Hello everbody, I just wanna start out saying how much I love these forums. These forums have helped me expand my knowledge and helped me to choose what hardware to buy.

Well, to summarize i got a new case to switch my Dell case out, while switching the MOBO out I realized the Dell motherboard was not standard, and therefore would not fit in the new case. I thought about rigging it up in there, but I dont like crappy rigged up computers, so I decided on getting a new MOTHERBOARD, but I'm totally lost on what type to get. I've tried to research this, but im worried that Ill get the wrong MOBO. Also can i move my pentium chip over to the new MOBO? And do i have to get one that will be compatible with my AGP video card. Should i just go ahead and get a new processor chip too?And will the new MOBO fit?

Let me get the story going now. I have a Dell, dont hate on me,i got it like 3-4 years ago and it was the only way I could get my parents to let me get it when I was in highschool. But I've slowly been converting Dell parts out upgrading it. My system so far is P4 HT 2.6 Mgz, 120 G hardrive, BFG 6800 GS AGP, 1.2 G RAM, DVD burner, and I think thats all.

Now just recently my hardrive began to fail. So I got a new Seagate 320G hardrive, and decided what the hell and got a Gig stick of ram and a new case. Dell has the worse cases ever, so i decided to get an Aspire X-cruiser. And now the mobo wont fit in the new case. So now im computerless until I get it in the case.

I'd appreciate any help from anyone. Sorry for the long post but I always gotta tell everything thats going down. I usually order from newegg so any recommendations on that site would be great. I'm dont really want to spend over $150. Even less would be great. But if anyone can help I would really appreciate it b/c my computer is gutted and useless at the moment.
And here is a link to the type of motherboard i currently have, my case is very simuliar too, but its a tower and does not lay flat. But the case still looks the same and opens the same way. The MOBO is at the bottom of the page.

And Im a big gamer too, and im sure that affects the type of MOBO i need. And I have two 512 ram sticks, and the 1 gig stick that are DDR 400 (PC 3200). I think that matter too. Any help would again be appreciated. I believe this well be the last piece that links me to Dell, so im really excited about getting away from these damn proprietary parts. Thanks for any help.
Der Meister
dl this program so we know the socket type

run it and look it will tell you every thing about your computer
I would but my computer is not working now. When i removed everything from my Dell case i believe i ruined my "on" button. Because when i reinstalled everything on my back into my old case, the mother board had power(green light came on on the mobo), but the desktop would do nothing when i hit the power button, plus i thing i might've jacked the "on" button's cord connector rying to remove it. Is there any way physically I could find out the socket type? And what is socket type?

*edit* Just thought I'd add my Dell was a 8300 series. But after a new mother board I will not be a Dell slave no more.
Der Meister
well once you game me your model # i was able to find what type os socket your mobo has.
the Socket refers to how the CPU interfaces with the board, its plug if you will.

from what i found its a 478 socket

so any 478 socket mobo should work. you can check to see what the socket its self says some will say on them what they are some wont.
478 seems sounds really familiar on this system. Would I have to remove the heat sink"is that the big multi tall wall covering the processor". Sorry man I'ven ever had to work on a mobo. Where would I the markings be at? And is there any mobo you could recommend off of Newegg? And thanks alot Der Meister the info you given me so far is awsome, and hopefully within the next 4 days I will own no Dell propreitary parts.
Der Meister
humm yes you would, then i would advise not to do so since it will kill the thermal compound, which you'll need to get some more of when you do the CPU swap from you current mobo to the one you get. this one looks good it will support you P4 with HT.

Okay, little to late I took the heat sink off already, but I put it backon without damaging any of the processors pins. What is this thermal compound your talking about. And not to insult the site you gave me put I've never ordered from there. Would you know a product on newegg? Is this similar to the one you recommended?

Sorry but i've gone through newegg with all the other parts ive gotten and never had a problem. So what do you think Der Meister? Well that mobo be really good are should i get another one? And please describe the thermal compound, will i need to order that too? Im apologize for so many questions, but the mobo is definitel the hardest hardware for me to try and understand. Thanks alot so far for the info!
Der Meister
Gigabyte GA-8IG1000MK(newegg)

the thermal paste. it the compound that goes on the CPU and transfers the heat from the CPU the the Heat sink. the most popular type is Artic Silver

This was from another thred (about how to replace the thermal paste)

Originally posted by: giantjoebot
There is a bit more that you have to do. You have to get some 99% isopropyl alcohol and some coffee filters. After removing the heat sink clean the top of the CPU using the alcohol and coffe filter. I also like using cotton swabs first because they seem to get the thermal compond off better than just the coffee filters, but use the coffe filters after wards. After they are all clean hit them with some compressed air, like the kind you use to clean a keyboard. Make sure to hold the can I'd say about 6 to 8 inches away, and as much upright as possible so the propelant doesn't come out. If you are using a 3rd party heatsink then you might need to clean that too. You can either just use the themal pad that comes on the stock heatsink (make sure not to touch it if you do), or you can use some thermal paste. If your using a 3rd party cooler than most likely you will be using thermal paste. It will come with some, but arctic silver is the best. You should read these instructions on arctic silver's website.
Wow, that seems really complicated working with the artic silver. Is it easier than it seems? And is that motherboard a board you would recommend? Im ready to order this stuff tonight so I was just wanting to know for sure this was a good idea. That motherboard seems like a winner, supposed to be small, supports AGP, love the price, and has some great reviews. Your opinions? Oh thanks alot the the thread on the artic silver.
Der Meister
yep its going to be small its micro atx. they seem not to make many good boards that are not micro atx. the compound replacement isnt that hard over all. i need to see if it case supports Micro atx, that will be the determining factor if this board is a (go) or (no go).

looks like you case supports micro atx but your PSU is a normal atx from factor... hold on a sec i need to check some stuff out

do you have your case already? if so and if i comes with a PSU can you count the number of pins on the main mobo power connector. its either going to be 20 or 20+4 or 24
This is the case I recently bought from newegg. Aspire X-cruiser
What do you think? And what is everything ill need on this order beside the mobo and the artic silver?
Der Meister
you going to use the PSU from your dell to power this bad boy?
Nope, I upgraded the PSU when i got the BFG 6800 GS. The PSU i have is Thermaltake 430W, will that be sufficient?
Der Meister
cool it will work well. all you need to do when you plug the power into the MOBO you need to make shure that the extra 4 pins arnt pluged in. its a GO!