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CPU Compatibility
 
6.1 What CPUs are compatible to PC Partner motherboards 
PC Partner motherboards are designed to be compatible with all the available CPUs applicable to the CPU Socket (eg. Socket 478) at the time of launching the motherboard. For instance, the Socket 478 CPU specification of motherboards are targeted to run with :  
  • Intel Pentium 4
  • Intel Celeron

However with the fast change and pace in new CPU specification launch, older designed motherboards may not be working with new CPUs due to the following reasons :  

  • BIOS written some time ago may not be aware of the new CPU's ID
  • Hardware limitation of the older motherboard prevent the use of new CPU 
  • Existing jumper information (on the manual) not yet taken care of new CPU
 
6.2 How to check for compatibility of newly launched CPUs on existing board 
Please consult your distributor / reseller / system integrator first. They may have already got information from PC Partner Ltd. on whether a newly launched CPU be able to run on the motherboard, or any change needed to jumper configuration. You may also look up from the PC Partner Web Site for latest BIOS updates for CPU support.  

You may also try to guess from the existing manual's information , and your knowledge on the new CPU. But this is only for experienced users with hardware knowledge. The area to be checked for include :  

  • CPU voltage requirement, ie., what CPU (core and bus) voltage does the new CPU take, and whether the motherboard is capable of providing these voltages.
  • CPU current requirement, ie., how much current will the new CPU take. Some very new CPU operating in very high speed are taking a lot of current, such that the on board regulators may not be able to provide that amount of current.
  • CPU clock figure and clock multiplier, as specified by the CPU. Some figures are not supported on certain motherboards, while some multiplier figures are not implemented on some CPUs.
  • CPU ID / speed recognizable by the system BIOS. Newer BIOS, in general, are more capable to recognize newer CPUs, and correctly report their speed/performance figures.
 
6.3 What to do if the existing motherboard is not yet compatible to new CPUs 
If the existing BIOS is not running well with the new CPU, check for the above factors. Some items, like BIOS upgrade or jumper re-config will do in most cases. But if the limitation is in the current capability or in the clock figures, do not force the CPU or the motherboard to run out of the specified rating, as this may cause unreliable operation or even permanent damage to the system ! 
 
 
6.4 What are the precautions when upgrading to newly launched CPUs 
If the above factors are fully examined, and allows proper functioning, the following precautions still need to be taken :  
  • newer CPUs normally runs at higher speeds, and generate more heat, such that better ventilation will be needed to keep the CPU / regulator at a safe temperature.
  • make sure CPU related jumpers, in particular voltage jumpers are correctly set. A wrong jumper may not fail the CPU immediately, but may cause unstable system in the long run.