CPU Upgrade issue

Started Dec 9, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Jim Cockfield
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,314
Yep.. that Motherboard is limited to a 95 Watt TDP CPU

Jim Cockfield wrote:


there are many variables involved with CPU upgrades. Sometimes you'll see more than one version of the same CPU model (with wattage differences, B2 versus B3 stepping levels, and more).

Some Motherboards will not support higher wattage CPUs, and the Phenom X4 9850 was offered in both 95 watt and 125 Watt TDP versions.

So, if I had to guess, you bought a higher wattage 125 Watt 9850, and your motherboard only supports the 95 Watt version of it. That's a pretty common thing with Motherboards with AM2+ support (not allowing CPUs with a TDP more than 95 Watts).

Yep. That's what I figured (your motherboard won't support the 125 Watt version of the CPU you bought).

The CPU you ordered is a 125 Watt TDP model, and that motherboard only supports CPUs with up to a 95 Watt TDP.

They left that out of the specs if you click on the Motherboard information for your desktop model here (there is a line for TDP if you click on the Motherboard Link and look at Processor Upgrade information, but they neglected to fill it in, leaving the TDP information blank:


But, if you look at other listings for that Motherboard model used in your desktop, which is a PenM2N78-LA (Violet3), you'll find that max TDP is listed as 95 Watts under Processor Upgrade information. Here's one example for it in a different desktop (same Motherboard model, different desktop model, only they filled in the TDP info which was missing from the specs for your desktop model):


So, even though the motherboard may support the AMD Phenom X4 9850 CPU if you upgrade the BIOS to the latest version (and the listing for processor upgrade info for your desktop does specifically mention the Phenom X4 9850, so the latest BIOS should support it), you'll need to stick with a 95 Watt TDP version of that CPU, as that motherboard won't support a CPU with higher wattage requirements.

IOW, you'll need the HD9850WCJ4BGH (95 Watt TDP) versus HD9850XAJ4BGH (125 Watt TDP) version if you want to use a Phenom X4 9850 with your Motherboard.

Again, that's a very common limitation with many motherboards (not being able to support CPUs with a TDP higher than 95 Watts), and it sounds like you're finding that out the hard way. Hopefully, your vendor will allow you to return it for a different CPU.

But, I'd be very careful and make sure the specific part number for a CPU you order is supported by that Motheboard (and I'd check forums to make sure other users of it were able to get it to work). Another good way to see what works is to figure out exactly what CPU models a vendor sold with a given PC model, making sure to notice things like stepping differences (B2 versus B3) and TDP ratings (95 Watts versus 125 Watts) for that type of Motherboard. See some Phenom CPU part numbers here:


The Motherboard will need to support a specific CPU part number you want to use in tt from a Wattage and socket perspective, and the BIOS will need to support the CPU want to use in one, too. So, that's why it's a really good idea to figure out exactly what part numbers were offered by the vendor when upgrading, making sure you're on the latest BIOS version that supports a given CPU model, too.

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