Bad motherboard ~ What Can Replace It???

OK I have a bad motherboard. I can have it replaced with the same motherboard, for free via warranty, or use this opportunity to upgrade. O.K first specs, then my question(s).

Mother: N-Alvorix-RS880-uATX (Alvorix) this has 95w TDP.
pc: HPE-410y / 8G RAM / radeon sapphire 8650HD. / AMD phenom IIx6 1045qt / 500Wcorsair PS / win 7 ult. 64bit.

question(s).

I know just about squat about motherboards, other than the CPU, and the CPU sockets have to match (AM3) etc. So my question is what do I need to know? I know I'd like to put something in with a higher TDP like 125w, to go from the phenom to the piledriver/bulldozer CPU, but that I can use my current CPU until i get the money for the CPU upgrade.

Is there a motherboard that i can throw in my current HP case that is an upgrade? or is there something I can look for to know if it will match my current HP case i.e: a hole/screw pattern?

and last, I hear talk about drivers, and bios and stuff of that nature... can I just throw (after finding a good match) motherboard into my pc, plug everything up, and run it, or is there more I need to know or do?

Sorry for being such a noob~ but everyone has to start somewhere. Thanks for any advice, or knowledge you can shed on my questions.
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  1. Quote:
    No worries mate. Your right, we all start somewhere. Is the motherboard atx? It would be nice to see a photo of it. If its ATX or Micro ATX you can replace it. I am pretty sure it will be one of the two although HP probably does have proprietary boards made for small cases, I cannot say for sure. You should go with an AM3+ board so you can upgrade to the newer cpus. You should check on your powersupply as HP uses some pretty weak ones. There needs to be enough juice to power any upgrades you go with. That said, you can probably replace that too. You will need to reinstall windows when you change motherboards. You will need to install all drivers and updates too. That I can tell you for sure.



    O.K first off, thanks for responding Jallen. Next, the HP website specs says it is a uATX board, which i read as just ATX. the tower is full size. http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c02481318&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&product=4311963#N66 that is the specs link.

    O.K I actually found a pretty good combo deal on NewEgg, that is a much better MOBO, and much better CPU.

    AMD FX-8150 Zambezi 3.6GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop Processor FD8150FRGUBOX

    ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

    O.K your comments spark some questions from me. 1. How can I reinstall windows if I already used the key/serial in the first install, will it still be activated / work on a clean install? 2. will i loose any of the data on my HDD if i reinstall windows? Also my current power supply is 500W corsair, meeting my GPU requirements. I put all my PC stats in initial post.

    Thanks again. =)
  2. iknowhowtofixit said:
    uATX is microATX. A standard ATX motherboard WILL NOT FIT. You can also tell because it only has 4 PCI/PCIE slots in the picture. You don't need a 990FX caliber motherboard. The ASUS M5A88-M will work with any AM3/AM3+ CPU up to 140W and do everything you need/want it to including overclock. See supported CPU list here:
    http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM3Plus/M5A88M/#CPUS


    O.K yes, thank you IKHTFI... I figured this out by dimensions, as my bad board is 9.6x9.6.. Thank you for direction to that new board. I am reading about the whole process, while corresponding with this thread. It seems I would need a new HDD too? or else I risk loosing data? Basically, I was hoping to swap boards, plug and go, but apparently I have to reinstall windows, but if doing so causes loss of data, then I can't do it. I can't afford to loose data, and programs. is there any way around this?

    Perhaps the best course is to just have the bad MOBO replaced by warranty, so I can just plug and play without having to reinstall windows, or loose any data from my HDD, and just start a custom build from scratch to get what i want out of a CPU and just total PC performance. =(
  3. Best answer selected by octashoo.
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