Yeh i have a piece of crap dell and im buying a new mother board and processor the motherboard is atx and so is my case. i wanna know if i can switch everything and i also have a pci vid card would the new motherboard automatcally pick up the PCI vid card?
Before I scare the **** out of you... It should go fairly well. Upgrading Dells seems to be a regular topic. Check some of the other recent posts on MB upgrade and power supplies for more discussion that have been going on.
On the PCI video just check that the bios on the new MB is set to look for PCI video. They usually come from the factory that way.
1). Unless you are buying a MB with the same chipset brand you will have to do a "new install" of windows on your hard disk. All the drivers that are now built into that HD will be wrong and can prevent video or successful windows load (black screen or lockups during load). If you go from say Via to Via you can get by with a repair install since their 4-1 driver packs are standardized.
2). Watch the mounting hole patterns. A Dell case may not have the same hole pattern as a generic MB. (Some generic boards and cases don't even have the same hole patterns.)
3). Depending on how old your Dell is the Windows Version may be set to only work if it sees a Dell Bios. They stopped doing this a few years back but I have a very pissed off friend who had to buy an OEM copy of windows after putting a new MB in his Dell. 2 years old or newer and I think you're fine. Same comment on over ~4 year old power supplies in Dells. They used a non standard pin out and could fry a "generic ATX MB. This was also changed in the newer models.
4). Check the power supply capacity too when doing upgrades. The MB and Processor should not be an issue unless going from a Celeron/Duron class up to a 3 gig processor. A 250W rating (on a Dell power supply) should be adequate until you start looking at a 9800 Pro or FX 5900 class video card. Make sure you have the 4 pin MB power connector on your power supply. All P4 and some AMD MB's require it now. You can buy an adapter cable to go from standard molex to the P4.
I attached a step by step procedure to follow if you put the whole thing together and it won't boot. This is how I build systems (I stole it from a PC store I used to use).
Ep, glad to see you come back and tidy up...did want to ask a one day favor, I want to enhance my resume , was hoping you could make me administrator for a day, if so, take me right off since I won't be here to do anything, and don't know the slightest about the board, but it would be nice putting "served administrator osnn", if can do, THANKS