New motherboard on OEM system

I have a few questions about upgrading the motherboard on my gateway dx 4200-09. Basically, my biggest concern is is how the connectors in the back of my PC will line up with a new mobo. Right now i've got a foxconn RS780 motherboard, which can be found here.

So, since this is a micro ATX motherboard, does this mean that any micro atx mobo will fit into my case(and line up correctly with all the openings in the rear like VGA, ethernet, USBs and such..)

Pictures of my PC can be found here.

If anybody can recommend a motherboard which will work with this case, I would be really grateful. Basically I am looking for a motherboard that supports a 2.8Ghz or 3.0Ghz Phenom II. Also, it must support the memory which is in my PC at the moment (2X2GB of DDR2 667/800 MHz SDRAM). I'm not looking to SLI/crossfire. (mainly because my case only has three openings in the back, so it would be impossible to add a 2nd card without cutting open the case....and i don't really want to do that or get a new case)

Here is my entire system specs

Gateway DX4200-09
Windows vista home premium 64 bit
BFG 550W power supply (quad 12v rails, 20A on each)
Foxconn RS780 motherboard
1.8Ghz Phenom x4
2X2GB of DDR2 667/800 MHz SDRAM
Serial ATA 640GB HD
Radeon hd3200 integrated graphics(disabled)
Radeon HD4770

Any help greatly appreciated!

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  1. Well unless I really don't understand things, for the most part cases are standardized with the motherboards, so that the placement of all the ports (on the back) line up with the hole in the case. And a Micro ATX board will almost always fit in a Micro ATX case. One problem I hear about though is on on some cases the SATA ports can sometimes face ina direction that they bump up against hard drive cages, but for the most part things seem to be pretty compatible.

    If you look at the second picture in your post, that panel that is orange, blue, purple, green, etc. will pop out, and the mother board you buy, should have another panel that will pop in to the same spot.

    Also the picture looks like there are 4 possible slots for cards on the picture, and most of the Micro ATX boards I've seen have 4 slots on them so in theory a Xfire/SLI set up might be possible, but if you don't want it, then it's a moot point anyway.

    As far as motherboards if you want to keep using the same RAM that you have, which is DDR2, you'll need to get an AM2 socket motherboard, since the AM3 boards use DDR3 memory. If you want to use the Phenom II CPU's I believe you'll need an AM2+ board so make sure to look for that. I haven't looked into it too much, but I feel like I've read that some boards that are AM2+ need to have their BIOS updates/flashed in order to use the new CPUs, so again you'll want to read around and see what other people have found out about the board(s) you choose.

    You might want to read the most recent System Builders Marathon (SBM) on the front page of Tom's hardware, as the focus is on smaller cases (Micro ATX)
  2. Wow, thanks for taking time out to help me, that was a very informative post.

    Im not sure why I thought my PC had 3 slots in the back, when it does indeed have 4...and looking at MBs on newegg some of the ones with 2 PCIEx16 do have them positioned to where they would work with my case. The only problem is that they are all intel boards...I don't see an AMD board with the slots positioned that way...which is a bit weird.

    As far as the AM2+ socket and DDR2 memory goes, I had no idea that was the case. In this case I will look at what phenom IIs have the AM2+ socket and if I can find one I like I will go that route. If not, maybe I'll wait another month and get some DDR3 memory aswell.

    Again, you really helped here...thanks a lot :D
  3. This one seems like it will work. It was the only micro ATX board I could find with corssfire capability where both PCIE slots were in the first 4 slots.

    But it's made by Jetway, whom I have never heard this a good board?
  4. yeah I don't know what brands are better than other brands, I've never heard of Jetway, but that means nothing since I don't know one brand from the other for the most part.

    The one problem with searching for MOBO's on newegg (and most other sites) is that you can look for the "socket type" and "CPU type" which don't necessarily match up.

    Once you find one that says the Socket type is AM2+ I would try to look on the manufacturer's website and just make sure that it can use the CPU you are looking for, just to make sure (or if you really like the motherboard, make sure you are happy with the CPU selection it has).
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