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Upgrading to low end gaming computer!?


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#1 turbobluemiata

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 09:09 PM

Okay, So I'm new to all component side of computers. Not so Much software, But what I have to start with is a

HP Pavilion m7463w (picked up cheap on craigslist so I would just like to stick with this Platform) and stay under $1000 total payed $350 so far and I know Im not gonna be able to play games on the highest settings but would like medium to high Help please, I think whats lacking the most is the processor?? but I could be wrong?

Base processor
PentiumD 930 (P) DC 3.0 GHz
*800 MHz front side bus
*Socket 775

Chipset
Intel 945P

Motherboard
*Manufacturer: Asus
*Motherboard Name: P5LP-LE

Memory Installed- 4GB (4 x 1 GB)
Speed supported- PC2-4200 MB/sec
Type- 240 pin, DDR2 SDRAM
DIMM slots- Four

Hard drive
* 300 GB SATA
*7200 rpm

Video Graphics Card- EVGA E-GEFORCE 8800GS (unclocked so far, has anyone done so with good results?)

Edited by turbobluemiata, 02 September 2009 - 09:11 PM.


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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 09:31 PM

You're going to have problems updating that PC. After checking out HP's site for that PC model, available here, there are only two CPU's that can work with that motherboard. Those two CPU's are the one you have and a Pentium 4. Even though the CPU socket is the common LGA 775, the motherboard will only work with those two processors since Asus made the motherboard for HP. You can update your video card, but your RAM is already maxed out. From what I can tell, your PC is pretty much as good as you're going to get without performing an overhaul. When I use the word overhaul, I mean gutting the PC and replacing the core components, the CPU, motherboard, and RAM. This effectively gives you a new PC. Thankfully, $750 to $1000 will get you a very good PC. That money buys you even more if you reuse components.

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#3 turbobluemiata

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 11:05 PM

I saw somewhere online that I could do a core 2 duo E6700 processor swap or something along those lines??

#4 DJBPace07

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 12:29 AM

According to the motherboard specifications here, the E6700 is not supported. Although the motherboard is an Asus P5LP-LE, HP/Compaq has rebranded the board as the Emery-UL8E. This board probably has a BIOS different from other P5LP-LE models, thus restricting the processors you can use. I say scrap the upgrade and do an overhaul as you will get more out of the PC.

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#5 turbobluemiata

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 09:08 AM

Whats the best budget motherboard for future advancement if needed?

#6 DJBPace07

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 03:22 PM

If you upgrade your motherboard, you will have to get a new CPU and RAM. A new CPU will give you a better performing computer and new RAM is going to be needed since the RAM you are using is quite slow. As for a motherboard, if you are going to reuse your old case, you will need a Micro-ATX motherboard. These boards are small and compact, but sometimes don't have as many features and can have heat issues. If you really want to stick with a micro ATX, the ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard will work. If you want to get a larger Mid-ATX or Full-ATX tower, the ASRock M3A785GXH/128M AM3 AMD 785G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard would be a good choice. Most gamers need a larger case anyway, so if you are going to be gaming, you will need a different case. Few motherboards will take Pentium processors, and that one will not provide a decent gaming experience for most modern games. You will also need to get a processor, the AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz is the highest-end CPU you can get with either motherboard. Going down the list, in terms of performance, the AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz would be next, followed by the AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz. As for memory, the Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 will do. If you later decide to get a better graphics card, the OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W would give plenty of power, but that power supply is designed for mid or full ATX cases and not micro ATX cases.

Edited by DJBPace07, 06 September 2009 - 03:25 PM.

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#7 turbobluemiata

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 05:24 PM

Alright so, I think I'm gonna sell this computer and start over just reusing the graphics card since I was reading that it can be overclocked quite a bit... I was looking at gigabyte motherboards.. what are the best processors out right now any brand not just amd??? and ddr3 is what I want?

#8 DJBPace07

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 07:15 PM

Gigabyte is a good brand, it is always helpful to keep several brands in mind instead of just one. Many motherboards that use the same chipset are designed similarly. I usually go for Asus, ASRock, Gigabyte, or XFX motherboards. As you know, there are two CPU brands, AMD and Intel. Intel has the high performing, yet very expensive, i7 line. The problem with the Intel i7 CPU's is that their lowest-end model costs more than AMD's highest end and performs nearly the same. If you're aiming for a very high performance machine, the $570 i7 950 or greater is suggested as it will outperform AMD's best by a significant margin. Most people get sticker shock at the price of the i7 950 and the motherboard so they turn to lower cost processors. The more mainstream users will go for the Core 2 line. The Core 2 line is not designed for DDR3, but some motherboards have it. Because of this, Core 2's don't really benefit from DDR3, if the motherboard supports it. On the AMD side of things, the story is a little different. AMD cannot compete against anything more powerful than the i7 920, so they price their processors much lower than Intel and unlock them for easier overclocking. As it stands now, gamers should be looking at the Phenom II line and low-end or budget users should consider the Athlon II. Both of these processors have been designed for DDR3 and will benefit from using it. Since AMD isn't competing against Intel's enthusiast-grade i7 line, they compete directly against the Core 2 line. Comparing two processors, a Core 2 quad and a Phenom II X4 with the same clock speeds, the Phenom II will perform at or above the Core 2 but will cost less. As it stands now, if you have the cash for an i7 processor, a 950 or better, that would be great but very expensive with questionable returns. That is, unless you run heavily multithreaded applications. If you want Core 2, you would probably be better off going for a Phenom II since they and their motherboards cost less and offer similar performance. For instance, the Core 2 Q9650 at 3GHz. costs $320 whereas the AMD Phenom II X4 965 at 3.4GHz. costs $240. Both are excellent processors, compete directly against each other, and have similar performance, but one costs much less. On a budget of $1000, an i7 would be a stretch as you would have to compromise somewhere.

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#9 turbobluemiata

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 02:03 AM

First off thanks DJBPace07 for all the Help... what kind of power supply and case will work with all these... Say I sell the computer for $500 and keep the 2 drives and the video card I have what would be a good list of stuff with room to expand for say $500 do harddrives differ other than capacity?

So I would need
Case?
Power supply?
Motherboard
processor
RAM

anything im leaving out???

Edited by turbobluemiata, 07 September 2009 - 02:06 AM.


#10 DJBPace07

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 05:18 PM

You're keeping one of the more expensive components: the video card. That will save you cash, as will reusing optical drives. You can reuse hard drives, but I suggest doing so only if they are SATA since PATA (IDE) is slow. Also, hard drives tend to fail after about five years, so if your drives are old, it may be in your best interest to simply buy a new drive. Anyway, here's a list.

Case: Here is where you can be a little choosy. A mid ATX tower will easily accommodate your current graphics card. But if you see yourself getting one of the high-end models later on, a full ATX case would be advised. A good mid ATX case is the COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW. If you want a large full ATX tower, the Sunbeam Transformer IC-TR-US-BA-WOPSU could work.

Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W - This will handle most single GPU setups and even some multi card ones. $70 (Before $20 mail in rebate)

Motherboard: ASRock M3A785GXH/128M AM3 AMD 785G - This will handle the new AM3 processors. It also allows for Crossfire and DDR3. There are very few SLI-capable boards for the AM3, and those that exist use older chipsets. If you want to use more than one graphics card, you will need an ATI one, but given your current graphics card, you shouldn't be using SLI with it anyway as it is not super powerful. This motherboard can use up to two PATA (IDE) devices. So if both your hard drive and optical drive are PATA (IDE), then you've used all available ports. $99

RAM: Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - The motherboard uses DDR3 memory and this is it. Note that you will need a 64-bit operating system to use 4GB or more of it. $65

CPU: Here's where prices vary widely based on how you use your computer. The bulk of your budget will go here. The AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz is the best processor you can get with this motherboard. The 955 is a quad core that is unlocked for easy overclocking. If you get this processor, you will still be under your budget by about $25. There are less expensive models available. If you want to save money and get a weaker processor, the AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz or the AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz are alternatives. $102 to 189 depending on the processor.

Operating System: You cannot reuse the Windows disc from an OEM build. In other words, you cannot use the Windows disc that came with your old HP PC. You have to get a new one. You can wait for Windows 7 to come out in October, or you can buy Vista now and get a free upgrade coupon for $100. You may be able to find an RC of Windows 7, if so, you can get a key for it and use the OS for free until March. If you go this route, Microsoft is giving out keys until Oct 21.

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#11 turbobluemiata

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 05:12 PM

Update: Just picked up an ASUS M4A78T-E motherboard locally for $50 good deal I thought.... is it a very good one? i figured for the price cant beat it the box says it supports am3 processors so it has to be kinda new.... its sells for more on newegg

#12 DJBPace07

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 09:05 PM

If that is indeed the correct model number, M4A78T-E, then you got a fantastic deal. All the other components I listed will work with that board. In fact, the Phenom II X4 965 will work with it, though I'm not sure the price difference is worth it.

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#13 turbobluemiata

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 09:22 PM

well for the money I saved I think I might go with the 965..... and I'm a little confused about the OS thing...... how do I get ahold of windows 7?

Edited by turbobluemiata, 08 September 2009 - 10:20 PM.


#14 DJBPace07

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 11:03 PM

That depends, there are several ways. The Enterprise edition is available to download and will work for 90 days. Here's the link. Anyone can use it and supplies are limited. Once all product keys are exhausted, Microsoft will stop the program. If you don't want the Enterprise edition, you can find the RC still lurking about the Internet, or one of your friends may have it. You can still get the RC product key from Microsoft. Once the 90 days are up, you must perform a clean install of Windows 7 from a purchased copy. You can get these from Newegg or Amazon. The OEM edition is the cheapest and will be found at Newegg once released. If you don't want to do any of these, you can purchase Windows Vista now and redeem the Windows 7 upgrade coupon. If you want to do this, here's the link. Whatever you decide to do, you will need a 64-bit operating system. If you do go for the Phenom II 965, you need to have the appropriate BIOS installed on the motherboard. I'm not sure if your motherboard already has the most recent BIOS already installed on it. If not, you will have to flash the motherboard which is not suggested in this application. Since the 965 is so similar to the 955, the computer should at least boot if you don't have the BIOS. I suggest not getting the 965 unless you can confirm that the motherboard already has the 1503 BIOS or better on it. I don't think spending $50 more dollars on a CPU that is 200MHz. faster than the 955 is worth it.

Edited by DJBPace07, 08 September 2009 - 11:11 PM.

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#15 turbobluemiata

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 11:34 PM

How would I go about installing the 90 day trial one on a newly built pc? and Thanks i will stick to the 955 or maybe lower but definitely gonna stick with the quad core




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