We would have liked to bring you a Phenom 9850 Black Edition review today, but after our board failed to boot, we got back to our contacts at J&W. We were quite surprised to hear "there is no support for 125W TDP CPUs."
Because we are always busy testing stuff and getting new information for you, we were not able to read all of the interweb. Anandtech wrote an article two days ago which you can find here where this problem has been stated in detail.
We spoke to J&W about this issue, and they explained the Mosfets may handle a 9850 when properly cooled, but most customers will stuff such boards in small cases and even when not overclocked the VRM will fail and blow up eventually because of bad airflow in such cases. Anandtech tried on an ASUS board which failed within seconds.
Of course, this has to do with cost. A five or more phases VRM design costs much more and the budget market is very price-sensitive.
We spoke with AMD and AMD has guidelines where partners can learn how to build the VRM in such way it will handle all CPUs, but it is not as strict as Intel. AMD partners had the flexibility to use the cheaper components and make the 770 and 780G motheboards that won't work with 125W Phenom 9850 CPUs.
While customers do not care about such things, motherboard vendors do not state that fact on their pages either. This issue also applies to all Nvida-based products. Anything you see with three or four phase design is not certified by AMD for use of 125W TDP CPU, which are X2 6000+/6400+, FX-62, Phenom X4 9750/9850/9950 and anything higher clocked released in the future. We seriously advise you not to use 125W TDP on such boards, regardless of the chipset or the vendor!
This also can be said for full ATX boards, some do only have a three-phase VRM which is not certified by AMD for use with such high power-consuming CPUs. The safest way for now is to use only up to 95W CPUs. We hope AMD is ramping up its 45nm product-line ASAP to avoid such issues in the future.
We looked on some Websites, to see how fast vendors did react, or if they don't.
Gigabyte has not yet bothered testing the new Phenoms with their MA78GM-S2H while they state the FX-62 with 125W TDP is supported, we are not sure if it will work in a closed mini-tower environment:
Updated: MSI got back to us with some additional details and we've found out that four out of six MSI IGP boards do support 9850 Black edition and you can read it here.
MSI has two new boards for 780G, the K9A2GM V2 which does have a CPU-compatibility list, 125W TDP CPUs are stated with a green "NO." The K9A2GM-FD/FIH does not have a compatibility list for whatever reasons. We expect the products are tested before going into the market, or maybe our assumption is naive.
On the ASUS-page you get not even a hint that some CPUs are not supported. The QVL download does only mention memory modues, CPUs are completely left out.
Elitegroup has - according to Geizhals - the cheapest motherboard on the market, but the Website doesn't tell you some CPUs are not supported:
So, consider yourself warned.