We brought in an Intel T8300 processor to test with our GM965 Mini-ITX mainboards (Socket P ). The T8300 is a 2.4GHz 3MB L2 Cache 800MHz FSB processor using the new 45nm processing technology. There have been some questions regarding compatibility between the Socket-P-Merom-core mainboards and the new Socket-P-Penryn-core processors. Logic Supply offers 2 mainboards that are designed around Intel’s Socket P processors: MSI MS-9803 (Fuzzy GM965) and the AOpen i965GMt-LA.
From what we have determined, it looks like all that is needed is a BIOS update. AOpen has already started sending us mainboards with the latest BIOS version (R1.07) that supports the new Penryn processors. On AOpen’s Web site, you can download the R1.06 version (which also supports the Penryn processors).
MSI’s latest BIOS version for the MS-9803 can be downloaded here.
We tested the T8300 with the AOpen i965GMt-LA (with the latest BIOS versions—both R1.06 and R1.07) and found no problems.
Just a quick note: To update your BIOS, a compatible processor (Socket P Merom core) must be installed first. Then, after the BIOS update, a Penryn core processor can be installed.
Update 3/19/2008: MSI has just informed us that there are 2 mainboard revisions available, 1 that does not support the Penryn processors with an updated BIOS and 1 that does support the Penryn processors with an updated BIOS. We currently have the older version that does not support the Penryn processors even with an updated BIOS. We are going to remedy this and get in the newest mainboard revision.
Apparently there needs to be a hardware adjustment (2 resistors needs to be swapped) in order for the mainboard to support the new Penryn processors. Once this hardware adjustment is made, the updated BIOS that I have listed above will support the Penryn chips.
If you have a mainboard with a barcode (you can find this next to the PCI slot on the mainboard) that begins with the number 8, then the you should be all set. Any boards that begin with the number 7 will not be able to update the BIOS for Penryn chips support.
I apologize for any confusion.
Update 4/2/2008: Moving forward, all our MSI GM965 mainboards will be able to support both the Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile Merom and Penryn chips. The MSI GM965 is now in stock, and has been tested and confirmed for support with the Penryn chips.