AMD Phenom Phantom on Gigabyte Guts with no Glory


According to documentation, you should just be able to socket replace your AMD Athlon (Socket AM2) with an AMD Phenom. Boot, and watch the bits fly. Well, theoretically.

In my Gigabyte’s case: this was not to be so. The smaller Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H (blah!) is in our Media Center PC. This combination has been working well in production for months.

Continuous beeps (longish) from the Power-on-self-test (POST) indicates either power, memory, motherboard or somesuch failure. The Gigabyte documentation is 7 lines long and 7 pages short on helping.

OK, reading the procedures on forums and stuff.

It’s not the power supply. I can swap out the Phenom and Athlon with the same “everything” and it boots.

The Gigabyte online specifications state that the 9600 Black Edition (BE) is supported with a recent BIOS update. My BIOS has been at this update for the last 2 months in anticipation of the Phenom processor.

In short, wait people. Or at least research a little more than I did. Colleagues report that ASUS motherboards are work OK.

Oh the joys of hardware.

Project General Melchett. Stage 1.

Boxes arrive

Project General Melchett is my own, roll your own, home built Intel Core 2 Quad box for home.

Ordered yesterday, and delivered in pieces yesterday. Started the build at 10.30am and completed major parts at 1.00pm.


A big part of the decision process was should I install a new 45nm Quad Core Extreme. The current price difference between processors is a massiveAU$1000. Whilst having a processor that knocks your socks-off benchmark did seem attractive the price difference is too massive.

Instead, purchasing a motherboard that could install a 45nm processor in the future seems like a better plan. When there are more choices.


The build was easy: the Corsair modular power supply was an good choice; the hardest part of the overall install was (a) installing slippery screws whilst bleeding from the finger tips (b) snapping in the heat-sink fan into the motherboard with the right amount of pressure. The fans, once turned on, were relatively quiet. Many pieces of rubber insulated metal-on-metal vibrations.

Motherboard in case

The cables are not housed in their final positions. The video card and external SATA connections remain.

Tomorrow is Vista Ultimate x64 install and tuning/tweaking/right-clocking. And waiting for the rare-as-hens teeth 8800GT video cards.