"Mainboard / Multi-Core Support - Dual-Core "
Does this mean (if i was to replace this mobo with same board ) i could upgrade the P4 with a Dual Core CPU - like a Pentium or celeron Dual Core etc -as long as it was the right mhz ?
I can't answer this question. I'm not familiar with the board, and I don't know why they separated out the Dual Core support into a different list item. You would think that if it supported Dual Core, they would have listed it with the rest of the processors under "Compatible Processors". Your best bet for the right answer is to contact Intel support by email.
"The ASUS board looks like it won't work... the FSB doesn't support 533mhz processors, nor does the specs say it supports P4 Pentiums ..."
Do you mean the Asus board (or something like it ) is not compatible with the current P4 CPU , but IF i was to install newer CPU of the corresponding Mhz speed it would then be ok ?
In other words it's the current P4 that is preventing this mobo upgrade ?
Yes the CPU is the limiting factor with this particular ASUS board.
I'm not really that
familiar with mini-ATX. What I mean by this, is that I've never built a system using one, but I have repaired them, and we do use them at work. I'm sure they're basically the same as regular ATX, but only cut down in size and possibly range of support for additional hardware... ie, there's only 2 ram slots... your machine only supports max 2Gbs of ram. The impression I have of mini-ATX systems is that they're more for people who don't need a lot of power, don't do heavy processing, and virtually no gaming. The gaming part, I'm unsure about, but every configuration I've repaired didn't have a PCI vid card and every machine was of a "basic" configuration with the selling point of being small. With all that in mind, I would still think that if Intel made a mini-ATX board that supports a P4, then other manufactures also made some. You would just have to hunt around and check the specs to ensure the board will work with your existing hardware.
On the other hand, say you decided to buy a new board, and then upgrade the Processor at the same time. You would end up "limiting" yourself, unless you also bought a vid card. If you go that far, then you may as well go Sata hard drive for gained capacity. In the end, you would basically be putting together a newer
computer... so you may as well just build a new desktop.
The desktop I'm putting together for my nephew has the following components... but, before you read what's there, the total cost was $645 w/tax and shipping (no case... using the old one)... all from Newegg.com. The main objective was to replace an old P4 2.4ghz system with a better system that can handle a little gaming, a little HD capable, and will be used mostly for video editing... along with all the normal stuff... office, internet, blah, blah. Speed of the processor is not that important for a machine like this unless you're willing to pay more. The difference in speed of processor would speed up a video encoding session by about 4 minutes... no a big deal when encoding takes 2 hours per file anyways. By the way, this machine is considered low end. The motherboard is waaaay cool though!
VGA EVGA 512-P3-N954-TR 9500GT RT
DVD BURNER SAMSUNG | SH-S223L
HD 500G|SEAGATE ST3500418AS
CPU COOL ZALMAN|ZM-CS4A
FLASH 4G|OCZ FLDRV OCZUSBR2DC-4GB
DVD BURNER SAMSUNG | SH-S223B
PSU PCPWR&COOLING|PPCS500 500W RT
CPU INTEL|C2D E7500 2.93G 45N
MB GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R P45 775
MEM 2Gx2|GSK F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK
I guess it comes down to what you'll be satisfied with. If it were me, I would price out all the components it'll take to fix that old P4 system and compare it to what you'd pay if you just built something new. Whether you choose to go new, or repair your old, pay attention not only to the CPU and FSB, but also the ram type required.