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Motherboard/CPU Combo Recommendations Request

Last response: in Systems
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October 25, 2009 4:35:35 PM

Hi there,

After many years of dedicated service, my motherboard has died, and taken the old P4 cpu with it.

I'm after recommendations for a new motherboard and cpu to fit it with my still functioning case and drives, etc. as I'm on an extremely tight (read, non-existent :p ) budget.

I've been out of the game for so long now, I know nothing of the newer processors, etc.

I don't game anymore, just "productivity" stuff, so I don't need to bonkers on any of the specs.

I have on hand:

-ATX case (Antec Sonata)
-Antec True 380s 380W PSU
-2xIDE Drives
-DVDRW
-an AGP video card that I will sacrifice for a new PCIe card.
-1G of DDR400 RAM that I am also willing to sacrifice, if it cannot find a home in the new motherboard.

I am considering purchasing the CPU/Motherboard as a combo from TigerDirect.ca (there does seem to be a price-break when buying them together), and they have a retail store close-by.

A couple of thoughts about the new board:

-I have big, clumsy hands so perhaps an ATX-sized ATX board would be best.
-The last CPU was genuine Intel, and it worked great, so I am willing to pay a premium for reliability. But I'm flexible. (I'm not looking at a quad core probably, anyway:( )
-I am hoping NOT to have to do a clean install of XP (i will first try the "repair" route) but I do have my XP disc if needs be. Not sure if this would affect a CPU/Motherboard choice.
-On-board video, though not needed, may be good to have in case a video card packs it in and there's none on-hand to swap-in(been through that before).

Any help, manufacturer recommendations, or advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much, in advance!

Simon
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
a c 203 à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
October 25, 2009 4:52:17 PM

A 'repair install' is worth trying first. Just be sure to have all your personal data backed up.
Can you get a more detailed description of the PSU? Maybe model number of the power supply?
Case should be OK. Your new motherboard might have just connections for just 2 IDE devices - like 1 DVD burner and 1 HD.

Can you give more realistic guidance on your budget?
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October 25, 2009 5:09:49 PM

Hi WR2,

Here's a link to a review and specs of the PSU (the case they mention is the case I have as well, the Sonata). http://www.silentpcreview.com/article61-page1.html

Regarding the budget, around $200-$225 for the motherboard/cpu. If that is at all do-able?!

Best regards,

Simon
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
a c 203 à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
October 25, 2009 5:53:31 PM

You'll need a CPU/MB/RAM combo at minimum. Quite a few choices in that range - all will have integrated graphics:

Pentium Dual Core E5300 2.6Ghz CPU & Gigabyte G41M-ES2L Motherboard $135
Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93Ghz CPU & Gigabyte G41M-ES2L Motherboard $180
Athlon II X2 240 2.8Ghz CPU & Biostar A785GE Motherboard $125
Phenom II 550 3.1Ghz CPU & Gigabyte MA785GM-US2H $180

2GB Wintec Ampx DDR2 800 RAM $37

The CPUs are evenly matched in each price range. The Intel G41 motherboard has a decent integrated video chip and is certainly adequate for any type of productivity software. The AMD 785G motherboard has a better integrated video chip. And the AMD MB has what I think are better future upgrade options if thats important to you.

Thanks for the link on the PSU. It's an older model and it's probably more correct to say its a 360W PSU for the more modern motherboards and CPUs. You can probably use it to power your system safely.
How old is that PSU?
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