Can I change my motherboard?

Gateway 838gm desktop
February 27, 2011 at 17:55:54
Specs: Windows 7, 3.0 GHz / 3002 MB
I have a Gateway 838GM with an Intel Augsburg 915G Motherboard. I wanted to update the processor from an Intel Pentium 4 to an Intel Core 2 Quad, but some helpful advicers from this website made me realize it wouldn't work.

So, now I have to get a new mobo in order to experience the power of a not so old but not very new cpu. I have my eye on a Biostar DDR2 Intel G41 MATX Intel Motherboard and on some DDR2 RAM to go with it ofcoarse. Unfortunatly my budget doesn't allow me to buy the processor to go with this mother board yet. So I will have to use my Pentium 4 processor on it till then.

My question is will this motherboard fit on my Gateway 838GM original case? Or do I HAVE to purchase another one? And is my 300w powersupply enough for it?

This is how my mobo looks like:
(the wholes for the screws seem to be in the right place)

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February 27, 2011 at 18:21:29
Both the Intel Augsburg 915G and the Biostar DDR2 Intel G41 MATX Intel Motherboard are standard MATX form factor.
The Biostar DDR2 Intel G41 MATX Intel Motherboard will fit in the case.

Most full size (e.g. the optical drive is mounted horizontally on the front of a tower case) desktop brand name system models have not used oddball proprietary mboards since the mid 90's, except for some server mboard systems.

There are specified locations where the screw holes must be. A particular mboard doesn't necessarily have all the screw holes as another one, but the screw holes it does have line up with standard mounting post locations in the case.

Make sure when you install a different mboard that there are no metal mounting posts where there is no screw hole in the mboard, otherwise the post may short something on the underside of the mboard.

"And is my 300w powersupply enough for it?"

The PS capacity you need is usually determined by the video card's video chipset that you install in a mboard slot, not what the mboard requires.If you use inboard video or if you use a modest video card video chipset in a slot, you won't need to upgrade the PS.

Your power supply must have at least the minimum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD ! )
If that info is not in the ad for the video card, you can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements. Some power supplies have two or more +12v ratings - in that case, add those ratings to determine the total +12v current capacity.

If you're a gamer...
In most if not all cases, the max capacity rating of the PS is an intermittent rating. It's recommended that you do not load your PS to any more that 80% of that rating if you are going to be using something that puts a constant load on it, such as playing a recent game for hours on end. In that case, you multiply the min capacity stated for the system with the particular video chipset on the card by 1.25 to find the min. capacity of the PS you should get.

If you need to get a PS with more capacity, you can usually replace it with any decent quality standard sized standard ATX PS.

Standard (PS/2) power supply size - 86mm high, 150mm wide, 140mm deep, or 3 3/8" h x 5 7/8" w x 5 1/2" d , or very close to that, though the depth can be more or less for some PSs.

Don't buy an el-cheapo (in quality) PS.
See response 3 in this:

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February 28, 2011 at 14:05:59
Just get either a complete new system with windows 7 or think about a bare bones system. Old systems are difficult to upgrade.

"The era of big government is over," said Clinton 1996

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March 1, 2011 at 11:38:07
One thin I forgot to mention.

Brand name system cases often have one piece female connectors for the front panel (hd activity led, power led, power switch) that are are wired up and meant to be used on specific patterns of pins / pin uses on the mboard header.
Also, they may have one piece USB female connectors.

Those may not be compatible with a mboard that was not one of the possible ones the case was meant to be used with, unless the mboard was made by the same mboard manufacturer (in most cases the brand name system builder DID NOT make the mboard ).

You can rig up the wiring so that it works, but if you don't want to do that you are better off getting a cheap generic case with no PS in it and transferring all your components to that.
The best situation is when the wiring has individual connectors for all of the wires, or individual connectors for most of the wires with a few that have a two wire connector (switches), a 4 position connector for the speaker, a 3 position connector for the power.

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Related Solutions

March 1, 2011 at 23:23:24
It looks like my front panels for the hd activity led, power led, and power switch are not one piece female connector; they all seem to be doble pined (they have two pin wholes). Are they soposed to be single pined? My USB conectors for the front panel, on the other hand, are one piece USB female connectors. Does that mean they won't work? Is riging them making them single pined?

I don't know what "rig" means... lol.

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March 1, 2011 at 23:46:41
One piece female connectors, as in, more than 4 positions or wires in the connectors, can be a problem. e.g. a double row of 5 each side, 9 pin holes for a USB connector, may not be compatible with the USB headers on some mboards.

- each wire has it's own single connector
- 4 positions in a row, a wire on each end - case speaker
- 3 in a row, a wire on each end - power led, at least on most mboards

- 4 in a row or 5 in a row, 4 or 5 wires - single USB port
- 2 positions, 2 wires - power switch, reset switch, hd activity led, USB data + and -

less likely
- a double row of 5 each side, 9 pin holes, 9 wires for 2 USB ports, or a firewire port
- a > 4 position / > 4 wire one piece connector for the front panel header

rig up, as in, modify, fabricate - the wiring of the connectors or use different connectors

The front panel connector(s) is (are) normally only used to refer to one or ones for the hd activity led, power led, power switch, reset switch, sometimes the case speaker .The pins for those are often all on one header - the front panel header.
Most brand name cases have no wiring for the reset switch pins, and no reset switch.

There may also be a front panel audio header

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March 2, 2011 at 09:22:04
To be honest with you, I didn't quite understand much of the last post, but you have been extremely helpful none the less. So, thank you. I guess now I'll have to spend an extra fifty bux on a new MATX case to not have a hard time with the pin connectors for the front panel. I won't be able to get the new case till possibly next month, so now my question is: If I try to hook my new motherboard on my old gateway case and get the pin connections wrong will my MB be damged?

You may need all the pieces to the puzzle before you can solve it.

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March 2, 2011 at 10:56:56
"I guess now I'll have to spend an extra fifty bux on a new MATX case "

Not necessarily.
If you were to get a case it would be more useful if it supported both ATX and MATX mboards being installed in it. Most generic cases do.
If you were to get a smaller one meant for only MATX mboards there may be things inside the
case that will interfere with you installing longer cards in mboard slots.

"Intel Augsburg 915G"

Intel (Augsburg) 915G Motherboard No CPU R0

That has a Gateway bios version.

The same mboard is used in emachines systems, has an emachines bios version.This excellent third party web site has unofficial info about the mboard:

The e4allweb site lists the manual under Downloads on the left, but he is no longer allowing downloads.
(If you donate, he may eventually allow them again.)

This is the same mboard, with an Intel bios version on it:
Manual (Technical Product Specifications)
IntelĀ® Desktop Board D915GAG (Home support page):


Look at the pinouts (the arrangements of the pins on the headers, what each pin is supposed to connect to) of the headers the case wiring connectors connect to.

Compare those to the ones for the Biostar mboard.

"Biostar DDR2 Intel G41 MATX"

Biostar DDR2 Intel G41 MATX Intel Motherboard G41-M7
Get the manual here and look at it:

If the pinouts (the arrangements of the pins on the headers, what each pin is supposed to connect to) of the headers are the same, then what ever wiring connectors your case has will work without modification.
E.g. if the USB headers are the same a double row connector from the Gateway case will work with the Biostar USB header.

If the header pinouts are not the same on the Biostar mboard, examine the wiring connectors the Gateway case has to determine whether they will work without modification on the Biostar header.

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March 3, 2011 at 21:24:34
Thankz man, I apriciate your help, I think this manuals are really helpful. I'll report back when I recieve and set up my stuff.

You may NOT need all the pieces to a puzzle to solve it.

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March 16, 2011 at 10:22:38
I ended up buying a Gigabyte G31 micro ATX, and thanks to the manuals I was able to plug in everything and it works like a charm!! thankz

You may need all the pieces to the puzzle before you can solve it.

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March 16, 2011 at 10:49:35
We're glad to hear you found a solution.
Thanks for the thankz.

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