Choosing Motherboard upgrades with new ports (sockets). £40-£200
Whilst this may not be the obvious choice when upgrading your PC, a motherboard is the foundations, the control center and it is the final decision maker when you come to upgrade your CPU, RAM, GFX Card and Hard drive since they all slot into it..meaning your motherboard will be restricted to support certain types of each and as I keep mentioning, you must do your research on your motherboards manufacturer site before purchasing new parts. Motherboards can also have a small positive effect on performance when you upgrade too, because of fresh ports and newer more powerful electrical circuitry and features you wouldn't find on older boards. Tempted?
ATX DDR2 Motherboard (old)
This is a design of an older motherboard commonly found in aged PC's. Its an ATX which is a size, there is also Micro ATX for more compact PC's. This model pictured supports AMD Athlon CPU's and is only a 32bit motherboard. It has only 2 RAM slots with a max of 4/8GB allowed because it is limited to DDR2 RAM restrictions. It does have a good set of PCI slots for graphics and so forth, but you are limited to every part you install inside your PC because they wont work if your motherboard doesn't support it. If you are thinking of brand new CPU's and Graphics cards, you will definitely need to upgrade.
ATX DDR3/4 Gaming Motherboard (new)
Straight away you should see the difference in advancement of this motherboard. With twice as many RAM slots, HD ports and extra Express ports, a 64bit Motherboard so you can run Windows in 64bit, 8x more RAM and is now DDR3/4, room for 2 crossfire graphics cards, onboard HD ports for your monitor, ports for tv tuner/usb expansion, most likely dual-bios (in case one fails), residue resistant and more. It doesn't set you back much money either with the average motherboard like this is not 3 figures, and even if you lack a graphics card with one of these motherboards you could still play modern games. The possibilities of upgrading your motherboard are seemingly endless and well worth it. Unfortunately for laptops though, motherboards are specific shapes for each laptop so it's not possible to upgrade your laptop motherboard to a better model.