How to Check if Your Motherboard Supports a Processor

Uncategorized

204 Comments

In this guide, we'll go over a few methods for determining if your motherboard supports a specific processor.

Note for those installing LGA 771 Xeons into an LGA 775 motherboard

This guide will only help you figure out what LGA 775 processors are compatible with your motherboard. Once you know this, you can use the information in the LGA 771 to 775 motherboard compatibility guide to figure out what similar LGA 771 Xeons are compatible with your motherboard.

Things you'll need

  • The CPU model number and stepping (how to get the stepping)
  • Your motherboard model number (and revision if it has one). This should be printed on the motherboard, or you can get it through software with CPU-Z (this info should be in the Mainboard tab).

Important things to watch out for

  • You should always install the latest BIOS for your motherboard before attempting a CPU upgrade.
  • Some motherboards don't support all steppings of a processor.
  • Some motherboards have multiple revisions, and they may not support the same processors.
  • Prebuilt computers (like Dell) sometimes use different motherboards (depending on what parts come with the system), and the motherboards may not support the same processors, so you'll need to figure out which motherboard you have.

Method 1 - Check if your motherboard has a CPU support list

The best way to determine if a processor is supported is to check if your motherboard manufacturer maintains a cpu support list. The cpu support list will tell which processor model numbers (and steppings) are supported by each bios version.

For example, if you have an ASUS P5K motherboard, you can find the cpu support list by searching google for: "asus p5k cpu support". This list is also usually linked to from the support/drivers page for your motherboard.

If your can't find the official cpu support list, try searching for your motherboard's model number on cpu-upgrade.com. They maintain a processor support list for many motherboards.

Method 2 - Search for others with your motherboard that are also using the processor

Note: This method isn't guaranteed to work unless you also verify their motherboard revision and CPU stepping is identical to yours, but it will probably work in most cases.

Try searching for your motherboard's model number and the model number of the processor you want to install. It's also probably a good idea to include your motherboard revision and CPU stepping in the search. This will often turn up other people that installed this processor on your motherboard, and you may be able to tell if they were successful or not.

204 Responses

  • Raja Imran June 30, 20148:30 pm

    Hi, i have optiplex 760 with Q9550 quad core which xeon processor can i upgrade to this system and what are the requirements like changing psu etc.. thanx

    Reply
    • syn June 30, 20148:56 pm

      Hey, Raja.

      Here’s the info I found for your system:
      Dell Optiplex 760
      – Q43 Express Chipset w/ICH10
      – at least 1333 fsb
      – at least 95w
      – Supports q9650, e8600 (no 65nm support)

      That system has a Q43 chipset, so you can only run the 3xxx series Xeons (like the X3363 or X3353). The 5xxx series won’t work.

      The 3xxx series is all 80W and lower TDPs, so you shouldn’t need a new psu or anything.

      For more details on those processors, check out this list: https://www.delidded.com/list-of-intel-lga-771-xeon-processors/#yorkfield-cl

      Reply
    • syn July 1, 20141:56 am

      I just realized that since you’re already running a Q9550, I don’t think there would be any benefit to switching to a 3xxx series Xeon, since they only go up to 2.83 GHz (which is identical to your Q9550).

      Reply
      • robin_mai July 30, 20145:40 am

        Hey, syn.

        this reply from Robin @ China
        I also have a dell optiplex 760, and i have upgraded the CPU to X3363, E0 step,
        but when i boot the computer, feedback with”unsupport CPU”,
        so i have to press F1 to ignore, and i also found some microcode is not complete.
        do you have any idea to update the bios of optiplex760?
        as i know, only AMI, Award and Phoenix BIOS can be updated,
        but dell’s BIOS is so particular.

        Reply
        • syn July 30, 201411:58 am

          Hey, yeah, Dell BIOSes are more of a hassle than the others, but it is probably possible to update the microcode by manually hex editing the BIOS.

          I haven’t personally tried the hex edit method, but I have read up on it (I was also trying to come up with a good way to modify the Dell BIOSes). It should work, but the bios may have a checksum, so you may need to modify that.

          Here’s a guide on hex editing for Insyde BIOSes: http://donovan6000.blogspot.com/2013/06/insyde-bios-modding-cpu-microcodes.html
          And here’s a guide on modifying the checksum: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?180607-Tutorial-How-to-fix-a-bios-checksum

          The checksum guide is for video cards, but it should be the same method if they’re just using a regular checksum.

          I noticed that the AMI and Award microcode editing programs only make the 8 bit checksum match (the last 2 hex digits of the checksum), so you may not have to make the entire checksum identical.

          If you figure out how to do it, please let us know.

          Reply
        • syn July 30, 20144:12 pm

          btw.. you can extract the actual bios file from a Dell exe with the following command:

          filename.exe /writeromfile

          Reply
        • syn July 31, 20143:18 am

          Robin, I forgot to mention. The unsupported CPU warning on Dell computers can usually be fixed by doing a full BIOS reset (through the jumper on the motherboard or by removing the CMOS battery). It’s also been known to fix other problems like the fan spinning at full speed all the time.

          Reply
          • robin_mai July 31, 201411:27 pm

            Dear syn:
            Thanks very much for your detail solution!
            update the microcode maybe difficult for me,
            at least, software application is stable;
            and i will try your method to reset the BIOS
            by removing the CMOS battery to check if it can
            repaired.

  • Kyle July 1, 20149:03 am

    Hello, can you help me? I’ve got a ecs oem motherboard 945G-M4 and was wondering if the Pentium D extreme processor will work in it. At the moment it has a normal Pentium D but i need the extreme as it has a better fsb of 1066mhz. I have not been able to find a compatibilty list for this motherboard.

    Kind Regards.

    Reply
  • Kyle... July 1, 201410:29 am

    Hello, I have a ECS 945G-M4 motherboard (out of a NEC computer) and was wondering if a Pentium D Extreme would work in it. Unable to find any details about compatibility.

    Reply
    • syn July 1, 201412:32 pm

      This page does say that it supports a 1066 FSB, but I also couldn’t find a cpu support list.

      I recommend downloading a program called Universal BIOS Backup Toolkit to save a copy of your bios. You can then run intelmicrocodelist.exe YOUR_BIOS.bin to get the list of microcodes supported by your BIOS.

      If you see the CPUID F64 present (that’s the CPUID for the Pentium Extreme Edition 965), it means your bios probably supports that processor.

      Reply
      • Kyle... July 1, 201412:59 pm

        Hey that was really useful thanks! The cpuid list does have f64 on it. I tried a core 2 duo processor on this motherboard once but nothing happened so my guess was a pentium d extreme would be my best bet. Really need a processor with a fsb of 1066 so my sequencer (Cubase 5) runs better. The more VST plugins I use the more this computer lags and the cpu usage goes sky high! The 800mhz fsb doesn’t help on this old pc. The Pentium D extreme i’m after is the 955 one clocked at 3.46GHz. Is it worth me buying this processor and giving it at shot anyway?

        Reply
        • syn July 1, 201411:56 pm

          No problem. What’s the model number of your current Pentium D?

          Reply
          • Kyle... July 2, 20145:46 am

            I’m currently using a 3.4GHz 945 Pentium D. I built the computer in 2006 and still use Windows XP on itl. Everything works, it’s just the limitations of the fsb when i’m working on something more demanding. The audio starts to chop lol.

          • syn July 2, 20142:11 pm

            I honestly don’t think it will make much of a difference. The FSB speed shouldn’t have much effect on the overall speed. The CPU speed is usually what matters, and since that would still be pretty much the same, your overall speed would probably be very similar.

            I personally wouldn’t invest anymore into that system, and I’d probably just buy a new motherboard, ram, and processor. Intel made a huge performance improvement just going from the Pentium to the Core 2 architecture, and when they released Sandy Bridge, that was also a pretty big increase. I think it would be worth it.

  • Kyle... July 3, 20145:09 pm

    I think it might be a bit of an improvement with the fsb being 1066. I know what you’re saying though. Probs be cheaper to get a core 2 duo and motherboard than the pentium extreme. It’s just I don’t want to have to re-intall Windows and all the problems I use with all its individual plug-ins. That’s what puts me off the idea. Unless there’s a way around it I don’t know about so I can keep everything intact on the hdd.

    Reply
  • renata July 21, 20146:17 am

    i will install xeon x5460 on asus p5na7-vm with sticker pin adapter 771 to 775.
    it’s possible?
    works?
    thanks

    Reply
    • syn July 27, 201412:33 pm

      Hey, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t find any info on that motherboard, so I’m not sure.

      Reply
  • Johnny July 22, 20141:34 am

    Hello.

    Just installed L5420 Harpertown on Asrock4Core1600Twins-p53 bios v.1.40 with old setting from X3220.
    Works like a charm.

    If moderator can add this to motherboard list as tested.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  • pepechuelo July 23, 20141:40 pm

    hola tengo una intel dg31pr con un core 2 quad q6600 me sera compactible este micro espero su respuestas a la brevedad ayuda!!

    Reply
    • syn July 27, 20141:00 pm

      Hi, someone reported an E5450 worked (which is similar to a Q9650), so any 95W and lower Xeons should work. However, if you want a Xeon that’s similar to a Q6600, the 65nm Clovertown Xeons should be compatible.

      Reply
  • weejow July 28, 20142:09 am

    Hello,

    I want to upgrade my cpu but my search has yielded no results.

    Im going from an AMD triple core 8450 to an AMD Athlon II X2 255. My motherboard is an Asus M2N68-VM

    The website of the manufacturer does not have it on the list. However they are of the same socket am2+

    I was under the impression that it is compatible because they have the same socket. Further research says that i should check the manufacturer’s website for compatability… So there’s my problem.

    Reply
    • syn July 28, 20142:29 am

      Hi, a CPU isn’t guaranteed to be compatible just because it has the correct socket. However, I do think the X2 255 will probably be compatible with your motherboard.

      The reason for this is the cpu support list shows support for the similar Athlon II X2 260, which has the same CPUID as the X2 255. They’re also both 65W.

      I’m not as familiar with AMD CPUs as I am with Intel, but if the CPUID for an Intel processor is the same, it means the CPUs are basically the same internally.

      Reply
      • weejow July 28, 20143:59 am

        Hello,

        Thanks for your response. I still haven’t found a direct answer. I guess im stuck. I don’t think i wanna risk putting in the X2 255. Anyway, thank you for your time!

        Reply
  • Brochacho July 30, 20148:56 am

    Is RAM cpu specific? I’ve seen on some specs something like “supports ddr2, ddr3” or just ddr3 etc.

    I thought when you buy ram you just buy what your motherboard needs? Or do you always have to factor in what the cpu supports as well when buying ram?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • syn July 30, 201412:02 pm

      In the Core 2 Quad era, RAM was just motherboard specific (the ram controller was built into the motherboard). However, with newer processors (around the time Sandy Bridge was released), Intel moved the memory controller to the processor, so now the CPU also determines what RAM you can run.

      Reply
  • inder August 1, 20145:23 pm

    p5g41t-m lx3 i have this motherboard and i am thinking to put xeon processor 771
    e5450

    is it compatible with my motherboard if not let me know
    thanks

    Reply
    • syn August 1, 20147:29 pm

      Hi, yes, the E5450 should work fine in your motherboard. You should be able to run any 1333 FSB Xeon (or even 1600 FSB if you overclock the FSB).

      Reply

Leave a Comment