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$200.00 Motherboard + Mid-Tower Case

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July 20, 2012 5:26:14 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Sooner the better
Budget Range: $200.00
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Drawing, Gaming, Browsing Web, Voice Chat via Skype, Watching videos.
Are you buying a monitor: No
Parts to Upgrade: Motherboard and Mid-Tower case
Do you need to buy OS: No
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com
Location: MI, United States
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: No
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I am upgrading because I am hoping that replacing my MoBo and Case will not only give me cooler temps but solve an issue I am having. [described below] The issue relates to generally wanting to game without problems.

Hello everyone - I'm having some issues with my build and I'd like to replace two major components. I won't go too deep in my technical issues, but I figure it has something to do with my Motherboard. I am getting a black screen followed by beeps every so often while gaming [1 long;3 short]. This has been a rarely occurring ongoing problem since last year. Only this summer has it gotten worse and more frequent.

I would like to try replacing my ASUS Motherboard, as those with similar issues have discovered it fixed their problems. I am not hardware savvy, so I have decided to turn to the forums for more personalized help compared to reading the feedback sections of Newegg.

While reading the reviews for my Mid-Tower case I noticed one review that pointed out the case was not a smart choice for a gaming rig, as the inside is cramped and overheats easily. At any time while gaming, in fullscreen mode when possible, my GPU temp can reach 100° C. I am looking for a replacement Mid-Tower case [with good airflow] and the one I have picked out seems promising, but a second opinion wouldn't hurt.

My budget is pretty low, but if possible I would prefer to stay in the $100-130 range for the motherboard to leave room for a new case.

Current Hardware:
Primarily purchased and built in 2009, apart from the monitor.

Monitor: Samsung 24" Display

Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 550 Processor 3.10 GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: OCZ SLI-Ready Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 5770 Series
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: Rosewill RV2-700 700W ATX12V v2.3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASUS M4A78 Plus AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Cooler Master Mystique RC-632S-KKN1-GP Black Aluminum/ SECC ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case in consideration: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm worried I'll make the wrong choice if I decide for myself. Money is tight and I don't have room for mistakes - I need my computer for artwork commissions. If anyone out there has the time to recommend a new motherboard and mid-tower case based on my current hardware, I'll be very grateful!

I am aware that my current hardware will have role in buying a new motherboard but as I said, money is tight so the less things I need to upgrade the better!
a c 81 V Motherboard
July 20, 2012 6:32:54 AM

Some bad news, if you are using an OEM version of Windows, you will need to buy another as its tied to the motherboard, so that install will become invalid until you put in a fresh product key.

AsRock 970 Extreme3, AM3+. $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This board will let you upgrade to the new Bulldozer (or later, Piledriver) CPU's in the future.

Several cases you can pick. All of them are good, so pick the one you like the look of. The Antec 300 is a great case as well.

Coolermaster HAF-XM. $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I would personally get this one.

Corsair Carbide 400R. $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

NZXT Phantom White. $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Dark Fleet 30. $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 81 V Motherboard
July 20, 2012 10:01:50 AM

Yep, DDR2 RAM isnt compatible with DDR3 slots.

This is the RAM I use and so far no problems. If you want to upgrade to 8 or 16GB later, just add another stick or three. On a gaming rig I would suggest getting 8GB, but that would probably put you over budget, so 4GB can do for now.
Its specs are fairly standard as RAM goes, but it will perform better than the 800Mhz sticks you had previously.

4GB (1x4GB) G.Skill Ripjaws 1600Mhz CL9 latency RAM. $25
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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Related resources
July 20, 2012 10:11:17 AM

manofchalk said:
Yep, DDR2 RAM isnt compatible with DDR3 slots.

This is the RAM I use and so far no problems. If you want to upgrade to 8 or 16GB later, just add another stick or three. On a gaming rig I would suggest getting 8GB, but that would probably put you over budget, so 4GB can do for now.
Its specs are fairly standard as RAM goes, but it will perform better than the 800Mhz sticks you had previously.

4GB (1x4GB) G.Skill Ripjaws 1600Mhz CL9 latency RAM. $25
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Whoops, I deleted my post because I replied to my own thread instead of to you. Seems you saw it, so it's all good. :) 

Anyway, thank you again for the help. I feel a lot more confident upgrading my PC now! Next will be my PSU, but I'll save that for another day. I'll try ordering the new stuff during next week.
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a b V Motherboard
July 20, 2012 10:24:41 AM

FYI, even though that is an OEM version of Windows 7, I have re-activated my OEM version of Windows 7. When you re-install it will ask you to activate your copy of windows and then give you a number to call after you put in your product key. It's all automated and very simple to following along. Just remember that when they ask how many computers this copy of windows is installed on you always say "1".
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