New Motherboard headache

Ok. So I have an Acer PC with Radeon x700, DDR1 2gb ram, and athlon x2 3800 2.0ghz. It's time for an upgrade!

I'm currently planning on buying:
GPU: 8800 GT, 512MB GDDR3
RAM: PC-6400 800mhz, 2048MB DDR2
CPU: Intel E8400, 3.0GHz
with a good 450W PSU.

Simple enough.

But when I start looking at motherboards (and reviews), I get a headache. I have NO IDEA about anything. It's like jumping into water pool, with needles, looking for the blue needle. Thing is, I can't swim.

Can anyone help me here? I need a Motherboard that works. I don't give a flying pig about overclocking. I want simply that everything works, for the cheapest possible price. I don't want SLI or any of that. That said; I want to play the top games.

Also; since I'm using an Acer PC, my OP is XP Media Center edition - will swapping the Motherboard screw my XP license? If yes, can it be fixed by contacting Acer?

Now the third problem is product availability. If I don't wanna pay huge import tax fee's, I'm pretty much restricted to

Could anyone be kind enough and help me? I might be stupid or something, but I've really tried hard to find a decently priced motherboard for said components, and all I found was that I need to flash the BIOS and crap to make stuff work. I'm scared that if I take something, it won't work. Not too fun to pay $10 shipping fees each return.
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  1. if u are taking 8800gt then go with Nvidia750i SLI which will cost around $125-$140. ASUS P5N-D costing 880 Sweden Kroner. And your new MB will screw XP License
  2. I noticed an abit g31 chipset board on the lower list. I use a g31 board by msi, and it works great. If you get a low end board with only 2 memory slots, you'll have to decide if 2 gigs of memory is enough. Only time you'll need 4 gigs is with vista or xp 64 bit operating systems. The g33 boards have 4 memory slots, as the newer g43, with hdmi support. If you like the g43 prices, I'd look for one. I like having onboard video for backup, in case the regular video card stops working.
  3. Gigabyte GA-EG43M-S2H, G43, Socket-775, m-ATX, GbLAN, DDR2, VGA, PCI-Ex(2.0)x16 looks pretty fine, though a bit on the edge of what I'd want to pay... I only need two bricks of RAM, and should I need more in the future (if ever), I can easily get the slower ones in 2gb pairs so that isn't an issue. 64bit Vista/XP is not within my interest. I DO however want to be able to start my PC without a GPU, but it's not that necessary. Still, 800kr is starting to seem like a stretch... As long as the GPU I insert lets me install drivers and stuff.

    So when I insert the new Motherboard, what happens when I start my PC? Will XP Media Center simply not run? Will I be prompted to buy a license? Any idea if that's cheaper than just going out and buying the XP CD? (I'll check that now anyhow ;p) I suppose Acer won't let me keep the license even if I ask? :P What can I do, short of buying XP again.... :(
  4. You will have to reinstall Windows since this is a major upgrade.
    Not sure about licensing issues.
    If you have to buy a new license get the OEM CD, which is cheaper than the Retail. It does not come with technical support from Microsoft, but none of us need that either.
  5. I don't have any install CD for Windows XP. Only a self made backup disc that was made when the PC was started for the first time. Doubt I can reinstall, as I'm pretty sure the disc is made so it won't install on foreign motherboards
  6. So I'm looking at the MSI P43 NEO-F, P43 (Socket-775, DDR2, 1600FSB, ATX, PCI-Ex(2.0)x16), the price is as close to perfect as I could hope. But again, I'm not paying for junk, so trying to be 100% sure before I make my move.

    Again, I am NOT interested in over clocking my PC. If anything; I'd be up for under clocking. I checked the MSI site for said card and it looks like the E8400 3.0GHZ is supported since BIOS 1.0 (LINK). Though the E8400 SAMPLE version is supported from E8400, which confused me. I shouldn't worry about that, right?

    Because I want under no circumstances update or flash the BIOS, as I have no idea where to even begin to do that.
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