Ive just spent about a half hour reading about cpu upgrades for my computer (OEM) and have seen people that just guess around on the subject with no clear answers as to what my possibilities are.
Lets start with the machine I am referring to, its not completely OEM anymore hehe;
650w Cooler Master PSU
EVGA GTX 570
Athlon II x2 @2.7 (235e AM3)
6GB DDR2 800
Besides the ram bottleneck, the main question i have is the motherboard limitations for CPU power. Ive hears some say that it has a 65w limit, 89w limit and 99w limit. Some even go as far to say they have heard of 'a friend of a friend' having put a phenom x4 in there with no problems. Id rather clear this up before I go out and blast some $$ away.
Yea isnt the Athlon II x2 235e a AM3? Im seeing some spec sites saying its am3 mobo and some saying it is am2/am2+. As well as some 4gb versions but mine has a max of 8gb of ddr2
As Malmental said, AM3 chips work in AM2 and AM2+ boards, so long as the manufacturer provides an updated bios to support the new cpu.
AM3 and AM2+ are the same basic platform. The difference is memory. AM2+ uses DDR 2 while AM3 uses DDR 3. The AM3 chips have a memory controller that supports DDR 2 or 3 and therefore can be used in either board.
I just noticed the link to the board specs go up to 89 watts. That should allow the Athlon II X4 620 and 630 if you can find the old C2 versions. The X3 720 on newegg is a C2. C2 chips in general have become really hard to find.
While I am fairly sure these chips will work, I don't feel comfortable recommending it. I just don't trust that board. I sure wouldn't toss $160 at it. The ideal chip would be a X4 630 C2 rev, but I cant find one right now.
If your really intent on upgrading, I would roll with the X3 720 and cross my fingers.