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Penryn Processors and the GM965 Mini-ITX Mainboards

By ·Categories: Technology·Published On: March 12th, 2008·1.9 min read·

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).

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.


About the Author: Kristina Bond

Kristina Bond was the Marketing Director for Logic Supply from 2007 to 2012. She graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia with an M.F.A. in photography and a B.F.A in photography and communication from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV. While technology and Logic Supply remain close to her heart, she moved on from the company in June 2012 to do marketing for the restaurant industry. To get in touch with Kristina, please contact kristina@kristinadrobny.com.
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  1. Jesse Hathaway March 12, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Is there an expected date when penryn processors will be available on logic supply’s website?

  2. Kristina March 12, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Hi Jesse,
    We do plan on stocking these. We should have the T8300 series in-house sometime next week, depending on availability and delivery time.

  3. Frank March 16, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Excellent! Thanks for the update. It looks like I’ll be grabbing one of the MSI boards soon. :)

  4. Adrian March 17, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    You stated that you tested it in the AOpen board and had no problems. But your wording is vague about testing in the MSI board. The MSI site does not list the new Penryns as compatible, and the linked bios file does not contain any hints about processor support. So… DId the MSI board handle the new Penryn chip without issue?

  5. Kristina March 19, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Hi Adrian,
    Sorry to be misleading. To clarify: We did not test the MSI mainboard with the new BIOS. MSI sent us the new BIOS under the assumption that it would be able to support the new Penryn processors.
    We will test this and make sure there are no issues, as well.

    **See update to my post above.

  6. Peter April 8, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    For the MS-9803 to support Penryn processors, you said that a transistor is different between the two board revisions. Could you indictate which one, and what it needs to be replaced with? — I have an earlier board and although I have no intention of changing it now, I imagine that in a couple of years it will be far more difficult to find out this information.
    Thank you.

  7. Kristina April 10, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Hi Peter,
    MSI modified 2 resistors (I believe I did say transistor… my apologies!).
    The resistors that were changed are the R12 and R13. They changed each one to 27.4 ohm.
    Along with the BIOS update, the MS-9803 can support the T8xxx and the T9xxx Penryn processor series.

  8. […] it will, but it requires the 1.20 BIOS update. Source __________________ _₌=The Q9550 Club=₌_

  9. m.k Lee May 9, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Hi Kristina,

    Where are the R12 and R13? I can not find them on the earlier board.

  10. Kristina May 11, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Hi m.k,
    I have a PDF that was sent to us by MSI that shows the resistors. I can e-mail that over to you if you like, but I am unable to post it to this thread. Feel free to e-mail me and I’ll get that for you. E-mail – kristina.bond@logicsupply.com.

  11. Simman May 12, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Hi Kristina,

    “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”
    That means the older version and new version can support the Penryn without any hardware change or not?

  12. Kristina May 12, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Hi Simman,
    There is an older version of MSI GM965 series mainboards that will not support Penryn chips. We only carry the latest version of those boards (and actually they’ve been changed since this last post, and the boards are now called MSI GME965 because they use the GME965 Express chipset, but that’s not relevant to your question…).

    You should be able to tell if you have a version that will work with the Penryn chips. And when I say Penryn chips, I mean ONLY the Penryn chips designed for the Santa Rosa Refresh platform, not the newer ones designed around the Montevina platform. The following text tells you how to identify which version you have: If you have a mainboard with a barcode 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. (You should be able to locate the barcode next to the PCI slot on the mainboard).

    I hope this answers your question.

  13. Yothy May 21, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Hi Kristina,
    Does the Old Version MSI GM965 can support the Extreme CPU X7800/X7900?

  14. Kristina June 4, 2009 at 8:39 am

    Hi Yothy,
    According to MSI’s CPU Support List the MS-9803 does not support either the X7800 or X7900 CPUs. It looks like the newest revision of this board, the MS-9821 (IM-GME965), does support those processors.

    I hope this helps!

  15. Jose October 13, 2009 at 11:19 am

    I bought one with a barcode that begins with 9, what does that revision include?

  16. Kristina October 15, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Hi Jose,
    Sorry for the confusion. If it begins with a 9, it just means that it’s a later version. Going forward, everything higher than a 7, you should be all set. This post is a little old, so it really only applied to the boards that were being released during the transition to the Santa Rosa refresh platform. If you’ve purchased this board recently, I don’t think you should have any issues using both Merom (Santa Rosa) and Penryn (Santa Rosa Refresh) processors.


  17. listen March 13, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    need 9LP505-1HGLF datasheet,help me ,thank

  18. Garrett November 24, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    This does not work. I have a board with barcode MS-9803B08XXXXXXXXXX, flashed to latest bios (2.2) and trying to use a P8700 Penryn. Works fine with T7500 Merom. I guess what you are trying to say with “…not the newer ones designed around the Montevina platform” is this only supports 800MHz Penryns?

    If that is the case, then only these chips would be supported:

  19. Tony November 28, 2010 at 11:48 am


    Glad to see you found Intel’s ARK – it’s a great tool. In this particular case, however, I think it might be more useful to search by platform than by socket/FSB/code name: http://ark.intel.com/platforms.aspx?fam=33216&series=&group=&platform=33217&mode=true

    As you’ve noted, the P8700 is a member of the Montevina family and will not work.

    MSI has (recently?) added a validated CPU support tab to the product page: http://www.msi.com/index.php?func=prodcpusupport&maincat_no=388&cat2_no=&cat3_no=&prod_no=1518

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t include newer Santa Rosa Refresh CPUs that they have confirmed to work, which are the T5800, T8100, T8300, T9300, and T9500.

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