mobos, RAM, CPU's, bottlenecking, and questions about "speed" - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 12-13-2008, 06:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default mobos, RAM, CPU's, bottlenecking, and questions about "speed"

I've recently heard something in another thread, and instead of hijacking that thread; I'll start my own since I have additional questions.

The statement was "a motherboard can never be the bottleneck in a system".
I'm not sure how accurate that statement is. Certainly if we overclock, than the FSB on the motherboard becomes a bottleneck. But that was already mentioned.

So, with the exception of overclocking, mother boards cannot bottleneck?
If that is true, than my understanding of data transfer speeds is messed up. Maybe someone here can set me straight.

Here's an example of what would appear to be an argument that the motherboard is indeed the bottle neck:

The GeForce7050M-M (V2.0) motherboard has 1000MHz Hyper Transport (2000 MT/s), and claims to support CPU socket types: AM2+ and AM2
But then it gives examples: Athlon 64 X2 / Athlon 64 / Sempron

The CPU Athlon 64 X2 5600+ which boasts Hyper Transports 2000MHz
That's twice the speed of the FSB. However, I must confess the FSB says "1000MHz Hyper Transport (2000 MT/s)" and I don't know what the "2000 MT/s" means. Maybe the "2000 MT/s" translates to the Athlon64's 2000 HT 2000MHz?

So maybe this is not a case where the compatible CPU is being bottlecked by the mobo.

However, also under socket type, that mobo says it supports "AM2+/AM2"
Looking for CPU's of that socket type I find the "AMD Phenom 9850" which boasts Hyper Transports 4000MHz
That is four times the FSB, and twice that other thing (2000MT/s).
So is this a case of bottlenecking, or have I misunderstood what constitutes compatibility?
After all, the Phenom is a AM2+ socket type of CPU, and the mobo does claim to support that socket. However, in the examples the mobo gives "Athlon 64 X2 / Athlon 64 / Sempron" and never mentions the Phenom.

So am I misunderstanding compatibility?

I had assumed that when choosing a CPU for a mobo, all that was needed was the "CPU Socket Type" to match.
I assumed the "CPU Type" mentioned in the specs were merely examples of CPU's that could be used. Could I be wrong, and it actually means "these are the only processors that will run in this motherboard."?

Also, a question about memory:
If a mobo says it can hold DDR2 240-pin 800MHz, and I put in DDR2 240-pin 1150MHz, will the mobo reject it, or just under run it to 800MHz?

Let me summarize my questions:
1. When the mobo's specs says "CPU Socket Type" does that mean that all CPU's of that socket type are supported?

2. When the mobo's specs says "CPU Type" and gives names, does that mean only those names are supported?

3. Is RAM speed, CPU speed, and FSB speed, measured differently?

4. In cases where a motherboard is backward compatible, does that mean that the mobo slows down the faster component to match its limitation? Or does it mean that slower components may be used on the faster mobo? Or can it mean both?

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Old 12-14-2008, 05:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: mobos, RAM, CPU's, bottlenecking, and questions about "speed"

Most AM2+ boards support 2600mhz FSB / 5200mts?

So a lot of the current day phenoms will work on AM2+ boards. With the exceptions of boards that can't handle 125 Watt CPU's or 140 Watt CPU's.

ECS Web Site

AMD Phenom™ processor (Socket AM2+)
AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual Core/ Athlon™ 64 / Sempron processor
High-performance Hyper Transport CPU interface.
Support transfer rate of 2000/1600/1200/800/400 mega-transfers per second.
Note: This board supports CPU up to 95W TDP only; you can refer to AMD website to check your CPU.

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