Some motherboards cannot be installed in some
compact desktop computers because many compact PCs use motherboards specially designed to
save space. Always tell the vendor supplying your new system board about the make and
model of your PC before you buy to avoid this problem.
What Do I Gain?
Here are a few reasons to upgrade your PCs
You want a
faster 486- or Pentium-class processor.
You want more
memory capacity than your current system board provides.
You want to
take advantage of faster bus technologies such as VESA or PCI.
You want the
advanced features and performance of the latest motherboards.
You want to be
able to use more, or different, types of expansion boards.
aging Model T of a PC may become a real race car with a new motherboard/ processor
The list goes on and on. Your reasons for
performing a motherboard upgrade may be uniquely your own, but when you actually perform
the upgrade, youre not alone.
Upgrading your PCs motherboard can be fun,
but not carefree. This type of upgrade is not a task for a
beginner. We cannot emphasize enough the difficulty of a motherboard upgrade. (If the
idea of removing your computers cover makes you squeamish, you should not consider
doing this upgrade.) Even if you are confident, bring a lot of patience to the task.
To do it without creating errors requires a lot of documentation and careful thought.
New motherboards feature Socket 7, Socket 370, or
Slot 1 designs. The Socket 7 and 370 design is based on a small white square perforated
with holes designed to accept the pin connectors in the bottom of a conventional
Pentium-class or certain Intel Celeron microprocessors. The newer Slot 1 design is a long
narrow socket that rises from the motherboard and accepts Intels Pentium II, Pentium
III, and certain Celeron microprocessors. You wont find different slots on the same
Ironically, your motherboard choices are limited only by the computers lowest
technology component: the case itself. Both the AT motherboard and the baby AT motherboard
(which simply is a more compact version of the original AT) can fit in one type of case.
The newer ATX motherboard, however, requires an entirely different case design.
Youll also have to make certain the case has enough openings in the back for all of
the slots in your new motherboards expansion bus.
(NOTE: If your new motherboard has a mouse socket built into it, make sure your old
case has a hole for the mouse socket. If not, youll need to drill a hole or cut one
with a hacksaw before installing the new motherboard.)
Fortunately, AT, baby AT, and ATX motherboards are built to an industry
standard that defines the exact location of expansion slots, keyboard sockets,
etc. That means most computer cases have holes in the right places for sockets, stand-off
posts, bolts, and so on.
Unfortunately, a handful of computer manufacturers deviate from these standards. Instead
of building the expansion slots directly onto the motherboard, for example, they use a
second daughterboard (sometimes called a riser) to hold the
expansion slots. Before you attempt to replace your motherboard, make sure your present
computer doesnt use one of these nonstandard designs. (Your best bet: Tell the Our
sales rep the manufacturer and model of the PC youre upgrading.)
Determine whether you need a new motherboard using our Chart (click