Question Worth it (for me) upgrading motherboard on an old HP pre-built P6654y with existing upgrades?

Nov 24, 2021
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So, I have an old HP Pavillion p6654y. It was originally an Athlon X4. However, I have already done a number of upgrades over the last few years.
CPU is now an X6 PhenomII 1055T 2.80ghz ( Its the 95w version)
WD Blue SSD
16GB Patriot Viper ( 4 sticks x 4)
GeForce GTX660 GPU
Upgraded PSU ( Don't remember the wattage, but its decent. - Around 750w if I remember.
I am running the OEM Win7 home premium

I do NOT game, at all. I rarely stream tv/movies, but when I do, I have no problems currently. I can watch in 1080HD,. As long as I don't run out of RAM, its fine.
I use this mostly for heavy web browsing ( 120+ tabs of chrome, across 4-6 windows, left open for weeks at a time), occasional MS Office use, and a proprietary stock trading program that is known to be a resource pig ( mostly RAM) .
Overall, this PC works perfectly fine for me now. My ONLY real problem is running out of RAM. 16GB is the max for both this motherboard ( https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c02560084 ), and for Win7 home. So, I either need a better motherboard and Win10, and new RAM ( might as well go for 32gb) or a whole new PC.
Under more sane, normal market conditions, it would probably make more sense to just buy/build a new PC, but IF I buy/build new, I would only do so with a near top end CPU, and high quality components. I don't need a RTX3080, etc.... But I do think I would want more then on board graphics. Even if I bought a pre-built and sold off the GPU ( which I really don't want to bother with), The net cost would still be more then is think is worth it.

So:
1.) What motherboards could I use as an upgrade in this PC ( it's mATX/uATX)? What should I expect to pay? Are AM3 motherboards still available new?

2.) Why can't I "upgrade" this Win7 to WIN10 for free, then change the motherboard? Do I HAVE to pay for a retail copy of Win10 just because of a new motherboard? Is this strictly a "legal" thing? I have zero issue with saying F MSFT and just using it anyway as long as I can force it to activate/work. I mean I'm still only using the 1 copy I am entitled to on ONE system.

3.)What should 32GB of decent DDR3 cost ( 4x8gb)?

4.) Besides more RAM capacity, from what I have read, it seems that a newer motherboard would also have a faster bus speed, faster ram, as well as SATA3, all of which would make better use of the existing upgrades ( The SSD is bottled necked currently by the slower SATA speeds on existing board).

5.) Expected total cost of upgrade?

6.) Given my intended uses, the current near complete satisfaction with my existing system ( except for amount of RAM), and the cost of a new system, does it make more sense to continue to update/upgrade what I have or buy a new system? Would a new system/CPU REALLY actually provide ME with any meaningful real word performance improvement? Yes, I know on paper 12 core is better then 6, but not if you never actually need them.

Thanks for any input.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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1. Any hardware 'upgrade' will be a whole new PC. There is no viable 'partial parts swap'.

2. You probably can upgrade that WIn 7 license to Win 10 on your existing motherboard. Probably. But...with a new motherboard later, that will require a new install. The license and installation are two different things. But you can also probably transfer that Win 10 license to new hardware. But you can't do both at the same time.

3, 4, 5...mostly irrelevant. This will be mostly a whole new PC. Including case and power supply.


What is your actual budget for this?
 
Nov 24, 2021
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1. Any hardware 'upgrade' will be a whole new PC. There is no viable 'partial parts swap'.

2. You probably can upgrade that WIn 7 license to Win 10 on your existing motherboard. Probably. But...with a new motherboard later, that will require a new install. The license and installation are two different things. But you can also probably transfer that Win 10 license to new hardware. But you can't do both at the same time.

3, 4, 5...mostly irrelevant. This will be mostly a whole new PC. Including case and power supply.


What is your actual budget for this?
Budget is whatever I feel like spending,. I CAN go buy a$5k monster PC if I want.
A.) I think new PC is disgustingly overpriced and I don't really want to support that market.
B.) I don't think such a system would provide me any meaningful real world benefit given my use case.
C.) I like fixing old things that "world" says are useless and proving them wrong.

Why would a hardware upgrade be a whole new PC? I already own all the upgraded parts above. The ONLY thing I really feel a need for is more RAM. But this motherboard is maxed out, as is Win7. Everything else works fine and meets my needs. If I can get 32GB of RAM for an all in cost of under $500, its probably worth it VS $1200-$1500 for new PC, if I can even find one in stock. Unless someone can tell me why, in concrete terms, why a newer CPU/system would specifically benefit my use case, beyond the benefit of the extra ram?
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Budget is whatever I feel like spending,. I CAN go buy a$5k monster PC if I want.
A.) I think new PC is disgustingly overpriced and I don't really want to support that market.
B.) I don't think such a system would provide me any meaningful real world benefit given my use case.
C.) I like fixing old things that "world" says are useless and proving them wrong.

Why would a hardware upgrade be a whole new PC? I already own all the upgraded parts above. The ONLY thing I really feel a need for is more RAM. But this motherboard is maxed out, as is Win7. Everything else works fine and meets my needs. If I can get 32GB of RAM for an all in cost of under $500, its probably worth it VS $1200-$1500 for new PC, if I can even find one in stock. Unless someone can tell me why, in concrete terms, why a newer CPU/system would specifically benefit my use case, beyond the benefit of the extra ram?
New motherboard/CPU/RAM == new PC.
Given a proprietary HP case...replace that as well.

Your Phenom II platform is 13 years old.
There is no relevant upgrade you can do without replacing just about everything else. Hence, my comment of "new PC".

Except for current GPUs, new parts are not really that expensive.
You can source current level CPU/RAM/motherboard/case/PSU for under $700.
 
Nov 24, 2021
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New motherboard/CPU/RAM == new PC.
Given a proprietary HP case...replace that as well.

Your Phenom IIplatform is 13 years old.
There is no relevant upgrade you can do without replacing just about everything else. Hence, my comment of "new PC".
Wrong. Plain and simple. I CAN replace the motherboard, add additional RAM ,and reuse all other existing components. I'm not asking IF I can. Other's have done it in the past. I'm trying to determine if its worth it for ME.

Except for current GPUs, new parts are not really that expensive.
You can source current level CPU/RAM/motherboard/case/PSU for under $700.
So, you think I can build a good quality system with a Ryzen7 5700 or better, with 32GB of ram or better, all from scratch ,for less then $700? Please, show me how. I'll jump on that. I have no interest in building/buying a budget PC. Its either all out or keep what I have. Those are the relevant cost/performance comparisons.
I don't need a new CPU. I already have the X6 1055T. I need a better mATX AM3 motherboard and RAM. Period. Full stop. I need nothing else. So, again OTHER THEN the benefit of more RAM, which is the only thing I actually need right now, what will I ( not someones else doing other things) actually gain from a new system? In what way will a Ryzen7 5700G or even an I7-12700 actually benefit me when browsing the web? Specifically what will it do better, in a way that I will actually notice?
 

USAFRet

Titan
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From your title..."upgrading motherboard..."
That comes with a new CPU, etc.

If all you need is more RAM, then go for that.

2x 16GB Crucial


PCPartPicker Part List

Memory: Crucial 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) Registered DDR3-1600 CL11 Memory ($124.39 @ Amazon)
Total: $124.39
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-11-24 18:17 EST-0500



Why a different motherboard? Within the same level, different motherboards don't really give any better performance.



If all you do is standard web browsing, and you are satisfied with the current system (apart from RAM), then a new system probably won't benefit you.
If you're doing anything else....then you would probably see a significant benefit.
 
Nov 24, 2021
4
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10
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From your title..."upgrading motherboard..."
That comes with a new CPU, etc.

If all you need is more RAM, then go for that.

2x 16GB Crucial


PCPartPicker Part List

Memory: Crucial 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) Registered DDR3-1600 CL11 Memory ($124.39 @ Amazon)
Total: $124.39
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-11-24 18:17 EST-0500



Why a different motherboard? Within the same level, different motherboards don't really give any better performance.



If all you do is standard web browsing, and you are satisfied with the current system (apart from RAM), then a new system probably won't benefit you.
If you're doing anything else....then you would probably see a significant benefit.
As I stated , in more then once, more then one post: I want more ram, but I can't add anymore because A.) This particular low end OEM motherboard MAXES OUT at 16GB ( which I already have). and B.) Win7 Home does not recognize more then 16GB, so OS has to be upgraded to Win10 for more RAM.

Also, to address your other statement:
"Why a different motherboard? Within the same level, different motherboards don't really give any better performance."
False. See above. This a low end OEM level motherboard. It met HP's cost/performance target's at time of production. But it is by no means the best socket AM3 motherboard ever made. In fact, from what I have found, there is a newer, later AMD chipset above this level, as well as newer, better quality name brand "performance" boards (MSI, AsRock, etc..) with faster FSB, newer SATA3, higher frequency memory bus speeds, as well as the ability to ovcerclock my existing CPU ( and the RAM), if desired.
I know all this CAN be done. I was looking for someone with knowledge of this "vintage" of equipment to point me to an actual part#/source/prices/etc/ ( such as a gamer who was building high end Socket AM3 systems 10yrs ago and can tell me, avoid this motherboard, buy this part#,etc...
 
So, I have an old HP Pavillion p6654y. It was originally an Athlon X4. However, I have already done a number of upgrades over the last few years.
CPU is now an X6 PhenomII 1055T 2.80ghz ( Its the 95w version)
WD Blue SSD
16GB Patriot Viper ( 4 sticks x 4)
GeForce GTX660 GPU
Upgraded PSU ( Don't remember the wattage, but its decent. - Around 750w if I remember.
I am running the OEM Win7 home premium

I do NOT game, at all. I rarely stream tv/movies, but when I do, I have no problems currently. I can watch in 1080HD,. As long as I don't run out of RAM, its fine.
I use this mostly for heavy web browsing ( 120+ tabs of chrome, across 4-6 windows, left open for weeks at a time), occasional MS Office use, and a proprietary stock trading program that is known to be a resource pig ( mostly RAM) .
Overall, this PC works perfectly fine for me now. My ONLY real problem is running out of RAM. 16GB is the max for both this motherboard ( https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c02560084 ), and for Win7 home. So, I either need a better motherboard and Win10, and new RAM ( might as well go for 32gb) or a whole new PC.
Under more sane, normal market conditions, it would probably make more sense to just buy/build a new PC, but IF I buy/build new, I would only do so with a near top end CPU, and high quality components. I don't need a RTX3080, etc.... But I do think I would want more then on board graphics. Even if I bought a pre-built and sold off the GPU ( which I really don't want to bother with), The net cost would still be more then is think is worth it.

So:
1.) What motherboards could I use as an upgrade in this PC ( it's mATX/uATX)? What should I expect to pay? Are AM3 motherboards still available new?

2.) Why can't I "upgrade" this Win7 to WIN10 for free, then change the motherboard? Do I HAVE to pay for a retail copy of Win10 just because of a new motherboard? Is this strictly a "legal" thing? I have zero issue with saying F MSFT and just using it anyway as long as I can force it to activate/work. I mean I'm still only using the 1 copy I am entitled to on ONE system.

3.)What should 32GB of decent DDR3 cost ( 4x8gb)?

4.) Besides more RAM capacity, from what I have read, it seems that a newer motherboard would also have a faster bus speed, faster ram, as well as SATA3, all of which would make better use of the existing upgrades ( The SSD is bottled necked currently by the slower SATA speeds on existing board).

5.) Expected total cost of upgrade?

6.) Given my intended uses, the current near complete satisfaction with my existing system ( except for amount of RAM), and the cost of a new system, does it make more sense to continue to update/upgrade what I have or buy a new system? Would a new system/CPU REALLY actually provide ME with any meaningful real word performance improvement? Yes, I know on paper 12 core is better then 6, but not if you never actually need them.

Thanks for any input.
You could use pcpartpicker to shop for a mobo that supports 32GB and your cpu and is the size you need that will fix part of your problem.

The upgrade from w7 to w10 I'll let others comment.
I suppose worst case you buy a new copy of w10.
 

Nighthawk117

Prominent
Sep 27, 2021
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If you need more than 16GB ram and your using a stock trading program then you probably need a faster and more responsive CPU than what that Phenom 1055T can give you. In terms of what you could put in there, an i3 10100 and a cheap mATX B460 + 32GB 2666 DDR4 would be night and day over what you currently have. You would be looking at roughly 2.5x the single core performance and 2.5x the multicore performance of what you have. However that's still going to cost in the £300 (not sure what country your in) range. A Ryzen 5700G would give you a powerful CPU and decent integrated GPU but it's a much more expensive CPU. Investing any money in AM3 parts today in my view is a complete waste of time, they are obsolete by todays standards. So I would say either £300ish on a upgrade for your current system, or simply build a completely new PC.
 

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