Upgrading Motherboard (and processor)

Acer Aspire m1640 desktop
December 23, 2010 at 07:41:17
Specs: Windows 7, Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB
Hi, My Acer Aspire M1640 desktop of two years died suddenly. It was checked by an IT chap who noted that it doesn't even give a beep on start up. We can hear the fans and the HDD calibrate but then nothing else. He checked that the right voltage is flowing through. So it seems that the motherboard is gone kaput. It had a Micro ATX Form Factor, Intel® Socket T LGA 775 pin with core 2 duo processor, NVIDIA NV MCP73PV/S & NV MCP73VE chipset. A quick internet search suggests that this make by MSI is out of production now.

So my question is, if I am going to replace the motherboard, could I upgrade to a new motherboard, chipset and processor (like i3 or i5). Does is make technical and financial sense. It is for my daughter who is a keen artist and does do a lot of drawing/ painting on it. WOuld I still be able to use the graphics card or need a new one. Upgrading OS and other software is not an issue, recently bought Win 7 and office family pack.


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#1
December 23, 2010 at 07:55:44
That's an outdated machine. You could just replace the motherboard and be done with it, but I would look at a new machine. By the time you got done upgrading that machine, you could buy a new one. Since you have Win 7 already, look at barebones machines that come without an OS if you like. Sometimes we spend a dollar to save a nickel.

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#2
December 23, 2010 at 08:05:18
If u have a spare psu i suggest u try it and u need to test cpu, ram, v-card and other components into another compatible system to see if they are working. If the board is bad u need new board with intel chipset(socket 775), pc case and psu(the previous components from acer system will work on this new board). If u want core i3 or core i5 system u need to build or buy a complete system. Geforce 7050 isn't a v-card it's called IGP or onboard video. Which cpu do u have?

We can not fight new wars with old weapons, let he who desires peace prepare for war - PROPHET.


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#3
December 23, 2010 at 08:18:48
Is your Windows 7 family pack an upgrade pack or full version?

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#4
December 23, 2010 at 09:09:15
Dear grasshopper, Thanks for getting back. You have clearly understood my dilemma. On the one hand I wouldn't mind a little project repairing this desktop. On the other hand is common sense telling me to just bite the bullet and get a new PC. But looking at what's on sale right now seems to suggest that any decent i3 or i5 based machine would set me back £450 - 500.

It also seems that the exact same motherboard is not available. The closest I can find is ASUS P5KPL-AM EPU Intel G31 Micro ATX Motherboard - Intel Socket 775 in PC World. Link (http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/asus-p5kpl-am-epu-intel-g31-micro-atx-motherboard-intel-socket-775-07908213-pdt.html)

Would it do the job.
Thanks


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#5
December 23, 2010 at 09:20:29
Thanks Kuwese, thanks for suggesting a way forward. I know I bought a core 2 duo processor but do not have any further details. High time I opened up the box and took the damn thing apart!! Will get back with what I find.
I am quite clueless about most hardware so just copied stuff of the manual which says Chipset - NV MCP73PV/S & NV MCP73VE.
Do you think I will be able to move the IGP card to the new motherboard too.
Thanks

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#6
December 23, 2010 at 09:28:10
Hi OtheHill, I recently got the Win7 3 licence family upgrade pack. It allows both, and I have upgraded Vista on one laptop and clean installed it for my netbook that ran WinXP. In fact, one day before the Acer died I did a clean install over the upgrade since I was getting some BSOD issues since I upgraded it.
So if my HDD is fine do you think it will all be OK once the motherboard is changed or will I have to format and start all over again.
Thanks

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#7
December 23, 2010 at 10:00:27
Upgrade versions require a qualifying product to upgrade from.

If you buy or build a new computer without a qualifying version of Windows already on it, you may not be able to install Windows 7 on it by using the upgrade family pack. Something to consider.

Not sure if you could provide a restore CD from your Acer desktop and use it as a qualifying product or not. I don't think so though.

Installing a different motherboard in an OEM computer and getting the original OS working is a crap shoot. Generally speaking you have a better chance if the chip set is the same as the old board.

In answer to your quastion about moving the IGP that is not possible because IGP stands for Integrated Graphics Processor. That means built onto the motherboard.

You would need to get another board with an IGP or add in a graphics card.

"He checked that the right voltage is flowing through"

The above does not necessarily mean the power supply is good. If you can borrow a compatible power supply I suggest that may be the issue with your system.


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#8
December 23, 2010 at 10:20:34
An LGA775 board & Core 2 Duo isn't exactly outdated, it's only one generation old. Here are the Acer system specs:

http://support.acer.com/acerpanam/d...

If you MUST use a microATX board due to the case restrictions, I suggest getting one based on an Intel chipset, but NOT the G31. You'd be better off with a G41 or G43 & pay attention to the southbbridge chip. The ICH7 is old & is generally used on cheaper boards. If possible, get the ICH10. And if you can find a board that has 4 DIMM slots, even better. For instance:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...


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#9
December 23, 2010 at 10:25:11
Thanks OtheHill, I hadn't thought about the Win7 upgrade issue.
Good point about the power supply, my shopping list seems to be getting longer!!
Any suggestions on how should choose a reliable PSU, any brand names.

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#10
December 23, 2010 at 10:32:47
The wattage of the psu depends on what demands you're going to put on it. Today it's better to have a psu with a single 12 volt rail like the Corsair brand. You should be able to get one for arond $40 to $50 dollars that suits your needs. Single volt rail is more important than brand name.

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#11
December 23, 2010 at 11:01:55
Don't buy another psu, borrow one from a friend(iam not 100% sure psu is the problem). Yes i agree with the above response about psu, if the psu is bad i recommend to follow grasshopper advice.

We can not fight new wars with old weapons, let he who desires peace prepare for war - PROPHET.


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#12
December 23, 2010 at 11:03:53
I'm a big fan of Corsair PSUs but you may be surprised to know that Corsair doesn't manufacturer PSUs. Neither does Antec. All the PSUs they sell are made by other manufacturers such as Seasonic, Channel Well, etc.

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#13
December 23, 2010 at 11:51:20
Thanks mickliq, PSU is on my list now. Th original spec is for 350W, should I go for something like 500watts.

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#14
December 23, 2010 at 12:14:58
Make sure the PSU is your problem or you'll end up spending $50+ for no reason.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2624


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#15
December 23, 2010 at 12:20:08
Thanks mickiq, I was stuck on finding a motherboard that replaced like-for-like but it sounds like I could actually look at an upgrade!
The original MoBo had 2 x DDR2 DIMM slots, NVIDIA® GeForce® 7050 + nForce® 620i chipset.

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#16
December 23, 2010 at 12:40:39
Are you listening to us? Borrow a PSU and see if that is all that is wrong with your present hardware. If you go off buying a PSU, motherboard, CPU, new RAM and possibly another copy of Windows you will spend more upgrading than you would for a new computer.

Either borrow a PSU (power supply), buy one somewhere that allows returns, or take your present PSU to someone else to test it. Best to try another PSU. Testing with a lousy tester proves nothing.

Unless you had a power surge it is unlikely the motherboard is your problem. Even then, the power supply would still be hit first.


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#17
January 4, 2011 at 02:16:51
My exact same model did the exact same thing 2 days ago. The best deal I have found for a new motherboard is 85GBP.

www.acerparts.biz

The motherboard is ASUS.


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#18
January 4, 2011 at 13:04:51
Thanks efctoffees, I have actually gone by advice given here and ordered a Asus motherboard P5QL-CM. It cost me 69.31 including taxes and delivery. Not sure if we are talking about the same thing though.

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