ATX motherboard to upgrade from pentium 4 631 CPU

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Postby Karlsweldt » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:25 am

Typically, modern motherboards will have four or more USB ports at the rear.. plus perhaps two dual headers on the board itself, for internal use. You could add a USB backplane plate or get a bay adapter plate with SATA, USB and audio ports.
As to memory timing, the best route is to use the SPD (Serial Presence Detect) feature of the BIOS. The memory modules have an ID tag embedded, and the BIOS can read that and set the speeds accordingly. If the timings are not ideal, an error message would appear on the pre-boot screen noting a desired setting change.
Memory timings are complicated. You have a row-address strobe, a column-address strobe, and latency specs that interact. Unless set ideally, paging faults will be a downfall. http://www.overclock.net/t/9981/ram-timing-explained
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Postby ejames82 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:54 am

thank you Karlsweldt for the great tutorial. I will at least check on serial presence detect when I get the computer working and see if I can benefit. I have never heard of such a feature/utility in any of the computers I have worked on.


I am considering getting this ram. what do you think?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 3386-L014B

when I do, I am going to call them and see if they can get all four sticks identical. I will get 32gb of ram. I want this to go easy. if I get blue or black screened or unwanted behavior, I want plenty of ram to switch around to different slots to try to solve the problem. I have had some really frustrating experiences with ram. my luck has not been good.


the processor just arrived as I was typing this. its an intel i3 2120.


thanks for the reply.
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Postby Karlsweldt » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:56 am

Unless the OS is configured (designed) for 64-bit operation, and the motherboard/chipsets/processor compatible, going with more than 4 GB of memory is not practicable. Some motherboard types will slow their performance when "maxed out" with memory. Best to limit memory to what tasks and use the system is intended for. Servers with multiple processors and clients do need massive amounts of memory. But they are not 'speed demons'.
Yes, you can order a matched set of modules. But it usually is a bit more expensive than individual modules. If using a non-matched set of modules, the slowest-responding module should be installed in the first-detected slot. This will set the timings for all modules within the limits of the slower module.
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Postby ejames82 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:16 pm

I will be going with 64 bit OS's. at first I will be just installing linux. once I have the ram, maybe I will build another system. I really like to peace of mind of having the ram on hand.


I installed the cpu with heatsink and fan today. here is a pic:
http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/6011/img1317l.JPG
I have to admit that pushing down the lever and hooking it on the cpu was a tense moment. it requires more force than I anticipated. I double-checked that the cpu was in the socket properly and that no pins were bent.


for the front usb 3.0 jacks that I want, I am hoping to keep the bracket that is native to the case. I show a bunch of pictures which explain what I would like to accomplish.

here is the bracket with the native 2.0 jacks. by pushing in the black tabs in the holes and pushing the jacks inward, they come separated from the bracket.
http://img837.imageshack.us/img837/1170/img1314l.jpg
http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/2343/img1310re.jpg

I am hoping to be able to purchase the exact same thing, instead of being usb 2.0 (as these jacks are), getting one that is usb 3.0.
http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/6360/img1309p.jpg

here is a pic of the block.
http://img580.imageshack.us/img580/5222/img1313lm.jpg

I will be really hunting the web trying to find such a device.


thanks again Karlsweldt.
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Postby Karlsweldt » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:34 am

Don't be taken in by a sales pitch about USB cables and hardware that must match the standard!! The cables and ports will work properly on any USB standard.
The only concern is about the pinout order on the motherboard and plug.. either parallel connections, or opposed connections. Typically a 10-pin header with one pin missing as a 'key'. USB pinouts With the parallel configuration, both rows of pins have the same designation. With the opposed configuration, the designation of pin use is opposite on one side.
The 'block' connector you note in one link has only 8 pin holes.. and would need a hole drilled in one or both blocked holes, to mate to the board header.
With paired USB sockets, you have two cables.. paired to one header plug. Both cables are shielded to prevent RFI effects, but only one pin is required to serve as a ground connection.
For special installations of front or rear USB ports, it may be a problem of hardware availability. Some custom work may need to be done on panels or mounting plates.
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Postby ejames82 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:10 pm

alot has happened since I last posted.

I purchased 8 gigs of ram, two sticks of 4g, corsair vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B variety. it was more expensive because I bought it at bestbuy. the deciding factor was how easy it would be to return the ram if it was defective. bestbuy is near where I work, so it's not even inconvenient. it's lifetime guaranteed ram, so it better work forever or they are going to see me again.
neither the ram nor the board is defective as I am using it now to type this. I can't complain as the computer is working as well as I expected. I am still yet to check out the ability of the usb3.0, so I don't want to get to far ahead of myself. but so far, I am satisfied.

I installed OS4 (a linux distro) 64bit from usb with unetbootin. I don't think the installation took 5 minutes. I didn't have to make any changes in the bios, it was all ready to boot from usb. no errors whatsoever.

the computer looks awful. there is no plastic front piece on it, or side. I have numerous wire bunches hanging out the front through bays (the corsair tx750 has plenty of wires). I haven't really done one thing to make it look good since I deemed it ready for 'a trial run'.

now I have to go back over the thread and address several issues (bios, front usb) and permanently deal with all those wires. I still have to install a cd/dvd drive as well.

Karlsweldt, I hope you continue to keep an eye on this thread (and everyone else as well) as I don't consider myself close to done yet.

I still plan on getting more ram as well. now that I know the board is good, there will be no question as to whether newly purchased ram is good or not. if I put ram in and the computer doesn't work, then the ram has got to be at fault.

thank you. :)
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Postby ejames82 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:22 pm

Hello everybody,


I know it's been a long time, but I am dropping in to show a couple of pics of the computer, tell what has been going on, and ask a question.

the computer works great. I have installed a few things that I have never used before. one that comes to mind is virtualbox. I have no problem installing virtual machines on both linux and windows7. windows7 has xp mode which is just like running xp installed on a hard disk. not a hiccup to be found while using it. I am able to run microsoft updates for xp, install antivirus and everything else without a problem.
I also watch videos and listen to music on all OS's. if anything ever goes wrong there, it is the slow internet causing it.
I am planning on trying video and audio editing in the near future (something I tried to do unsuccessfully with other computers).

the hardware side of it:
here are some pics. I am using a corsair tx750 power supply and I am too stubborn to cut wires or wire bundles, so I am doing the best I can to deal with all that wire. I actually broke out the crowbar and spent a few bucks on some chain and suspended some chain with nuts, washers, and bolts, very tightly in what I thought were strategically the best locations inside the case to secure the wires.
these pics were taken before I secure all the wires. sorry, I didn't get any when I was finished. the battery went dead on the camera.
most of the wires were secured toward the front of the computer near the power button where they would not block airflow.

http://i58.tinypic.com/2ywvbjn.jpg
http://i62.tinypic.com/az6ywg.jpg

I like the way the chain idea has worked out. one more thing I like is that the chain wont allow much movement. when something is secured to it through a link, it cant go far. air is pretty much able to pass through it as well.


I purchased and installed 32gb of gskill ripjaws dual channel ram. I realize that all of the ram may not be used, but all the OS's installed are 64bit and every OS is showing very close to 32gb being recognized. it appears that very close to all of it is being used. it's working beautifully as I spent over a week testing the ram pairs each then over a week testing all four sticks together. 3 weeks running memtest without error.

the next thing I want to do is install some usb ports to the front. what I am being offered by the motherboard is only one 20pin connector, which won't give me four 3.0 jacks. so I can only get two jacks because they only give you two jacks per connector. there is still a unused 2.0 9pin connector on the board. if I could find a panel with two 3.0 jacks (20pin) and two 2.0 jacks (9pin) then that would be perfect. I have yet to see one. it also has to be able to work with linux though, I primarily use linux OS.

does anybody know of a panel with four usb jacks. two with 3.0 and two
with 2.0 that connects directly to the board?
does anybody know of any sites that specialize in such a thing?


I was able to find this:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/21672626?wmls ... 50&veh=sem

what I like about it, is it has the 20pin and separate 9pin connectors to the board, and it has two usb 3.0 jacks. the card readers are 'ok'. according to the reviews, the entire panel has issues. the price is not too steep though and I could probably return it to the nearest walmart if it's still covered by the warranty.

Your thoughts and advice is most appreciated.

thanks guys. :)
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Postby Karlsweldt » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:16 am

Good to hear you are not having problems with the system.
But again, don't be swayed by "must have" sales pitches about some hardware! Cables and sockets/plugs for USB will meet the USB 3.0 standards, although originally for the USB 1.0 standard. USB hubs must be certified for the higher standard. The only concern will be the cable length, which must be of heavier gauge wire for longer lengths beyond six feet, if devices are powered from the USB port.
For that item link you noted, if your motherboard has that specific 20-pin header and its pinout is compatible, then OK. But if not, you may cause damage to the board.
Neatness of wiring shows professionalism. And less turbulence for air flow.
Video editing can eat huge amounts of system memory.. well over 5 gigs for some raw files!
New Egg does offer a 4-port USB front panel for a decent price. If not served by New Egg in your area, other sources may have similar products.
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Re: ATX motherboard to upgrade from pentium 4 631 CPU

Postby ejames82 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:21 am

I have finally found what i believe will solve my need to have usb 3.0 in the front and how I would like to have 2.0 as well.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811998147

unfortunately newegg doesn't usually show adequate and relevant pictures as needed. but, newegg has a feature where you get to ask questions and read questions that others have asked. they claim the item has a 3.0 connector (that would be 20 pin) and a 2.0 connector (9 pin) and they also assure that there is at least two feet of wire. since I have made plans to build another computer I may buy another of these.
we'll check this one out first.
I will post pics.

edit: I forgot to mention that I bought the item.
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Re: ATX motherboard to upgrade from pentium 4 631 CPU

Postby evasive » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:30 am

they list the manufacturer product page:
http://logisyscomputer.com/viewsku.asp? ... K&DID=Main
it shows the cabling/connectors if you choose one of the "angle" pictures

googling on the part number gave me this page which has a view from the back:
http://www.aerocooler.com/product_info. ... ts_id=5935

in general, quite difficult to get decent pics of the thing.
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