Mobo replacement

  Marko797 17:30 28 Aug 2009

I'd like to revamp my ageing Athlon 3400+ system, & bring it into the 21st century. It runs fine at the moment, had a new PSU & grafs card recently, which I know I'll have to replace again as it's AGP.

I'm looking for a quick solution, so am thinking of mobo plus processor - old one out, new one in.

I'll keep floppy, dvd/cd drive, monitor, and also HDDs. New PSU is 500w so am happy to keep that as well, and the case, and sound card/speaker system.

Can anyone suggest a bundle which would provide a superfast machine, capable of gaming some of the newer titles with good frame rates, and doing general office duties?

Not sure what processor would be best, Intel/AMD, so am in your hands to a large degree on this.

I'd like to keep with XP Pro until W7 is released & settles. Am unsure if my printer HP 940c will work with W7, or my new scanner, so playing it safe.

Is there anything else I need? Could I keep my ddr3 RAM? Does the mobo come with RAM? Can I just fit and install my current HDD? Do I need to re-buy XP or can I say my old mobo blew up & ask MS to transfer my licence/serial? Sorry for all the Qs.

Grateful for any advice on this, which is new territory for me. Thanks in advance.

  howard64 19:11 28 Aug 2009

as someone using ddr2 ram your pc must be fairly up to date with ddr3 and I wonder if you will really see much of a difference. I have a core2duo E6850 which has both cores running at 3GHz. When I upgraded from 2Gb to 4Gb I noticed quite a lot of speed increase. You did not say how much ram you have but perhaps increase that and do a clean install of xp for a much faster pc.

  Marko797 19:35 28 Aug 2009

thnx howard, but the system is around 5-6 yrs old, already had a few replacement components (as mentioned) plus new HDD, and while I was in the right frame of mind, thought a new mobo & processor would extend the life of the machine - basically making it a new machine to maybe quad core standard with related processing speeds. On RAM, I think I have 2 gb, and again think it is ddr3 - maybe need to check on that just to confirm.

The machine chugs along nicely as it is, plays most game titles and does what I ask from a work point of view, but I guess it won't be too long before a new mobo is required - it's the only major component left to fail.

  Quiller. 21:16 28 Aug 2009

I'll keep dvd/cd drive, and also HDDs.

Are these SATA, PATA or a mixture. Most new bundles come with just one IDE channel, so the max is 2 devices for that channel. Unless you get an IDE add on card or similar.

  Marko797 16:56 30 Aug 2009

Hmm good point, never thought of that. HDD is sata, but I guess dvd & cd drive are IDE. So would I be OK with a new board with one IDE channel (max 2 devices)?

  GaT7 17:19 30 Aug 2009

You'll need a minimum of a dual-core CPU. If your motherboard is Socket-939, these are very hard to find to buy new, & can be relatively expensive secondhand - i.e. as expensive or even more than a better present-day dual-core CPU.

The best AGP graphics card at present is an ATI 4670, but at £90+ (e.g. click here) is very expensive too. One can get a much better PCI-E graphics card for the same money.

Your printer is unlikely to work with Win7. You didn't say the make & model of your scanner.

DDR3 system RAM came out only in the last 1-2 years, so it's unlikely you have this type.

What's the make & model of the following present components please:
- Case
- Soundcard

You may be better off going for completely newer technology with regards to the motherboard, CPU, RAM & PCI-E graphics card. Your case & PSU might determine what these are - ATX / mATX, & is the PSU suitable & sufficient for the new graphics card. G

  Marko797 17:32 30 Aug 2009

thnx, but I intend replacing the mobo and processor, which is what this thread is all about really - upgrading from the old Athlon 3400+. Which one do I go for to give me the best performance, games, office applications, etc? I want to try and get the best/fastest that I can, and keep me going for at least a couple of years.

I know I'll have to replace grafs, as the current one is Sapphire HD 3850 AGP (superb), and move over to pci-e technology.

My thread is asking for recommendations on mobo, fastest processor, (& now RAM) etc, so pursuing what you mention in your last para.

Machine is Mesh btw (don't know model but it's a large case - will any modern mobo actually fit??), new psu 500w, sound card Creative Audigy 2 ZS. Scanner is a new Canon Lide 200.

  GaT7 18:13 30 Aug 2009

Sorry, I should've read your initial post better.

What's you budget?

What games will you be playing - can you name some titles?

What's the make & model of your PSU please?

If it's a large(ish) case, then an ATX motherboard will fit - thank goodness for that! (I cannot stand mATX motherboards - unless it's for a HTPC or similar!)

Your scanner is very likely to work in Win7, as they do Vista drivers (both 32 & 64-bit too) for it click here. And likewise with the soundcard click here. G

  Marko797 20:44 30 Aug 2009

thnx. Budget not really an issue but didn't want to go down the 'buying a whole new system' road & fancied having a go at the mobo replacement thing and using existing components where possible.

Guess I might need to replace my 2 gb RAM to ddr3 from what has been said so far. Not sure if the new mobo bundle would come with this tho.

PSU recently replaced with Casecom 500W 12cm Fan -20+4pin, ATX12v. I got a cheap one to get the system going again quickly after a psu failure.

Games titles, COD 5, Halflife 2 Episode 3 (when it comes out), Wolfenstein, OverLord II, as examples.

  howard64 10:13 31 Aug 2009

I normally use asus mobos as they can usually be safely overclocked with an almost fail safe feature. You will need new ram as ddr2 is almost out and most now use ddr3. The graphics card will be pci-express so all you will really be left with is the case, psu, hard drive and optical drive. Possibly you will want to upgrade the optical drive and nowadays most hard drives and optical ones are SATA11 and mobos only generally have 1 ide socket if at all.

  GaT7 15:06 31 Aug 2009

You'll need a better PSU too.

As an example, this is what I'd get:

Motherboard: DFI Blood Iron BI P45-T2RS Intel P45 click here = £75

CPU: Intel E7400 dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 = £85 / Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 click here = £125

RAM: Crucial 4GB (2X2GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 Ballistix click here = £42 [DDR3 only really needed in an Intel i7 system]

GPU: XFX HD 4870 512MB click here = £90 / Consider a >512Mb alternative only if you game at 1920*1080 or higher resolution

PSU: This will depend on whether you think you'll be adding another graphics card (for CrossfireX) in the future.

For the CPU, also consider a cheaper (£110) quad-core - an Intel Q8200 click here, but this doesn't support hardware virtualisation technology required to run 'XP Mode' in Win7 Pro & above.

Of course, another option is to get an AMD & nVidia-based system. This will come to a little lower. G

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