I need a new motherboard and processor.
December 24, 2007 12:28 AM   Subscribe

I need a new motherboard and processor compatible with my old hardware.

I need a new motherboard and processor. I previously had a socket A A7V333 with an Athlon XP; they're both dead now, and my computer is in need of replacements. I could really use some advice on a good motherboard and processor to get within a $150-$200 budget. I would prefer something that is compatible with my aging DDR SDRAM, EIDE hard drive and AGP 7600GS graphics card, and 20-pin power supply. I figure it's not really worth it to hunt down another Athlon XP and socket A motherboard so I'd like to get some faster, newer parts until I can save enough to build an entirely new system. This ASRock motherboard coupled with a Celeron D processor seems like a great improvement over what I had at a decent price. I don't need any fancy dual-core processors or SLI setups as I won't be using software that's too demanding. Basically, I'd like some advice on the best setup that meets my requirements for roughly $200.
posted by mithiirym to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I bought an Abit IP35-E motherboard with a dual core E2140 1.6 Ghz CPU about a month ago for around $150. This is extremely overclockable (mine is running at 3.2 Ghz with the stock fan and reasonable temperatures). In your shoes I would go with a PCIexpress + DDR2 board. The one you link to seems cheap but also a bit wonky. You'll have to buy new ram and a new video card, but right now DDR2 ram is cheaper than DDR, and that AGP video card likewise fetches 80% of a PCIe 7600gs. Selling those on ebay and craigslist should basically recoup the cost of the new stuff. This way you have many more options and it makes it much easier to upgrade in the future.

On ebay, 1 GB of slow DDR (PC2100) just sold for $46 w/ S+H. 1GB of DDR2 was in the $30 range (including S+H).

I found this pretty invaluable.
posted by alexei at 12:56 AM on December 24, 2007

I second the kickassness of the E2140. For 200 $ you should be able to get one with a cheapo MB (i got this one ) with integrated graphics and a 2 GB stick of ram.
posted by uandt at 1:37 AM on December 24, 2007

On a related note, is the Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz easily overclockable?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:40 AM on December 24, 2007

DDR SDRAM, EIDE hard drive and AGP 7600GS graphics card, and 20-pin power supply.

That's a tough call. I have a similiar asrock and it worked fine, bu the documentation is bad and their tech support is absolutely useless. I think I had to hunt down some driver and extract it from the via drivers to install at install time just to get the sata or something to work. I think with an ide drive all you have do is a windows repair install using your old drive and change the bios so it knows that the boot drive is IDE and disable SATA RAID. This is pretty non-obvious so good luck.

This board is the one I was talking about and its 10 dollar cheaper. It'll take your AGP card and you can even move to an PCIx card when you feel like it. Of course this requires a complete reinstall of windows. There's no way I found to make windows suddenly believe its been moved from an AGP interface to a PCIe interface, although funny enough an old beater 1995 PCI card I found works. Repair install wont do it either.

It'll take your old ram, but you only get 2 slots. It'll also do ddr2 but again only 2 slots. You cant mix. Its one or the either.

Christ, that pentium chip is pretty miserable. Ten dollars more buys you a nice dual core allendale at 1.6ghz Even at your price points you should be avoiding single-core processors. The difference here is night and day.

and 20-pin power supply.

Your power supply will need both the standard power plug and the little 6 pin pciexpress cable to power the motherboard. You should investigate if it has that. If it doesnt then none of the asrock boards will even boot for you.

So this is entirely doable. I did it. As usual I find building PCs to be quite a headache and always promise myself Im just gong to get a cheap dell next time, but the asrock didnt give me more problems then the typical board (ignoring the boot drive madness). It does what it claims to do and its nice to be able to save money on buying more expensive ram. Hell, the benchmarks I saw and even my limited testing showed the old ddr ram is just as fast as ddr2 at 667! That videocard you have has lots of life on it too. Anyhow, good luck! Feel free to email me if you need help with the asrock. I also have that asrock I mentioned sitting in my storage space. email me if you want to buy it used.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:06 AM on December 24, 2007

nthing 'sell the kit you've got' to get you back on an upgrade path. A year or so ago, there were transitional boards for people with AGP, DDR memory and ATA100. If you're tight for cash, check your metamail.
posted by holgate at 11:13 AM on December 24, 2007

Thanks for the advice, everybody. Instead of buying legacy-compatible hardware like I originally planned, I'll just wait until income tax return time and spend a bit more on a complete upgrade. The E2140 definitely sounds like a great processor.
posted by mithiirym at 11:19 PM on December 24, 2007

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