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Please recommend a good motherboard & CPU combo

Hello,

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 A good machine is important; I don't want "cheap" or outdated but I'm not into overclocking either.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.

djoseph
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about recommend good motherboard cpu combo
  1. Best answer
  2. Thanks folks. I've been researching your answers, and think I'll go with the ASRock. Again, thank you for your help.
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