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MSI no longer supports 125W CPUs in the K9A2 CF

MSI no longer supports 125W CPUs in the K9A2 CF

The MSI K9A2 CF cannot guarantee its reliability with 125W AMD CPUs.

A little while ago it was brought to our attention that MSI had removed support for 125W TDP CPUs like the AMD Athlon 64 6000+, 6400+ and older FX-62 for the K9A2 CF on its website.

This was strange to us as we had used the 125W model of the 6000+ in our review of the board, where the K9A2 CF didn't blink once---even under heavy load over a 24 hour period---and the result was that we gave the board a value award because it impressed us so much, but why now the sudden change?

We checked around and at the same time were sent more questions about the use of these hot processors - we found while the board was able to use them and was perfectly stable in our stress test, there were some reports that this board had failed when using the same processors.

One customer on Newegg complained that his K9A2 CF had actually set itself alight after being left to run Folding@Home. Take a "customer review" as you will - it doesn't take into account dust build up, ambient temperatures, airflow, as well as CPU cooling and use of thermal paste, but it still appears to be potentially very serious.

So serious in fact that MSI has removed support for the CPUs altogether. When we asked MSI about the specific problem, we were told that "[MSI] cannot guarantee the long-term durability of using a 125W part in the two year warranty". We were also told that "The original power design on K9A2 CF is limited to AM2's 89W and AM2+'s 95W [specification]".

Considering the warranty is an industry minimum, the extra heat and greater power draw of 125W CPUs make the power regulation components hotter and the result is that the board can fail far sooner, as there's both no additional cooling for the PWMs and/or the components used are less capable (therefore likely cheaper).

We appreciate the time MSI took to answer our questions but in our opinion, despite the fact this is an inexpensive motherboard and therefore "feature light", it seems a design screw-up on MSI's part. These aren't some special CPUs introduced after the board was launched, they are inexpensive, performance-orientated Athlon 64 X2 retail CPUs that have been available for months before this board became available - that's entirely unacceptable in our opinion.

In addition an end user can't upgrade to either future Phenom 9700 and 9900 processors, as they also have 125W TDPs, not to mention overclocking: of all, this is a relatively unquantifiable factor depending on voltage and clock speed.

In light of all this response and evidence, our current recommendation is that you look elsewhere for an AMD 790X motherboard, at least until MSI revisits this board. A new revision would be easier, but the problem is how do you tell which revision an e-tailor stocks if the name is the same?

Right now that limits you to the only other AMD 790X board on the market: the Gigabyte GA-790X-DS4, which currently lists compatibility with every retail AMD AM2(+) CPU being sold today, however it is also more expensive.

Do you own an MSI K9A2 CF or even a Gigabyte GA-790X-DS4 - we're keen to know your experiences! Or if you have any other thoughts, please let us know in the forums.

21 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Mankz 28th January 2008, 15:12 Quote
One guy on the forums had an issue aswell.
DXR_13KE 28th January 2008, 15:13 Quote
how to name a revision? K9A2 CF rev2....... i think people wont get that wrong.....
naokaji 28th January 2008, 15:16 Quote
Quote:
but the problem is how do you tell which revision an e-tailor stocks if the name is the same?

thats one of the reasons why retailers would be a nice thing to have... you could simply look at it to see what rev it is.
Tyinsar 28th January 2008, 18:48 Quote
After having bought a few MSI products I have to say that I was very happy with some of them but other times their support was atrocious - they promised features (even advertised them on the box) but never delivered. They promised a fix in a future driver release then revised the product (/ created a new, similar, one) and abandoned all work on the version I had. It would takes a lot to convince me to buy MSI again - stories like this make that even more unlikely.
seveneleven 28th January 2008, 19:00 Quote
At the same time there's a banner on the right side of this site praising the K9A2 CFs support for Phenoms - oh the irony...
Woodstock 28th January 2008, 19:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
how to name a revision? K9A2 CF rev2....... i think people wont get that wrong.....
the thing is that not all e-tailors tell you the revision of the board, how are you meant to know then?
Tim S 28th January 2008, 20:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by seveneleven
At the same time there's a banner on the right side of this site praising the K9A2 CFs support for Phenoms - oh the irony...

It'll support the 9500 and 9600, as they're 95W parts. :)
jim48509 29th January 2008, 07:23 Quote
Quote: In light of all this response and evidence, our current recommendation is that you look elsewhere for an AMD 790X motherboard, at least until MSI revisits this board.

3 days too late, I bought this board with the AMD 64 X2 6400 which I have running at 2.8 ghz to keep the power lower. So far so good.
The Canadian MSI web site still lists the K9A2 CF as supporting the 125W parts, I wonder how the resellers who are building and selling systems using this board and the 125W parts are feeling?
Bindibadgi 29th January 2008, 15:19 Quote
Sorry we didn't post this earlier, Jim! We had to wait for MSI to reply to our questions.

I hope it keeps working for you!

Unfortunately the local MSI websites are updated locally so sometimes updates don't get through quick enough.
talladega 29th January 2008, 20:42 Quote
is there any such problems known to the MSI K9A2 Platinum that uses the 790FX? Thats what im looking at buying.
DXR_13KE 29th January 2008, 23:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodstock
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
how to name a revision? K9A2 CF rev2....... i think people wont get that wrong.....
the thing is that not all e-tailors tell you the revision of the board, how are you meant to know then?

just slap a REV2 at the end of the name......
jim48509 30th January 2008, 09:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Sorry we didn't post this earlier, Jim! We had to wait for MSI to reply to our questions.

I hope it keeps working for you!

Unfortunately the local MSI websites are updated locally so sometimes updates don't get through quick enough.

No worries, at least I found out before I ran it at 3.2 ghz. I think I will fit a smoke detector inside the pc case :D

I am going to make an assumption,
msi did say that the board would support the 125w parts so the vrm's should supply the power requirements therefore the issue would be heat related as there are no heatsinks on the vrm's ?

If the vrm's can be kept coolish would it then run the 125w parts or is the answer not to be such a tight ass and get a good board ( non msi )

Was the AMD 64 x2 6000 you used in the original article the 125w part?
Bindibadgi 30th January 2008, 14:05 Quote
Yep, 125W part.

As for the platinum - check the MSI site but it should work just fine.
Shielder 30th January 2008, 14:38 Quote
Quote:
At the same time there's a banner on the right side of this site praising the K9A2 CFs support for Phenoms - oh the irony...

Just like they are still advertising Evesham Technology here too...

Andy
Tim S 30th January 2008, 14:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shielder
Just like they are still advertising Evesham Technology here too...

Andy

That story is known to be false - we spoke to Evesham's MD the day it was published. I have nothing to do with advertising on bit-tech, but I can tell you that we wouldn't be running the ads if the company wasn't paying its bills.
Shielder 30th January 2008, 16:00 Quote
Oh. Sorry. Just shows, you can't trust everything you read on the web... :)
MRZ258 31st January 2008, 03:49 Quote
hello.. i'm newbie here. and accidentally register just because of this K9A2-CF mobo. I bought this MOBO on 18 Jan 2008 right after i read bit-tech review.
Luckily i also navigate trough the MSI GLOBAL website before make a final decision.
It is sad to say that this MOBO cant run any 125W AMD X2 CPU.. but dont worry may friend, if u need 3.+ Ghz CPU to runnign with it,
AMD X2 5000+ Black Edition is a right choice... i read some review in the net about this cpu. yu can change the multiplier from 13 to 16 make you
reach 3.2Ghz (default is 2.6Ghz).. correct me if i'm wrong.
Bladestorm 31st January 2008, 04:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRZ258
hello.. i'm newbie here. and accidentally register just because of this K9A2-CF mobo. I bought this MOBO on 18 Jan 2008 right after i read bit-tech review.
Luckily i also navigate trough the MSI GLOBAL website before make a final decision.
It is sad to say that this MOBO cant run any 125W AMD X2 CPU.. but dont worry may friend, if u need 3.+ Ghz CPU to runnign with it,
AMD X2 5000+ Black Edition is a right choice... i read some review in the net about this cpu. yu can change the multiplier from 13 to 16 make you
reach 3.2Ghz (default is 2.6Ghz).. correct me if i'm wrong.

Increasing the speed a CPU is running at, also increases its power consumption.
MRZ258 31st January 2008, 04:35 Quote
BladeStorm:
Definitely! but since the 5000+ is 65Watt family, i think it will not consumes so much power as 89W or 125W..
here is the review for this cpu
http://www.virtual-hideout.net/reviews/AMD_X2_5000_Black/index.shtml
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/10/22/budget_overclocker/page2.html

it consume 75W at 3.10Ghz.... take a read..
jnahc 1st July 2008, 21:40 Quote
Anyone who might be wondering about running a 125w processor on the MSI K9A2 CF Rev.1 might want to look at sneaker89's posts at
http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2008/04/14/msi_s_motherboards_now_support_125w_amd_cpus/1#last
ScottyT 21st July 2008, 00:47 Quote
OMFG, this is such BS. They just had to do that right after i bought this mobo with a Phenom 9750. my computer randomly freezes and almost every time after that it makes a "noise"/"sound" like something have failed. after a minute or so it goes back to normal. and i am using the v2 version. WTF?
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