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Upgrade from M7266-M motherboard?

By suceress ·
I have an HP 9905 that I got just over 4 years ago. The mobo is M7266-M with AMD-761 chipset and VIA VT82C686 southbridge. The processor is an AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1.4GHz. The mainboard has 2 slots for RAM, 3 PCI slots, a network card, an AGP 4x and I think about 4 USB ports (2 of them come out the front along with what I guess is a game port).
There is some info on it at http://tinyurl.com/ac6vz
It says that the chipset causes memory corruption.
I keep getting blue screen with "memory check NMI memory/parity error".
I want to upgrade to a micro ATX mobo with about the same features only with USB 2.0, AGB 8x (at least) and firewire.
I would like to do it without having to reinstall windows XP. Money is an issue unfortunately. Does anyone know of a good board that fits this description? I saw some boards at sites without reviews and know nothing about southbridges and chipsets.. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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by CG IT In reply to Upgrade from M7266-M moth ...

go to Newegg.com

check under socket A motherboards. The Athlon T-Bird is a 462 PGA so socket A boards will do. MSI has the KM4M motherboards at about $45.00 each that are good boards which comes with onboard VGA and a 10/100 NIC.

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by suceress In reply to

I'm confused about the rating system.. I appreciate the response but it does not resolve the issue.
I plan to ditch the processor and get a faster AMD one. However the board I get will impact on what processor I will be able to get. I'm open for suggestions in that regard as well.
I've been looking at websites that let me comparison shop and have found a few possibilities but am not sure which processor/mobo combo to go with. Is any particular socket better than another (I know it determines which processors can be used)? The Asus A7V400MX Motherboard but it had few reviews and some complained that it had no firewire..
I guess I'm basically seeking advice at this point.
Thank you for your answer.

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by BSchmidt In reply to Upgrade from M7266-M moth ...

Finding one with Firewire is tough, I figured more boards would come with it integrated. Here's a pretty good one I've found, if you don't like it look at MWave.com for more. I mainly trust Biostar, Asus, and Gigabyte more than others but that's not to say the others aren't good...

http://www.mwave.com/mwave/viewspec.hmx?scriteria=BA21923

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by suceress In reply to

Thank you, this answer did help but I'm not ready to close the topic. I see that one has built in sound card which I've heard can be good. I do like my current soundcard but if I don't like the onboard one I can probably still use my old one. I've been told I should stick with ASUS.
So the Athlon 64 is good? I keep seeing things about the different sockets and I really need to learn more about them..
Again, thank you for the link.

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by TheChas In reply to Upgrade from M7266-M moth ...

Since you are planning a major upgrade, I suggest that you look at a new case.

For just another $20 to $30, you can have a new case and power supply and open up a full range of motherboards.

Switching to a faster CPU, and 8X video, your present case may not have enough power supply or cooling.

Also, your case may not have screw bosses where your new motherboard needs them.

As far as choices, stick with the major brands:
Abit, ASUS, Epox, FIC, Shuttle

Biostar ECS and MSI are other options.

I do recommend that you avoid mixed chip-set motherboards in general.

As to XP, you will likely need to perform at least a repair install. The drivers for the chip-set on your new motherboard WILL be different.

A quick search at NewEgg shows at least a half dozen motherboards from the majors.

Chas

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by suceress In reply to

To make a long story short, money is tight and even the extra $20-$30 is not feasible at this point. Plus the only cases I've seen for sale within 150 miles of me are at least $80 (I'm rather far from any computer stores-- the nearest computer store is 100 miles away).
My PC did not come with reinstall disks so once I install a DVD burner I will try to make backups and such.
Is there much of a difference between the processors that use socket A and the ones that use the other sockets?
Also, how do I find out which processor/chipset combos will require a stronger power supply?
Thank you very much for the answers.

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by TheChas In reply to Upgrade from M7266-M moth ...

Since you are planning a major upgrade, I suggest that you look at a new case.

For just another $20 to $30, you can have a new case and power supply and open up a full range of motherboards.

Switching to a faster CPU, and 8X video, your present case may not have enough power supply or cooling.

Also, your case may not have screw bosses where your new motherboard needs them.

As far as choices, stick with the major brands:
Abit, ASUS, Epox, FIC, Shuttle

Biostar ECS and MSI are other options.

I do recommend that you avoid mixed chip-set motherboards in general.

As to XP, you will likely need to perform at least a repair install. The drivers for the chip-set on your new motherboard WILL be different.

A quick search at NewEgg shows at least a half dozen motherboards from the majors.

Chas

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by suceress In reply to

Because of the links and advice of pretty much everyone who replied I have found a suitable motherboard. The A8V-MX. It has just about everything I need except the firewire-- which I found I can get at newegg for about $10 or less.
Now I just need to hope that the DMA/ATA 133(ULTRA) will work with my ATA 100 harddrives and DVD writer as well as the floppy drive. I'm seriously considering putting my old LS 120 super disk drive in because the one that came with my HP 9905 is defective-- come to think of it, the DVD drive is also defective (no matter what software I use to play dvd movies it skips and messes up the sound-- with the original sound card and the replacement).
Anyways, thank you to everyone who helped. Sorry I got confused about the acceptable/unacceptable thing. I swear my brain actually used to work at one time...
If anyone has tips or comments or whatever please feel free to PM me.

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by TheChas In reply to Upgrade from M7266-M moth ...

As to cases, I base my prices on what can be found at web sellers like NewEgg and Geeks.com

I no longer install anything less than a 400 watt power supply.

I see in another answer that you are considering a 64 bit CPU. For that, you want at least 500 watts.

For research, check out these sites:

http://www.extremetech.com/

http://www.tomshardware.com/

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/

http://www.pcguide.com/ref/

http://www.aceshardware.com/

http://arstechnica.com/index.ars

http://www.x86.org/

Don't neglect that information that can be found at both the CPU manufactures web site, and the motherboard manufactures site.

Chas

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by suceress In reply to

Ooh, Thank you! That is actually very helpful. Especially the bit about the power supply. I just keep coming up with new questions! Does the power supply have to be larger? I actually got a large case when I ordered my PC so I have to check to see if there is room. I drove for 4 hours to get to Houston earlier to look and the cheapest case they had was about $50 for a tiny one. I asked about micro ATX boards and they didn't have any but the employees were rather nice. They advised me to pick a processor first and then try to find out which chipsets and motherboards fit. They could not tell me what the difference between socket 754 and 939 is. I mean, I gather they are different shapes and designed for different chips, but is one type better than another? As far as I can tell they seem to be about the same price. Also, is there an advantage to having 1024Kb L2 cache size vs 512Kb?
They did try to convince me to get the new GeForce 6200 OC but I told them that was out of the question at this time. That may be something to add later on.. I wonder if the 500 watt power supply would handle that...
Ok.. I just read something and I see that it says 754 is the low end.. But is there much difference in performance?
I'm going to look up info on the CPUs and make a decision. I was thinking of going with an ASUS board if I can find one but I can't seem to navigate the site. It keeps taking me back to the main page over and over.
Again, thank you very much for answering.

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