Re: Intel Atom 230 & i7-3970X
You positively cannot drop an i7 into an Atom board. Completely different interface and architecture.
How much money do you have to throw at an upgrade? Considering you're thinking about getting a $1000 CPU, it's safe for me to assume that you have that much money.
For about $1000, you could put together a rig that will handle everything you want to throw at it and have a nice upgrade path.
FX-8350 @ 4.7 cooled by H80, 32GB Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 2133, Asus Sabertooth 990FX, 2x Radeon HD 7850 2GB in X-fire, 500GB Samsung 850 Evo, 4TB Seagate, 3TB WD Black, 2x 1TB WD RED in RAID 0