Anonymous asked in Computers & InternetHardwareDesktops · 1 month ago

How to tell what computer upgrades work with what I have?

I'm looking to upgrade my CPU and motherboard since they're over 10 years old. I've already upgraded other parts and I'm concerned I'll purchase the wrong parts (again). I'm not looking for people to tell what parts to get, rather learn how to figure it out myself so I don't have to ask again the next time I need an upgrade.

Does every motherboard/cpu support every harddrive and graphics card? Assuming it meets size requirements.

4 Answers

  • Bill-M
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    Parts Compatibility is the Main Problem when upgrading or building a new computer.

    Start with the CPU -  You basically have two options,  INTEL or AMD and they are not interchangeable. CPU's are identified by many things but the most important for Compatibility is the SOCKET Type and Number.

    For Example if you purchase a 10th Generation Intel i7 CPU, it's socket number will be  LGA-1200.  But if you purchase a Intel Core i9 Extreme CPU, it's socket number will be LGA-2066.   The Sockets are different, they have a different pin layout and number of pins.

    Now that you have chosen your CPU you have to get a Motherboard with the SAME Socket type.  So if you get the i7 CPU with the LGA-1200 Socket, you have to get an Intel Motherboard with the SAME socket type.

    Once you get the Motherboard you look up all it's specifications.   Next comes the MEMORY (RAM) Modules.   They are also identified by socket type.  DDR-4  or DDR-3 (older).

    Motherboards may come with onboard Video in which case you have to get a CPU with onboard graphics (most of INTEL do, AMD don't).   If you do get a CPU without onboard graphics then you will have to purchase a Graphics Card (GPU) for the Motherboard.

    Read the Specifications completely for the CPU and Motherboard.

    Next issue is the Power Supply.  What Wattage should you get.   20% more than what you actually need.   800 Watts or 1000 Watts is good.  Unless your building a Gaming Computer with Two graphics Cards.  If you get a Graphics Card (GPU), it may have it's own Power Supply connector.   Make sure your power supply has the plugs for a GPU.

    Power Supply plugs are standard and will fit any type of Motherboard and Case.

    Get a Power supply with detachable cables, that way you don't have a cable mess inside the box.

  • 1 month ago

    NVMe and M2 drives [both are SSD versions] will not fit on a 10 year old mobo.  Other than that, as long as your drives are 2 Tb or less, you're good to go.  *** Frankly, I suggest looking into replacing the mobo, cpu, gpu, and RAM ... current models, or even ones that are two years old, are far superrior to what you're using now, even if that is a Z68 mobo and any Intel cpu from that era.  -- grampa  [I build my own]

  • 1 month ago

    Don't! Build a whole new PC. All your 10 year old stuff will be outdated.

  • 1 month ago

    No.  Each mother board has it's own needs.  Start with the MOtherboard.  Check the socket for what CPU it will accept, and it's ability to upgrade later.  Next, check the RAM slots for the type of RAM you need and how much it will take total.  You want to see how much upgrade you can do in the future, should you so choose.  Next check the number of USB ports, especially USB 2.0 and 3.0.  USB is backward compatible, so having the newest is always best.  Imagine what you want to do with your PC and then see if those parts (SSD vs HDD, etc) will work with the MB. If not, go on to the next MB.  Everything builds off the motherboard. 

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