What new motherboard should I buy to replace the one in my old Gateway 700XL (Intel D850EMV2)?

A month or two ago, I believe my NVIDIA graphics card's fan died ( http://support.gateway.com/s//VIDCARD/VisionTEk/6002322/6002322nv.shtml ). As soon video artifacts caused by the overheating chip made it impossible to use the machine, it was decided that a new AGP graphics card should be obtained. The newly-purchased BFG GeForce 7800 ( http://www.bfgtech.com/7800GS_256.html ), however, required more power than our current power-supply could support.

I purchased a new BFG 650-watt power supply (http://www.bfgtech.com/power_supply_650W.html) to replace the old 250-watt supply in preparation for the graphics card upgrade. The new power supply didn't fit in Gateway's chassis ( http://support.gateway.com/s//CASES/3501242/3501242nv.shtml ), but some leather lacing took care of securing that into place. Unfortunately, after everything was connected, I realized that the new power supply was missing an Aux ATX plug ( http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHERBD/INTEL/2515762/2515762mvr6.shtml ) that our motherboard required. I purchased an adapter that would create this plug on the new power supply ( http://www.pcpartscollection.com/20atxpoextca.html ).

So here we are, on an upgrade rampage. At this point, why not order a new processor to replace the old 2.8 GHz one? Suddenly, we've purchased a Pentium 4 Extreme Edition ( http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=P43400F478&cpc=SCH ). Uh-oh. Maybe that was a little too impulsive... I don't think my current motherboard will support that chip (motherboard information below). So now what? New motherboard? As it just so happens, these two boards seem to match my needs: http://www.intel.com/products/motherboard/D865PERL/index.htm   and   http://www.intel.com/products/motherboard/d865gbf/index.htm  .  I'm not entirely sure what makes these two boards different. BUT WAIT! I use RDRAM (information on the RAM below). I will need to purchase NEW, compatible RAM if I am to buy one of the two new motherboards (right?).

+++++My Questions+++++++++++++++

Below I have listed information regarding my current machine's components. What should I do? Which motherboard should I buy? Will I need new RAM? Should I be looking into a brand-new case at this point?


My old Gateway 700XL uses an Intel D850EMV2 motherboard ( http://www.intel.com/design/motherbd/mv2/ ).

Additional Motherboard Information:

Manufacturer : Intel Corporation
MP Support : No
Model : D850EMV2
Version : AAA87987-401
System BIOS : 51-2300-000000-00101111-030199-

I'm using the following processor currently:

Model : Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.80GHz
Speed : 2.78GHz
Performance Rating : PR3035 (estimated)
Cores per Processor : 1 Unit(s)
Threads per Core : 1 Unit(s)
Package : FC µPGA478
Rated Speed/FSB : 2800MHz / 4x 133MHz
Multiplier : 21/1x
Minimum/Maximum Multiplier : 0/1x / 21/1x
Generation : G8
Name : P4N (Northwood) Pentium 4C 130nm 1.6-3.4GHz 1.475-1.575V
Revision/Stepping : 2 / 7 (9)
Stepping Mask : C1
Microcode : MU0F2737
Core Voltage Rating : 1.550V
Maximum Physical / Virtual Addressing : 36-bit / 32-bit
Native Page Size : 4kB

There are four sticks of the following RAM, totaling 2GB:

Model : MR16R 162GAF0-CM8
Technology : 16x(256Mx16)
Speed : PC800-40
Standard Timings : 2/2 (tCAC/tRCD)
Version : 1.0
Date of Manufacture : Tuesday, September 10, 2002
Set Timing @ 411MHz : 2/2 (tCAC/tRCD)

There are 4 IDE devices in the machine (two Western Digital ATA 120-GB 7200RPM Hard Drives R1 - WDC WD1200BB-53CAA1, one MATSHITA DVD-RAM LF-D311, one CDRW drive, and a floppy which seems inconsequential and thus is not included in the total number of IDE devices). 4 of the 5 PCI slots in the machine are in use. The AGP slot is home to the graphics card.
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If you want to use the new CPU, new RAM is needed for this mobo. Other devices can be used on new mobos as you listed above.
You will need a Socket 478 motherboard that supports EE chips (800MHz bus minimum requirement).  The 2 Intel motherboards you reference are long out of production.  One may be available on e-bay or on the used market.  Your current board won't work with the EE CPU you purchased.

As long as you're at it, might as well ditch the proprietary Gateway case and purchase a new case, providing you can find a compatible motherboard.

Currently available new socket 478 mobos on sites I checked are based on VIA 800 and 890 chipsets which do not support EE CPUs to the best of my knowledge.


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With this many PCI slots in use, I would go with a robust SUPERMICRO motherboard.  They are a little more than the average, but they are server quality -- and MOST of all, Supermicro has stuck well to the principle of LOTS of PCI slots on their motherboards.  I always recommend them for high powered servers, but for your use, it would be more than enough, and would run rings around any cheap asian gateway MB.

www.supermicro.com -- go through the site until you find the board to fit your existing CPU and RAM.
BlueArctosAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys. I might re-think my approach. At this point, I'm practically building a new system.
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