Last year I bought an hp p7-1110 i3-2120 desktop, and the main reason was to use it for web browsing and soft gaming. Then I discovered Steam and opened the doors to pc gaming. I was using my integrated intel hd 2000 unit to play some indie games, but then later I wanted to play others that demanded more graphic power. I then bought a radeon 6670 gpu by this forum's recommendations, and have been happy with it playing most of my games.
Now the thing is that I want to play newer games coming out, and in the recommended settings section most of them need a quad core processor to run decently. The game Im interested mostly is skyrim, and Im planning playing it in high to ultra settings.
I did some research and the socket type of my i3 processor (lga 1155) matches the one for the i5-3570k that most people here recommend to use as a gaming processor. Does this mean I dont need to buy a new motherboard, and this also tells me I wont need to buy a new copy of windows 7 OS? What about a new power supply? Do I need to buy a higher wattage one (Im currently using a 380w one)? I know that in order to play skyrim on higher settings I will have to buy a better gpu, and this will make me buy a better psu, but I will be doing that later.
Is replacing this processor something as easy as taking out the old one and then plugging the new one (as in a gpu)?
Will I run into compatibility problems with windows after doing this?
Just because the socket on the motherboard is the same, it doesn't mean any CPU with that socket type will work. You'd probably want to double check with HP whether or not that board will take an i5.
Assuming it will, then it would probably be a good idea to get a new PSU to go with the new video card and CPU. You might be able to get away without it, but there's always a chance you'll want to upgrade something else later. I do not believe merely replacing the CPU will trigger a Windows activation request, but it'd probably be a good idea to let a few others weigh in on that first.
And finally, replacing a CPU is a bit more involved than a GPU. You'd likely want a new heatsink with the new CPU, because the i5 is going to require a bit more robust cooling than the i3, and that would require knowing at least the basics of applying thermal grease. There are bound to be guides all over the Internet, including here at Tom's, explaining the basic process. It's not that difficult, but it is always a little scary the first time, knowing you're holding an extremely sensitive bit of electronics that costs a couple hundred dollars, and can be broken rather easily.
He probably doesn't know what motherboard he has, but you can look it up based on what computer he has which he did say.
As for upgrades, a 1155 processor fits a 1155 slot. However, as mentioned before, if the BIOS is programmed not to allow you to use certain things then you can't.
H61 boards definitely don't come standard with the ability to use Ivy Bridge 3xxx series Intel chips by default. Some motherboard makers put out BIOSs that allow that to work, some don't. Whether HP did or not I can't say. You should be able to research this online somewhere, though.
If you have an OEM version of Windows, you may have to call Microsoft if you do enough parts changes to piss off the automatic detection system. I think that number is supposedly 4. With 2 new video cards, new processor, etc you will be close to that if you manage not to hit it somehow. Be prepared to call them on the phone with a sob story about why they should let you keep using the same license.
I would get the new PSU sooner rather than later, because if you overload the one you have now it could damage things you have now like the motherboard and hard drive.
Make sure the PSU you get will work with your case too, because OEM PC makers often have non-standard cases using non-standard PSUs in an attempt to lock you into buying high priced upgrades from the HP (or other OEM) store.
I guess I was totally wrong when I thought this would be an easy process. Thx for the help everybody. I will contact HP customer service since I still have my 1 year warranty with them and explain them what Im planning to do, and see what options do I have.
It would be a tremendously easy process if you had not started with an OEM PC. In the future, I would highly suggest you buy the next PC in parts and build it yourself, then you won't have any of these problems.
Well, if you bought the wrong/illegal copy of windows for the built from parts PC (OEM system builder copy) you still would have the activation problem though. If you had a retail (upgrade or regular) license you wouldn't have that problem.
Starting from an OEM platform, though, it gets very much harder because it is tough to know what the OEM company did in it to screw you over. They don't come right out and say it.
All the companies that sell stuff directly to consumers know better than to mess around with the universal mounts and the universal slot capabilities and all that. It is only the OEMs that actively screw with you on purpose.