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New motherboard with dual PCI slots?

I have an old (7 yrs) XP system that I’m planning to upgrade to Windows 8 64 bit.
The current system has:
2 NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS with dual DVI ports
4 monitors
6 hard drives (configured in 2 separate RAID’s)
5.1 digital audio out
A Core2 Duo processor and
4 GB RAM.

My horsepower requirements are for photo editing (Photoshop) and video editing (Vegas Pro), not gaming.
My primary concern and question is about the video cards. They still work well for me, but are PCI cards. As new dual DVI cards are expensive, I would like to keep using these cards.
Does anybody still make a good motherboard with 2 PCI slots that will take wide PCI cards? Or, do I have to upgrade to PCIe cards? If so, what is the best bang for the buck for my requirements?

I’m planning to purchase 3 new Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" drives, which I assume any new motherboard will be able to handle (bandwidth).

So, which motherboard would you recommend? And, which processor would you suggest I start with, knowing I can always upgrade to a faster one in the future when prices come down?
9 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Windows 8 and the graphics card vendors DOES NOT PROVIDE SUPPORT for DirectX 9 cards. (they will no longer update drivers to to make sure that Directx 9 works on windows 8)

    So the usability for your 7900 gs on the new operating system might be iffy.


    And i'd recommend a 3770k for the processor ($320ish).

    If that's too steep, you can opt for a AMD 8350 ($220ish)


    Finding a board with 9 sata connections might be a problem though... anything above 8 sata connections is gonna be pretty expensive.... ($200+)


    and you really should consider replacing those cards. photoshop and other programs now has gpu acceleration (in terms of rendering and display) and having new cards can help dramatically.

    And you really don't have to get expensive cards either. like $100-200 a piece.
  2. Thanks.

    I should clarify... I'm replacing 3 drives with the 6Gb/s drives. So, 6 total.

    So, maybe a Sapphire Pure Black FX990 with the AMD 8350?
  3. or maybe a MSI 990FXA-GD65?
  4. What's your price range for the upgrade?
  5. I'm on a very tight budget, but will spend what is necessary to get good performance for another 5-7 years.
  6. Best answer
    richchrono said:
    I'm on a very tight budget, but will spend what is necessary to get good performance for another 5-7 years.


    lasting performance and cheap hardware doesn't really mix.... You're going to have to overclock your processor to get the most performance out of it...

    But best bang for your buck will probably be....

    This CPU
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113284

    And to overclock, you're going to need a decent cpu fan...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099

    And this motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157266

    You're going to need new ram (since your computer currently uses DDR2 RAM)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231314

    I'd highly suggest you get a new graphics card... cause pretty much even low end cards can support 4 monitors better than your current set-up...


    oh... and do you have a retail version of windows xp??? cause you'll need to buy another OS if you don't...
  7. yes, I do.
  8. and thanks.
  9. Best answer selected by richchrono.
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