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Motherboard upgrade - compatibility question

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February 19, 2012 7:57:37 PM

Hi, folks. I have an eMachines T3096 Desktop that is fairly old and is maxed out on processor speed and memory. I'd like to replace the motherboard and CPU, but haven't found a site that shows compatibility. I suspect that the most important thing to know when replacing a motherboard is the form factor. The board is an eMachines AU31 400FSB Motherboard with an AMD Athlon 3200+ CPU. Apparently the form factor of this motherboard is a micro ATX. Does this mean that any micro ATX motherboard will fit in my T3096?

For example, here are the motherboard, CPU and memory I am looking to replace what I've got now:
- motherboard: ASUS M4A88T-M (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
- CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 455 Rana (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
- memory: CORSAIR 4GB x 2 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

The board comes with graphics that I will use for a while until I can get something more powerful. The desktop is running Windows 7 and will be used for light gaming and video through Windows Media Center.

Thanks!
February 20, 2012 9:40:43 PM

Hi, just want to make sure I am not missing any considerations when purchasing a new motherboard for an older computer. Thanks!
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February 20, 2012 9:48:35 PM

What's your budget?

If you have enough money, you could get a small $50 case with a i3 / H67 that can destroy that set up.
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February 20, 2012 10:00:57 PM

I agree with e56imfg.... That is some pretty old hardware... and when you try and replace older hardware it tends to be more expensive than the newer stuff. If you have $400 laying around you could really do some damage.
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February 20, 2012 11:23:27 PM

Thanks for the responses guys. That's the problem. I've got about $200 to $250 to spend right now, and then I will get a better gpu in a few months.

About the new case - is your point that I should be going for a different form factor, something besides a micro ATX?

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February 21, 2012 12:40:38 AM

murphythefatcat said:
Thanks for the responses guys. That's the problem. I've got about $200 to $250 to spend right now, and then I will get a better gpu in a few months.

About the new case - is your point that I should be going for a different form factor, something besides a micro ATX?

No, but usually pre-built machines have some funky board layouts. This set up is perfect for you.

Intel Pentium G630 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Kingston 4GB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
BIOSTAR TH67+ - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you do want a new case, get this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And it's all right under $250.
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February 22, 2012 12:43:25 PM

Thanks for the response, e56imfg. I've got three questions:
- What are the advantages of Sandybridge technology? Am I able to get better performance from a dual core SB vs. a triple or quad core non-SB?
- The system I have now is AMD. There won't be any issues switching to Intel will there?
- the harddrive I now have is IDE (I will switch to a sata hdd when Win8 comes out). I think I can get an adapter for IDE to SATA, but I'm guessing I will still see IDE speed, right?

Thanks again!

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February 22, 2012 11:27:34 PM

murphythefatcat said:
Thanks for the response, e56imfg. I've got three questions:
- What are the advantages of Sandybridge technology? Am I able to get better performance from a dual core SB vs. a triple or quad core non-SB?
- The system I have now is AMD. There won't be any issues switching to Intel will there?
- the harddrive I now have is IDE (I will switch to a sata hdd when Win8 comes out). I think I can get an adapter for IDE to SATA, but I'm guessing I will still see IDE speed, right?

Thanks again!

Yes SandyBridge will destroy those old Athlons even in multi-tasking with less cores. TH had a article about it just a few weeks ago.

It depends on the case, if you get the case I provided you, there will be no problems. But if you're sticking with that old emachine chassis, then you might have problems.

If you have a IDE cable, get these mobos.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - ASUS P8H67-M PRO/CSM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - ASUS P8H67-V

I prefer the ATX mobo (which will fit in the case I provided you) because it provides better cooling and more slots.
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February 23, 2012 11:01:12 AM

Thanks again for your help. I have decided to go with this:
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131711 - ASUS P8H67-M PRO/CSM (Newegg had an open box that was a bit less expensive)
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Intel Pentium G850 (for $8 more I was able to get a bit faster processor and upgrade to the Intel HD 2000 GPU)
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) (there was a $20 rebate that ended yesterday)

I hope the open box mobo and rebate are not problematic. I am excited to get this new system running!
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