I had been posting at vip.asus.com but their login kinda borked or something. Sorry if this particular forum/section isn't the correct one.
motherboard: ASUS M2NPV-VM, AM2 socket, DDR2
BIOS version 1401
CPU: one of the Athlon 64 3500+, 2.2GHz
has a Radeon HD 5450 PCIe
OS: Debian 6.0 stable, linux 2.6.32, Xen 4.0, 64 bit
8GiB RAM and 2 SATA drives with LVM on an async software RAID1.
The motherboard's kinda old and the only thing haven't upgraded is the CPU. After much searching around i'd like some feedback on the best choice of CPU for this particular mb. The main purpose is to goof around with OSes, servers, networking and virtualization: like having windows servers for DNS and what not, samba shares, webservers, VPNs... goofing around. Its not a production machine nor am i a gamer (and it seems the mb doesn't have IOMMU so i can't passthrough the Radeon through PCI anyway).
Since the mb only supports DDR2, any Athon II or Phenom II is kind of overkill, since they like to play with DDR3. I could get one, even though the motherboard's old (the main reason i prefer AMD) and some do support AM2+, but i have no intention of buying another moterboard anytime soon. Opterons and Sempreons seem to be out of the question too.
CPU-world has a neat motherboard upgrade page, and the only Phenom's that seem to fit the bill are the Phenom X4 9450e and X4 9600. The problem's only 9600 is listed in ASUS's CPU compatibility list, but the mb is not listed in AMD's mb compatibility list for 9600.
Also i'm not really sure just how compatible are AM2+ processors with AM2 boards. I've upgraded to 1401 BIOS (which includes support for 9450e), but i'd need 5005 for the 9600, which worries me a bit 'cos that was the last version ASUS ever put out for that BIOS and it's a beta.
Then there's the Athlon X2 and Athlon 64 X2, and there's a whole bunch of them which makes them hard to pick and sort. What's the real difference between "64 X2" and "X2"? Is it really only branding and the X2 ones are more recent? And which one would i pick, out of that gazillion options? Faster, preferably, and i also wouldn't mind avoiding the 125W ones...
Aparently the best one would be Athlon X2 BE-2400, but obviously i'd prefer a Phenom.
CPU-world kinda confuses me with "Virtualization" and "AMD-V" when describing CPU capabilities, this is important 'cos i wanna fiddle with HVMs. From what i've seen even my current CPU supports that, i'll know soon enough, but i'd like to know for sure when buying one.
Other issues that bug me are core steppings and their influence on my choice, as well as datecodes.
And, of course, if ebay is a safe choice to buy whichever CPUs you guys recommend for this.
TIA for any detailed feedback, and sorry for any poor formatting (and maybe the crappy poll), couldn't find the Preview.