I currently have an AMD Athlon 64 x2 4200+. Code name Windsor, socket AM2 (940).
Core speed 2210 Mhz.
Multiplier x 11
My mainboard is:
Asustek Model: Narra
Phoenix Technologies Version 5.04 dated 4/13/2007.
On looking at possible replacements to get some faster speed, I am a little confused (and inexperienced).
I'm generally happy with the computer. I do use (as a hobby only) DAW (audio workstation) software and using those (Cakewalk Sonar etc) are a little cpu hungry. I don't want to go and buy a new computer though.
AMD's website has potential replacements quite cheap. A 2.9 Athlon 5600+ for $60 doesn't look bad. I know it's not a huge increase but relatively cheap and may keep me going for a few more years.
Having said that, I'll take any advice on replacing.
Do I have to stick to an AM2 socket?
Would a 3 core Phenom (that shows socket AM3) work?
If a new cpu would drop in as a replacement, what else do I need to look at?
I don't particularly want to look at overclocking unless it was really easy. I have no experience at that and could mess things up, but I'd look at that with some help.
Is the cpu I have one of those that could be unlocked?
Anyway, hope I've given enough info and any advice appreciated.
This is an HP computer which may well limit you to "only" the Athlon 5600+ upgrade. you can ask their customer service (which can be even more frustrating).
Basically to keep down costs and returns [plus sell new computers for upgrades] HP [and others] cut costs and function on their "packages".
We need to know :
Opporating system: XP, XP Pro, Vista, Windows 7, 32 or 64 bit,
System appears from 2007 so I guess Vista, and 32 bit (limited to 4 GB max memory) [less actually]
Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM)
On your HP computer you have to stick with SPECIFIED supported AM2 CPUs.
The way it works is HP purposely limits the options.
An Athlon II X2 255 @ $62 or an Athlon II X3 445 @ $75 would be a serious up grades.
your mother board won't support other than specified AM 2 Processors.
You could consult HP Forums.
The Operating System is OEM, TIED TO THIS SPECIFIC MOTHERBOARD BY LAW/AGREEMENT.
If you have upgraded the Operating System with an OEM install, it is tied to this motherboard.
If you have done or do an upgrade to a "Full Version" Operating System you can "remove" it from one computer to another, ONE MOTHERBOARD TO ANOTHER.
If you can change the motherboard without the cost of an operating system you can do a considerable change.
As is likely your board MAY support any AM2 (POSSIBLY am2+) CPU but you are gambling.
It will not support any TDP above your original processor.
The BIOS may not recognize ANY cpu NOT LISTED by HP, BUT MAY RUN THEM ANYWAY.
You can upgrade memory to 4 GB DDR2 8400, might help depending on whats there.
Best I can do. Others?
Thanks for the responses so far. Very helpful and appreciated. It's certainly a minefield.
I have Windows Vista OEM. Have not upgraded that at all. Yes, it's 32 bits and I have 4gb ram. Should I upgrade the computer some time then I'd get Windows 7 (or next version) and get 8 gigs.
Memory is ddr2.
CPU-Z tells me that the mainboard model is Narra version 1.01.
it's a HP Pavilion a6000n.
I'd consider a new mainboard/cpu combo. Though with the cost of OS, it may be better for me to just get a new computer, especially as my 250gb hard drive is pretty full. I can take plenty off that though and get a second drive cheap so I'm still interested in just upgrading the cpu.
Moving from a 4200 to a 5600 isn't going to be much of an improvement. Certainly not one that justifies the money.
The only move that might be an upgrade is to put a Quad Core in (if it is a Nara3). I'd be hesitant, though, some of those HP boards have undocumented revisions. You'll want to get someone from HP to confirm exact compatibility. It'll be core specific.
In all cases you'll be saddled with the same slow DDR and Hard Drives.