Please could you help with the following.
I have just added a plextor ssd to my system to try to speed it up. But my bios does not support AHCI and the board is also limited to Sata 2. I plan to upgrade the motherboard (mtx size) to get Sata 3. I plan to stick with Asus in the hope that it may boot up without having to reinstall everything but I'll be ready in case I need to (will I definitely need to reinstall or might it work if I just plug in my old drive?). I currently have a AMD Athlon Dual Core 4850e. I'm wondering about upgrading that at the same time. I use the pc for internet (browsing, skype), office applications, playing videos, a bit of photoshop but no games.
I have 3gb of Ram in the existing board and I'll put at least 4gb into the new one. I currently use Vista 32 bit but I'll upgrade to Windows 8 once it's available (I've tried the preview).
What I'd like is a snappier pc which is why I get the SSD - I have to wait quite a while for Vista to boot even after a reinstall (I realise that's partly Vista) and programs from Office 2010 take a while to load. Will a new motherboard with the SSD be enough or would you advise getting a new cpu as well? I'd be prepared to spend USD100 ish on a new cpu if it would make a big difference but note that I don't play games. Looking at CPU benchmarks I could move up quite a bit eg to a Phenom Quadcore but would I notice it with my usage?
I recently upgraded the psu to 650W so I have plenty of power available. I have twin monitors and a NVIDIA GeForce 9400 GT card which are fine for my use at the moment.
I suggest you clean up your drive when you switch to windows 8. I switched from sata II to sata III and only cut a few seconds off my boot up time. Yesterday newegg had a regor combo for only $80 after rebate; it included a newer sata III board. Something like this may be all you need. The quad 955 was also on sale for $80 in one of my email promos.
Thanks both Oldie1 and FinneousPJ. I live in Hong Kong so can't get those combo deals but there's plenty of kit available here so I'll go for both a motherboard and a CPU upgrade. For the hard drive, I'm trying to keep it very clean indeed and only reinstalling programs as I find I need them.