Upgrader - The Mother(board) of all upgrades

Most motherboards today retail for $200 to $300. Mid-speed processors cost from about $170 (for a Celeron 566 or Duron 700) to $480 (for a Pentium III 800 or Athlon 900). Don't skimp on RAM: go for 128MB (about $230).

For a total investment of between $600 and $1000, you'll have a powerhouse PC. If your budget is smaller, consider 64MB of RAM (about $100).

Most computers made in the past four years have cases that require a motherboard with an ATX form factor. If you're replacing an ATX motherboard, you can choose from a wide variety of boards, differing mainly in the processor types and speeds they support. Your best bet is to choose the processor you want and then purchase a motherboard that supports it.

If your PC is older, its case probably requires a board with an AT form factor. Check your system manual to be sure, but if your serial and parallel ports aren't built into the side of the board, you probably have an AT motherboard.

If so, consider buying a bare-bones ATX system - essentially a motherboard (usually with CPU and RAM) installed in a case with a power supply - and then transfer the drives and cards from your old system to it. Take care, however, if you have lots of ISA add-in boards: most new motherboards have few (or no) ISA slots.

The occasion of replacing your motherboard is also a good time to upgrade other components in your system, such as the hard drive or the graphics card.

Important: before you start your motherboard transplant, run a full system backup.

  • the top down

  • 1. Remove the cards and cables

  • 2 Remove the old motherboard

  • 3 Install the RAM and processor

  • 4 Install the new motherboard

  • 5 Reinstall cards and cables

  • 6 Start it up

  • Join the newsletter!

    Or

    Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

    Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

    Error: Please check your email address.
    Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

    Stan Miastkowski

    PC World
    Show Comments

    Brand Post

    Most Popular Reviews

    Latest Articles

    Resources

    PCW Evaluation Team

    Luke Hill

    MSI GT75 TITAN

    I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

    Emily Tyson

    MSI GE63 Raider

    If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

    Laura Johnston

    MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

    If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

    Andrew Teoh

    Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

    Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

    Louise Coady

    Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

    The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

    Edwina Hargreaves

    WD My Cloud Home

    I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

    Featured Content

    Product Launch Showcase

    Latest Jobs

    Don’t have an account? Sign up here

    Don't have an account? Sign up now

    Forgot password?