's release.and I would not want to encounter any of the grey areas or the unknowns support with my cash.

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I am sure Asus, MSI, and GB would not have said this if they don't truly believe that they can update their boars to support these newer processors. I guess the biggest question is going to be how well they utilize the new chips. Only time will tell.

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realneil replied on Wed, Apr 20 2011 1:38 PM

First, let me say thanks for this article clarifying this muddy issue. It answers my questions about this subject enough to solidify my prior opinions about waiting or not.

I firmly believe that the only logical, prudent course of action is to wait for a true AM4 mainboard to be released that will utilize ALL of the features that Bulldozer will bring to the table.

Buying one that's "compatible", yet not supported by AMD, will be a waste of money unless you were to sell the compatible board when the proper boards are released. (this may be what some of you are planning)

I just can't imagine why AMD would release Bulldozer CPU's without ensuring that the proper Chipsets are in channel and being used on motherboards already.

I wonder if they will?

I'm going to wait until it's all released, CPU & Chipset together, and official too. Then I'll wait until the early adopters find the bugs and work through them. After that, I'll see what board everyone says is the best, and buy it.

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VPatcha replied on Wed, Apr 20 2011 2:19 PM

AM3+ will have official support, you do not need to wait for AM4. What this article is saying is that "old" AM3 will not have official support for Bulldozer from AMD. AM3+ will be a revision that has AMD support for Bulldozer, and I'm not sure when AM4 is slated to come out. AM3+ might be the only official choice for some time, I'm not sure.

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Its so evident that these company have been losing money on the AMD side. Bottom line, get an AM3+ motherboard if you happen to invest in Bulldozer when the time arrives , save the trouble and hassle.

I totally knew something was up when I first read about this.

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rapid1 replied on Wed, Apr 20 2011 6:00 PM

Thats very true Marco but as they said they do not support it, and as stated in the article that basically means you void your warranty, well if you mess around with hardware like many of us do you may be used to it, it still royally sucks when you try to return something and the OEM say'd sorry you voided the warranty by using it. That would also mean you would probably loose a processor and MB as well as maybe the memory if it sparks hard! I have done it before and luckily NEWEGG is awesome on support and replaced it as soon as it was mailed (I was oc'n one of the original 64's or an X2 processor I can't remember. Believe it or not the CPU was fine, but that MB was gone and if I remember right (this was 9 years ago I beleive) one of the memory sticks of a DDR 400 pair!

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AKwyn replied on Wed, Apr 20 2011 7:07 PM

realneil:

Buying one that's "compatible", yet not supported by AMD, will be a waste of money unless you were to sell the compatible board when the proper boards are released. (this may be what some of you are planning)

I just can't imagine why AMD would release Bulldozer CPU's without ensuring that the proper Chipsets are in channel and being used on motherboards already.

I wonder if they will?

Well, one thing's for sure is that alot of these buyers of these "compatible boards" may as well be screwed.

I mean if the boards have to be high quality to support Bulldozer then we might as well be hoping those motherboards that proclaim to support AM3+ are at the highest quality possible.

Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

 

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@rapid well said... But it is nice to see that these manufacturers are continuing to support their product lines and not just dropping them and leaving them to rot.

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CDeeter replied on Thu, Apr 21 2011 7:47 AM

 

I think I'll take Joel, Rapid, and Neil's advice on this one, and wait and see. I'm not going to waste my time and money fooling around trying to take the easy way out.

If I'm going to spend the money on a Bulldozer cpu, then I'm going to get a board that has the proper socket and chipset on it.

Understand that I'm not in any way trying to put anyone else down for doing so, but going with an unsupported board is beyond my comfort level.

LOL. Besides, I really don't have a choice as I'm still rocking a Athlon 64 4000+ Socket 939.Embarrassed

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rrplay replied on Thu, Apr 21 2011 9:38 AM

Thanks, very well said Neil

This is exactly what i referring to as the 'grey aeas' of support and would not consider forking out any hard - earned cash.until about at least a month or so after it's ALL Official and the smoke clears Heck SB did not go 30 days before some 'snafus' appeared.somewhat minor but still...

We have all been patiently  waiting for Bulldozer & until it's clear in my mind of a mobo /  mem combo that's gonna rock' along with Bulldozer completely as intended from AMD

This way there's no doubt regarding full support & performance and ALL the speculation of critical components ends.

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I learned the hard way on this matter. I had an Asus P5B Deluxe and upgraded to a Q9550 with a "beta" bios thinking I was saving money. It worked well for a few months but boy did I get bit. Long story short as I moved for college and attempted to fire my machine up the machine would not post no matter what I tried.

Moral of the story AMD has been good to you all as far as compatibility is concerned don't push your luck. It's time to upgrade. It's not worth the risk IMO.

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digitaldd replied on Thu, Apr 21 2011 12:11 PM

You know AMD was and is a lot better than Intel at phasing out old designs. Intel has a new socket every few months since 775 bit the dust while AMD keeps some backward compatibility in its chip-sets.

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Joel H replied on Thu, Apr 21 2011 1:09 PM

That's not true. Granted, Intel's chipset launch schedules and compatibility shifts *can* be very frustrating, but the Intel 945G (released in 2005) supported everything up through Core 2 Duo. Through that time period--granted, a time period when they were grabbing back lost market share from AMD--Intel adopted a very liberal (for them) upgrade policy.

With Nehalem things have gone back the old way. There's no arguing that AMD's long-term historical trend is much better than Intel's in such matters, but keep in mind that upgrading one's CPU is less important now than it once was. It's always possible for bottlenecks to appear in certain games, and professionals certainly benefit from keeping up with CPU trends, but I used a quad-core Q6600 for over three years before finally upgrading to Core i7. The difference--outside of gaming--has been pretty minimal. Generally speaking, most users would, I think, notice an SSD vs. a hard drive more than a new chip vs. one 3-4 years old.

That's somewhat beside the point. I don't think Asus, Gigabyte, or MSI would claim Bulldozer support if they couldn't offer it. We just don't know what the tradeoffs will be, yet. When I talked about warranty voiding issues, I was referring to the AMD side. It would be unusual for the mobo manufacturers to announce official support on *their* end, then void board warranties. That doesn't make the situation sunshine and roses, but there is (as far as we know) a degree of warranty coverage still remaining.

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Apr 21 2011 1:31 PM

Thats very true omegadraco as far as it goes AMD has generally been one of the best for support as well as for carrying new CPU's to existing chip sockets as well.

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Inspector replied on Thu, Apr 21 2011 3:20 PM

The wait is on! time is a pain isn't it? :D

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WKaye replied on Thu, Apr 21 2011 5:20 PM

This motherboard looks like the ASUS rampage extreme III.

I never heard of Bulldozer processor....wonder how much it could bench.

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Joel H replied on Fri, Apr 22 2011 1:09 PM

Again, just to be clear: CPU and chipset are always closely linked, but it's my understanding that the primary concerns about compatibility are at the socket level, not the chipset level. I'm not saying there are no chipset incompatibilities or tradeoffs, but I'd expect AMD's full range of current southbridge products to be Bulldozer-compatible (with the potential for a new SB debuting with AM3+).

The variety and number of board announcements from the Big Three indicate that AMD will have a full range of NB and SB products at multiple price points at launch.

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RKirby replied on Sat, Apr 23 2011 6:52 AM

Can't wait for the Bulldozer, I have always love AMD processors. Its time for them to step up to the plate, and this might be their big debut.

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joders replied on Fri, Jun 3 2011 12:02 PM

nice

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JKrueck replied on Sat, Sep 17 2011 9:35 PM

What's the latest news on this?

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AKwyn replied on Sun, Sep 18 2011 3:48 AM

No need to bump the thread. :)

Anyways, AMD has released details/schematics about the 8-core Bulldozer CPU; oh, and someone has managed to overclock them to 8GHz.

Hope this helps.

 

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Very good for graphic

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God i love the color's they use nowadays's Make's everything look Beastly.

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