Have box that is 4 or 5 years old that got hit by lightning. Killed the motherboard. The MB measures 9" X 9.75" and is a Conroe 1333 D667 Dual Core CPU. Don't know who made the box. It was a complete unit that I bought from ecollegepc. There is some more room in the box for a longer motherboard but only about an inch. I would like to start to re-build this computer but have only replaced one motherboard. The replacement board was the same brand as the old one so everything went perfect.
I would like to go back with a different motherboard but don't know what I need to know to be sure that it will fit in the box. The 9.75" can't be any longer. The 9" is the dimension that has the USB ports and faces the back of the box. It could be as much as an inch longer.
Am I looking in the right direction when considering the length and width of the existing mb?
So, are bigger motherboards better, or do the just have more expansion slots?
Should I consider a larger case to start with?
They have more expansion slots and more "relaxed" specs with regard to CPU coolers, RAM etc. You can fit components easier and get a better airflow also.
A case to house a ATX board can be had for cheap nowadays and will be more serviceable in the long run.
If you use Windows, don't forget that it will need to be activated for the new system; replacing the mobo means a new PC as far as the OS is concerned.