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Motherboard Died. Need Upgrade & RAID 0 Advice Please

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May 7, 2006 6:36:53 PM

My motherboard died (an old ABIT IC7-G). I had two PATA drives stripped (RAID 0) on it and I'd like to know if I can get the data back. When I get a new motherboard and attach the new drives, will it recognize them in their current stripe configuration or will I have to reformat and start all over (thus losing all the data)?

Also, I'd like people's advice/opinions/insights on upgrading. My current system is as follows:
ABIT IC7-G MAX (this is the board that died)
Intel P4 2.8Ghz CPU
1GB of PC3500 RAM (two 512MB sticks)
ATI 9700 Pro Video Card
Antec TruePower 430 (430Watt PSU)
Two Western Digital Caviar JB 250GB PATA drives
Plextor DVD Burner

I'm trying to decide should I just replace the motherboard or upgrade the whole system?

I was planning on building a new system in June 2007. Since I have to replace the motherboard, I could upgrade to a faster CPU, a more modern motherboard, newer RAM, a faster video card and I'd probably have to replace the PSU (since it wouldn't work with PCIe based video cards). I could reuse the hard drives and the DVD burner. The total cost would probably be around $800 - $1,000.

Could I reuse any of these parts (ram, PSU, etc) or would that be foolish since I'd probably take a huge performance hit by doing so?

The cost of buying a new motherboard would only be $50 - $150. It would be about as much work putting in just a new motherboard as building a whole new system, so I'm leaning toward building a new system at this point, even if it is a year early. I really don't like the idea of spending time and money on a system that will only be running for one year.

Anyway, please give me your thoughts/suggestions/ideas. I generally like to spend a few months getting up to speed on all the latest tech before I upgrade (something I enjoy). I wouldn't have the time to do things this way since I'd need to get this computer up and running in a few weeks (2 - 4).

If I do a full upgrade, I'd probably go with an AMD based board, but I'm totally behind the curve on what AMD boards are really good right now or CPUs or video cards for that matter.

Thank you in advance for your help.
May 9, 2006 7:05:33 PM

You may get lucky if you buy another board that has the same RAID controller (or at least same family) on it as the old one. RAID config is stored on the drives, so as long as the controller knows how to read the config (hence the 'same' requirement), it should be OK. I've never done this however, so it's all speculation and parrotting what I've heard on my part.

Re new system: Nothing except the drives, burner, and the PSU would be reusable in a new Intel system. TruePower 430's are good PSU's. What does it have on the 12v line? If its got good power you can just get an adapter to power the PCI-E video card.

If you're buying an AMD System today, your RAM will be reusable as well. If you wait a couple months, Both AMD and Intel have new updates coming out (AMD's is just a socket change to get on the DDR2 RAM bandwagon - very minor performance bump, Intel's is the Conroe CPU core and from what I can extract from pre-release speculation it bumps performance 20%+ and cool too) in the next few months. If you spend $50 now, you may be able to do your full upgrade in a few months after 'proper research' with a lot more power, less heat, and maybe even less $. (but who knows for sure - it hasn't been released yet.)

Mike.
May 9, 2006 10:11:49 PM

Thanks Mike. That's useful info!
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