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  1. #1
    Registered Lateralus180's Avatar
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    Thumbs down TigerDirect and the incompatible packages!

    My dad wanted me to build him a media PC for our TV. It was to cost no more than $800, would have a decent processor, a sizable amount of RAM, and a large hard drive for music and movies. I wanted to get him an AMD Phenom dual core clocked over 3.0 GHz simply because he wouldn't need 4 cores on a media PC and the down-clock/price tag would be a detriment. He had asked me to piece together a shopping list but his impatience grew and he made one himself. One of the items on his shopping list was a bundle that included an Asus M4A88T-M motherboard and an AMD Phenom II X4 920. I'll provide a link below:

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...01519&CatId=14

    I wish I'd have looked at the specs before he bought the thing! Tiger Direct sells a bundle that includes an AM3 motherboard and an AM2+ processor. An AM3 processor is backwards compatible(?) with an AM2+ motherboard but an AM2+ processor absolutely does not fit in an AM3 slot!

    But wait, the story gets worse..

    When building the computer at my kitchen table, I assumed the bundle was compatible. I didn't bother to check the sockets. After a few failed attempts to align the pins on the socket grid, I couldn't get it in. Flipping the processor over, I saw three bent pins. This was when I checked the socket type on the motherboard and the processor socket and saw they did not match.

    My dad went to our local Comp USA / Tiger Direct warehouse down the street and tried to explain to the techies that they were not compatible with eachother. Three of these guys insisted they were. They tried to fit it in themselves, and after a few attempts they lowered the locking arm and claimed it fit, and that we were wrong. My dad opened the arm and showed them bent pins. He informed them the socket types don't even match according to their web site but they still seemed to deny it. They eventually offered to return the bent processor for an AMD Athalon X4 of all things..it was more powerful according to them. Right.

    I think I'll stick to Newegg, thanks.
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  2. #2
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    Ehhh, I thought AM2+ CPU's can go in AM3's...

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by EarthDog View Post
    Ehhh, I thought AM2+ CPU's can go in AM3's...
    This is what I thought as well. The whole point behind the "+" in "AM2+".
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  4. #4
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    Well...maybe not?

    Today's processors reviewed are Socket AM2+ processors. Here's where things get a little tricky, try to follow me:

    AMD AM3 processors will work on some AM2+ motherboards (780/790 chipset).
    However, older AM2/AM2+ processors will not work on AM3 motherboards because AM2 processors lack a DDR3 memory controller.
    http://www.guru3d.com/article/amd-ph...-review-test/4

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  5. #5
    Destroyer of Empires and User Accounts, El Huginator
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    Shows how much I know about AMD!
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  6. #6
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    The reason behind it is the AM3 chips have a DDR2/DDR3 controller, while the AM2+ chips only have a DDR2 controller, so they aren't supposed to work in AM3 boards.
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  7. #7
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    It would work with an AM3 mobo with DDR2 on it, right?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ED&PageSize=20

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  8. #8
    5up3r m0d3r4t0r
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    I think you guys are looking at it backwards. AM3 CPUs work in AM2+ mobos with DDR2 RAM, not AM2+ CPUs in AM3 mobos.
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  9. #9
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    Then why DDR2 AM3 boards? Those need AM3 chips to work since they have both DDR2 and 3 controllers on them?

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  10. #10
    5up3r m0d3r4t0r
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    You can use DDR2 or DDR3 RAM with AM3 CPUs. So you can buy a DDR2 AM3 mobo so you don't have to upgrade your RAM. That's what I'm thinking.
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  11. #11
    Retired muddocktor's Avatar
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    Yep, I agree with Matt in the post above. That way it saves a bit on upgrading for the end user.

  12. #12
    Vacationing to find my sanity Mutterator
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    Excellent guys. Thanks for the info. Now, that sucks that happened to the OP. Im shocked. Looks like they should have thrown in the M4A77D instead.

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  13. #13
    Registered Lateralus180's Avatar
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    It's not a big deal really, we have everything worked out and set up. I doubt they'll take the package down though!
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