i want to upgrade the motherboard in my XPS Gen 3 Desktop, i measured the original motherboard and it was 11.5 x 9.6 inches witch is a type of ATX motherboard but all of the motherboards i have looked at that were ATX were 12 x 9.6 inches witch is a half inch too long; also i have a amd 2.8 quad processor that has a am2+ socket that i would like to use with a new motherboard. Does anyone know where i could find a motherboard with a AM2+ Socket and the dimensions 11.5 x 9.6 inches?
Atx boards have the screw holes lined up the same. You should be able to find an extra half inch of space for another board. If not, it's time for a new case. I just picked up an antec 300 with 350w ps for $49.99 today at Fry's. If you have the skills to install a new board, then a transfer of the drives to a new case should be easy.
Dell uses (largely) proprietary motherboards. I can't tell you how different yours is from a standard ATX motherboard.
The best way to find that out is to post this question on Dell's user forum.
Generally, not only is the board a different size (as you have seen), but the front panel connectors are often proprietary too. That means you might have to rewire or give up your front panel connectors. And the Dell psu you have may or may not work in a standard ATX motherboard.
If you *are* successful dropping ina new mobo, you face an OS problem. Booting up a new mobo with your old C drive is a dicey proposition. There are guides on the Internet that will show you how difficult it can be.
Most likely you do not have a Windows CD, but rather an image of the "C" drive as it was originally shipped to you. That limits certain other things you might have to do.
You *could* buy a new mobo, case, psu, and OS . . . drop in your existing cpu, drives etc if you like and do a fresh install. But that's basically a new system, so we come back to the question "Why do you want to upgrade your mobo?"
With the antec 300 case, you can use any atx style board you like. Fry's.com has the antec 300 case only for $49.99 shipped, last time I checked. The stores throw in a free 350w antec ps with case purchase. They also have an asus board with 4450e am2 cpu for $109.99. The board has 4 memory slots, which I alway prefer.