You could simply upgrade to DX58SO2, which added native SATA3 and USB3 support...
Yes, the DX58SO2 board is certainly on the list for my upgrade.
The question remains: Can I upgrade to a Intel SATA board without going through the painful reinstallation of the OS, programs, data and setting process.
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Well, since, in this case, you wouldn't be upgrading the chipset, there should, in theory, be no issues (famous last words?). I have done this without issue - but, to be honest, I am not sure whether I attached the drive to a SATA3 port on the SO2 board (for my limited testing scenario, it didn't matter)...
From a process standpoint, when I grab a new board, I always install the latest BIOS before anything else. I always do this from a (bootable) flash stick (HDD/SSD not even plugged in yet), booting MSDOS and using iFlash2, to avoid any complications. I prepare this flash stick ahead of time and I also load it with all of the latest driver update packages available on the Intel web site. If you can't handle booting from a flash stick, make sure you download all of the drivers to your HDD/SSD before you shutdown the SO board. I might suggest that you plug your boot drive into a SATA2 port on the new board first, let it boot and reenumerate the hardware, install all of the latest drivers (I usually say no to any reboot requests so that I can install them all without the *many* reboots that would be asked for - but, for it to work, you need to make sure you install the INF Update package last), When you run the INF Update package, let it reboot the system and, once all update activity is done (depending upon the version of Windows, it might require another reboot during this process) and you have checked that everything seems to work ok, shutdown and try moving the drive to a SATA3 port. I would also recommend that you do this without any secondary HDD/SSD drives plugged in.
P.S. Regardless of anything else, I would make sure that you do an image backup of your boot drive before you start the process, so you can recover if something goes wrong.
Thank you so much for your detailed response and great ideas!
(Before I would start on a project such as this, I usually make 2 boot-able clones of my hard drive just in case).
Where would I find more info on moving a boot drive to a new machine and creating the flash stick that you described? Also, is sysprep necessary or helpful if your goal is not to reinstall the OS?
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Sysprep is not needed at all. As for the flash stick, I built an image using Windows 98 (which provided all of the MSDOS programs and utilities) years ago, enhanced it with 4DOS, etc. and I have continued to use this image ever since. HP had a free application, called DriveKey, that you can download and use to perform the formatting operation. DriveKey allows you to provide a location where you have the MSDOS.SYS, IO.SYS and COMMAND.COM files saved and uses them to format the flash stick. Thus, all I did was make a simple backup of my original flash stick and now I can run the tool to format a new flash stick and then I just copy on all the necessary DOS, driver and utility files. For someone starting from scratch, you can do this with (open source) FreeDOS; just go to the web page for this effort and you should be able to find instructions for doing this...
Thanks again for sharing your knowledge. It gives me the confidence to go ahead and spend some money for a moderate increase in performance (while hopefully saving two or three days of intensive installation of data, software and tweaking settings etc).
I guess my plan is to download the latest motherboard drivers and then clone my SSD to my Raptor. I will use the raptor is the guinea pig. If I can get the raptor to work on the new machine, then I will try the SSD on the sata 2 connection. Once that works, I guess I can just move the SSD over to the sata 3 connection and be done?
What situation would sysprep come into play?
The main reason for this upgrade would be to utilize the new 6 GB interface and a new sata3 SSD rated in the upper 500's. From reading other posts, this whole exercise may not achieve much if any performance increase over the SSD speeds I am currently achieving at about 280 r\w with my SATA 2 SSD?
Is this correct?