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Old 11-14-2007, 10:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Replacing Motherboard, Help Needed

I've rounded the net many times over and I seem to be getting conflicting views on what I should look for when trying to replace my motherboard. Unforchanately, one cold morning I woke up and found that after my computer froze and I attempted a hard reboot, it would not startup again. All the fans turn on, and the light to the computer turns on, but visual output on the monitor is not displayed. Upon taking it to the local repair shop they said that my motherboard wasn't communicating to my video card. Considering that I've had a new video card for a year without any real issues, and the motherboard has a built in video card in it I don't think they're the problem; and I figure its a safe bet the motherboard is the issue, and is henceforth fried.

Ignoring the story, I need a new motherboard for my Emachine T6520 eMachines Support: Product Support and Downloads with the following needing replacement:
Motherboard: MB,MS-7145 RS480 754P K8 IXP400
CPU: AMD Athlon™ 64 3400+ Processor (512KB L2 cache, 2.4GHz, 1600MHz FSB)
MSI MS-7145 (RS480M-IL) Mainboard

I am fine with replacing my CPU as well since it is old anyway, and while I'd rather not replace my RAM in one go as well, they are only 2x512MB DDR400, so they are rather pitiful and should at least be upgraded to 2G total of any type in the near future.
With this being said I still have the following that needs a new home:
Video Card: Radeon X1950XT 256MB that needs a PCI Express x16
Power: Antec - Earthwatts - EA 500 -500 Watt ATX12V v2.2 PSU Antec.com - EarthWatts
Optical Drives: 16x DVD±RW multi-format double layer
48x CD-ROM

I've heard that if I replace the Motherboard with anything besides the original chipset I'll get the the "blue screen of death" since Windows will think I'm trying to put everything in a new computer instead of replacing what is already dead. I also heard that because of this I'll either have to buy a clean version of whatever OS I want if this happens, or battle it out with Microsoft tech support to get a activation key of some sort.

But I'm at a loss of what Motherboard and CPU to buy, do I have to stick to the original chipset? And what specifications do I look at to determine what will work with my existing rig besides what I'm replacing?

I'd love to get at least a Dual Core CPU but I have no idea if a motherboard that supports a dual core capable socket will work with my current setup. Any and all guidence you can give would be apprecieated because I'm at a road block and don't seem to be getting anywhere.

Last, sorry for the long post but I wanted to make sure you guys had all the applicable knowledge, if you need anything else just let me know and I'll be more than happy to give you whatever you need, and thanks a ton in advance.
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing Motherboard, Help Needed

Memory is rather cheap now days... you sure you couldn't be talked into upgrading your memory as well?

... and I don't think it is too hard to reactivate your Windows on the new motherboard. Just explain that your Motherboard went out, and you replaced it. Same computer, only thing changed is the motherboard.
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing Motherboard, Help Needed

Thanks for the clarification, I'm glad to know Microsoft isn't totally heartless then . Your right, RAM is cheap in comparison, but I'm estimating that a new CPU and motherboard will put me into the $150-250 range, and 2G of ram would bring that price up anther $100, it is probably worth it if you guys tell me the best deal is to simply scrap the RAM if they are in the way of the upgrade/replacement of the motherboard. So I'd like to say that I'm somewhat eager to buy new RAM, but if it can be avoided by any small means I'd like to do it just to save another $100 for a month or so in the future (I'd replace it after christmas or somewhere close).
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing Motherboard, Help Needed

Your RAM really isn't that bad, but the new boards use a DDR2 800 standard. It would be tough to find DDR 400 on a 'new' board.
2GB (1GB x 2) = $50

Intel makes pretty good processors right now, and you might be better off changing from AMD to Intel all together. Intel's coming up stuff looks decent as well. With plenty of good motherboards to choose from, this selection will only be hard because there are *too many* choices.
New Motherboard: $100

Intel's better performance comes at a price. Their processors are more expensive than that of AMD's. I still recommend this path, but it just means you'll have to choose your processor carefully. If you want to budget, you can get the $90 E2180, which comes stock at 2ghz, but can be easily overclocked to well past 3ghz. It's also dual core.
New Processor: $90-200

Total: $240 - $350
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing Motherboard, Help Needed

Due to the fact I simply wouldn't classify myself as a "hardcore" user with my computer, although I frequently push my computer to its limits with my games I plan on keeping the same setup for several years at the least (after these last few changes), so while the new CPU is great now, it will become run of the mill very soon, so I doubt a increase in $ to get a higher end system from Intel compared to AMD would really matter in the long run. But this brings up a question I've never faced before, does it matter what CPU and Motherboard I pair up, is in your computer? Sure my computer was originally a AMD computer, but swapping it for a Intel motherboard and CPU would make it an Intel computer, would this work with my current setup? I don't see why not, since video cards and everything else doesn't care what type of CPU and motherboard its connected to as long as it has the right kind of input slot right?

From what I'm gathering so far are you saying if I pair up the CPU and Motherboard, as well as make sure the RAM matches up, does it really matter what motherboard and CPU I buy? To put it simply does everything work with everything else? For example any motherboard will connect my Disk Drives, Hard Drive, and everything else to one another? This is the basis of my dilema so any help you can give would be great.
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing Motherboard, Help Needed

The only 'requirement' of an Intel board is an Intel processor.

All other parts will be fine. Other than motherboards and processors, nothing is 'Intel Only' or 'AMD Only'. Everything else should work fine.

... and I really do recommend Intel, but it's up to you.
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing Motherboard, Help Needed

You'll just have to make sure that you have enough connectors on the motherboard itself, so that you're sure that all of your other components will match up. For example, make sure the board you pick out has enough IDE connectors, especially if you have more than 1 IDE optical drive, and then a connector for your IDE hard drive (if you in fact have an IDE drive).
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing Motherboard, Help Needed

Thanks aetherh4cker and carnageX your a lot of help, I'll look around and just make sure that the motherboards I look at have the proper connections and I'll be able to finally get my computer up and running again. Since we are on the topic, and my main problem is solved, I really have no bias towards AMD or Intel, and the only reason I've gone AMD in the past was because everyone says 'Intel is better, but costs more, and AMD is more competitive since they are smaller' or things along those lines. So, in anyone's opinion, who is willing to give it, why do you prefer AMD or Intel? Because Intel has more power or AMD is more cost efficient are good enough reasons for me.

Also one last point, many articles I read around the web made a big deal about making sure you knew what chipset you bought would work with your CPU and everything else, so is it correct to say this is a bunch of crud, and as long as you have the right CPU socket, connectors for your other equipment, and features on the motherboard you want, the Chipset doesn't matter (acknowledging the fact the chipset contributes to these factors, but figuring out what connections do what is a lot more useful information)?
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing Motherboard, Help Needed

The P35 is the best Intel chipset right now if you don't want SLI (dual video cards). I would 100% recommend the P35 chipset.

Though, it is true that not all processors will be compatible with certain chipsets, even if the socket is the same. The P35 is compatible with everything out there, and also will run Intel's upcoming 45nm processors.

I like Intel because they do offer much better performance than AMD. As far as 'bang for your buck', AMD does do better, but not by much. The E2180 I mentioned is *easy* to overclock high, and will out-perform all AMD stuff in that price range. It's when you start spending $300+ish that Intel suffers on 'bang for your buck'.

Here are my personal recommendations:

Motherboard:
Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Newegg.com - ABIT IP35-E LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

CPU:
Newegg.com - Intel Dual-Core E2180 Allendale 2.0GHz 1MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail
Newegg.com - Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 Conroe 2.33GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail
Newegg.com - Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail

RAM:
Newegg.com - G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
Newegg.com - Patriot Extreme Performance 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
(Best) Newegg.com - Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

Also, feel free to check out b1gapl's Recommended PC Components post. It has all the frequently recommended things around here, and everything I have recommended is also in his post.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing Motherboard, Help Needed

Thanks again aetherh4cker, you have been of more help then I could have hoped for. I'll definately take a look at the componenets you suggested and try to figure out what is the best deal I should get based on my money constraints. Considering $300 is out of my price range for any one componenent, your words are very comforting, and as such, Intel sounds like its the best deal so far. Also having a flexable motherboard for anything later is conveniant no matter what side of the fence your on. You also guessed right, I probably won't put in dual video cards, at least not for a few years, so your intial choice may be the right idea. For anyone else who might have a similar problem later, I'll post my findings once I get to my decision.

On a slightly different note, when shopping around, some people are saying if you find a CPU/Motherboard bundle it is usually the best deal you can get, the only reason I mention this is because newegg has a bunch of bundle deals that expire by the end of the year of 07. Are these deals usually cost effecient? Just a random thought but if anyone has any experience with this it would be nice to hear about it.
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