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A painless path to motherboard upgrade?


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9 replies to this topic

#1 okiewild

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:29 AM

I've been beefing up my PC bit by bit over the years. Plenty of hard drive space; internal and external. Nice little Antec Sonata case. One part of this gizmo isn't up to all the types of software I'm running (Web development, high-resolution image work, video editing, recording and mixing music, etc.): the motherboard. It's an Intel D865GBF with 4GB RAM and a Pentium 4 at 3GHz. At one time it seemed fast. No more. I figure I have to meet three requirements to successfully upgrade the mobo ...

1-The new board has to fit in the same sockets as the old obviously, but I don't do enough hardware work to know how to match that up? What "socket jargon" am I looking for at hardware vendor sites?

2-The operating system residing on my hard drive has to play nice when its new brain; presumably there's a tutorial out there on this step?

3-I'd like to reuse the RAM I've paid for if possible, but the new board may require a different type of RAM?

Edited by hamluis, 01 April 2012 - 08:55 AM.
Moved from XP to System Building/Upgrading.


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#2 James Litten

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:41 AM

I think that you probably want to start saving for a new computer. Changing the motherboard alone will not change your performance but will probably cause you to have to reinstall XP and at that it will probably have to be revalidated by Microsoft or XP will run in reduced functionality mode.

If you wanted to upgrade just your CPU (Pentium 4 at 3GHz), you can't. You are already using the best CPU that works on that motherboard. So then you are looking at replacing the motherboard and the CPU which means you will probably be best off getting Windows 7 also and since you are using it for

(Web development, high-resolution image work, video editing, recording and mixing music, etc.)

then you are probably going to need a new video card also and that existing RAM probably won't work in a new motherboard plus your power requirements will probably exceed the capacity of your current power supply...

Whew! This is really starting to snowball.

What you may want to consider is this. (I help people do this all the time)
Start saving for a new computer. Once you have $300 to $400 start watching for incredible deals. I watch sites like FatWallet and SlickDeals for great combinations of rebates and coupons at reputable merchants like Staples, BestBuy, TigerDirect, Amazon, etc... These are places that automatically do warranties and refunds/replacements are fairly easy if something goes wrong. It may take a couple of months but when you get your new computer, it will last you for years and you will have your old computer too so transferring your existing data over can be done slowly and carefully.

Hope this helps
James

Edited by NeverSayDie, 01 April 2012 - 08:42 AM.


#3 hamluis

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:01 AM

<<One part of this gizmo isn't up to all the types of software I'm running (Web development, high-resolution image work, video editing, recording and mixing music, etc.): >>

I think that you have somewhat erred in your diagnosis.

The key control for the functions you mention would be the programs used, the RAM, and the CPU (to some extent)...not the motherboard. You seem to have sufficient CPU horsepower and adequate RAM...so I'm curious as to how you determined that a motherboard "upgrade" would make any difference. What is it that you want to do that you believe your current board impacts adversely?

FWIW: A new motherboard is often necessitated only because the user wants a different/faster CPU. A new board often means a new type of RAM since that is a key component of of any speed increase obtained by new CPU/board.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 01 April 2012 - 09:06 AM.


#4 okiewild

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 04:04 PM

I'm glad I asked. As has been pointed out, this step wouldn't necessarily get me where I want to go. Hate to give up my sexy-lookin' Antec but it seems like the signs are pointing to careful shopping for new PC. Despite apparently good features on this unit, it's getting slow. I've tried the usual: deleting unused programs, making sure the HDs have at least 20% space free, regular defrag (and occasional checkdisk), no malware etc, monitoring Task Manager for memory hogs, and a few lesser tweaks that didn't have any significant impact. The ones we have at work (64-bit Win7; something else to consider) perform fine, so I can check out their hardware specs as a baseline for my shopping. Thank you both for the detailed answers!!!

#5 killerx525

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 10:19 PM

You can reuse your Antec case.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#6 tassadarforaiur

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 11:23 PM

I don't know what graphics card your computer's running, but the movie and picture editing tends to benefit from having a strong graphics card, if you have a weaker graphics card in your computer right now, then maybe something like a radeon 3650 that uses the agp slot could give the machine enough power to last you a bit longer, since the ram amount seems up to today's standards and the cpu, while no powerhouse, still has life left in it.

ignore my opinion unless a more senior member agrees with it though, i don't have any experience with that card, it just looked pretty and matched the socket on your motherboard.

#7 hamluis

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 01:41 PM

<<Despite apparently good features on this unit, it's getting slow. I've tried the usual: deleting unused programs...>>

Did you try a clean install...and careful subsequent reinstallation only of needed/used programs, leaving all fluff off the system?

I would do that long before I even thought about replacing components or buying a new system.

Louis

#8 okiewild

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 04:48 PM

I haven't yet tried a clean install because several moves in a relatively short amount of time have scattered my software CDs among several boxes. It'd be a big project just to collect them all.

On that topic, I thought keeping my system free of unused software and regular fragmentation was all that I needed to keep things tidy as far as XP starting and loading all the pieces it needs. Is there another factor?

#9 hamluis

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:19 PM

<<I thought keeping my system free of unused software and regular fragmentation was all that I needed to keep things tidy as far as XP starting and loading all the pieces it needs. Is there another factor?>>

Windows is just the operating system...the system is primarily composed of various electronic components which may be at the root of any users poorly diagnosed problems...bad hard drives are routine for creating scenarios where the owner/user doesn't even think that it's a hardware situation at the root of her/his problems.

Failing hard drives may result in files being unable to be read properly...damaged files...disappearing files/partitions...and other effects which may come across to the unknowing user as something other than a failing/bad hard drive.

A clean install of the O/S...after running the appropriate hard drive diagnostic with no problems...is, IMO, the sensible way to overcome the problems which may be caused by a failing hard drive.

The rest of the system may be perfectly functional...but a hard drive is the base upon which the partion is created and Windows is installed.

For me, it makes sense to verify the functionality of the hard drive before throwing money away. A hard drive costs a lot less than a total system with a new version of Windows.

As for maintenance on a system...all I can say is that it isn't as simple as you seem to think it is. Files become damaged all the time...and the system or programs on the system may malperform because they are damaged. There's always a potential for heat issues caused by improper cleaning/ventilation or lack of owner/user care in that area.

IMO, there's no simple answer to your question...a computer is a sophisticated instrument that we all would like to pretent is as simple to use/maintain as our TVs are. We just turn those on and we have the goal.

The basic complexity of any computer system or situation...is one reason why you will see so many varying comments at a forum like this...on what a user may think...is a simple issue.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 10 April 2012 - 05:19 PM.


#10 BlackSpyder

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:05 PM

If you go down the path of Motherboard/CPU replacement you'll be looking at replacement of the following components too:
1)Motherboard
2)CPU (The socket type is no longer supported)
3)Memory (DDR memory has been Replaced by DDR3 on most new Motherboards)
4)Video Card (AGP graphics card slots are rare on new Motherboards, PCI-e 2 is the current standard)
5)Internal Hard Drives (I'd wager you are using IDE hard Drives, even if you are using SATA HDD's most likely they are SATA I not SATA III, some motherboards still come with IDE connections however most of the time only one for CD and DVD Drives)

I hope a clean install will sort out your issues though.

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