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Can i swap out my processor? Answered

My family just got a new computer. However, the processor on the new one sucks compared to the old one.

Old processor: AMD Phenom x4 9100e quad core processor

New Processor: AMD Athlon II 170u processor

is my old processor compatible with my new computer?
How do i swap them out? 
what risks are involved?
will any data be messed up?

please help...



6 years ago

The older AMD Phenom x4 uses socket AM2+
The newer AMD Athlon II, depending on the version, uses either AM2+ or AM3.
The newer one will likely not fit into the older one's socket. This can be easily seen if you remove the older processor from its socket and compare the pin grid array layouts. Just make sure not to wipe off any of the thermal grease if you actually try and do this.

However, there is one very good reason that you may not want to make this change: The older processor you have is actually BETTER than the newer one. That's right. While your newer one may seem at first to be superior, it would not offer any performance improvement over the older one. The only real way it could be a performance improvement is if it did junk your computer's hard disk, forcing you to do a disk format and re-install everything. Even then, however, the performance improvement would be only marginal, and within a week the computer's performance would drop below pre-swap levels. Seeing as though this is only a recent acquisition of your family, you will likely be doing that anyway. Just make sure you still have the windows installation disk, or use Linux instead.

If you have already purchased the new processor, if possible, you should send it back to the seller. If the person you got it from on Ebay (or wherever) doesn't allow returns, I guess you are out of luck. Perhaps you can sell it to someone else, or buy an old motherboard and hard drive and assemble a computer for yourself. (I would recommend PuppyLinux or some other lightweight OS in that case)


8 years ago

Socket AM3 CPU's are backwards compatible with Socket AM2+ motherboards, but the reverse is not true, so the upgrade will not work. The CPU physically will not fit into the new computer's motherboard.


8 years ago

. They both use the AM2+ socket, but the 170u is also shown to use an AM3 socket. That should put you on the right path when searching for more info.


8 years ago

I believe that they require different sockets, so the answer would be "sorry, no"