Newbie trying to upgrade CPU/Motherboard

I have a Dell that I have upgraded piecemeal over the years - now I'd like to upgrade the motherboard/cpu. What do I need to know?

So far I have added RAM, a 500w power supply, and a new video card - so I know a little bit about putting new stuff in the thing. But the motherboard is a new ball game.

What are my constraints? Power? The case? Can I reuse my RAM? I'm happy to post my specs but I seriously do not even know what specs matter to a motherboard. For the video card I knew to check my power supply and make sure I had the right PCI slot - what about a motherboard?

TYVM for the advice :)
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  1. Best answer
    You'll need a new windows coa, unless you've already upgraded to windows 7. The board may have different pin positions for the case connector that is for the reset, power led, power switch, etc. You should download the board manual and read it before you order the board. Learn the proper leads for connecting to the board from the power supply, and read about the installation options for the ram slots. Many first timers can't get their new board to post, so don't blame the board. If you don't have alot of patience, get someone else to install it for you.
  2. Best answer selected by mashugana.
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