I'm looking into upgrading my HP Pavilion Elite m9265.uk - I bought it around 4 years ago now, the spec is below. What I would like to do is upgrade to 8gb RAM (I am now running Windows 7 - 64bit) and overclock the CPU to around 3.2ghz.
I know that my current motherboard won't allow overclocking, but I have read that the Q6600 is very good for overclocking.
I don't play games on my PC, but do occasional webdesign and photoshop and browsing.
I'm happy with my current HDD & Graphics.
Can anyone recommend a good motherboard that will allow me to overclock my q6600, I will also purchase new RAM and I'm guessing I may need a bigger PSU, better CPU fan and maybe even a new case to accommodate the motherboard?
Budget can stretch to around £200 if necessary, just looking for a cheaper alternative than buying whole new machine.
Motherboard: Asus IPIBL-LB / Benicia-GL8E
Form Factor: Micro-ATX: 24.5 cm (9.6 inches) x 24.5 cm (9.6 inches)
The Q6600 is a great overclocker, but with your other system specs I'd say skip it. New LGA 775 motherboards are rare these days and quite spendy for what you get. What you're essentially talking about above is building a PC around a rapidly aging CPU.
I promise you'll be far hapier if you spend the money on a new Solid State Drive (SSD). Pick up something in the 120GB range and load your OS and programs onto it and you'll think you've bought a new PC (use current HDD as storage for media). Stick to one with a SATA II interface as your system can't take advantage of SATA III speeds, this should also help you get more for your money since SATA II drives are cheaper these days. I would recomend anything that says Samsung, Crucial, Intel, or Corsair on it in that order. OCZ is okay too, especially since they're cheap. But beware, lots of people have issues with them requiring RMA (I'm on my third one myself, thank god for good customer service).
EDIT: Adding a bit of RAM to get you north of 4GB isn't a bad idea though and could be done for minimal money. Buy a quality brand DDR2 (probably PC-6400, 800MHz) with a CAS latency of 4 or 5 in a single matched pair set (i.e. 2 x 2GB sticks) should do wonders. Do not run these in combination with your current memory.
The problem with SSD's is that although they will speed up program load and save time, they will not speed up the actual computing. I happen to think that they are not worth it in a budget system.
The problem with upgrading DDR2 RAM now is that it is almost cheaper to buy a new motherboard that uses DDR3 RAM and a set of DDR3 RAM.
Except for G41 boards, the supply of new LGA775 boards has dried up. Fortunately the G41 boards are pretty cheap.
If you are going to do this, my recommendation is to get a Gigabyte G41MT-S2 or -ES2L motherboard and a 2 GB X 2 set of inexpensive DDR3-1600 RAM. In the U. S., that is about $100 total (about the max I would spend on an aging system). I know U. K. prices are higher.
Go through the guide. Then take your core voltage off Auto and set your memory voltage to 1.65 volts. Change the System Memory Multiplier from AUTO to 4.0. Then when you increase the FSB, the memory clock will rise in in proportion with it. At an FSB of 266 MHz, your memory clock should be at 1066 MHz.
A Q6600 will run at 3.0 GHz with the stock cooler (333 MHz X 9, RAM clock 1333 MHz). With even a mediocre cooler, a Q6600 will safely run at 3.2 - 3.3 GHz.
The G41 is an economy chipset with a limited FSB. My three (office type systems) range from 345 MHz - 360 MHz. So the maximum you are likely to attain with a Q6600 and a G41 board is around 3.2 GHz.