I used to know what I was looking for in a PC, but it's been at least three years since I've been up to date, and I've just fried a mobo. I can't replace my existing one like-for-like, and can't find a reasonable quality one that will seat my existing chip (my old mobo was an Intel Winterpark Server board - that's easier than listing all the other bits I have plugged into it). In short, I have an Intel P4 chip, with DDR 400Mhz RAM, that needs a home. Oh yes, and my existing Graphics card is AGP. Ideally, a dual-processor board that can take my existing hardware would make my PC viable for another couple of years at least.
Can anyone suggest a decent board to put in?
If not, (or perhaps as well) - if I decide to go the whole hog and upgrade, I'll need a board, CPU, graphics card and perhaps RAM. I'd like to go Core2 Duo, perhaps quad-core ready (if that's possible yet?). I'd definitely like to be SLI-ready, although I'll probably only be getting one graphics card for now. I'd like to go cutting edge with the graphics card, so that when I do upgrade, putting a second one in will feel like a significant boost, so I'd like a board that can do 2x16X properly. In a perfect world, I'd probably like to go dual processor too, although I'm willing to sacrifice that.
Finding the right chip, graphics and even ram is easy, once I know what I'm looking at for a mobo, but having spent a week looking at boards, I don't have a clue what I want, and I'm suffering from information overload.
Can anyone suggest a board for either (or both) of these solutions, as well as what makes this the best choice (in case I need to compromise, I'll know what I'm looking for).
I've been reading through all of the marathon articles, but wasn't sure that these were the best choices without the freedom to build a new machine. I probably have slightly more budget than the mid-level build (as I don't have a whole machine to build) - and certainly less than the top-level, for example.
I've had some advice to find an Asus board that has a 680i chipset.
Any comments on that?
I would still prefer to save myself the cost and find a decent board to replace my old one, without having to upgrade the rest for now. Does nobody have any bright ideas? (I feared this might be the case, and I'd have no choice but to upgrade, I just really don't have the money right now!)