[coreboot] Tinkering with old and new motherboards

David Griffith dave at 661.org
Fri Jul 13 13:27:05 CEST 2012

On Fri, 13 Jul 2012, Oliver Schinagl wrote:

> On 13-07-12 12:14, David Griffith wrote:
>> I have an old motherboard which I'd like to experiment on and have my 
>> eyes on a bleeding-edge board.  The old one is a Shuttle AN35N Ultra 
>> (socket 1). The new one is an MSI 990FXA-GD80V2 (socket AM3+). 
>> Neither of these appear on the list of supported motherboards.
>> Tinkering with the old board should be relatively safe because the BIOS 
>> lives in a socketed PLCC.  I can't seem to figure out what sort of 
>> package the firmware in the newer one lives in.  None of the photos 
>> I've found of it seem to have good enough resolution to tell.  Can I 
>> get some help here?
> I found http://www.msi.com/pic/product/five_pictures1_2400_20110531112742.jpg
> and I have to agree, the resolution is a bit to low to recognize the bios on.
> My personal 'best bet' is the 'green' chip in the left bottom corner. If 
> you look at the south-bridge heat-sink, under the middle leg of the 'm' 
> there's a small SOIC8 chip with a green sticker. It is surrounded by 3 
> caps. That's the most logical bet, as the sticker probably has bios 
> version number on it.

I think I see it.  In the bottom-left there is a white fan header labeled 
"SYSFAN4".  Just northeast of that is the chip.  Am I right?

I thought I was going to have to jerry-rig something messy to replace the 
SOIC8 with a socket of some sort, but I see that someone[1] found a source 
of compact and relatively affordable sockets.  The clearance with that 
10-pin header just south of the firmware chip looks rather tight.  I also 
see some adapters that puts a socket on an SOIC footprint and then a DIP 
adapter is plugged in.

[1] http://randomprojects.org/wiki/SOIC8_socket

David Griffith
dave at 661.org

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