I am considering doing a computer build to use as an audio recording workstation. I currently have a Compaq Presario with a Pentium D Processor and an ASUS Lancaster8 motherboard, and was wondering if it's possible to replace the motherboard in my current computer rather than starting from scratch. Basically, I would like to know if motherboards are pretty standard in size and mounting points? Also, if it IS possible to swap motherboards, would I be able to use an AMD mobo in this Compaq?
My goal is to get either a 6 or 8 core processor and 32gb of ram. At this point I'm trying to determine if I need to do an entire build, or if I can work with some of the parts I already have.
It's possible to replace your board with most micro-atx models, but you'll need a new windows coa. Compaq windows installations check the board bios everytime you boot up for a small code to see if the board is a geniune compaq. Without the code, windows won't load. I suggest you try selling your board/cpu/ram as a package on craigslist or anandtech and see if you get any offers before ordering any new stuff. Otherwise, keep your system in tact and use it for a spare, gift it, or sell it intact after making a backup cd of the compaq windows installation then wiping the hardrive.
Hey, thanks a ton for your reply. That makes sense to me. Just a follow up question...
The copy of Windows I have is actually the Windows 7 upgrade version. I believe I actually did a fresh install, so the Vista OS that came preinstalled with the Compaq no longer exists. Would this take care of that issue? I would love to just be able to install a new mobo, processor, and memory on this compaq if possible.
I also have one more license available since I bought the family upgrade. I've read that it IS possible to do a fresh install with the upgrade version, so if I did a complete new build, would it be theoretically possible to use that license on the new build? Thanks a lot.