Buying Advice - upgrading my work computer

I have a Compaq computer that I use at work for routine things - web browsing, email. I occasionally use programs that need more memory (virtualization, dragon naturally speaking), and rarely encode video.

The computer is a CQ5320F - cheap computer, dual core AMD processor (Athlon II), maxes out at 4GB DDR3 RAM.

I want to upgrade the least expensive way possible - so, I intended to keep the power supply, hard drive, case, CD drive - If possible keep the usable memory and just upgrade the mobo and processor as well as add memory as needed.

I currently have a 1 GB and 2 GB stick of DDR3 memory - (7-7-7-20)

So, I figured I'd be going with an AMD processor and gigabyte board - ideally at $150 or less total spent if I can pull that off - including the added memory (to get up to 6 to 8 GB).

So, any advice off the top of anyone's head would be great. You guys always provide the best buying advice.

Thanks in advance.


I COULD keep the processor and just upgrade mobo and memory

Name AMD Athlon II X2 240
Code Name Regor
Package Socket AM3 (938)
Technology 45nm
Specification AMD Athlon II X2 240 Processor

Could just get a mobo like this:

and memory like this:
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  1. Best answer
    Good choice for the motherboard. Register with newegg to get their email promos so the promo codes work for future upgrades, and get this ram instead: $30 after promo code and it's a little faster. Add this cpu so you see some real performance boost: Amazon is cheaper than newegg. Without the cpu change, you're wasting your money. Remember also you'll need a new windows coa for any non compaq board unless you already have an oem generic version of windows 7. Your original windows installation looks for a small bios file identifying your motherboard as geniune compaq everytime you turn on your system. I know from first hand experience.
  2. Best answer selected by mrredpants.
  3. Question regarding the motherboard

    It shows a 8 PIN CPU power connector

    Here goes my budget but it looks like I need a power supply as well.
  4. It's best to use all 8 pins with a 125w cpu such as the 965; lesser cpus might run fine with just 4 pins from the connector installed; many are divided into two 4 pin sections for older 4 pin boards. Here's the ps brands I know work well: corsair, antec, ocz, enermax, seasonic, and xfx. Newegg has some decent 500w units for $50-55 after rebate.
  5. Thanks! I might have one at home - have to check
    Otherwise this one looks GTG

    I have two spare power supplies but it doesn't look like either would work

    Both Antec

    A true 430W and a True 550W

    This is the True 550

    The 20 PIN connector for mobo and 4 for CPU I assume are deal breakers
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