Deciding on a motherboard - AMD - Windows 7

FeuerFrei

Diamond Member
Mar 30, 2005
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After being partially fried by lightning, my 5 year old pc needs some new parts. But I want to keep running Windows 7.
(The existing hard drives function I believe - boot drive still boots, but there is no video output to confirm that, so I judge by noises and LEDs. However, I intend to install a new SSD as a boot drive.)

Sooo ... that means Ryzen. I'm not too familiar with current standards, interfaces, etc.
I see Gigabyte and MSI offer Windows 7 drivers for select chipsets. And I've heard a couple people claim to be running Windows 7 + Ryzen on Gigabyte motherboards.
I'm a bit partial to Gigabyte - maybe their GA-AB350 Gaming 3 board. It would pair nicely with their AORUS NVMe M.2 SSD (though not as nicely as an AORUS board).
MSI has some font scaling though - maybe their X470 Gaming Plus board.

I'm seeking clarity on choosing a Ryzen AM4 motherboard between $90 and $160 that functions in Windows 7.
CPU will likely be a Ryzen 5 2600. Want high-res audio support, onboard graphics. Haven't bought any parts, so... nothing's set in stone. Trying not to spend much .
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Want ..., onboard graphics.
NAH-AH. Not going to happen.

Ryzen APUs have graphics, but they don't support Windows 7. (Not at all, BSODs on install, not even a question of not having drivers.) Ryzen CPUs support Windows 7 (with appropriately-modified installers), but they don't have onboard graphics.

Sure that you wouldn't consider an FX-8320E rig instead?

Advantage: FULLY supported by Win7 64-bit, INCLUDING UPDATES.
Downside: Well, not quite Ryzen performance.

Even if you do get Win7 64-bit shoe-horned onto Ryzen, you'll have to use a 3rd-party patch to patch Windows Update, in order to get updates. You won't be able to use MS Security Essentials, AFAIK. (MS's free A/V / anti-malware software.)

I can personally vouch, that the Gigabyte AX370-Gaming ATX mobo, with a Ryzen R5 1600 CPU, and a SATA SSD and SATA optical drive, will install and run Win7 64-bit, using the Gigabyte Win7 64-bit Ryzen installer modifier program.
 
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FeuerFrei

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Mar 30, 2005
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NAH-AH. Not going to happen.

Ryzen APUs have graphics, but they don't support Windows 7. (Not at all, BSODs on install, not even a question of not having drivers.) Ryzen CPUs support Windows 7 (with appropriately-modified installers), but they don't have onboard graphics.

Sure that you wouldn't consider an FX-8320E rig instead?

Advantage: FULLY supported by Win7 64-bit, INCLUDING UPDATES.
Downside: Well, not quite Ryzen performance.

Even if you do get Win7 64-bit shoe-horned onto Ryzen, you'll have to use a 3rd-party patch to patch Windows Update, in order to get updates. You won't be able to use MS Security Essentials, AFAIK. (MS's free A/V / anti-malware software.)

I can personally vouch, that the Gigabyte AX370-Gaming ATX mobo, with a Ryzen R5 1600 CPU, and a SATA SSD and SATA optical drive, will install and run Win7 64-bit, using the Gigabyte Win7 64-bit Ryzen installer modifier program.
I appreciate the insight.
FX-8320E sounds good with the Windows 7 support and running old games. Or the FX-8350. That 95/125 wattage though. I need something lower, because heat dissipation may be problematic. Don't have AC in the room.
 

TheELF

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2012
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All the windows installation does is to (allow you to prepare the disk and ) unpack the sources\install.wim (WindowsIMage) to your disk,you can do all this manually instead of relying on a patched installer that only works where it likes to.
You can get imageX as part of a huge package directly from MS or you can search for the exe alone,gimagex is a graphical frontend that makes it even easier.
All you have to do is to partition the drive and make it bootable extract the .wim and put the disk into the new machine,on the first boot it will just do the welcome screens and all the first settings stuff.
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
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if you want onboard graphics... am3+ is not really a good platform for that.
 

FeuerFrei

Diamond Member
Mar 30, 2005
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if you want onboard graphics... am3+ is not really a good platform for that.
Well I'm making concessions here. Thanks for the counsel.

**update**
Been perusing AM3+ boards and I'm not sure they're a viable option. Those available are mostly Used, or MicroATX, ITX form factor. The one New, ATX option, an ASRock 970A-G, is only curently available at one seller with little buyer feedback and a sketchy name - DealsADay. I will check a local store.
 
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VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Maybe consider FM2+, and an A68H board with updated (2019) BIOS, and one of the new FM2+ repackaged Bristol Ridge die APUs, the 7480 and 7680 (I think)?
 

Johnny Ringo

Member
Dec 6, 2012
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Any particular reason to stick with Windows 7?

The update to Windows 10 is still free on a licensed Windows 7 PC. I have personally recently updated 5 older Windows 7 workstations/laptops in the household on older systems (2 AMD Phenom 2 720's, 1 Intel i3-4150, 1 Intel i5-3470, and a AMD 3510 MX based laptop). All of the PC's were at least 6 years old, with the Phenom 2's being 10 years old. All of the systems have at least 8 GB of RAM (1 has 16 GB), and SSD boot drives.

Windows 10 Pro activated on the PC's without issue, and all of my older software (including Office 2007) runs without issue. I don't notice any performance issues going from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and I will have the future security updates of Windows 10 on all workstations going forward, whereas Windows 7 has about 6 months left of security updates.

I was a bit worried about the onboard graphics of the Phenom 2's being supported in Windows 10 as the motherboards have an old AMD 3000 series on board graphics card--but Windows 10 installed without issue, and I am able to even use multi-monitor support.

I hated the GUI of Windows 10 and really waited a long time to do the upgrades, but felt I needed to be ahead of the curve before Windows 7 was sunset. So I purchased Start 10 from Stardock, and it gives me the look and feel of Windows 7, with all of the updates of Windows 10 under the covers.

$20 on sale for an Object Desktop licence, which allows the software (the entire suite) to be installed on up to 5 workstations, or I think you can just buy Start 10 for $6 for one workstation.
 

Furious_Styles

Senior member
Jan 17, 2019
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My win7 install on my gaming PC is probably over 5 years old. It has gone from 1155 to 1150 to 1151 so you can rest assured it's fine.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
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Sep 13, 2008
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Is this for gaming? If so, just get an actual video card. You can still run Win 7 for a while if you want.
 

FeuerFrei

Diamond Member
Mar 30, 2005
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Not for game play - except for an old game from 12 years ago. So I'd rather not buy a card if I don't need to. Planning to get a 32" 2650 x 1440 monitor.

Well if I'm buying outdated components - the money saved can go toward a video card.
You can run Windows 7 on 1151?! . .. .hmm
 

An Arable Hill

Junior Member
May 3, 2019
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The update to Windows 10 is still free on a licensed Windows 7 PC
This isn't the case anymore. You can update from Windows 8 though.

It's a good idea to go the W10 route and get your Ryzen/onboard graphics like you want. It's more secure and it has drivers being the 2 biggies. You can get W10 keys for $35 from places like Kinguin.
 
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SPBHM

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Sep 12, 2012
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This isn't the case anymore. You can update from Windows 8 though.

It's a good idea to go the W10 route and get your Ryzen/onboard graphics like you want. It's more secure and it has drivers being the 2 biggies. You can get W10 keys for $35 from places like Kinguin.
how recently they've changed to only allow 8 to upgrade? I did it maybe late last year or early this year an upgrade from 7 to 10 in one PC and it kept 10 activated, (still is)
 

Iron Woode

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for an Intel setup I would go with Haswell. They are cheap enough now and you can easily buy I5's all day long. The onboard graphics are nothing to brag about, though. But the platform is quite mature and supports every OS but winXP.

I run a Haswell setup and it runs great with an I5 4690K cpu.
 

FeuerFrei

Diamond Member
Mar 30, 2005
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Thanks for all your input. :) I can only read this thread when I'm at work.


Close to pulling the trigger on the following Skylake-based gear ...

Intel Core i3-6100 3M 3.7 GHz LGA 1151
ASRock Z270 KILLER SLI/AC LGA 1151 Intel Z270 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX Motherboard


Not like I have a lot of motherboard options. Here's a link to the manufacturer's motherboard page.

Add 16M memory and a Radeon RX 560 video card for a total of $487.
Hmm. Seems like a lot for 2 year old hardware specs. A real test of my determination to keep Windows 7. I'm inclined to keep it for privacy concerns mostly, plus one game that won't run under Win10 AFAIK.

I'm upgrading from an Ivy Bridge platform I built in 2014 so it'll be a 2 year leap in performance. Plus dropping in a NVMe M.2 SSD will be a major leap from the current hard drive (which thankfully survived the lightning strike).

Monitor got fried too from the power surge (lots of horizontal red lines and fringing now) so another $287 there + a $114 monitor stand to sit behind my desk + a HDMI to Display Port cable. And now it's over $1000.

After 5 days this pc-free lifestyle is getting to me. I do all the shopping from work. DSL modem got fried - so no internet at home.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,372
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Be careful getting a Z270 chipset board for Win7 64-bit. There was some compatibility issues with "newer chipsets" and USB3.0 / XHCI ports, post-Z170.
 
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FeuerFrei

Diamond Member
Mar 30, 2005
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Be careful getting a Z270 chipset board for Win7 64-bit. There was some compatibility issues with "newer chipsets" and USB3.0 / XHCI ports, post-Z170.
Interesting. Thank you! There's a " Windows 7 USB Patcher ver:2.0.21 " available on the motherboard's Download page (toward the bottom - dated March 2017).
Wonder if that's to address what you just mentioned.

I guess I'll be installing Windows 7 via SATA optical drive - so don't need the USB to boot.
 

FeuerFrei

Diamond Member
Mar 30, 2005
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that motherboard was on sale for $80-something back in April (after rebate).
It's now doubled to $164. :(
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
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May 16, 2002
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This isn't the case anymore. You can update from Windows 8 though.

It's a good idea to go the W10 route and get your Ryzen/onboard graphics like you want. It's more secure and it has drivers being the 2 biggies. You can get W10 keys for $35 from places like Kinguin.
I don't know about that. I had a win7 laptop, replaced the HDD with an SSD, installed windows 1809, without a code, but in the endm, when I looked, it said activated with a digital license, and it was the win7 code.
 

Johnny Ringo

Member
Dec 6, 2012
36
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This isn't the case anymore. You can update from Windows 8 though.

It's a good idea to go the W10 route and get your Ryzen/onboard graphics like you want. It's more secure and it has drivers being the 2 biggies. You can get W10 keys for $35 from places like Kinguin.
I updated 5 Windows 7 workstations in the last 30 days. All of the installs updated to a digital license for Windows 10 Pro without any issues.
 
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