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Need help with Mother Board seletion, For new upgrade

Discussion in 'How to: Building a PC, Modding, Overclocking' started by JDT, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. JDT

    JDT Techie7 New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I am an all around newbi, and am hoping to find some help with my new computer(s) project. I will do the best I can in terms of explaining my upgrade and listing the technical specs.

    I have an existing HP Pavilion 754n, I want to upgrade via a new case and hardware, or just leave asis and build a complete new system.

    FIRST: Existing HP Pavilion 754n;
    Processor: Intel P4,
    CPU: 2.53 GHz,
    FSB: 533MHz,
    Socket: mPGA 478,
    Chipset: Intel 845G,
    Mother Board: MSI 6577 W/ MSI/Award BIOS.
    Form Factor: uATA,
    Memory: PC2100, (133MHz) 266MHz,
    DDR SDRAM W/ 512MB Installed,
    Max. Memory: 2GB,@ 2x 1024 MB DIMMS,
    PCI Slots: 3, 2 open,
    APG : 1,
    Graphics: AGP 4x,
    HDD: Samsung 80GB, Ultra DMA 5400rpm,
    IDE UDMA Modes: ATA-66/100,
    Typical Floppy,
    HP DVD Writer,
    Cyber 24x CD/DVD ROM,
    I think the rest of the specs.is pretty much typical.

    SECOND; I have already purchased the following new Hardware and plan on using the HP Pavilion DVD/CD Drives etc. and running it with the new??

    NEW; X Super Alien ATX Tower W/ 500 PSU,
    6- PCI and 1- AGP Rear expansion Slots, and 5/2 external drives and 5 internal. Also has 6 UV LED Fans, Temp. and fan speed controlls on front and rear panels, Front USB 2,O, Firewire, and audio.

    NEW; Western Digital EIDE 250 GB HDD,

    NEW; Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2zs Platinum Pro Sound Card.

    NEW; ATI Radeon 9800 Pro AGP 128MB,Graphics Card.

    Now for my big question! HELP!!! What have I got myself into,
    I never meant to go this far, but all the above where at great prices and one thing led to another.

    Anyway, could anyone please recomend a new Mother Board that would supply all the needs this system may need? I have done the research for weeks, but want a graphics card that will support future upgrades etc. like a (Pentium 4 3.2oGHz) I know the mobo's cost between 35.00 and up, And would like to spend around $100. to 150.00 plus for one. But know little about which one to buy. As I am totally confused.

    My second question is regarding my ex'g. HP, Would I be better off just leaving it alone? or incorporate as much as I can into the new case etc.

    This all started by a friend giving us a used PC, For my wife to us. I also need to buy a new (cheap) sound card, graphics card, and do a clean install on Win.2K Pro. so she can use it instead of her older Dell W/Win.98 (no se edition)

    One last thing, I use my computer mostly for Art, drawing, designing, photo effects, MP3 downloads and would like to record old VHS tapes to DVD. Although I might play a game or two when finished.

    Also any good computer books that will help with the technical stuff etc. with lots of photos?

    I am trying to do all my planning first, with no surprizes when I get started, but would like to get the mother board bought now.

    I hope this makes since to you all, and if I left anything out, please feel free to jump in and give your input.


    I am going to have to shut down for a while, and you may e-mail me anytime you like.
  2. DJNafey

    DJNafey UK site moderator

    Wow, what a great project - your HP Pavilion was already a faster spec than what most people are using (!) but I have to say that you've made some nice choices for the new components.

    There's so much in your post that I won't pretend that I'm going to answer all of it !!

    Looks like you don't mind spending some relatively big money in order to buy top-of-the-line stuff. On that basis, I would suggest that Intel should be one of the best motherboard manufacturers, with a price to reflect that quality. When I want to spend some money on a decent motherboard without being too frivolous, my preferred manufacturer is definitely Gigabyte. They make some really great stuff - well specified with good features, very reliable and tolerant of inexperienced users trying the wrong settings !! Would be ideal for a first-time builder such as yourself.

    Whilst deliberately ignoring the bottom half of your post, I will try to concentrate on the top half and give you my advice on things to consider wen choosing your motherboard:

    1. Choose a full-size ATX motherboard to make the most of that huge case that you've bought. A micro-ATX motherboard is harder to work with and offers less expansion potential.

    2. You haven't said anything about a new processor and you suggested a Pentium4 3.2GHz as a "future upgrade" so I'm assuming that you were considering using your 2.53GHz processor from your HP. If so, make sure that your motherboard has a socket 478 to fit the CPU into.

    3. You haven't said anything about new memory so, if you intend to use the memory that you've got in the HP, make sure the new motherboard can handle DDR266 RAM but also the latest speeds (is it DDR400 now?) for future processors

    4. Your old hard disk was a good enough size for most of us but not very quick. Your new hard disk will give a significant improvement in data transfer rates but only if the motherboard can run it at its full potential. If your new hard disk is a Serial ATA interface, then I think that there's only one SATA speed anyway - 150Mbps. If your hard disk is a normal IDE type, then ensure that the motherboard is ATA133 compatible (133Mbps).

    5. Don't worry if the motherboard has on-board graphics but do make sure that it has an 8x AGP slot for your new graphics card.

    6. If the motherboard has on-board sound, as most do these days, you should be able to bypass it but it may be worth checking now that you've bought such a nice sound card.

    No technical reason why you can't use the floppy drive, CD/DVD-ROM drive and DVD-R out of the HP. Floppy drives haven't changes since the 80s so there's no difference in a new one (but note that they are only about £5 ($8) trade price so it's no big deal to buy a new one.

    You may find that a new CD/DVD-ROM drive and even the DVD-R would be significanty faster than your existing units. These have also got very cheap recently.

    You may want to consider buying a USB Key and not bothering with a floppy drive. USB Keys are little devices that plug into a USB port and act like a removable hard disk (except that they are much smaller) - they come in sizes such as 64Mb for about £20 ($30). Because USB ports are now so common, they look set to replace old-fashioned low-capacity floppy drives.

    Right, gotta stop writing and get back to what I was doing. Got interrupted half-way through writing this - I hope no-one else has already said the same things!