It's finally time for me to upgrade my processor/motherboard. I'd like to keep it short and simple for those smart people out there who know the answer to my question, so here's the guidelines:
- Slots for AGP and PCIE graphic cards
- Integrated audio
- Integrated ethernet
- Processor socket: AMD or Intel doesn't matter. Must allow for better processers my old socket 478 mobo, but not too much. Nothing fancy.
- Accepts standard ol' DDR ram
- Accepts standard ol' IDE
- I probably will never need a PCI slot (Unless the motherboard I get doesn't have all the options I want, of course) so the only reason to get a bigger one would be for performance reasons, if bigger motherboards actually do perform better.
- USB2 support?
- If at all possible, better than my previous (crappy) Soyo P4X400 Lite.
- Fits mentioned motherboard (heh)
- Better than my old Celeron D 2.7
- I'd greatly appreciate a CPU fan reccomendation... I have a nac for choosing the wrong fan and I'd rather not do that...
Entire package: Anything that even barely meets this criteria that costs altogether in the neighborhood of $300, preferably from the same vendor
I checked prices the other day on Tigerdirect and everything I asked for seemed reasonable... but then again I've been out of the PC-building loop for about two years. I've got almost no idea what I'm looking at anymore, and I'd hate to pick up the wrong parts unknowingly.
I actually ran Counter Strike, Half-life 2 and WoW on my old 'rig' (9800 pro, 2.7 celeron, 768 MB DDR) until the mobo went crazy; was happy with the results. Nothing I get should be top of the line; really the main reason I'm even getting a different socketed motherboard is for possible future upgrades. So long as it's just a little better than my previous CPU I'll be happy. Same (kinda) goes for the PCIE/AGP slots; me being on a limited budget makes me have to wait to upgrade to a PCIE card, so till then I gotta go with my AGP one for now. Getting a motherboard with both slots leaves oppurtunity for future expansion.
Any queries you have I'll happily answer. Any suggestions/help of any kind would be greatly appreciated!!!!