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HP Upgrade help. Please

I currently have a HP A1200E. I want to teach myself and my son how to upgrade a computer. This is my test dummy. I am not good with hardware and have no idea where to start. My son just wants this computer to be sufficent enough to be able to play video games with. Mainly games like Total war Shogun 2. I appreciate all the help. My son is going to die when he finds out we are upgrading the computer for him. Thank you so much in advance for all the help. Here is what I believe the specs to be. I assume I will need a GPU, and more ram. Maybe a PSU? Thanks again. :hello:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00653384&tmp_task=prodinfoCategory&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&product=1824766
12 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about upgrade help please
  1. Hello jmfranklin164;

    Have you set a budget for this project yet?

    What's the resolution of the monitor he'll be using?
    We use that to figure out how powerful a video card is needed and that will tell us how big the power supply needs to be.

    There are some challenges into making a Shogun gaming rig out of that Pavilion a1200e.
    The biggest challenge is that Sempron 3000+/3200+ CPU that's installed.
    The minimum requirements are huge by comparison.
    2 GHz Intel Dual Core processor / 2.6 GHz Intel Single Core processor , or AMD equivalent
    Passmark CPU benchmark scores:
    AMD Sempron 3000+ = 444
    AMD Sempron 3200+ = 448
    Intel Celeron E1400 @ 2.00GHz = 1133
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ = 1151 seems reasonable a reasonable choice for the motherboard.
    With the wide variation between the minimum and recommeded this is a pretty strong hint the minimum
    will perform at less than what is usually desired in a game. This should be a pretty large warning flag IMO.
    Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ CPU prices for socket 939 $77

    Closer to the Recommended CPU which would require a motherboard change:
    Intel Core i5-2300 @ 2.80GHz 5292
    Core i5 760 @ 2.80GHz = 4,529
    AMD Phenom II X4 965 = 4,270
    Core i3-2100 @ 3.10GHz = 3,966
    AMD Athlon II X4 630 = 3,244

    http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/3496/ss040.jpg
    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    Motherboard CPU support:
    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00496280&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=&product=1831241
  2. WR2 said:
    Hello jmfranklin164;

    Have you set a budget for this project yet?

    What's the resolution of the monitor he'll be using?
    We use that to figure out how powerful a video card is needed and that will tell us how big the power supply needs to be.

    There are some challenges into making a Shogun gaming rig out of that Pavilion a1200e.
    The biggest challenge is that Sempron 3000+/3200+ CPU that's installed.
    The minimum requirements are huge by comparison.
    2 GHz Intel Dual Core processor / 2.6 GHz Intel Single Core processor , or AMD equivalent
    Passmark CPU benchmark scores:
    AMD Sempron 3000+ = 444
    AMD Sempron 3200+ = 448
    Intel Celeron E1400 @ 2.00GHz = 1133
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ = 1151 seems reasonable a reasonable choice for the motherboard.
    With the wide variation between the minimum and recommeded this is a pretty strong hint the minimum
    will perform at less than what is usually desired in a game. This should be a pretty large warning flag IMO.
    Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ CPU prices for socket 939 $77

    Closer to the Recommended CPU which would require a motherboard change:
    Intel Core i5-2300 @ 2.80GHz 5292
    Core i5 760 @ 2.80GHz = 4,529
    AMD Phenom II X4 965 = 4,270
    Core i3-2100 @ 3.10GHz = 3,966
    AMD Athlon II X4 630 = 3,244

    http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/3496/ss040.jpg
    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    Motherboard CPU support:
    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00496280&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=&product=1831241



    I would like to make it for around 300 or less. Can this be done? What course of action do you recommend.
  3. Also the monitor I have right now is an oldish 19" flat panel a couple years old.
  4. Quote:
    My son is going to die when he finds out we are upgrading the computer for him.

    Please don't hurt your son

    seriously I think that a new system is in order, I am not sure your current one will be able to play shogun due to the CPU
  5. Haha. No harm done. Do you think that I could build a capable computer for around $500. Something that could play Shogun 2 and that we would be able to upgrade in time?
  6. Does that PC have 1GB of RAM already installed?

    A $212 upgrade would be:
    $77 CPU upgrade to Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ plus a budget $10 CPU cooler
    Power supply upgrade $30
    and PCI video card. $95 HIS Radeon HD 5450 video card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161353

    This particular motherboard does not have the AGP or PCI-e video card slot.
    Which limits the choices and drives up the price quite a bit.

    For just about $400 you could get a new system that would be about double the performance this upgrade will get you.

    What is the monitor resolution you'll be using?

    This would reach but not exceed the minimum
  7. jmfranklin164 said:
    Haha. No harm done. Do you think that I could build a capable computer for around $500. Something that could play Shogun 2 and that we would be able to upgrade in time?
    For $500 you can get a complete new system that would put that $212 upgrade to shame. By a wide margin.
  8. Best answer
    If you're agreeable....
    I think we should close out this pre-built upgrade topic and open a new $500 budget gaming build topic.
  9. WR2 said:
    If you're agreeable....
    I think we should close out this pre-built upgrade topic and open a new $500 budget gaming build topic.


    Yeah sure how would I do that.
  10. Best answer selected by jmfranklin164.
  11. WR2 said:
    If you're agreeable....
    I think we should close out this pre-built upgrade topic and open a new $500 budget gaming build topic.



    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/305894-31-budget-gaming-build-topic-help
  12. Right....looks ilke it's going good. Some good stuff there.
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