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First time CPU upgrade advice

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May 13, 2011 11:02:01 PM

Hoping you guys can point me in the right direction: looking to upgrade my PC's CPU. My experience with computers includes installing RAM and a graphics card. I've also disassembled an old Dell Optiplex and put it back together, except for the CPU, but I think I'd be able to handle it. The computer I want to upgrade is a Lenovo 3000 H series. It has a "Dual CPU E2200 @ 2.2 GHz" "FSB speed 800 MHz" and tbh, I'm not sure what that means...
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May 13, 2011 11:55:29 PM

Unless Lenovo included an original windows cd, be prepared to purchase a new windows coa. I use craigslist for windows upgrades. For your board, I would go with an amd regor 255 or 260 with msi or biostar micro-atx board. I found the 255 with gigabyte board used on craigslist for $60 recently. If you want quad, the 955 x4 is affordable. Unless you do alot of video work, the 6 cores won't benefit you much. For new boards, I recommend the biostar A880G+ for around $70 at newegg. Ddr3 is affordable; frys has some corsair 4 gb 1333 ddr3 for $22.98 after rebate in today's anniversary ad in stores and possibly online.
May 14, 2011 1:22:19 AM

Actually it did come with Windows (Vista) I'll look into the regor 255. As for the biostar micro-atx, are you suggesting I also upgrade mobo?
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May 14, 2011 1:41:18 AM

Hey ,the only thing you can't replace in a Computer is the hard drive, and the motherboard to have to replace the OS. You can replace your CPU but if it's a laptop make sure you are getting a mobile CPU. Here are some options... (these are not mobile)

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Pentium E6700 Wolfdale 3.2GHz 2MB L2 Cache $84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

These both are great options! But I can't gurantee the Core 2 Duo will work but im pretty sure the pentium will.

umm the "dual CPU" you are thinking, you are probaly reffering to Dual Core. meaning two Processors in one! A dual core can have the processing power two processor in one CPU. I would go with the Core 2 duo if you game, but if you just want a faster everyday CPU go with the Pentium!
May 14, 2011 1:50:58 AM

cpunoob77 said:
Hoping you guys can point me in the right direction: looking to upgrade my PC's CPU. My experience with computers includes installing RAM and a graphics card. I've also disassembled an old Dell Optiplex and put it back together, except for the CPU, but I think I'd be able to handle it. The computer I want to upgrade is a Lenovo 3000 H series. It has a "Dual CPU E2200 @ 2.2 GHz" "FSB speed 800 MHz" and tbh, I'm not sure what that means...



First, I don't think I've heard an AMD E2200. That's an Intel Core 2 Duo IIRC, but I doubt you can upgrade too a much faster CPU. Your better bet is to save up an buy an inexpensive WHOLE PC from Newegg for about $400 which will get you into DDR3 and PCIe 2 for a much better future upgrade path.

Though for ethical reasons I can't recommend Intel, for the most part it won't make a difference.
May 14, 2011 1:53:58 AM

It's a desktop. And you're right, it does say Dual-Core! Also correct about the gaming, that's the main reason for the upgrade. Gonna have to research that Core 2 Duo.
May 14, 2011 2:05:09 AM

BaronMatrix said:
First, I don't think I've heard an AMD E2200. That's an Intel Core 2 Duo IIRC, but I doubt you can upgrade too a much faster CPU. Your better bet is to save up an buy an inexpensive WHOLE PC from Newegg for about $400 which will get you into DDR3 and PCIe 2 for a much better future upgrade path.

Though for ethical reasons I can't recommend Intel, for the most part it won't make a difference.




I am planning on building my own computer but that would be for another time, this would be more of a short term improvement.
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May 14, 2011 2:31:25 AM

Just for comparison, Frys has an hp system with dual core amd and 4 gb of ddr3 for $260 in today's ad. That's about the same as newegg's bare bones specials without windows.
May 14, 2011 2:39:59 AM

If the Core 2 duo would work you will see a major boost, it is like an I3/lower end I5 equivalent so it's fast. It is older but it is still good.

You can try the core 2 duo, and if it does not work just return it.
May 14, 2011 2:25:21 PM

Thanks for the link and thanks to everybody for the info. Am new to all this but I'm already excited to learn!
May 16, 2011 3:29:21 AM

unless you have a bottleneck. A better Video card would benefit games a little better than a CPU would.(just something to consider) But unless you can upgrade to a Core 2 Duo I wouldn't even bother upgrading your CPU. Your best bet is to try out the Core 2 Duo. If that doesn't work return it, and save up for a PC like the one I linked. me and other people here at Toms Hardware can help you out with the entire procedure, If you decide to build your own. If you decide to get a GPU I, and others can help you out.

;) 
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May 16, 2011 5:55:01 AM


For a short term improvement a good core2duo would work but the only way I would do a Core2Duo is buying used from a top rated seller on Ebay
who has a good DOA policy

Buying a new retail Core2Duo just doesnt make sense
Some of the good new Core2Duo cost almost as much as an AMD mobo/cpu
combo

in your future build

Might be able to use case depending on form factor that Lenovo used
Some OEMs use BTX cases which are hard to reuse

Hard drive (if it is big enough for you) and DVD/CD would be reusable

decent power supplies have gotten cheap with sales so replace it with a
Corsair,Seasonic,Antec

the ram is probably DDR2-800-might be reusable-better off upgrading
if budget allowed

Look up toms systems builder marothon systems to get an idea
of good components for the money

the one thing that makes sense is upgrading your video card
since that can be carried to new build

post more detailed specs and budget in graphics section
and toms members will bore you with video card
recommendations LOL :) 

if your computer has a standard size power supply
than a video card and PSU combo upgrade would be good
and used in later build

I hope this made sense
it is 2 am where I am at LOL
May 16, 2011 7:18:45 PM

processor-pro said:
unless you have a bottleneck. A better Video card would benefit games a little better than a CPU would.(just something to consider) But unless you can upgrade to a Core 2 Duo I wouldn't even bother upgrading your CPU. Your best bet is to try out the Core 2 Duo. If that doesn't work return it, and save up for a PC like the one I linked. me and other people here at Toms Hardware can help you out with the entire procedure, If you decide to build your own. If you decide to get a GPU I, and others can help you out.

;) 


Currently have a Sapphire Radeon 4650 1GB, I'll try and post pic of system specs...
May 16, 2011 7:26:03 PM



Hope this helps! Wondering what is compatible with this.
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May 16, 2011 11:21:54 PM

I also have a HD 4650 1gb
It is a good card for multimedia and LIGHT gaming
by no means is it a serious gaming card

can you open the case and post the specs of your Power Supply?
also does it have a 6 pin PCIE power connector?

That will determine what kind of card you can get
Usually OEM towers dont have high wattage supplies

if it is possilbe to replace power supply with good brand
like Antec or Seasonic that would be great
since you could use higher powered card
and use the PSU and card on future build
May 17, 2011 12:28:38 AM

Pentiums are good processor. They we're voted by Tom's Hardware the best performance, to value CPU. So a better GPU would be a good investment! AMD 6850's, and Nvdia 460's can play most game at max settings. But a better Powersupply will be a must if you havent already upgraded it.
May 17, 2011 2:46:45 AM

king smp said:
I also have a HD 4650 1gb
It is a good card for multimedia and LIGHT gaming
by no means is it a serious gaming card

can you open the case and post the specs of your Power Supply?
also does it have a 6 pin PCIE power connector?

That will determine what kind of card you can get
Usually OEM towers dont have high wattage supplies

if it is possilbe to replace power supply with good brand
like Antec or Seasonic that would be great
since you could use higher powered card
and use the PSU and card on future build



My current PSU is an Antec BP430, I'm guessing that's 430W.
May 17, 2011 2:50:38 AM

processor-pro said:
Pentiums are good processor. They we're voted by Tom's Hardware the best performance, to value CPU. So a better GPU would be a good investment! AMD 6850's, and Nvdia 460's can play most game at max settings. But a better Powersupply will be a must if you havent already upgraded it.



This is what I'm working with:

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May 17, 2011 4:54:02 AM
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Ok going by intel.com PDF
http://www.intel.com/Assets/PDF/prodbrief/317304.pdf

the P35 supports the Core2Quad also
in your photo the specs also list the G31 and G33
which are higher spec chipsets

so there is a good chance you could use a Core 2 Quad
but prices for those can be outrageous

if one could be found really cheap then that would be good
but the best idea is to go with PSU/GPU combo until new build
May 17, 2011 7:20:59 AM

King SMP is right. You can go for the core 2 quad but a better GPU would be a better investement, than a CPU.
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May 17, 2011 3:52:26 PM

Well you have an Antec PSU
so should be a good PSU
but 430w is low for higher powered cards

with your PSU now you need to look for a card
that doesnt need more than 400w

if you get a higher powered (around 650w)
then you can get any video card
May 17, 2011 5:36:41 PM

Best answer selected by cpunoob77.
May 17, 2011 5:46:16 PM

After some price comparison I've realized that my best option would be to invest in a new PSU/GPU combo. Though I would like to upgrade processors, the price doesn't match the performance difference and am better off saving that money for a new build. Thank you everybody at Tom's Hardware for steering me in the right direction!
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May 17, 2011 9:46:20 PM

Thank you selecting as me as Best Answer
Dont be a stranger :) 

If you need advice on PSU and GPU
please feel free to ask
!