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Old dog, new tricks. Upgrading an older machine

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January 27, 2011 9:00:50 PM

Hey all. Im about to upgrade a HP Pavilion so that I can do some gaming. I know most would say scrap it and get a new build but that isnt an option right now. Ive done a lot of research and have picked out what I think would be the best hardware and should work, but I wanted some professional opinions. Ive never upgraded a computer to this extent before.

Here is my current system specs-
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Docume...

The only mod Ive made is upgrading the OS to Windows 7 64 bit.

Here are the mods I would like to add.

GPU-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Any suggestions on compatibility, Brand quality, or Component specs would be greatly appreciated.
January 28, 2011 12:11:51 AM

After some review, I am not certain that you will be able to use that new cpu (as original bios did not cover anything higher than X2 athlons, additionally i dont see any other new bios' out that will update to be able to run the X4

However. rather than dropping the cash on the more expensive ddr2 memory here's an alternative version that will give you a huge upgrade at similar cost.

new M/B http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU (get a decent one) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

then stick with the same CPU you have or even a http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU wise your okay on the 460, if your playing on a monitor at high resolutions (1920x1080) if your playing at less than that.. save a few clams and stick with a 5670 or 5770.


the 320gb HD and optical drives in your current rig are both SATA so they can just be plugged right into the new system. (you will probably have to reformat the HD and reinstall win 7)
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January 28, 2011 12:15:14 AM

effectively both would be approximately the same cost (your build was 250$ or so)(this is the same, after you add in some combo deals you can shave a bit more), but you could then be 100% sure that you new processor will work in the motherboard.

additionally you will then have a much more recent motherboard chipset, as well as much faster ram.

i will look for some combo deals for you as well.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 28, 2011 12:21:34 AM

I like archer's suggestions, but here's another suggestion

Try the X4 940 if you do find an X4 BIOS, keep your current mobo. Add PSU and Video and you're good for now. It doesn't make too much sense to dump a bunch of money in AM3 right now. In April, or may or around that time AMD will be coming out with all new CPU's and sockets and mobo's. Your 3 month old purchase will be obsolete. JK, this rig will actually do you fine for the next couple of years, depending on your usage.
I usually don't have money for software after buying all my hardware!
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January 28, 2011 12:24:58 AM

buzznut said:
I like archer's suggestions, but here's another suggestion

Try the X4 940 if you do find an X4 BIOS, keep your current mobo. Add PSU and Video and you're good for now. It doesn't make too much sense to dump a bunch of money in AM3 right now. In April, or may or around that time AMD will be coming out with all new CPU's and sockets and mobo's. Your 3 month old purchase will be obsolete. JK, this rig will actually do you fine for the next couple of years, depending on your usage.
I usually don't have money for software after buying all my hardware!



fair enough, I was kind of looking at the thought that for the upgrades he had listed he could upgrade board and all.... but holding on to your bucks until bulldozer comes out, and see what that does to the market is not a bad idea either.
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January 28, 2011 2:06:27 PM

Thank you all for your replies. Ive been told about the Bios not recognizing the new chip but that Windows 7 will. According to the HP spec page the MoBo can handle any AM2+ and AM3 dual core up to 89watts and quad cores up to 95 watts.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 28, 2011 2:54:41 PM

I've read a few success stories concerning CPU upgrades and your particular HP motherboard (M2N68-LA Narra3).

Two people on this board successfully installed a Phenom II X4 945 95W version.

Other posts I've read say the same thing: AM2 and AM2+ (like Phenom I's) CPU's work just fine. AM3 CPU's are not recognized by CPU-Z nor the BIOS ("AMD Processor model unknown" during POST), but still work at advertised speed.

I also ran across a forum POST in which someone successfully installed a Phenom II X4 965, but was complaining that it was only running at 800MHz. I suspect he was a newb and has never heard of AMD C&Q.
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January 28, 2011 3:23:32 PM

rwpritchett said:
I've read a few success stories concerning CPU upgrades and your particular HP motherboard (M2N68-LA Narra3).

Two people on this board successfully installed a Phenom II X4 945 95W version.

Other posts I've read say the same thing: AM2 and AM2+ (like Phenom I's) CPU's work just fine. AM3 CPU's are not recognized by CPU-Z nor the BIOS ("AMD Processor model unknown" during POST), but still work at advertised speed.

I also ran across a forum POST in which someone successfully installed a Phenom II X4 965, but was complaining that it was only running at 800MHz. I suspect he was a newb and has never heard of AMD C&Q.



RW, thanks for the input. Im a bit of a newb too so could you explain what AMD C&Q and CPU-Z means? Im really hoping that I wont have any issues with the CPU working on my mobo.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 28, 2011 3:33:41 PM

AMD C&Q = AMD Cool & Quiet
This clocks down the processor to 800MHz when sitting idle to save on power and automatically ramps up the processor to full speed when the CPU is loaded. It's a good thing.

CPU-Z is a popular program we all use to get CPU, motherboard, and RAM technical details.
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January 28, 2011 3:40:24 PM

rwpritchett said:
AMD C&Q = AMD Cool & Quiet
This clocks down the processor to 800MHz when sitting idle to save on power and automatically ramps up the processor to full speed when the CPU is loaded. It's a good thing.

CPU-Z is a popular program we all use to get CPU, motherboard, and RAM technical details.



So in your opinion the build Im proposing would work?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 28, 2011 4:15:14 PM

It should, but there will be some risk without proper OEM BIOS support. The worse thing that will happen is it doesn't POST and you have to swap your old CPU back in, pay a restocking fee, and call it a lesson learned.

BTW here's another 95W 945 X4 success story midway down the linked thread. Can't seem to find one that specifically used the Athlon X4 640...

You could take the safe road and get an older Athlon 64 X2 or Phenom I chip used off eBay if you can find a good deal.

What is your current CPU?


Edit- Another success story using a 95W Phenom 925 X4
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January 28, 2011 4:54:57 PM

rwpritchett said:
It should, but there will be some risk without proper OEM BIOS support. The worse thing that will happen is it doesn't POST and you have to swap your old CPU back in, pay a restocking fee, and call it a lesson learned.

BTW here's another 95W 945 X4 success story midway down the linked thread. Can't seem to find one that specifically used the Athlon X4 640...

You could take the safe road and get an older Athlon 64 X2 or Phenom I chip used off eBay if you can find a good deal.

What is your current CPU?


Edit- Another success story using a 95W Phenom 925 X4



Current Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ 2.3 GHz Number of cores: 2 Socket: AM2 Bus speed: 2000MT/s

Planned Processor: AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor ADX640WFGMBOX


Motherboard supports the following processor upgrades:

*
Phenom with Quad Core (Agena) technology (AM2+) up to 9600 (up to 95 watt)
*
Athlon 64 X2 with Dual Core technology X2 up to 5600+ (up to 89 watt)
*
Athlon 64 less than 4000+
*
Sempron less than 3800+



Looks like the only difference between the chip I want to get and what the board can handle is the the board can handle a Phenom II and the chip I want doesnt have the L2 cache.

Thanks for your help, Ill post once I get everything installed and let you know how it went.
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January 28, 2011 10:02:13 PM

I certainly respect if you want to take this route for the sheer purpose of seeing if you can get the chip to work.

But,

In consideration of the fact that you can get a M/B with a very updated chipset, DDR3 Ram, and the upgraded processor. For the same price or less than the upgrades that your looking at. It seems to me that this would be the way to go.

in any case.. best of luck to you with your upgrade.
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