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Representatives for Advanced Micro Devices confirmed on Wednesday that to support AMD Athlon 64 processors revision E will need a BIOS update. The company did not reckon any other obstacles to support the upcoming central processing units that support SSE3 technology among other advantages.

“Mainboards need fresh BIOS revisions to support the new revisions of AMD Athlon processors. The new rev parts are 90nm, with SSE3 support, and a few tweaks to the memory controller and a different OPN,” AMD’s spokesman Damon Muzny told X-bit labs.

A web-site last week published a number of news-stories in regards compatibility of the AMD Athlon 64 revision E0 with different mainboards shipping today, particularly those based on popular NVIDIA nForce3 and 4 chipsets. NVIDIA, who said there were no compatibility issues between its chipsets and AMD’s new processors, pointed out that “a couple” of mainboard makers – ABIT and EPoX products included – did not follow AMD requirements, but were still able to tackle compatibility, at least on some of their mainboards, issue with BIOS update.

“If a board hasn’t had its BIOS updated, it won’t support the AMD Athlon 64 rev. E part. Nothing out of the ordinary there. Some mainboards are just behind with BIOS support. And some mainboards are ahead of the game and have already updated their BIOS,” Mr. Muzny added.

“There are no issues with AMD chips or NVIDIA’s chipsets. Some mainboards need a new BIOS [version] to support the new processors,” AMD’s official said.

AMD Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX processors revision E0 are those based on AMD’s cores code-named Venice and San Diego respectively. The desktop AMD64 processors with E0 revision are expected to feature SSE3 technology in addition to several performance improvements and bug fixes over those found in previous revisions of AMD Athlon 64 processors made using 90nm process technology.

“The mainboards that haven’t already implemented support for the new rev of chips do [require BIOS update]. Many boards already have BIOS support, but there is no information which ones,” Mr. Muzny said.

Mainboards from EPoX and ABIT are claimed not to support AMD Athlon 64 revision E processors, but EPoX has notified X-bit labs it had tackled the issue. ABIT decided not to respond on the matter.


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