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I need a new motherboard for my PC. How can I make sure it will fit?

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is your computer a generic PC or some branded machine like Dell or HP? – Majenko Apr 20 '11 at 13:14
@Matt is a generic barebones kit I bought from Tiger Direct. It was in 2007 though so they do not carry it anymore. – JD Isaacks Apr 20 '11 at 13:15
This is a good question, but it would be a good idea to add more details. – bwDraco Apr 20 '11 at 14:27
up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you're concerned about the actual dimensions, you just need the specs for the case and motherboard from the manufacturers. They generally list the form factor for the motherboard, and which the case supports. As long as they're in sync, you're good to go.

Common form factors are: ATX, mini-ITX, micro-ATX, extended ATX. There are a few others but they're pretty niche. If this is a standard desktop tower-style machine the overwhelming odds are that you've currently got a standard ATX or micro-ATX motherboard.

(EDIT: Note that OEM machines, like from Dell or HP, may often have proprietary mounting points or I/O plate alignment. You generally can't just throw any old motherboard in a case like that.)

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+1 Thanks, I found a case exactly like mine only different color on new egg. There aren't any specs listed but its described as ATX-612WEBP ATX MID TOWER so I am assuming it bust be standard ATX. Thank you. – JD Isaacks Apr 20 '11 at 15:39
Actually the specs were listed. – JD Isaacks Apr 20 '11 at 15:56
@John - Generally cases take the appropriate size and smaller. Most ATX cases will fit micro-ATX, most EATX cases will fit both of those. But yeah, verify! – Shinrai Apr 20 '11 at 16:21

the motherboards are of different architecture for each processor it supports, so when you need to replace the motherboard for a particular processor then go for same architecture as your existing motherboard which will ideally suit the CPU architecture.

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Actually I wanted to go from 32 to 64 bit. But I am not sure how to know if the motherbaord will fit in my case. I would like to buy a BM+CPU+Case only kit but it seems like they don't sell those anymore. – JD Isaacks Apr 20 '11 at 13:24

here are Motherboard form factors, but you also have to think about:

  • the size of CPU cooler
  • PSU size/compatibility
  • size of eventual videocard if you will use a discrete one
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