I’ve seen a couple of stories and gotten a call or two on this topic, so I want to proactively reach out and straighten out a misunderstanding regarding 125-watt TDP processors and motherboard support.
Put succinctly, contrary to suggestion in some recent articles, there is not a compatibility issue with AMD chipsets and Phenom processors. Any concerns regarding the pairing of those products stem solely from the maximum TDP specification of a given processor and the power handling circuitry of a given motherboard.
There are currently 8 different models of Phenom quad and triple-core processors in the channel. Six of those Phenoms are 95W TDP processors. There are two CPUs, the X4 9850 and the channel’s X4 9750, that have a power specification of 125W. (Note: OEMS receive a 95W version of the X4 9750). AMD has recommended utilizing 5-phase power handling and appropriate voltage regulators to support our highest TDP parts. Note that not all motherboards are made that way. Motherboard vendors have the liberty of choosing their own strategy and positioning. Their design decisions come in large part from the price points they target and the CPU wattages they choose to support based on their strategy. Put simply, not every motherboard based on an AMD chipset has the power handling required for one of our 125W TDP CPUs.
To illustrate the point that this is not a chipset/processor compatibility issue, simply look at the results you get when looking up recommended motherboards for the AMD Phenom X4 9850 compared to the Phenom X4 9550. The only significant difference with those parts in terms of board support is the TDP.
Recommended motherboards for the AMD Phenom X4 9850 (125W TDP):http://products.amd.com/en-us/Recommend ... 6=&f7=ATX&
Recommended motherboards for the AMD Phenom X4 9550 (95W TDP):http://products.amd.com/en-us/Recommend ... =&f6=&f7=&
As you can see from the motherboards AMD recommends to use with the Phenom X4 9550, there are boards based on the 790FX, 780G, 770 and even 690G and 690V chipsets. Also on that list are boards with Nvidia I.G. solutions. So you can see from this comparison, there is no compatibility issue regarding chipset and motherboard.
When the boards based on 780G (which has been the focus of this misunderstanding) launched March 4th along side the new Athlon X2 4850e, there were still no 125W TDP Phenoms in the market to consider. My apologies if I did not make this topic of power consumption and board support clear when the Phenom X4 9850 did launch. Frankly, it just did not occur to me as I was concentrating on which 790FX-based motherboard(s) looked best at that time. I hope this clears things up.