I am hoping to get some good advice on a pc upgrade.
I use my pc for website work, and I need to run some intense SEO applications often. I also typically have Adobe Photoshop, Word, Excel, Outlook, iTunes, other miscellaneous programs and lots of Firefox and IE browser tabs open.
I want to upgrade a:
Desktop HP Pavilion a6660z (AMD Athlon Dual Core 4450e 2.3GHz), (Micro-ATX)
Video card is GeForce 9500GT 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0
HDDs are 2 SATA 320GB
CDROM is Lightscribe DVD/CD burner
Power Supply is Corsair CMPSU-400CX
Monitors are HP w2207h w HDMI, + 1 television w HDMI
OS will be Win7 64bit after upgrade
I want a motherboard with:
- A good reliable CPU, not too expensive, that will not slow me down at all
- Energy Star compliant is important feature
- Up to at least 32GB ram capabilities, or 64GB depending on cost. (I want to start with 16GB and add more if needed.)
- A Digital Audio Out connector for my Denon receiver (The current motherboard has this, and I don’t want to lose this important feature.) If there aren’t any motherboards with that connector, is there a small add-on board that can make it happen?
- I intend to purchase another (23”+) monitor with the upgrade. I read that a DisplayPort hookup will allow me to attach a 3rd monitor (with DisplayPort). (Or should I go with a more elaborate video card, if a good micro-ATX doesn’t have this feature?)
- I am revamping this system quite suddenly because my HP DV7t (Core i7) recently died from overheating. I decided to use the laptop’s 2 HDDs and its BluRay drive in the upgraded desktop. The Corsair PS has 6xSATA, and I assume that means I can attach 6 drives. However, I only see drive bay space for 2 of the 3 added laptop drives, so I can put one of the HDDs in an external closure for a backup drive. Therefore, I need a motherboard with 5 drive capabilities onboard.
Of course I want to keep the costs down as much as possible (especially after losing my i7 laptop), but I'm also reasonable. A good machine is important; I don't want "cheap" or outdated but I'm not into overclocking either.
I was a technician in pre- and Pentium days and today I know almost nothing, or just enough to get by. Any help would be appreciated; thank you very much in advance.