Deneb Upgrading News

Will your current AMD mobo support Deneb?  Maybe, maybe not. 


Tom’s Hardware has roadmaps and more for AMD’s future processors.

The roadmaps pretty much confirm what has been coming out in dribs and drabs lately.  The first Denebs (AM2+) will debut in January, with AM3 models showing up in February/March.  Duallies show up in July/August (which is later than previously reported). 

Those with current AMD mobos and systems will no doubt be quite interested in whether they’ll be able to drop in a Denebs, and there’s news about that in the article, too: 

The AM2+/DDR2 Deneb 45nm processors have been specified to support only dual-plane motherboards. These processors will exceed current specifications when paired with a single-plane board. AMD is also recommends that ODMs do NOT support these two AM2+/DDR2 Deneb parts on any single-plane boards.

Since one of the few differences between the AM and AM2 mobo standards is a split power plane between the CPU and IMC for AM2s, this seems to say that these Denebs will be fine in AM2+ boards, but not AM2 boards. 

Of course, just because something is not recommended doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but I wouldn’t go out and buy an AM2 mobo from this point on assuming that it can be done.  That’s buying yourself a likely problem.   

The article does go on to say:

Subsequent Deneb 45nm AM3 based processors are not expected to carry these same limitations.  That would seem to imply that AM3 CPUs would be OK for AM2 mobos, but the article also contains this: 

Now onto the AM3 platform definition. Socket AM3 is designed to exclude AM2 and AM2+ parts – has DDR3-1333 memory support. Thermal monitoring is moving over entirely to Thermal Sense Interface (TSI) monitoring – no more Diode based monitoring. Phasing out of Diode based monitoring has already begun with current products being pressed and net yet shipped. PCI VR control is also scheduled to be phased out for all future AM3 processors.

Yes, I know that AM3 processors were supposed to work in AM2 mobos, but statements like these leave that more than a little shaky.  It’s a little hard to believe that the CPUs meant for AM2+ mobos aren’t supposed to work right in AM2 mobos, but the CPUs meant for AM3 mobos will.  Again, if you already have the equipment, that’s one thing, but I wouldn’t buy my way into this potential incompatibility, at least not until there’s a firm statement from either AMD, or, more likely, the mobo maker.   


About Ed Stroligo 95 Articles
Ed Stroligo was one of the founders of in 1998. He wrote hundreds of editorials analyzing the tech industry and computer hardware. After 10+ years of contributing, Ed retired from writing in 2009.

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