I'm no PC builder or hardcore gamer, but I would love to play a few games here and there.
A HP Pavilion Slimline s5500 was bought for me, so I can't complain, with no intentions of gaming at the time. So, it's definitely not a hardcore machine. Here are the specs. The biggest obstacle in my way I feel was the cpu so I just bought a phenom ii x3 740. As it's being shipped to me, I'm nervous the psu won't be able to handle it. For those who didn't read the specs, the psu is only 220w, and I'm moving from the AMD sempron 140 to the triple core phenom. I found out the sempron is 45w and the phenom is 95w. Even the HP site says the motherboard supports the cpu upgrade but doesn't mention the power supply situation.
Also, I'm not looking to buy or build a massive machine, but am willing to tweak this one a bit with psu or cooling so it will work.
Sorry, I mean a ATI HD 4850; it may require putting a hole in your case for it to fit, and it is not the newest tech, but with a new line-up right now, there should be plenty of people getting rid of their's. A new PSU is always worth it when upgrading a pre-built system, and a 4850 will take a good bit of power. A decent 500W PSU shouldn't cost too much. Even with the single core cpu, gaming will be limited by not having a video card.
Thanks for the advice. Sadly, my situation wasn't solved as easily as you thought. Seeing as I have a slimline model HP, a PSU upgrade is almost out of the question, the biggest one I've found is about 300w, and that's for a different slimline model. Thankfully I found someone had my exact question on Yahoo and was answered perfectly. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100707081... Apparently there are only a few options for vid card upgrades without going over my power limitations. I'll send my cpu back when I get it and get a 4650 until I can build my own machine next time.