Newbie Motherboard and CPU help please.

jdice1980

Distinguished
Dec 4, 2007
12
0
18,510
0
I am new to upgrading. I have a nVIDIA 8800 GT w/ 512mb and a power supply on order. It started that that was all I wanted to do. Then I decided that I would later build an SLI system around the card later. Then the idea hit me to just upgrade my current Computer, to avoid buying things like a new case, optical drives, hard drive, and OS. So my goal is to upgrade the CPU, motherboard, etc, without having to buy windows and all that.

My Systems Current Specs:
HP Pavillion a1700n
Vista Home Premium
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ 2.0 GHz, Socket AM2
Chipset: 6150 LE
Motherboard: Asus A8M2N-LA
I know the form factor is ATX

Can I add a more powerful CPU as long as it is 64 X2, and AM2 to the current motherboard w/out affecting windows vista? What all is involved in getting it to work properly?

I am looking at this one:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2905661&CatId=2328

At a later date I would like to upgrade the motherboard with one with a nVIDIA chipset and SLI compatibility. The current motherboard is microATX, will regular ATX work, I can’t find a single microATX that is SLI ready. Also, I have read there can be a problem getting windows to run right, at least with XP.
So in short, I want to in this order:
Add graphics and power supply, update CPU to current motherboard, and at a later date when I have the money for second card and motherboard, add those.
Any help would be appreciated, or if someone could point me in the direction of good resources would be great.
 

hughyhunter

Distinguished
Nov 20, 2007
865
0
18,980
0
You have a good gpu coming... I would have to say though for the rest of your components that it's really not time to upgrade.

First off you are limited with your case. You say you know that it's atx but will it fit a full size motherboard in it? Will it even fit your 8800GT in it?

How much ram do you have right now? RAM is the first thing that I would upgrade if you are running below 2 gigs. If you are running 2 gigs then maybe see about getting another Gig or two.

What are you using your PC for? If you are playing games than you are sitting pretty good with your card and cpu... you should just get some ram like mentioned.

Do you have a windows vista disk? In other words are you going to be able to reformate if you need to when you upgrade your mobo and other stuff?

Right now if I were in your shoes I would just start overclocking like crazy. Getting every bit of performance out of your rig that you can. If you have a few bucks spend it on cooling and ram not cpu and mobo... the only cpu that is worth it is the 6400+ and I really couldnt recommend it just because you already have a good cpu that needs to be overclocked.

YOu can take that cpu to at least 3 ghz on air cooling. That with 2 gigs of ram and an 8800gt will put you at full eye candy with call of duty 4 and pretty high settings on crysis. I even bet a score of 9000 or above on 3dmark06. Give it all a try!
 

jdice1980

Distinguished
Dec 4, 2007
12
0
18,510
0
Thanks for the suggestions. I really have NO idea how to overclock the CPU; I am guessing it is done in the bios. With proper cooling I could see doing it; my only worry is it is messing something up. This is really a project I am doing on my father’s computer who is into casual gaming but who would like to get into the more graphics intense stuff. My ambition is to really to fun MS Flight Sim X all out. He on the other hand would be more interested in the latest games like Call of Duty. I just don’t want to fry the thing. But if anyone can suggest good cooling and tell me how this overclocking works I will try it. I was going to upgrade to at least 2 gig ram, Vista is the 32 bit, so I know I will only be able to go to 4, but only actually be able to utilize ~3.5. My only concern here is the Ram the HP website says I can us is PC2-4200 @533mhz, so eventually wouldn’t a new motherboard be worth the RAM compatibility upgrade?

Also: What do you mean will my GPU fit, you are scaring me here! Like I say, I know the motherboard is micro-ATX, one of my questions was: are the ATX compatible? I don’t have a clue, so maybe someone can chime in here. I am guessing the tower is a mini, or half or whatever they call them. And I am assuming reloading windows under a repair installation is the way to do it with Vista also, that is if I have the disc, need to check.
 

Similar threads


ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS