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Are am3+ processors slower when you upgrade a motherboard that doesnt originally support it?

NagelFireNagelFire Vienna, VAPosts: 409Member

Topic sorta covers the basic question.


If I have an Asus M4A89TD, I know that Asus released a bios upgrade that allows you to use AM3+ processors inside of it (The motherboard didnt originally support it).


Will this BIOS upgrade cause the am3+ processor to be slower than just getting a motherboard that supports it without a bios upgrade?



  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 17,391Member Epic

    While I don't know this, if I had to guess, I'd say "no" for your motherboard, but that's just a guess.  I'd be a lot more skeptical of trying to make an AM3+ processor work right on an older chipset like a 760G.

    If that has the 890FX chipset, then it's the same silicon as in the 990FX chipset, so it's likely that Asus could completely fix chipset issues just in the BIOS.

    There could also be socket issues, however.  AMD originally intended for Socket AM3+ processors to work in Socket AM3 systems, but gave up on it because they couldn't make it reliable enough.  Different currents and voltages needed in different places on the socket could cause issues, but a motherboard built for overclocking that offered way overkill power delivery for Deneb and Thuban might well be perfectly fine there for Vishera.  I wouldn't go nuts overclocking an AM3+ processor on your motherboard, however.

  • syntax42syntax42 USAPosts: 1,374Member Uncommon
    On a related note, upgrading may not be worth the money or effort.  There are many claims of Phenom processors outperforming even the FX-8350 in certain applications.  It would be difficult to predict individual results due to the variety of games and system configurations.  If you really want an upgrade, it might be a good time to use an Intel processor.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 17,391Member Epic
    It depends some on what processor he has now.  Upgrading from a 3 GHz Athlon II X2 is a lot more likely to be beneficial than upgrading from a Phenom II X6 1100T.
  • CleffyCleffy San Diego, CAPosts: 5,405Member Rare


    The reason AMD creates a new socket is to be able to get the necessary implementation for additional features. On older sockets with a bios upgrade, many new features do not carry over. Considering the price of AMD motherboards, I would definitely upgrade the mobo along with the processor. It really makes no sense to allow upgrading bios for CPUs of a different socket considering how many years it takes AMD to make a new socket. It also limits the design of the CPU. Its a good selling point but is ultimately an Achilles heel.

    When the bulldozer cores were first released, they did not perform as well as the Phenom II cores. However, its been a while since they released. Bios updates, Windows thread execution fixes, and newer process nodes have changed that. There is an estimate that Steamroller may bridge the performance gap between Intel and AMD processors. However, the TDP gap probably will not improve. If I picked and chose benchmarks, I could easily say the FX-8350 beats the top bin Intel Chips in benchmarks, but it would be straying from the truth.

  • syntax42syntax42 USAPosts: 1,374Member Uncommon

    As far as I can tell, there is no performance-related difference between AM3 and AM3+.  The features only allow the new socket to support better CPUs.  If the motherboard manufacturer's product page says your AM3 motherboard supports a certain CPU with a BIOS upgrade, it should work.


    Here is a link to the differences:


    Again, I think the OP would be better off keeping their current CPU if it is a high-end Phenom.  Upgrading to a FX series is only worth it if their current CPU is not one of those. 

  • grndzrogrndzro Reno, NVPosts: 1,120Member Uncommon
    Yes the memory subsystem (HT) is slower. And the TDP limits of AM3 are lower. Some more advance power regulation functions are disabled.
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