Only use CPUs that are on your boards CPU compatibility list. If a CPU is not on that list, odds are it won't work at all. Best case scenario: the CPU will work, but won't be recognized properly by the BIOS, and will probably run at a slower speed. Either way, it's not worth trying. If you need something better than the X2 4800+, you really should just consider a new build altogether, Athlon 64 X2 is getting extremely dated by today's standards.
Thanks for the info, doesn't sound like trying to get some incompatible (and still outdated) CPU is the solution, huh?
Yeah I know I really should ditch the PC and get a new one Just trying to get by for a little while longer... it's not worth paying a few hundred bucks for a decent PC when I can upgrade the one I have to get by for $30... Not for a broke college student anyway
If the Phenoms are not on the CPU compatibility list for your board, they probably won't work. Unlisted CPUs will not be recognized properly by the HP BIOS. If a Phenom X4 is on the compatibility list, get the BIOS revision that supports it, it should be listed right next to the CPU model.
While there isn't a list, under the CPU upgrade information on the computer's support details page, it does say that it is only compatible with the Semprons and the Athlon 64 x2 up to the 4800+. The 4800+ is the best you are going to get on that computer. If this wasn't a prebuilt machine, you might have had more options with socket AM2. However, it is not in the best interests of the OEMs to make their machines upgradeable, they want you to buy a new one, so they don't provide BIOS updates for newer CPUs. Like I said above, if you need anything better than the 4800+ you're going to have to bite the bullet and save up for a new machine.