I had this question partially answered in another thread ( graphics ). But it was very brief and I did not fully understand.
So, I have updated my BIOS on my motherboard which is an ASUS M2N32SLI-Deluxe, bios version is now 5002.
It is an AM2+ board, but with the update it can support some AM3 CPU's... I dont understand how that works.
I checked out the CPU support list for my mobo on the ASUS website but I think it's kinda of dated since the mobo is quite old.
Therefore I'm not sure which CPU to pick, maybe there are NEW ones out there not on the support list ? If they are, how do I know it will be compatible with my mobo ?
The bios update only added support for a "select" few of AM3 CPU's, and again it's an old list.
Somebody mentioned to me in another thread that if I buy a AM3 CPU it needs to be "95W "C3" version". What if the AM3 CPU I select is not 95w and C3 ?
Anyways, I'm kinda confused and I guess my question is, which CPU can I buy that is the BEST and SUPPORTED by my mobo ? ( I want to be able to play BF3 on high settings ).
The hardest part of a new MoBo install is resetting the cpu and heatsink. Honestly, the mobo will come with an idiot proof user guide (most of the time idiot proof...), and the reason for you "wasting" money is because you will have to replace it again in a year or two anyways, even with top of the line technology for your old board. Asrock has a great board for around $60, and you can get an AMD Zosma 960T for $125. This can unlock to a 6-core cpu, and still gives you 3.0GHz processor speed. So, for under $200, you can get a cpu/mobo combo. If this is too much, or your HDD/cd-rom drives are not sata connections, you can get a cheap $50 mobo, an Athlon II triple-core Regor 3.1GHz chip for $75, an new HDD for $50, and a new disk drive for $22. This total is just around $200. Outside of this, you are in trouble. If you need a new gpu, you can get a total rebuild even with an OS for around $375, but it will still be a little limited. I can help you with that if you are interested. Let us know what your budget is.
The part that kind of discourages me is if the mobo will fit in my case, and the fact that I don't want to be stuck after with mediocre gaming performance. (well I guess upgrading from whatever I have now is going to be a boost ).
Ok, my budget is no more than $300. (I'll worry about the gpu later on)
My computer case is an ATX-mid tower case ( Aspire X-plorer )
this pushes your budget, but this is as good as you will get, since a new mobo will change your whole insides. Again, if you have a HDD and CD-ROM that have sata connectors, then you can trim another $80 off of this.