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Can I upgrade my CPU?


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#1
captmidnite

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I would like to upgrade my existing computer, but I'm not sure of a few things. Any help would be appreciated.

Here's what I've got:
.Vista 32 bit
.AMD Athalon 64 x 2 3600+
.3 GB RAM
.Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS
.MB ACER EM61SM/EM61PM (I know that a lot of people think ACER is premade budget crap, it's what I could afford at the time)
.Power Source is 4-6 hundred watts ( I installed it but can't remember)
.250 Gig HD
.DVD burner

I'm looking to upgrade the CPU and video card, but I'm unsure if I have to change the MB. Can I go to a Quad core as is? The machine is used for surfing the net and games ( NOT hardcore gaming, I'm too old to be anything better than mediocre).

Thanks in advance
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#2
Digerati

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I cannot find any published specs for that motherboard. :) You may have to contact Acer tech support and ask them what CPUs that board supports.

Note your copy of Vista, if it came with the Acer, is most likely an OEM version. That means it is tied to that hardware.

Since the motherboard is the heart of the computer, a new motherboard is considered a new computer. OEM licenses are NOT transferable to new computers. You can upgrade the CPU, RAM, graphics, drives, power supply, even the case and not worry about licenses - just not the motherboard.
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#3
captmidnite

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Thank you for the help. I've done some more research, and from what I've found, I'm pretty much out of luck. Oh well.
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#4
Digerati

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That's part of the problem buying entry or near entry models. The electronics itself are most likely "reliable", but tech support and upgrade options are often very limited, if not non-existent.
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#5
Neil Jones

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It's an AM2 board. While you can fit an AM2+ in it, it probably wouldn't work anyway. The fact its entry level is irrelevant. All boards that are AM2 only don't have any processor upgrade route at all because the processors aren 't made any longer and AM2+ uses a different technology which isn't backwards compatible. All manufacturers are affected, not just Acer.
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#6
Digerati

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It's an AM2 board. While you can fit an AM2+ in it, it probably wouldn't work anyway. The fact its entry level is irrelevant. All boards that are AM2 only don't have any processor upgrade route at all because the processors aren 't made any longer and AM2+ uses a different technology which isn't backwards compatible. All manufacturers are affected, not just Acer.


It should be noted for ANY motherboard, AMD or Intel based, the socket alone does NOT determine CPU compatibility. The chipset also determines which CPUs that board will support.
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#7
Neil Jones

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It's an AM2 board. While you can fit an AM2+ in it, it probably wouldn't work anyway. The fact its entry level is irrelevant. All boards that are AM2 only don't have any processor upgrade route at all because the processors aren 't made any longer and AM2+ uses a different technology which isn't backwards compatible. All manufacturers are affected, not just Acer.


It should be noted for ANY motherboard, AMD or Intel based, the socket alone does NOT determine CPU compatibility. The chipset also determines which CPUs that board will support.


Nothing to do with the chipset in this instance.
That specific chipset is based on the NForce 405 range, which was used on many AMD motherboards around the time of that chipset's general availability to the board manufacturers.
In theory it is possible that board manufacturers could release BIOS updates to make AM2 boards AM2+ compatible. Many of them did not do so, which renders them effectively obsolete with regards to processor upgrade.
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#8
Digerati

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I am just saying a common mistake by many inexperienced builders and upgraders is thinking just because a CPU has the same number of pins and will physically fit in the socket, that the motherboard will automatically support that CPU. That is not so. The chipset (of which the BIOS is a part of) must also support it. That is why is it essential to check the motherboard's website for the CPU QVL (qualified vendor list) for compatible CPUs before buying a CPU (this is for upgrades, and new builds alike).

In theory it is possible that board manufacturers could release BIOS updates to make AM2 boards AM2+ compatible. Many of them did not do so, which renders them effectively obsolete with regards to processor upgrade.

Which precisely illustrates my point!
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