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I want to get a new motherboard..


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#1
Deven

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Hey guys,

I'm looking to upgrade the motherboard on my computer. I have a HP a1240n which is a standard P4 3.0ghz. You can check out the specs of it here. The only thing I have done is add 2gb of RAM to make it have a total of 3gb ram and I also installed a PCI nvidia geforce 5200x graphics card a while back, but I want to drastically upgrade this computer. Can anyone reccomend me a good motherboard which preferably has PCI express slots because I want to get a much better graphics card. Also, how do I find out which motherboard will fit the best?

Thanks for the help..
Deven
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#2
mpascal

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If you want to upgrade your motherboard, you will almost definitely have to also upgrade your CPU and RAM. The graphics card you have will still be usable. What do you mean when you say you want to "drastically" upgrade your computer? Because a "drastic" upgrade will most likely just be a new system.
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#3
Deven

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Yeah, I want to get new RAM and processor.. how can I find the best one that I can use to upgrade?
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#4
mpascal

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What kind of budget are you thinking of upgrading with? The graphics card you currently have will work on the motherboard, but if you plan on upgrading basically every new motherboard comes with PCI-E 16x slots nowadays.

Are you planning on keeping the current case you have?
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#5
W-Unit

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Upgrading the mobo on a pre-assembled PC is very difficult, because they often use unconventional designs. So you're not likely to find a new motherboard that will fit in your case. Solution: buy a new case.

You want to upgrade the mobo, processor, RAM, and video card. Note that these are the 4 generally most expensive components.
You'll need a new case in order to use a standard motherboard.
There's a good chance you'll need a new PSU to power your improved hardware, as most pre-assembled PCs come with PSUs that have just enough wattage to power the stock hardware and not much to spare. Upgrading to a modern Core 2 or Socket AM2 processor alone will require a lot more wattage considering how much has changed with processors since the days when the P4 was the standard. Throw in a medium or high-performance PCI-E graphics card and it's almost certain your current PSU doesn't have enough wattage to cover everything.

So let's recap. The parts you'll need to purchase include: processor, mobo, RAM, video card, case, and power supply.
Sounds like a complete system upgrade to me. The only things left that you really want to keep are the optical drives and hard drive(s), and you can always keep the old RAM as well just for the sake of having more (unless you're going to buy enough new RAM to fill all of your new mobo's slots, which you probably won't). These should be easy as even pre-assembled PCs normally conform to industry standards with these components.
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