Update PC from older ATX motherboard

September 6, 2011 at 06:08:48
Specs: Windows 7, TBD
I want to rebuild/update my PC from a K8N Neo 2 MSI mobo with AMD CPU to something more current to support Win 7 and an SSD boot drive, now ordered. This is a full size ATX form factor and I need to know if current CPUs / GPUs will even physically fit on this. Otherwise, a recommendation for mobo/CPU/GPU combination would be appreciated. My BIOS does not support AHCI as a minimum.

Many thanks

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September 6, 2011 at 06:48:16
Chipsets change fast, and unfortunately while your board supports many good older processors, nothing new will work as they are using AMD 2 and AMD 3 sockets currently. The phenom's and other newer cpu's will not work with your current board. If you wish to upgrade you'll want a new board. Asus is my preference, but MSI, gigabyte and others are also good. Ultimately you get what you pay for; you can buy a $69 board or a $169 board......I buy the better boards.

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September 6, 2011 at 09:04:01

Many thanks and that's what I thought. Would it be valid to assume that the ATX format is still available to fit in my nice Lian Li box?


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September 6, 2011 at 10:18:58
You can use either ATX or mATX in your case. You will probably need to upgrade your power supply.

You need to give us an idea of what you need the new hardware to do. Also, what is your budget. You don't need to spend $170 on a board. That puts you into boards that will run multiple graphics cards.

The main difference between ATX and mATX will be less PCI & PCIe slots and they usually have only 2 RAM slots but can run a decent amount of RAM. mATX cards usually come with onboard graphics and still have slots for add in graphics cards.

I usually opt for mATX because you don't really need the extra PCI/PCIe slots with the highly integrated chip sets these days and the integrated graphics is next to free. A plus in my mind.

Many Intel based boards no longer have any IDE ports and may not have PS/2 ports either. This matters if you want to keep older hardware in service.

Compare the 800 series chipsets using the link below.

Compare the 4200, 4250 & 4290 integrated GPUs using the link below.

Go to the newegg.com link below to see what boards are available in the 800 series. Things to look for are of course features like the ability to unlock the cores, high wattage AM3 socket to run the latest AMD processors, and the number of USB, SATA, PCI, PCIe, RAM, etc. Also, 3 year warranty is an indication of quality.


Use the advanced or power selector to refine your search.

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September 6, 2011 at 13:05:23

Thanks for the very detailed response.

I rebuild my machine about once every 5 - 7 years and its time again. I do not do heavy gaming just general use but do like to stay current with tech so I recently purchased Win 7 and an SSD drive for my boot drive. I have 2 other HD's in my system I use for storage and backups. I started researching configurations and noted I should activate AHCI in my BIOS but of course my old BIOS has no such animal, hence the exploration into a new mobo/CPU.

I should think I can run an SSD without AHCI but will not realize the full speed gain without it.


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