Yay! Got my upgrade... What a nightmare getting it to work though. Lol. The smallest and simplest of things can be a real pain in an inappropriate place..
Anyway, as promised.. Pictures attached below.
I'm thoroughly impressed with my 'new' (to me anyway) motherboard, a sexy MSI 990FXA-GD65 v3.0. Pretty sweet stats on this board too. Like 8x USB2, 2x USB3, 6x SATA3 (with no SATA2), dual PCI-e 16x (that don't drop to 8x with SLI or CrossFire), and I think it also supports all the x4 and x6 AMD chips too....
The board didn't have the CPU heatsink mounting bracket attached when it arrived and I couldn't find any screws that would fit it, so I ended up steal the mounting bracket backplate and screws from my old XFX 750a board. Then when I finally got everything connected, I installed it in my case.
Well, let's just say I could've saved myself a lot of sore fingertips and foul language by testing it open on my desk first.... It simply wouldn't boot. Motherboard lights came on and the heatsink fan started spinning, but no POST, no BIOS, no beeps, no video output, just nothing. After removing it all from my case again, and setting up a makeshift testbed, I resorted to swapping out the CPU for my older x3 710.
Now here's the funny part... When I picked up my Zalman heatsink, the x4 975BE came out with it.
It looked like it was in properly and it didn't fall out while I was fighting with the heatsink backplate (which went on for about 4 hours), so it was the last thing I thought of checking!
Anyway, I sat pulling wire for about 2 hours to get all the cables where they were happy without being in the way of anything else... And now I have a new PC. I must say though, I love the sideways facing SATA connectors, all my drive cables are hidden nicely with a small loop to the right of my drive bay, completely out of sight... I'll post benchmarks and stuff when I get back into Windows, I'm still in Linux downloading drivers
at the moment.