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 Post subject: Motherboards
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Con, nerds, unite.

I have probably an easily answered question here.

I know my motherboard is a little bit knackered, (due a dodgy external HDD IMO, I think it buggered up some components of the motherboard)

So basically a couple of ram slots don't work anymore and I was wondering if it's worth buying a new motherboard. However..i'm often told that "if you're thinking of buying a new motherboard..you might as well just get a new PC".

Whats your thoughts on that? Is it so difficult to set up a new board that you might as well get a new PC? Or is it issues with getting a board that is compatible with current hardware that's the reason people warn me off doing it?

If I did get a new one, is it something I should be getting a more knowledgeable techy type person to sort out?

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 Post subject: Re: Motherboards
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:19 pm 
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Most reason people say that is if the socket number changes. Intel change socket connection at least every two years. You have a SandyBridge 1155 I think. So you could in theory get a current IvyBridge board. (H7*, Z7*, B7* or even Q7*) You won't get all the IvyBridge functionality, unless you upgrade CPU.

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 Post subject: Re: Motherboards
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:14 am 
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Mine currently, I believe, is an ASUS P5N-D motherboard if that means anything to you. I asked novatech if they had an equivalent and they said only 1 and linked me to one that was about 35 quid.. Which had me wondering if it was crap, given some seem to be in the hundreds..

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 Post subject: Re: Motherboards
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:28 am 
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borocooper wrote:
I asked novatech if they had an equivalent and they said only 1 and linked me to one that was about 35 quid.. Which had me wondering if it was crap, given some seem to be in the hundreds..



The main question is: do you need those RAM slots?

If not, and you've no plans to upgrade it and fill those slots, you could carry on as you are.

If you do need them, or they're filled and your PC cannot access all the available RAM due to knackered slots, I think £35 sounds like a bargain to totally fix your PC. Only costing £35 doesn't necessarily make it rubbish, just reflects that it's not got the latest CPU socket on it... I'm not familiar with that mobo you have but ASUS usually make good kit not crap.

Like has been said, the 'better off buying new' comment is often heard if the CPU socket on the mobo is too far out of date that you'd only end up replacing nearly everything anyway just so that it'll fit the new connections, EG CPU, HDD, etc. Or it'd mean buying an older mobo to fit your old parts out of your old PC and usually it's considered bad value to splash out too much on too old kit... but your isn't that old is it? What are your specs? CPU/RAM/Graphics?

But it's not always the case that any money spent is wasted... EG I just fitted a new soundcard to a PC with an old 1GHz Athlon running XP the other day for a client and now they'll get even more use out of their old box for a few more years now, and only cost £10.

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 Post subject: Re: Motherboards
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:10 am 
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I'm not desperate to use the RAM slots, but would've liked to. 8gb of RAM must be better than 4gb of RAM :p

The only reason it's been on my mind to be honest, is that I was starting to worry "what if this is parts of the board failing one by one..". Then eventually something more important dies..I wasn't sure where that would leave me.

If that seems unlikely then I'm happy enough to just carry on with the machine as is.

And no the machine isn't that old, must be 4 years or something. It still seems to manage running newer games, tried Skyrim briefly on it the other day and it seemed to run on high settings without much issue.

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 Post subject: Re: Motherboards
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:10 am 
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P5 is Wolfdale architecture, so if Novatech have an alternative search it out on the Web. £35 for full functionality is great piece of business in my mind. It's a DDR2 based MoBo so yea to get 8GB up and running it'll be 4 x 2GB Modules. DDR2 is beginning to get Expensive too, a number of players are pulling out of support. If you can get the board and the extra 4GB for £70 you've done pretty good.

Look for Kingston, Crucial, and PNY memory on the normal players websites. You might get a deal there too.

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 Post subject: Re: Motherboards
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:01 pm 
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Alright cheers, i'll have to consider it then.

How easy/difficult is replacing a motherboard then? I assume it's pretty much a case of nearly everything having to come out of the case, since a lot of it is attached to the board?

Odds on a novice such as myself breaking it?

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 Post subject: Re: Motherboards
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:52 pm 
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borocooper wrote:
Alright cheers, i'll have to consider it then.

How easy/difficult is replacing a motherboard then? I assume it's pretty much a case of nearly everything having to come out of the case, since a lot of it is attached to the board?

Odds on a novice such as myself breaking it?


Depends how heavy handed you are? :lol:

I'm clumsy and find it quite difficult/nervy 'cause I have broken the odd thing or two before and it's been serious EG like the CPU clips on the mobo snapping off and leaving me no way to hold the CPU in. That's only because I'm very heavy handed, but even then I generally manage OK just taking my time and resisting the temptation to use any force on anything that doesn't immediately do what you want it to.

So long as you earth the box, EG by leaving it plugged in but switching off the socket, and discharge any static from yourself too by touching the inside unpainted metal part of the case before you handle the chips or take the new mobo out of it's wrappings, it should be as simple as gently removing/reinserting things in the right slots then running the driver disk once it's powered on.

All the instructions you'll need will come with the mobo, either printed or on the accompanying driver CD as a PDF, or on the maker's website... plus the web in general of course and possibly even on YouTube these days so there'd likely be plenty of guidance should you ever find yourself wanting to get a new mobo and swapping it all over at some point in the future.

If you're not sure about doing it, you could always try to get a comparably priced compatible motherboard from a local computer shop rather than online and see if you can talk them into a fitting it for you to seal the deal... might even make paying a couple quid more for the mobo a bargain.

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