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Upgrading MOBO and CPU...what components are compatible?

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December 8, 2009 6:28:36 PM

Question for you all:

I have my current system shown below, and I'm thinking about some possible upgrades, first and foremost being a new MOBO and CPU (with new memory, of course). And I think the most I'd like to spend is $200-$250. I read through the CPU buying guide, and I definitely see the up-side to the Phenom II X3 720, but in order to keep costs down, I want to make sure the ONLY things I'm changing are the MOBO, CPU, and RAM. In other words, will the DVD-RW, DVD-ROM, TV Tuner, Sound card, Graphics card, Power supply, media card reader, floppy disk drive and HDD all work, as long as they are properly connected and powered up? Also, There is a chance I might be getting the Intel Gen 2 SSD (80 GB) for Christmas...would that go well with the Phenom? Is there anything else that is recommended in this price point for my system, or am I on the right track???


My original system configuration was a Dell XPS Generation 5, Pentium D 830, FSB of 800 MHz, Intel 955x Express chipset, 1 GB (2 x 512 MB DIMMs) PC5300 (DDR2-667), Big enough power supply; I want to say it's 800 W, 74 GB WD Raptor (8 MB, 10K RPM), 256 MB NVidia GeForce 6800, running Windows XP (with some other randoms: TV tuner, Soundblaster, 5.1 speaker, media-card reader, etc). I bought it in 2005, and since then have done the following:

1) Added 2 more 512 MB DIMMs in the other 2 slots for a total of 2 GB (same specs as originals)

2) Upgraded to a GeForce 9800 GT (512 MB)

3) Upgraded to Windows 7 professional 64-bit

4) offloaded all my media/storage onto a Linux-run RAID 5 consisting of 5 500 GB HDDs, for a total storage space of 1.8 TB according to the computer.

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a b à CPUs
December 8, 2009 9:46:49 PM

You are correct that ll those other parts should work just fine with the upgraded parts.
And an SSD is a good option with any CPU.

Motherboard:
Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P - $69.99 after rebate ($79.99 before rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU:
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz - $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM:
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 1066 - $52.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total - $242.97 after rebate ($252.97 before rebate)
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a b à CPUs
December 9, 2009 5:20:54 AM

as long as the new mobo has enough PCI slots for your add ons, you should be okay.

is the tv tuner a PCI, or PCIe card? the main thing will be to make sure you have enough pci AND pcie to cover all those expansion cards you have. and that the mobo has a floppy connector (some dont anymore, since...well..its old).

i know dell used to like using non standard PSUs in their systems that can fry new MOBOs when attatched. but i belive the pentium D is from a time after dell learned how to play fair.
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December 9, 2009 1:01:02 PM

welshmousepk said:
as long as the new mobo has enough PCI slots for your add ons, you should be okay.

is the tv tuner a PCI, or PCIe card? the main thing will be to make sure you have enough pci AND pcie to cover all those expansion cards you have. and that the mobo has a floppy connector (some dont anymore, since...well..its old).

i know dell used to like using non standard PSUs in their systems that can fry new MOBOs when attatched. but i belive the pentium D is from a time after dell learned how to play fair.


Thank you both for the response!

I will definitely make sure I have enough PCI and PCIe slots for the tuner, graphics card, sound card, and check for everything else I have in there. As for the PSU issue, how can I tell if it will, indeed, work together with a new mobo?

Also, does anyone have any idea if the front LEDs on the Dell tower can be controlled with a new mobo? how about the front USB ports and headphone jack, and for that matter, the media card reader in the front?

As you may have been able to tell, I';ve only ever upgraded the HDD, graphics card, RAM, and a few other PCI/e cards, but never just replaced the CPU/mobo. OH! Also, I bought the $30 student edition of Windows 7 professional, created an ISO file and installed off of that...does anyone know if I'll have a problem reinstalling once I get a new mobo, CPU, RAM and SSD?

Thanks again!
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December 9, 2009 1:38:02 PM

TheViper said:
You are correct that ll those other parts should work just fine with the upgraded parts.
And an SSD is a good option with any CPU.

Motherboard:
Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P - $69.99 after rebate ($79.99 before rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU:
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz - $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM:
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 1066 - $52.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total - $242.97 after rebate ($252.97 before rebate)


The Viper-

What would I need to have to unlock the 4th core, as people seem to be commenting on for this processor on other sites? Would i need a much better mobo? Also, I know the processor is highly recommended, but the memory looks like it's some of the slowest that this mobo supports...is that because of my $250 limit? Let's say I'd be willing to spend slightly more for an optimized system...what would it take to make this an amazing mobo and RAM combo to go along with the highest rated CPU at this price point? Also, what does it take for the 4th core issue I'm hearing rumblings of?
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December 9, 2009 2:38:18 PM

While we're at it, guys and gals:

What would it cost for an i7 920 plus mobo, and for a moderate amount of tri-channel memory that i can always upgrade later? I'm trying to decide what price point i should try to work with.

Thanks!
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a b à CPUs
December 9, 2009 10:52:54 PM

i woulsnt recomend an LGA1366 mobo. its pretty much worthless compared to the i5/i7 LGA1156.

a core i5 would be the way to go if you are willing to spend a little extra on better performance.
the RAM that viper posted is very good stuff BTW. dont alway go by the speed in MHz. its the timings that are most important. and overclockablity makes your money go much further.

as for the PSU. tbh, i cant be sure. i THINK its a new enough PSU that it should be fine. if its standard ATX form factor then it shouldnt be an issue. but older ones used to be dangerous when hooked up to standard ATX mobos.

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January 3, 2010 11:23:58 AM

welshmousepk said:
i woulsnt recomend an LGA1366 mobo. its pretty much worthless compared to the i5/i7 LGA1156.

a core i5 would be the way to go if you are willing to spend a little extra on better performance.
the RAM that viper posted is very good stuff BTW. dont alway go by the speed in MHz. its the timings that are most important. and overclockablity makes your money go much further.

as for the PSU. tbh, i cant be sure. i THINK its a new enough PSU that it should be fine. if its standard ATX form factor then it shouldnt be an issue. but older ones used to be dangerous when hooked up to standard ATX mobos.



well, welshmouse, i'm thinking about picking these components up today...will you all be around to help me OC this stuff? :) 

one last thing: will this mobo allow for the possibility of unlocking the 4th core?
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