Phenom X4 9850 - 95W vs 125W

jvroig

Platinum Member
Nov 4, 2009
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My current rig has an MSI K9aGM3-FIH motherboard with an Athlon X2 5000+. To squeeze all I can from this setup, I just flashed the BIOS to the latest version, and according to its MSI product page, it can now support up to an Athlon X2 7850 or Phenom X4 9850. Both pretty much cost just pocket change, so it's practically a "free" upgrade from my 2-year old processor thanks to AMD's socket compatibility and MSI's support of old boards.

The 9850 there, however, is listed at 95W instead of the normal 125W. The AMD page does not list this at all (see here). The CPU Code listed in the MSI product page is HD9850WCJ4BGH, which does not exist in the AMD page, but googling it does result in pages from e-tailers carrying the part.

I'm wondering why this SKU has a lower TDP (95 vs 125) and not listed in the AMD pages. Can anybody give me a clue?

Thanks.
 
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thilanliyan

Lifer
Jun 21, 2005
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I had no idea they made a 9850 in 95w form. I thought they only made 140w and 125w? I myself have a 125w 9850. The lower wattage is usually better but you'll have to find out whether that actually exists. Lower wattage usually comes as the manufacturing process matures since they can run the same speed at a lower voltage.

EDIT:
According to this:
http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/white_papers_and_tech_docs/43375.pdf
if a Phenom has "WC" and "GH" in the p/n then it's a B3 stepping 95W CPU. So if you actually found one with that p/n then it probably IS a 95w CPU...just make sure your motherboard supports B3 stepping.
 
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jvroig

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Nov 4, 2009
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if a Phenom has "WC" and "GH" in the p/n then it's a B3 stepping 95W CPU. So if you actually found one with that p/n then it probably IS a 95w CPU...just make sure your motherboard supports B3 stepping.
Ah that explains it. It does have a WC and GH in the number, and it is a B3 stepping. Thanks!
 

heyheybooboo

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Jun 29, 2007
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Far be it for me to lead you astray but there is a thread over at THG where folks have been successfully running 95w Phenom IIs as 'unknown processors' on 690 chipsets ....

Didn't mean to tempt you :D
 

jvroig

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Nov 4, 2009
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Far be it for me to lead you astray but there is a thread over at THG where folks have been successfully running 95w Phenom IIs as 'unknown processors' on 690 chipsets ....

Didn't mean to tempt you
I am tempted. Can you give me a ink to this? No sense getting a Phenom if I can use a Phenom II! Very cool, thanks.
 

jvroig

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Nov 4, 2009
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Just got back from retailers. My goal was to get a cheap and hassle-free upgrade, hence just flashing the BIOS and trying to get the best compatible processor for it.

It should have been either the 7850, 9650, or try finding a B3 steeping, 95W 9850.

Unfortunately, probably not a surprise, Phenoms (not Phenom II) are already scarce. I wanted to tear into the retailer for having it listed in their pricelist, only to find out they don't have stocks AND their suppliers also don't carry them anymore. Just lovely.

The Athlons (not Athlon II) seem to be disappearing fast as well. 7850s are out of stock and cannot be sourced as well, said the retailers I talked to.

So all I managed to get was a 7750. Worth just pocket change, and it wasn't much of a hassle to get and it just took a few minutes to swap out the old proc and swap in the new. I guess I should be happy with the ~20-25% performance boost I'll get, since it was cheap and almost effortless.

Lesson: If I had decided to extend this board's life earlier (perhaps 3 months ago), there would have been Phenom 9650 units available, and that might have been useful for me far longer than this 7750. So my take away from here is, sure, socket compatibility is great, especially when vendors support their old boards, but you still have to time it right and don't hold out to long. Otherwise, you get beyond the EOL of the procs, and it's hard to get them from retailers. (NewEgg and the like are not an option for me due to shipping costs outside US)

(Yeah, I chickened out on trying for Athlon II / Phenom II magic compatibility)

Oh well, thanks guys. I guess this means </thread>
 

jvroig

Platinum Member
Nov 4, 2009
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Just an update.

After swapping the CPU, everything went flawlessly. BIOS recognized it, booted ok, I did my work, benchmarked it in the apps I use for work (I did get the ~20-25&#37; increase I was expecting in some cases). CPU usage went to 100% (for one core) for a few minutes as I worked and tested the new CPU. Definitely turned out better performance than the 5000+ it replaced.

Did I mention I was using linux? I use Fedora 10.

I actually dual-boot, I still have XP SP2 installed for my games. Today, just about 2 hours ago, I decided I might as well try playing a game or two. XP loaded, met the login screen, I logged in, then it bluescreened and quickly rebooted. I booted it again and met with the same result.

So linux was fine with the CPU swap, but XP wasn't. Weird.

Oh well, I guess I'll try to repair the installation someday when I'm not too busy.
 
Dec 30, 2004
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Just an update.

After swapping the CPU, everything went flawlessly. BIOS recognized it, booted ok, I did my work, benchmarked it in the apps I use for work (I did get the ~20-25% increase I was expecting in some cases). CPU usage went to 100% (for one core) for a few minutes as I worked and tested the new CPU. Definitely turned out better performance than the 5000+ it replaced.

Did I mention I was using linux? I use Fedora 10.

I actually dual-boot, I still have XP SP2 installed for my games. Today, just about 2 hours ago, I decided I might as well try playing a game or two. XP loaded, met the login screen, I logged in, then it bluescreened and quickly rebooted. I booted it again and met with the same result.

So linux was fine with the CPU swap, but XP wasn't. Weird.

Oh well, I guess I'll try to repair the installation someday when I'm not too busy.

Linux is hardy like that. It can detect a different CPU and Drivers and load the correct things no problem-- Windows not so much. Moving from my AthlonXP to an Athlon64, Linux install was but the architecture change threw XP off and I had to reformat. :/
 

jvroig

Platinum Member
Nov 4, 2009
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Great.

Before I try to repair the XP installation with my bootable CD, can anyone tell me if it will also mess up the bootloader by replacing GRUB with its chainloader?

I've never tried to repair a Windows installation while dual-booting, so I don't know for sure. If the repair only fixes the system files, then great, I won't have to mess around with putting GRUB back in again. Otherwise, I'll just take the opportunity to do a general clean up and fix Windows then nuke the Fedora 10 install and replace it with Fedora 12.