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 Post subject: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:06 am 
8086
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Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:15 pm
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I have an HP p7-1003w and I was curious what I have to do if I replace the MoBo and CPU.

I know if I just replace the CPU then I wouldn't have to re-install Windows, but the mobo being AM3 I don't see many good upgrade options for just upgrading the CPU. Unless, I'm not looking too good...

Since I guess I have to replace the MoBo that means I'll have to re-install Windows and I'm wondering if I can use the same key that came with the HP so I don't have to buy another copy. I don't know how this works with pre-builts?!?!?!

I would really like to just upgrade the CPU, is there any upgrades that I didn't see? It's a Athlon II X4 650 3.2ghz.
--

BTW, I already replaced the PSU to a 500w XFX, and added a GTX 760 GPU last week along with a new Case.

Also, would there be any performance increase by buying 8gb of more RAM? or just getting better RAM than what the HP came with?

I'm not wealthy by any means and I'm slowly building a nice rig...hopefully. Piece after piece each payday.


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:36 am 
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What's your goal? Gaming? Using your upgraded rig, have you noticed poor framerates in games or other reasons to suspect that the CPU is bottlenecking your GPU?


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:47 am 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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The best processor an AM3 board can support is a Phenom II X6. If you ask me, that's a pretty good upgrade and will go toe-to-toe with Bulldozers. Otherwise you can find one of the Phenom II X4 BE processors which offer good overclocking capabilities. You can find either online for around $120-$220 depending on where you look.

As for RAM, it depends if you're routinely running out. 4GB of RAM is fine for midrange systems, as I'm still going on the assertion many games are 32-bit and are hampered by the 2GB memory use limit in x64 Windows environments.

Spoiler: show
On an aside, Call of Duty: Ghosts being one of the now few games that "require" 6GB of RAM is really just the developer can't code worth beans. The game doesn't look any better than previous versions. Not only did it run slower, but it looked like it was stuck in the "low" graphics settings the entire time... and I have a fairly high-end system. Oh and it "ran out of memory". To put it in perspective, Crysis's recommended settings was 2GB of RAM, a high-end Pentium D, and a graphics card from the future, and that game looks and performs better than Ghosts.


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:56 am 
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Latios, his rig already has 8gb RAM, which is why I wanted to know his reason for upgrading the CPU/ram? He's got a pretty decent GPU too.


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:04 am 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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Yah know, I need to stop thinking these low end OEM builds have no RAM (seriously, what does a low-end build need with 8GB?)

So no, there's no reason to go beyond 8GB of memory unless you're running Photoshop or video editing or something. Either way, the test still holds true: if you're not routinely running out of RAM, you don't need any more. And there's no reason to get better memory since I keep finding that in real world applications, it doesn't matter. The only thing faster memory benefits is IGPUs.


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:10 am 
8086
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Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:15 pm
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phillyj wrote:
What's your goal? Gaming? Using your upgraded rig, have you noticed poor framerates in games or other reasons to suspect that the CPU is bottlenecking your GPU?


Gaming. I've had this HP for a few years and just recently I've grown tired of low settings. I want to build a fairly decent rig and I'm pretty sure the 760 will get bottlenecked by my current CPU. (Still waiting for the GPU in the mail, should be here tomorrow along with the PSU and Case.)
---


What is your opinion? Should I upgrade the MoBo or just buy a CPU that will fit in that board? It seems that I can't find any new CPUs that fit AM3, I would have to buy off eBay, etc. right?

Some of the games I want to play:
Skyrim (ENBs and HD mods)
Fallout 3/NV (Modded)
Far Cry 3
AC4: Black Flag
Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Witcher 2
Tomb Raider
BF3/4 & some CoD at times.

Currently using a 23" 1080p Monitor, but in a few weeks I want to get at least a 27".

I have no more than $300 for either a new CPU or a new CPU/MoBo combo.


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:46 am 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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$300 not including tax and S&H will get you a pretty good Z87 + Haswell combo. Or heck a Z77 with Ivy Bridge.

A note on the monitor, a 1080p 27" or a 1440p 27"? Just a personal opinion but monitors are one of those things that if you aren't getting higher resolution with a bigger size, you shouldn't bother with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:13 am 
8086
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Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:15 pm
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LatiosXT wrote:
$300 not including tax and S&H will get you a pretty good Z87 + Haswell combo. Or heck a Z77 with Ivy Bridge.

A note on the monitor, a 1080p 27" or a 1440p 27"? Just a personal opinion but monitors are one of those things that if you aren't getting higher resolution with a bigger size, you shouldn't bother with it.


Could you link what you're suggesting I should get.

As for the monitor, I just want a bigger screen for immersion, I highly doubt I will get a 1440p, just 1080.

Also, about the HP; I will be able to use the Windows key that's on the case of the PC to re-install Windows on the new board/CPU combo? How do I go about doing this, it didn't come with a CD/DVD, just a recovery partition on the HD. I don't want to have to buy Windows, so hopefully I can somehow use what I have. Any insight?


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:20 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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Mobo and CPU

As for the Windows key, you need a new one. I tried using an OEM key once, it didn't work.


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:28 am 
8086
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Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:15 pm
Posts: 25
LatiosXT wrote:
Mobo and CPU

As for the Windows key, you need a new one. I tried using an OEM key once, it didn't work.


Like, I couldn't contact HP and explain what I'm doing?! No way around buying Windows, huh?! That sucks...that will delay everything. /sigh


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:41 am 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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Microsoft gives a special price to hand out keys to OEMs. Which is why they can build a $300 computer with Windows better than you can build a $300 with Windows.


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:53 am 
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Latios, why can't he do a clean install on his current system, then remove the mobo/cpu, and stick in the new mobo/cpu. Will the system be able to install new drivers for the mobo?


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:05 pm 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5238
phillyj wrote:
Latios, why can't he do a clean install on his current system, then remove the mobo/cpu, and stick in the new mobo/cpu. Will the system be able to install new drivers for the mobo?

Windows ties itself to the motherboard. So even if he were to reinstall, get the system up and running, and activate it, the moment he swaps out motherboards Windows will more than likely retrigger activation. And with keys from OEM vendors, Windows will explicitly state "this key cannot be used on this system" without any alternative other than getting another key.


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:30 pm 
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Ok. That makes sense. But, as long as I got the factory mobo, I could reinstall the OS into a new HDD though, right?


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:22 pm 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5238
Probably.


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:09 am 
8086
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Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:15 pm
Posts: 25
That really stinks.

With that in mind, and my budget, the best option now is to replace the CPU/MoBo and buy Windows(with $300) instead of buying just an AM3 CPU?


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:14 am 
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Yep, it seems that way, Scissor. The best CPU your mobo supports are the Phenom IIs but they're all discontinued. All the old stock was cleared out last year. I built my PC last year and got lucky with the timing.

If you want we can help you pick out a mobo/cpu combo including Windows that can be within your budget. I looked at your spec sheet and your AM3 mobo can run PC3-8500 (DDR3-1066) OR PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333) RAM. That should mean that whatever new mobo you get, should be able to use your old RAM.

If you have a Microcenter nearby, they have nice mobo/cpu deals for both AMD and Intel.


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:20 am 
8086
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Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:15 pm
Posts: 25
phillyj wrote:
Yep, it seems that way, Scissor. The best CPU your mobo supports are the Phenom IIs but they're all discontinued. All the old stock was cleared out last year. I built my PC last year and got lucky with the timing.

If you want we can help you pick out a mobo/cpu combo including Windows that can be within your budget. I looked at your spec sheet and your AM3 mobo can run PC3-8500 (DDR3-1066) OR PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333) RAM. That should mean that whatever new mobo you get, should be able to use your old RAM.

If you have a Microcenter nearby, they have nice mobo/cpu deals for both AMD and Intel.


I don't live near any decent electronic stores; small town USA here! Anyway, yeah, hopefully whatever mobo I get will support the RAM that is in my current PC.

I would very much like a build recommendation from you guys, what LatiosXT linked earlier will be over my $300 budget including W7. BUT, I don't want to get a sub-par CPU where I'll have to upgrade it again in 6months. Is now a good time to buy CPUs? Or is there a new line coming out shortly that will reduce the prices on current stock?

*EDIT: I guess, I could buy W7 next week or so and just spend the full $300 on a CPU/Mainboard this week.

With the games I listed earlier, could I get a few other recommendations for CPU/Mobo, unless what LatiosXT linked is the best-of-the-best for that price range?!
I don't have any use for two PCI-e slots, or need more than 2 slots for RAM, so hopefully I can get a cheap'ish board and spend like $200 on the CPU.


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:08 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5238
ASRock B85M Pro4 Motherobard ($70), Intel Core i3-4130 Processor ($120), and Windows 7 Home Premium ($99). This comes to $289 not including tax or shipping.

The Core i3 is fine for 99% of games out there and it won't be absolutely necessary to upgrade for at least a year or two.


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 Post subject: Re: Question About Upgrading CPU/MoBo on a Pre-Built HP.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:48 pm 
Thunderbird
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I was going to say I see no point in a i5 when a fast dual core i3 would be cheaper and likely faster. And if games come along later that can utilize 4 cores he can buy either a new one or hit eBay for used.


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