Ive finished with my build, girlfriend used my computer, now it seems i'll have to do a little bit of upgrading to her puter.
Its an HP Pavilion a6113w Desktop with the Pentium E2140 (C) 1.6 GHz processor and P5LP-LE Leonite mobo.
I figure if i can still use the processor I'd like to start off with replacing the mobo and would kindly ask for said replacement options.
This will be done in steps, mobo, then ram, then cpu, then gpu.
Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
You'll want to upgrade both the CPU and motherboard at the same time, otherwise you'll be stuck with Socket 775, which is basically a discontinued technology.
If you don't have $800 to pony up for a complete new system right away, I'd recommend an AMD quad-core (or at least triple-core) processor, which you can get in a combo deal with a motherboard for under $200
Either of those deals should let you keep your existing DDR2 RAM, and the motherboards come with onboard video, which should hold you over until you can get an add-on graphics card.
When you're ready for a GPU, a 58xx series will be well matched to that processor, though if she's not planning on doing gaming, you don't need anything nearly as powerful. Or if she plans on gaming but don't have a big budget, a 5770 will do. Yes, at that point, you will need to upgrade the power supply also.
she uses the hp pavillion above.
internet, farm town, farmville, internet gaming alot!
she isnt into the real heavy gaming, yet, on board graphics will work for now, but I see no upgrade path for what she has now and would like to future proof her system.
It has ddr2 ram currently, but it is only pc2-5300 (333mhz)
Id like to be able to do a little tweaking for her, especially after she used my new x2 550 BE build!!
I was looking at this combo option from newegg:
The combo you mentioned downgrades from a quad-core to a dual-core while only saving $40. Not worth giving up that much performance to get that savings, if you ask me. I'd still get the second of the two combo deals on my list.
You want to talk about future-proofing, you'll be very glad two years from now that you spent a little more to get the quad core.
RAM is about the same situation with either deal ... basically, if you buy a board that lets you keep the existing DDR2, you're going to be stuck on DDR2 until your next motherboard after this one. Go to a DDR3 board, and you'll have to spend another $80 or so buying new memory, but you'll be on the new standard. It's your call.
Personally, I think that with a decent quad core and 4GB of DDR2 upgradeable to 8GB, you can be pretty confident that her machine will last about as long as it's possible to in computer terms.
Looking at the available processors for the board, the prices on the faster intel cpu's that would work seem pretty high, and there is no upgrade path beyond that.
For a little more than what I would be paying for the cpu I can get a newer cpu and mobo..
Unless im not looking at the right processors!
I don't think your existing motherboard will support a quad core.
Socket 775 CPUs can use either 65nm or 45nm technology, with 45nm being what most of the newer and better processors use. A lot of older motherboards only support 65nm, and if that's the case, then you are not only limited to Socket 775 CPUs, but basically to Socket 775 CPUs that came out in 2007 or earlier. Which would rule out a Q8200. It looks like all the CPUs on your support list from HP are 65nm and top out at dual-cores, so that's not a good sign.
Now, it's often that a mobo manufacturer will come out with a BIOS update that lets the board deal with newer CPUs (which would at least let you use a handful of 65nm quad cores like the Q6600) ... but since this is a board made specifically for HP, I don't think it's too likely there will be any BIOS updates. HP wants you to buy a new machine; they don't make any money if you upgrade your old one.
In summary, while there's a chance you'll be able to save a few bucks and just drop a late-model quad core like a Q8200 into the existing motherboard, I'd say it's a slim chance, and there will be a lot of uncertainty until the moment you try. The AMD quad core is going to work for sure, and I'm about 75% sure your existing board is going to top out below the AMD's performance level anyway.
I guess what the issue comes down to is, how serious is she about playing Crysis or anything on that level.
If you're not looking for a full-on gaming rig, I agree, just replacing the CPU is going to be the cheaper improvement, and it'll be plenty for doing Internet gaming and the like that you mentioned. A noticeable upgrade, but understand that it'll be the max for that machine unless you rip out the motherboard.
If she really IS looking to play a lot of newer games, $150 for a newer motherboard and current-generation CPU is where to start. It's really your call to figure out whether or not that's a waste of money for your purposes.