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Old 7th February 2008, 18:23   #12
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,222
Look through the site fc*uk linked before venturing into my suggestion. If you can find a standard, brand-name motherboard that will meet your needs, then you won't need to screw around with the potential compatibility issues below. What I suggest should be considered a last resort.

I've kept many an EOL computer in service by installing Dell main boards in non-Dell machines, as there are many Dell-brand main board openly available from third-party vendors, and are of sufficient quality that I've never had one fail. I occasionally need an ATX plate and/or a power supply meeting the specific power requirements of the main board, and I often have to "modify" the back panel of the case to accommodate the on-board ports of the main board. Their boards are usually standard in all other necessary ways except (sometimes) power requirements and mounting holes. But considering your requirements, Smeggle, one of these may be your best - or perhaps only - shot. [url=]Here is a list of Dell main boards[url], several of which meet your requirements of 4 PCI slots, 1 AGP slot, 4 memory slots and 6 USB ports, and supporting Intel Pentium processors.

NOTE: SLI support is a feature you will probably not find on any of these main boards. If you can sacrifice that requirement, then one of these may serve all of your others.

I've looked through several other major manufacturers today, and the only other options would likely be archived, EOL (end-of-life) products that will be very to find actually available for purchase.

Best Case Scenario: All you'll need is the Dell main board, and it'll work perfectly with all of your other components right out of the box.

Worst Case Scenario: You'll need to also replace your power supply, and you'll need an ATX adapter plate and a power drill to match the mounting holes in the Dell main board. A somewhat ugly solution, but it can meet all of your requirements for a reasonable cost.

There are a lot more variables with the main board than with most other components, since almost everything in your system depends on it. I'm maintaining my father's old Compaq Presario with an ancient AMD Athlon 2800+ CPU and a Compaq system board with 2 PCI slots and 1 AGP slot. I just replaced the power supply (with the only replacement in the world that will work with it) and installed a new (not new technology, new factory-sealed) Visiontek ATI Radeon X1950 Pro AGP video adapter. I should at least be thankful that the USB ports are version 2.0. So, as you can see, needing EOL technology greatly limits your options but it is still practical in many cases.

I know you've already done this, but taking a moment to consider the options available to you: (A) Build a new system from the ground up, meeting all modern desktop PC standards; (B) Go with a main board that meets your requirements today, except be ready for some "rigging" to make it compatible as described above; (C) Go with what you have until you can afford plan A.

Best wishes on your quest.
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