Need advice - 775 Quad or 1156 i3?

Hi guys, I'm in need of some advice...

My girlfriend has a couple year old HP desktop. She's getting very frustrated with how slow it is - It has a Pentium chip at 1.8ghz (ouch!) and it came with two 512mb RAM chips, but then she got some friend to install an extra 1gb chip so she also lost dual channel RAM... it's a mess. I'm researching upgrade options and I've come up with two. Oh and the P5LP-LE mobo in the PC can't support futher CPU upgrades, so basically she needs a CPU and mobo for certain, and either an extra 3GB or a full 4GB of new RAM (she wants 4 even tho I told her 2gb would be fine...)

Requirements: lowest cost. Fits the HP case (mATX)

Uses: Mostly for writing papers, internet research, a little bit of photoshopping. No gaming although I might buy her a cheap GPU down the road (along with a new PSU lol). It's currently on the PSU it came with which doesn't say much, I'm guessing 300W.

So the options I've put together are:
Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2H $100
i3 540 $135
Patriot Extreme Performance Sector 5 4gb DDR3 1333 $90 (sale)


Asus P5G41-M LE $65
Q8300 $130
Kingston 4gb ValueRAM 800mhz DDR2 $120

Oh and she wants to upgrade from Vista to Win 7 (64bit). These prices are also from a local retailer, who will price match any canadian prices so or included.

Just curious what the good forum goers here would do?

UPDATE: Ack! She needs micro ATX. Guess these boards are out... Updated with mATX boards :D
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about need advice quad 1156
  1. WR2 said:

    billion + to this.
  2. ^Oh sorry I should mention that, she has an irrational dislike of AMD. Also, Asus laptops lol (I tried to convince her they're good... she's just like "No!"... women...)

    Still, I'll mention it. Thanks. BTW that Athalon might unlock to an X4 right?
  3. To give you an idea how the performance shakes out you can look over the benchmark comparisons here: C2Q Q8200 vs Core i3 530
    You can also plug in the X3 440 (for the X3 445) and look that over. They're not listing the Q8300 but they do offer the Q8200 and Q8400 which should get you a close approximation.
  4. Best answer
    With the right motherboard - yes, it's a possibility.

    If the AMD option is out the window I do like the Core i3 530/540 option as the best 'all around' option, even though its a close race. (it just has better 'future' options I think).
  5. Yeah, it looks like it'll be better than the quad, in those benchs (thanks for the link) it beat the quad in a lot of them.

    Also, there's a chance I'll upgrade my i5 750 in maybe a year or two to an i7 850 or something like that, in which case it would be really easy to just stick my quad core into her PC.
  6. Best answer selected by Wolfram23.
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