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Upgrade Advice Requested - MoBo,CPU,GPU or NEW

Last response: in Components
January 17, 2009 7:27:48 PM

I have an HP Pavlilion D4100e with the following:
- Motherboard is proprietary HP made by ASUS (A8AE-LE)
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (Socket 939)
- 3 Gig DDR-400MHz Dual Channel SDRAM
- Promise Raid Array (2 150G SATA Drives set up for performance) Plus 2 IDE Drives
- Nvidia GeForce 8800GTS
- Dual Monitors (24" running 1900x1200 & 19" running 1280x1024)

I am debating on whether to put any more money into this system or start down a path to another new system canibalizing anything that I can from this one.

It would appear to me that I have a few options, but would like to get some thoughts from the community.

1. I could upgrade the AMD to a 4800+ : My research says that this is the fast chip available that will work in this motherboard.
2. I could SLI the 8800GTS (I think...need to check slots to make sure).
3. I might be able to upgrade the Motherboard to something more standard and then upgrade CPU and Memory while keeping the RAID, 8800GTS, etc.

If I were to do #1 and/or #2 above is it really worth the effort and cost and would I get noticable improvements in performance.

I am not absolutely sure that #3 is an option. I see that the MoBo is an ATX form factor, but I could not find any specific references to replacing the Mobo in an HP Pavilion.

I would like to play games as good resolution and performance. I also do some video/audio encoding as well as some limited PhotoShop.

I am not opposed to an overall new system, but would love not to spend extra dollars if I can sneak some more time out of this one. Not sure what this community thinks, but since I am a fan of HP, the new Firebird (Voodoo DNA) looks very attractive. My challenge with it is that it does not look like it is a system with longevity in mind. I love the idea of a stylish system that is a very good performer and quiet.

I greatly appreciate any advice/suggestions that can be offered.
January 21, 2009 11:41:33 AM

Welcome to the forums!

3 is an option if you change the case, motherboard, power supply.
1 is a sensible option if you can find it cheap and your motherboard supports it. Ask HP.
2 is not an option. You don't have 2 PCI-Express slots.

January 21, 2009 11:51:55 AM

Personally I'd scrap the lot as its really limited on upgradeabillity.
You could keep the basics + card and perhaps get something that will run better for $400-500 (top of head price)
Would include, mobo cpu psu ram case, add your single card and HDD / drives in then you got yourself a nice rig. If you go AMD and aim for a cheap AM2+ socket it will last you a good few years.

Ofc if you dont want to pump that sorta money then i would agree on the CPU upgrade being the better (only?) choice.
January 21, 2009 2:27:10 PM

Full specs of Mobo:

Best route IMO is CPU (at least one acquaintance has reported success, though he went the third-party route. And unless you can sell RAM chips, not really worth adding the extra 1GB. Honestly though, if you really want max performance, start with a clean slate, as prthej2 suggests.