Learn how to upgrade your motherboard for optimum compatibility with exisiting parts and peripherals.
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Sunday, October 20, 2013 5:12 PM
Factors To Consider When Purchasing A motherboard
Purchasing a new motherboard or replacing an exisitng one doesn't have to be a difficult procedure provided that you know what type of setup you currently own. If you intend to reuse your existing components, you are planning an upgrade. If you are building a PC completely from scratch you are planning a full system build. Knowning exactly what types of components are installed in your system already can go a long way when determining the type and style of motherboard you want for the upgrade decision.
When thinking about the upgrade, try to answer the following questions:
1. How old is your existing computer?
Depending on the age of your existing computer, you will want to decide whether an upgrade is feasible. If your motherboard is limited to a Pentium III processor or slower sometimes purchasing an entirely new box (e.g. tower or desktop) equipped with a modern processor is a better way to go. You can always reuse the existing parts such as sound and network cards, but you will need to purchase new memory and a better processor to upgrade to the latest PC standards.
2. Are you replacing a defective motherboard or upgrading because you need more computing power?
If you are replacing a defective motherboard then you will more than likely need to replace the processor and memory as well.
If you are looking to add extra functionality to your existing setup, you'll want to look for a motherboard that provides added bells and whistles such as SATA, RAID, and Firewire connectors.
Older motherboards can accommodate separate expansion cards that support these features, but it may be more economical to upgrade to an entirely new motherboard design that has these features built in thus saving yourself a ton of compatibility or driver issues.
3. How much are you looking to spend on the replacement?
You will need to figure out how much you can afford to spend on the replacement. If your existing PC is comprised of older parts, you're better off to invest more money and get more modern parts. If you plan to upgrade your motherboard and re-use existing components chances are you'll run into a few compatibility issues whilest installing or configuring the components. Buying a brand new computer is also the cheaper option then building your own system, but bear in mind you'll have fewer choices in terms of hardware you can install.
4. What type of memory and processor is in your current system?
If you have an older PC chances are the memory and processor are becoming obselete and compatibility issues become a problem when you go to purchase your new motherboard.
If this is the case, you will need to figure out what motherboards are compatible with the memory and processor you currently own. It's important to note that the older SDRAM memory is not compatible with modern memory modules such as DDR and DDR2 RAM.
If your looking to reuse existing parts ensure you know exactly what type of motherboard you need to purchase. You'll want to know what type of sockets are provided on the motherboard, how fast the components run (this is deteremined in bus speed), and how many pins the memomry sockets house.
You also want to ensure you know what type and socket type the motherboard uses. Attempting to re-use your existing CPU is probably not an option due to the design of the motherboard (or the number of pins soldered into the socket of the CPU).