Intel Core 2 Duo Compatibility

  Verdani 03:45 21 Aug 06
Locked

I'm about to completely revitalize my PC with a new motherboard, processor, and case. The motherboard and processor are, obviously, the ones calling for research. I've decided to go with the Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 @ 2.13GHz, as I don't believe the upcoming quad-core processors form Intel will be stable enough at first like the Pentium D processor was a first. I was first under the impression that so long as the motherboard was socket 775 as the processor is, the combination should work. Upon a visit to Tiger Direct (a Canadian computer specialist), I found that (apparently) only certain motherboards support the technology within the Core 2 Duo. The rep. I talked to wasn't sure of the processor's socket either, though, so I'm not sure that he gave me the right information.

What I'm wondering is whether I do indeed need a certain motherboard with support for the Core 2 Duo, or any relatively new 775 mobo will do the job as it should. I greatly appreciate your input - thanks in advance.

Verdani (Gavin)

  FelixTCat 07:24 21 Aug 06

Verdani,

The Core 2 Duo will physically fit any motherboard that will take the Core Duo processor, but will need an upgraded BIOS.

Since the chip hasn't been officially released yet, you may have to wait until the end of the month for compatible motherboards to be announced.

Regards,

Felix

  ade.h 12:57 21 Aug 06

I have been looking around for a definitive answer to the question of which 775-based chipsets will accept a Core 2. click here gives the best answer that I have found yet, and claims that all the 965 and 945 Express chipsets will accept it, in addition to the specific 975X family.

I did put this question to a friend of mine who works at Intel in Swindon, but she didn't have that info to hand. The Intel website neglects to mention the legacy chipsets.

  Verdani 15:09 21 Aug 06

Thank you, FelixTCat and ade.h, for looking into this. I appreciate it.

ade.h, I'm far from an expert when it comes to motherbaords/processors (I'm a software/OS guy). Are you saying that I need a 775-socket motherboard based on the 965, 945 Express, or 975X chipsets? If so, do you think the BIOS upgrade would be available by, say, the end of the month - and are these chipsets common? If so, who do you think would be likely to have released the updates by then?

Sorry for all the questions, but I do appreciate your help on this. Thanks again! :)

  ade.h 15:37 21 Aug 06

Yes, the chipsets are very common. The 945 group was de rigeur last year - one of my Gigabyte boards uses a 945 Pro with a Pentium 640 - while the 965 group appears to be the current choice if you were to buy a 6- or 8-series Pentium now. The 975s appear to have been introduced specifically to make the most of the various Core 2 CPUs, of which there are more than one core type (see that link for a bit more about that).

BIOS updates are bound to vary; every board manufacturer has its own build of whatever BIOS it uses - Award, for example - and updates are dependent on each company. Does it bother for every board in its range, including discontinued models? Not necessarily unfortunately. There's a bit of hard work in it, but I would pick a range of likely candidate models and then look at their entries on the manufacturers' support sites for the updates before committing.

  Verdani 15:58 21 Aug 06

Okay, thank you very much once again. I believe this is my last question - Using the Tiger Direct website, I got to this page -

click here=|c:1533|c:1572|&Sort=3&Recs=10

Are these prices typical? I was really looking for something about $100 lower if possible - but maybe this chipset is what makes it expensive. I'll look around elsewhere as well.

Also, these are the available 945G boards:

click here=|c:1533|c:1572|&Sort=3&Recs=10

And the 945Ps:

click here=|c:1533|c:1572|&Sort=3&Recs=10

I should be okay with a 945X, then, with BIOS upgrades so long as I make sure they're available? There are a couple in there in my price range, so I'll do some research. I'll come back with my results to make sure I've found my solution and then mark this resolved. If you ahve any suggeestions out of those motherbaords I'd be glad to hear them. Again, thanks a bunch - you've beena great help.

  ade.h 16:14 21 Aug 06

Your links are broken, but it sounds as if you have done your research well and you should be okay. Remember, if you have any doubt about compatability, hold back and do a bit more research first.

I might check some more sometime to see if I can verify what the above website said.

  DieSse 16:19 21 Aug 06

The best and safest way is to look for motherboards which specifically state they are Core Duo compatible.

If you make suppositions based on just chipsets, you might get caught out.

  ade.h 16:23 21 Aug 06

Hence the check for updates.

  Verdani 04:02 23 Aug 06

Okay, I'm nearly finished - thank you again, you're all being great.

I found three motherboards today at a store all labeled as core 2 compatible. I was assured they'd work with my processor and he did seem very knowledgable. There are two I'm looking at. One is 119.99, which I'm willing to pay if it suits my needs better than the other, which is 79.99. Here's whree my problem lies. The $80 mobo has two RAM slots, which is okay although I'd prefer four. It is a cheaper motherboard though (it's either Intel or Asus, I can't remember, both of which I trust). It's a DDR compatible board. I currently have a 512mb stick and a 256 stick of DDR (one's at 3200 and the other at 2700). So I know my memory is compatible and I can always upgrade the 256 to a gig if I need to. It does cut out the option of getting DDR2 down the road, though.

The other motherboard has four RAM slots but is DDR2,a nd I'm told if it's a DDR2 motherboard it will not support DDR. This means I'd have to spend another $100 on a gig of ram and scrap my old ram.

SUMMARY

Motherboard A:
- $80
- DDR
- Two RAM slots

Motherboard B:
- $120
- DDR 2 (backwards compatible?)
- Four RAM slots

[b]The Question:
- Is DDR2 backwards-compatible, or are there a different amount of pins? This is the main question.
- How much is a used stick of 512MB DDR 3200 worth, if I have to get DDR2?[/b]

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