I had a quick question regarding an upgrade that I wanted to do and I'm hoping someone can answer my question. My current machine is an AMD Phenom II X2-550 with 4 gb DDR2 memory and an Gigabyte motherboard (AMD 760g chipset) + Geforce 550 ti video card. I plan to upgrade to a Core i5 3330P and an MSI Z77A G41 motherboard with GSkill Ripjaws 8 GB DDR3 1600 MB RAM. Although I don't game much anymore, I do occasionally play PlanetSide 2! And my current system can't handle it.
Would it be necessary to wipe out my system volume (the one with windows loaded on it) and reload a fresh copy of windows+software or can I simply swap the mobo/cpu/ram and just install the chipset/cpu drivers when I load into windows?
Also I have Windows 7 Ultimate x64 loaded on a Sata II 1TB WD 7200 RPM drive.
It has been done, especially if the chipsets are similar (ie. same cpu type) but will always cause a bunch of trouble and you probably will have to re-install anyway. Best to backup your data and do the fresh install with all the latest drivers. If you're not going to overclock you can get a cheaper, non z77, motherboard...
Yep, I don't plan on Overclocking. I just want something quick and stable. I like the 3rd gen Core i5 and also the PCIE 3.0 that Intel motherboards have to offer.
I was searching for a good H77 chipset motherboard, but majority of the reviews said they were DOA or have some issues with audio/USB/Stability, so I thought I'd go for a better quality board. Can you recommend an H77 board that's cheaper (yet stable enough) than the MSI Z77 (currently on sale at Tigerdirect)?
The only issue with the board you mentioned is that it has only 2 RAM slots (because its Micro ATX). I want to be able to add more RAM in the future, so I need at least 4 slots. If I search the same chipset from the same brand in ATX form factor, its $80 which is more than the MSI Z77.