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Upgrading a old HP computer

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August 15, 2012 5:06:39 AM

Quick question for you guys. I want to upgrade the processor in my HP Pavilion p6616f. To do so I need a new MB and CPU but my concern is that the old hard drive might not work with the new hardware. What advice can you give me to attempt this upgrade?

Im looking to go Intel CPU with a compatible motherboard.

More about : upgrading computer

August 15, 2012 5:22:30 AM

That case may only support a microATX board. Also, I do not know if that case has any proprietary issues. Plan on a new power supply, and I'd probably just get a new case to remove any issues. You can get a decent budget case like a CM Elite 430 for $40.

The hard drive will probably work, however Windows7 (or Vista) probably will not transfer over, as the OEM copies with pre-built PCs are bound to the motherboard. So plan on buying a copy of Windows7.

What exactly are you looking for the system to do that its not doing for you now? And what is your max budget? I will tell you though, if you're looking for a decent gaming system, plan on spending at least $600 for something competent. Ideally around $800.
August 15, 2012 3:35:56 PM

nekulturny said:
That case may only support a microATX board. Also, I do not know if that case has any proprietary issues. Plan on a new power supply, and I'd probably just get a new case to remove any issues. You can get a decent budget case like a CM Elite 430 for $40.

The hard drive will probably work, however Windows7 (or Vista) probably will not transfer over, as the OEM copies with pre-built PCs are bound to the motherboard. So plan on buying a copy of Windows7.

What exactly are you looking for the system to do that its not doing for you now? And what is your max budget? I will tell you though, if you're looking for a decent gaming system, plan on spending at least $600 for something competent. Ideally around $800.


So I've already installed and Antec 750 Watt PSU and a Sapphire AMD HD 6870 into the computer, but I still feel as though I should be getting better performance, particularly in games like WoW and Skyrim. At this point I think it is the CPU that is "throttling" the GPU, if I used the term correctly, and my only remedy would be to upgrade the processor, which in turn requires upgrading the MB.
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August 15, 2012 3:45:52 PM

Okay, good to know at least the case isn't having issues with some aftermarket parts, you're still probably going to have to use a microATX board in that case, no biggie though.

WoW should not be bottlenecked by a Phenom II 820 (at least thats what it should have based on HP's spec sheet), so if you're having issues with it there could be something else going on. Either drivers, or malware, etc. Skyrim is another story, yes the 820 could potentially be holding performance back in that game. But WoW, absolutely, definitely not. So I would try to resolve any other issues before moving forward.

I'd also ask, is this 6GB or RAM installed in 3 modules?. Odd numbers of RAM sticks is actually counter-productive to performance (despite only having 4GB of RAM vs 6GB), as the RAM will run in single channel mode, however the difference should be negligible, but even so. You might considering pulling one of the sticks and configuring it for dual channel mode.

To do this, your boards should have 2 white RAM slots and 2 black ones. Try installing 1 module in each color (one in a white one and one in a black one), it should be (but not always) starting with the closet ones to the CPU. See if that helps.

August 15, 2012 3:46:05 PM

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c02...

there are plenty of processors you can upgrade to on that motherboard that will handle games pretty well. unfortunately you dont have any options for overclocking but the phenom II processors are among the top gaming cpus that amd makes
August 15, 2012 3:49:02 PM

carowden said:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c02...

there are plenty of processors you can upgrade to on that motherboard that will handle games pretty well. unfortunately you dont have any options for overclocking but the phenom II processors are among the top gaming cpus that amd makes

The motherboard only supports a max TDP of 95 watts, that pretty well eliminates all the "decent" Phenom IIs as they run at 125watt TDP.
August 15, 2012 3:51:40 PM

ah i didnt catch that. its pretty misleading on the site then because it says that its compatible with up to the phenom II x6 10xxt, which has a 125tdp

but i should have done my reading haha
August 15, 2012 3:52:43 PM

Welcome to the wonderful world of pre-builts my friend :lol: 
August 15, 2012 3:55:28 PM

hahaha and thats why i build my own. well i feel like any cpu upgrade on this motherboard would be somewhat of a waste of money, and buying a micro atx just cause it fits in this case is a little ridiculous. I would take the power supply and gpu you have and start a new build. you have to get a new mobo/cpu/os anyways, and you could sell your current comp to make some money back (that is if you have the original psu for the system, you still might be able to sell without or get a cheap one just to sell with it)
August 15, 2012 4:05:16 PM

nekulturny said:
The motherboard only supports a max TDP of 95 watts, that pretty well eliminates all the "decent" Phenom IIs as they run at 125watt TDP.


Yeah that was one of the issues I saw when looking at the specs for the MB to upgrade to a six core Phenom or even the 965 processor. I'll try running the Dual Channel with only 4 gbs and see if that makes a difference at all. If i have to purchase a copy of Windows 7 is there a way to install it to preserve my data on the harddrive, or am I better doing a backup of just the data and doing a clean install? What would you guys have for some reasonable upgrades as far as MB and CPU upgrades?
August 15, 2012 4:08:21 PM

carowden said:
hahaha and thats why i build my own. well i feel like any cpu upgrade on this motherboard would be somewhat of a waste of money, and buying a micro atx just cause it fits in this case is a little ridiculous. I would take the power supply and gpu you have and start a new build. you have to get a new mobo/cpu/os anyways, and you could sell your current comp to make some money back (that is if you have the original psu for the system, you still might be able to sell without or get a cheap one just to sell with it)



Could I gut the old one and reuse all the parts except for the new MB, CPU and I'd probably get a new case? Would the original CD drive and harddrive work in a new system?
August 15, 2012 4:10:49 PM

yeah i cant see any reason why not. they are both sata interface. you will want to get all of your data off of the hard drive first though because you will have to put a new copy of windows on the new system.
August 15, 2012 4:14:41 PM

ouijammin said:
Yeah that was one of the issues I saw when looking at the specs for the MB to upgrade to a six core Phenom or even the 965 processor. I'll try running the Dual Channel with only 4 gbs and see if that makes a difference at all. If i have to purchase a copy of Windows 7 is there a way to install it to preserve my data on the harddrive, or am I better doing a backup of just the data and doing a clean install? What would you guys have for some reasonable upgrades as far as MB and CPU upgrades?


You're going to need a backup device to preserve all of your files, to be honest, you should have done that anyway. This is something I hammer my mother for every time she panics over some virus shes managed to get from facebook games or something. ALWAYS back up your critical data before there is a problem, you are a small glitch away from losing everything. Photos of your family, important documents, all your music, your years of bookmarked links, your term paper thats due next week, etc. Depending on how much stuff you actually have to backup, you could do it on CD-Rs or DVD-Rs or a flash drive, or an online storage service if you're hard up for cash to run out and buy a backup drive. I have triple redundancy on everything absolutely critical. My main computer, and 2 laptops.

For reasonable mobo and CPU upgrades, I'd be looking at something like an Intel i5 2400/3450, or if you want to overclock a 2500K or 3570K. And a decent Z77/H77 chipset mobo. You'd be looking at about $300-350 for a decent pairing depending on which way you want to go.

August 15, 2012 4:14:55 PM

carowden said:
yeah i cant see any reason why not. they are both sata interface. you will want to get all of your data off of the hard drive first though because you will have to put a new copy of windows on the new system.


One last question, you guys have been very helpful. Is the old RAM compatible with the newer MB these days?
August 15, 2012 4:14:58 PM

ouijammin said:
Could I gut the old one and reuse all the parts except for the new MB, CPU and I'd probably get a new case? Would the original CD drive and harddrive work in a new system?

SATA to SATA, no issue there.
August 15, 2012 4:15:37 PM

ouijammin said:
One last question, you guys have been very helpful. Is the old RAM compatible with the newer MB these days?

DDR3 RAM is yes, for Intel CPUs however, you absolutely want to have 1.5V RAM, which the RAM in the HP should be.
August 15, 2012 4:42:26 PM

nekulturny said:
DDR3 RAM is yes, for Intel CPUs however, you absolutely want to have 1.5V RAM, which the RAM in the HP should be.


What system do you have setup for backup redundancy?
August 15, 2012 9:24:46 PM

ouijammin said:
What system do you have setup for backup redundancy?

You mean for important data? A very oldschool one. If I have a file like an updated resume, or a homework assignment, I just take a second to click and drag it to the other computers on my home network. I may not do something like a homework assignment to both my laptop's hard drives, but family photos, resume, etc, yea.
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