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Help with Motherboard Shopping

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Hi There!

I've been looking online for a good motherboard and I just wanted a second opinion to make sure that it's compatible with my case, hard drive,
PSU, memory, CD/DVD-drive, graphics card, etc.

this is the motherboard I've been looking at that I think will be compatible for all my peripherals: The Asus M4A785-M-PB-R motherboard. The websites where
I plan to buy it from and its manufactured website are listed here; The former 1) http://www.geeks.com...-M-PB-R&cat=MBB and the
latter 2) http://www.asus.com/...M2Plus/M4A785M/

The motherboard that I would be disconnecting from my PC is a HP Pavilion p6210y. Here is the website to its
system specs: http://h10025.www1.h...product=4006020
Here are the specs to what would be the motherboard I'd be disconnecting:

My System Specs are:
HP Pavilion p6210y
AMD Athlon II x 4 620 processor
Supports 4GB DDR2 DIMMs, PC2-6400 (800 MHz) and PC2-5300 (667 MHz), Non-ECC memory only, unbuffered
640 GB HD
SuperMulti DVD burner
Computer case: midsize ATX Height: 38.7 cm (15.23 inches) Width: 17.5 cm (6.89 inches) Length: 41.4 cm (16.29 inches)
PSU: 500W

Motherboard Specs that I planned on disconnecting
Pegatron M2N78-LA Violet-GL8E motherboard
Form factor: Micro-ATX: 24.4 cm (9.6 inches) x 24.4 cm (9.6 inches)
Frontside BUs Speed: 5200MT/s (5.2 GT/s)
Processor Upgrad Info:
Socket type: AM3
Motherboard supports the following processor upgrades:
AMD Athlon X2 (Bt)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 up to 6000+ (W)
AMD Phenom Triple-Core up to 8xxx (AM2+) (Toliman)
AMD Phenom Quad-Core 9xxx series (AM2+) up to 9850 (Agena)
Memory Upgrade Info:
Dual channel memory architecture
Four DDR2 SO-DIMM (240-pin) sockets
Supported DIMM types:
PC2-6400 (800 MHz)
PC2-5300 (667 MHz)
Non-ECC memory only, unbuffered
Supports 4GB DDR2 DIMMs
Supports up to 16 GB on 64-bit PCs
Supports up to 4 GB* on 32-bit PCs
32 bit PCs cannot address a full 4.0 GB of memory.
Expansion Slots:
One PCI Express x16
Three PCI Express x1
Internal Connectors:
One 24-pin ATX power connector
One 4-pin ATX power connector
Four SATA connectors
One floppy drive connector
Two 12V fan connectors for CPU fan and chassis fan
One 9-pin header for power button, reset button, power LED, and HDD LED
One S/PDIF digital audio output header
One front line input connector
One 9-pin audio header for headphone-out and microphone-in (yellow, requires matching front audio jack module)
Six USB headers supporting sight USB 2.0 ports or devices
One 1394a header
One SPI (ROM programming) connector
One jumper for resetting BIOS settings
One jumper to disable BIOS password checking

I know this sounds a lot but I'm doing this cause this is my first time connecting anything to the motherboard besides a PSU and graphics card.
I'm pretty confident that the motherboard i want, the Asus M4A785-M-PB-R, would fit because it has the same mATX (9.6in x 9.6in) form factor and
the same CPU socket type (AM3 Socket type). I just want to double check that it would support my CPU, Hard drive, the current memory that I have,
DVD-Drive, and anything-else. I'm also worried that the cables aren't long enough and/or compatible to the motherboard and if my CPU is compatible (which
looks like it does cuz it's AM3 socket). Thank you for your time to read this and if you could review the Asus M4A785-M-PB-R motherboard to my old
peripherals it would be GREATLY appreciated.
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    Grumpy Ol' MSgt (Ret.)

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which looks like it does cuz it's AM3 socket

NEVER EVER go by socket alone. The socket alone does NOT determine CPU compatibility. The chipset must also support it. If you look on the ASUS link you provided, like most motherboard makers, they include QVLs - qualified vendor lists of CPUs and RAM that motherboard supports. You MUST buy a CPU from the list and the Athlon IIX4 640 does appear on the list - so you are okay there.

There are too many RAM makers making too many models for motherboard makers to test them all. So you don't have to buy RAM from the list, but you MUST buy RAM that has the same physical and electrical characteristics as RAM on the list. It appears you are okay there too, though the ASUS does support much faster RAM so you may be creating a bit of a bottleneck if planning to use what you currently have.

The ATX Form Factor standard requires all ATX motherboards, ATX power supplies, and ATX cases to fit, connect, and work together. MicroATX can be a little different, depending on how micro the case is. If a slim case, you may need a low profile PSU and low profile expansion cards. I personally would just get a new mid-tower case as it will likely have better cooling options. Cases from the big makers often have limited, or proprietary upgrade options.

One final note - it is most likely your license for Windows is an OEM license that came with the HP. OEM licenses are tied to the "original equipment" and as such, OEM licenses are NOT transferable to new motherboards - period!!!! The only exception is when replacing the motherboard with an identical board as part of a repair action because the first board failed - again, that's the only exception. Otherwise, a new motherboard is considered a new computer, and new computers require new Windows licenses. This means you CANNOT use the OEM disk to install Windows on your new machine, and you cannot just move the old hard drive over either!
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Thank you Digerati! I didn't know that about the socket type and the OEM License for the Operating System. However, I've been looking http://www.ubuntu.com/ and it seems that its Operating System is pretty good and free. Do you know any drawbacks from Ubuntu. And could you ellaborate what the CPU socket does and why it's not a specification form for CPU compatibility? Thankx

Edited by ganesha1008, 03 September 2011 - 03:17 PM.

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    Grumpy Ol' MSgt (Ret.)

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There are many good, and totally free versions of Linux and Ubuntu is one of them.

And could you ellaborate what the CPU socket does and why it's not a specification form for CPU compatibility?

The socket does what you would expect, it holds the CPU.

Over the years, as CPUs have become more and more powerful, the number of pins (electrical contacts) has grown too. As seen here, there are dozens of different sockets, supporting CPUs with 40 pins up to the latest with 2011 pins. So obviously, the motherboard socket must have the same number of pins in the same orientation as CPUs that use that socket.

But, a socket is just a mechanical device. If you look at that list and note some of the common sockets, like the LGA 775, AMD2+, or LGA 1156, you will see those sockets support several different lines of CPUs. Remember, CPUs are dumb. They have to be told how to do everything! If not told what to do, their 100s of millions of transistors just sit there and do nothing. It is up to the motherboard via the chipset to establish communications with the CPU, and the chipset (which includes the BIOS) must be programmed to do that. It is then up to the motherboard makers to decide which CPUs that board will support.

For example, note the Intel LGA 775 socket supports Intel Pentium 4, Pentium D, Celeron, Celeron D, Pentium XE, Core 2 Duo/Quad and Xeon CPUs, but note this Gigabyte LGA 775 Motherboard only supports Core 2 Quad/Duo, Pentium Dual-Core, and Celeron CPUs. There's no support for the other CPUs even though they will physically fit in the socket.
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Thank you
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