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Asus A8M2N-LA/HP NodusM-GL8E: CPU Upgrade
#1
I have an HP a1540n Media Center desktop which I've upgraded to Win 7 Ultimate and it runs very well. Motherboard is ASUS A8M2N-LA with an Athlon 64 X2 4200+ CPU. I want to upgrade the CPU and have been reading here about processors in the 6000+ range that might work for me. I was thinking of the 5000+ series but I'm open to whatever gets me the fastest machine.

My BIOS is what confuses me. It says "Phoenix Award BIOS" v 3.04 but I see two different flash routines on this site. One for Phoenix, one for Award. Which one is mine - Phoenix or Award or could I use either flash routine?

Also, I've seen mods for this board that do what I'm thinking...should I just go for the mod or upgrade my BIOS to a higher level first?

Thanks!

Curtis
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#2
In my opinion, the CPU is a critical component of any computer system so before you decide to upgrade make sure you have read and understood all the steps. In order to upgrade your CPU you will need to know two things about your motherboard: its CPU socket and its maximum external clock rate.
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#3
Hi tabules,

Using the latest HP BIOS available on their site, your "higest" upgrade route is definitely an AMD Athlon X2 5600+ with the v3 of your motherboard's BIOS. It's "possible" a Phenom I might boot but I don't have the board and couldn't personally run the tests. We do have a large line of motherboards on this site with a similar chipset to that capable of running Phenom I after modification, but that's a huge risk.

Safely, a 5600+ is supported.

Thanks,
TheWiz
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#4
HP's latest BIOS for me would be v3.10 though they tell me it's not for Win 7 Ultimate which I'm running. Should I install it anyway to get the highest speed potential or go all the way to v5.04?

Curtis
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#5
Hi,

Let me throw my 2 cents in here with that board if you don't mind.

I just went through all the options on that board for an upgrade to Windows 7 x64. I had a few of them and an upgrade for all machines wasn't in the budget. The few I did upgrade I found that a BIOSTAR A780L/Phenom x3 8650 and a new three core processor was a much better option on a price/performance scale. For the ones that I didn't upgrade motherboards I installed 4GB of DDR2 800 RAM. I installed Windows 7 x64 on all machines. I found that the non-upgraded machines with the stock AMD single core Atlhlon 64 3500 was good enough to wait until the next upgrade cycle.

I'd definitely check the price on that option vs the price of the Athlon 5600+. I already had the ram. Without it I shopped around and found I could get the motherboard/cpu and fan for less than $100 a machine. With the original A8M2N boards still possibly being worth something on eBay and the Athlon x64 x2 5600 being more expensive ($75+), if you can find it, the motherboard/cpu upgrade path is a better option.

Thanks,
Darren
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#6
Thanks Darren for your info. I'm inclined to agree that swapping the mobo & CPU might be more logical. I saw an MSI 790x-g45 gaming motherboard with a AMD Athlon™ II x2 3.2 GHz Processor and after market CPU cooler on CraigsList for $100 which seems like an awfully good value and that board has alot of newer features that would help with speed. I'm considering that purchase right now despite what I've already sunk into the A8M2N-LA. Do MORE research is my new mantra.

I have a 5600+ CPU available - should I install v3.10 from HP or will v3.04 recognize this CPU? Thanks!

Curtis
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#7
(01-20-2011, 01:07 PM)taubles Wrote: I have a 5600+ CPU available - should I install v3.10 from HP or will v3.04 recognize this CPU? Thanks!

The 790x looks like a nice board. Out of my price range so I didn't really look at it. I was looking at the 780s and 785s. They looked really good but the "gettin' place" was out-of-stock.

That BIOStar motherboard has overclocking options too. Not that I do that sort of thing so I really couldn't express an opinion on that. The A780L is a wonderful stable, good performing budget board. It's a microAtx and it doesn't have a lot of room for cool stuff so check and make sure it has all the options you need before you buy.

I'd try it without the upgrade first. I think I remember somewhere that it doesn't "recognize" the processor but it does work. Be very careful about upgrading the bios on that mobo. There are several different versions of that board and the upgrade only applies to one of them. The wrong update will kill your onboard video. It's been too long since I did mine and I don't recall which update is for which board.

If you get that bad boy running I'd sell it on eBay. Big Grin Don't know why every body is so crazy about that combo. I'm pretty sure that what I got to replace mine would smoke the A8/5600. If I had that 5600 I'd sell both mobo and CPU on eBay and be money ahead or even.

Darren

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#8
Hi Curtis,

Sorry for the late reply. Please use this tool to post your current BIOS so we can take a closer look for you.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1525839/Programs...Backup.EXE

Thanks,
TheWiz
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#9
The closest motherboard I could find on the Asus global website is the m2npv-mx; both are an am2 socket and use the nvidia 6150 and nforce 430. If you know of a better match please let me know.

Here is the a8m2n-la specs http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/docum...=c00757531&tmp_task=prodinfoCategory&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&destPage=product&lang=en&product=3339301#N33 and here are the m2npv-mx specs http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=yjN4AeiHqvcZzqJw

I am running window 7 64bit and using bios version 5.07 located here http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softw...pv-54579-1&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&os=2093&product=3339301&sw_lang=

The latest m2npv-mx bios is 1305 located here http://support.asus.com/download/downloa...uage=en-us However bios 5005 specifically mentions am3 support and looking at the cpu support list all the am3 sockets say since bios 5005 so I'm not totally sure which one would be better to use.

Ideally I would like to be able to use the Phenom II X6 but if I am limited to the X4 945 (not sure why the faster X4s are not listed/supported) for the m2npv-mx that is still much better than my Athlon 64 X2 6400+ I am currently using. It would also be nice to be able to use the m2npv-mx bios instead of the HP one that is locked tighter than a tween but again I will take what I can get.

After doing some more research trying to find a motherboard using the same chipset I have realized there are two versions of the 6150, the le (c51pvg) and the se (mcp61). Unfortunately I have the le, I say unfortunately because it seems like there has been a lot of success with the se. Although the Asus motherboard I linked to doesn't specify le or se, it is a le because there are two chips (one each for north/south bridge) while the se is one large chip for both. I am having to look at the pictures of the motherboards to determine which one they are using.

After looking at all the AM2 motherboards by every manufacturer I could find, the Asus I listed in my original post was still the best match. As a side note it seems HP has limited my Sata speed from what should be 3Gb/s to 1.5, I double checked my hard drive and it does support sata II speeds as does the nforce 430 (mcp51) southridge. I tried to solve this issue by following the instructions inthis thread http://www.hardwareheaven.com/motherboar...stems.html but it didn't work. I believe this is something HP did in the bios so if that could be removed so I get my correct sata transfer rate that would be great. That would be a non-issue if somehow I was able to use the m2npv-mx bios instead of the HP bios, which would be totally awesome.

If you need any other info let me know and thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
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#10
I think the RAID limitation could be to do with the RAID Option ROM inserted in the BIOS. Will check this out for you later.

Ive taken all the microcode out of the 5005 Beta Bios and inserted it into the HP Bios and updated the AGESA module.

Try at your own risk!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/747181/HP%20OEM%...34s282.zip

Admin
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