Upgrading HP desktop...

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Old 02-01-07, 12:17 AM
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Question Upgrading HP desktop...

OK..here' what I have: HP Pavilion 7915. It has 384MB memory at present-another 256MB chip coming to make the max total of 512MB(two slots with two 256MB chips) . I have a 40GB hard drive and the processor is a 1.1GHz Celeron. I got this PC refurbished for really cheap from HP..no warranty of course.;-)

Anyway, I was thinking of upgrading the processor. I've done a lot of reading about this on different sites. The general consensus is that it goes from easy to madness and anywhere in between. I can get a 3.3GHz processor (Celeron D) that is supposed work on my motherboard for about $59(I have to verify this of course with them for my PC).

But I'm worried about the fan keeping up and are there any other problems with this idea? I really don't want to go any further with this particular PC...like upgrading the hard drive, mother board, new fan etc. I was hoping that this is a reasonable upgrade that won't cause problems, other than getting the CPU out, new heat grease...finding the release tabs etc?
 
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Old 02-01-07, 12:49 AM
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Why do you want to upgrade? What do you use the computer for? If your primary usage is E-mail, simple word processing, simple digital photography and minimal Internet surfing you may not have any better performance than with the present configuration.

I have a Compaq laptop that runs WIN98SE, has 192MB (total) of RAM, a 6 gigabyte HD with a AMD K6 processor and it does all of these things almost as well as my latest H-P desktop running XP with a 80 gig HD, 512MB RAM and an Intel Core processor.
 
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Old 02-01-07, 01:21 AM
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I guess...because I can. I'm coming off a ten yr old PC that had a 233Hz Pentium 1, 128MB ram and 6GB hard drive. It's like I've rediscovered the Internet. So after riding a turtle all those yrs and watching the cars go by, I want a Ferrari-but of course I want it cheap and doing the work myself is a reasonable exchange I think.;-) You may be right, I don't play any games or do digital photography...although there is a huge photo program for such already loaded on this HP. I do download songs from Shareaza, but I transfer them out to CDs or soon, an MP3 player...so I don't need a huge cache for that. And after having WIN98 for yrs, I see XP as almost everything better in all regards-I'm not sure of your comparison there? I do tremendous amount of surfing and member an endless train of movie boards. Now for the first time, I can actually do like four tasks at once-formally impossible.

I haven't hit the wall yet with this computer, although I've had a few frozen windows (which easily could have been my fault). I think I've been pretty close however and the 512MB memory may even prevent that in the future-dunno.
 

Last edited by Real1shepherd; 02-01-07 at 01:29 AM. Reason: more thoughts
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Old 02-01-07, 05:51 AM
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Replace the entire PC. Don;t throw good money after bad. A Celeron is the worst processor available for a PC. I would never buy one, or let someone I kow buy one. While they do work for the basics, they are useless when push comes to shove and speed is in any way a factor.

Further, the other components are out of date as well.
 
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Old 02-01-07, 06:00 AM
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Just upgrading the CPU may not be the best thing.. You have to take into consideration whether the motherboard will support it.. CPU and Frontside Buss speed is important.. Will the MB support something faster.. Putting a 400mhz FSB CPU onto a 133 FSB MB isn't going to cut it..
It's possible to just replace the whole MB w/CPU, or buy a case and build the system you want.. Just swap your present drives, etc. into the new case..
 
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Old 02-01-07, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by racraft View Post
Replace the entire PC. Don;t throw good money after bad. A Celeron is the worst processor available for a PC. I would never buy one, or let someone I kow buy one. While they do work for the basics, they are useless when push comes to shove and speed is in any way a factor.

Further, the other components are out of date as well.
Hi,

Your blanket statements are giving me a good laugh! You show the short side or negative of everything.

The OP got the system on the cheap. Nothing wrong here. Everyone cannot afford to have leading edge technology or need it. The HP unit that the OP purchased seems to meet his specifications. His question was about upgrading.

To the OP, I would put as much memory as possible for the box. Just don't over do. The cost of good memory has really come down. You will see a difference in the operation of the machine. Your purchase of the 256mb memory was a good one but if you could have increased the amount, then it would have been better.

You(OP) probably aren't doing CFD(computational fluid dynamics) or PCB, CAD design which would place a load on a system of this type. Your machine will work for general uses just not bleeding edge applications. To replace the processor, you really won't see much of a change. Even if you benchmark the processor before and after the replacement the change cost will not be justified.

BTW, just curious as to how much you paid for the refurbished HP?
 
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Old 02-01-07, 08:01 AM
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"Your blanket statements are giving me a good laugh! You show the short side or negative of everything."

I agree.


Real1shepherd:
I would keep the processor you have. I rarely recommend that a person upgrade the CPU in their computer. It is often better to just buy a new computer, or at least a new motherboard and CPU. If you are not having any problems, then there is no need to upgrade.
 
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Old 02-01-07, 01:36 PM
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Wink

Thanx kchinth, onebuck and AxlMyk for all the feedback. The most memory I can put in is 512MB and the chip that is coming will finish that-only $46 delivered, but I chose for second day air at $6 more-plus they offered to buy my old extra chip. It's true, memory chips are coming down. I'm glad ya'll said what you did, as I think a newer CPU might not give me what I want and/or not be a match to the motherboard. And agreed, next time around I will build a PC from scratch myself...I think it would be a lot of fun and informative. There is only one, we-will-build-you-a-computer shop in this area and they have a bad reputation from most I talk to and that's a bad start, at least for my money.

I paid $136 for this PC. I kinda screwed up in the sense there were more modern refurbished Dells for a little more, but were blank slates without an OS-warranties though. Searching around the Net, I couldn't find like XP Service pack 2 for less than about $70. What I forgot to do was ask my son in college if he had an OS lying around and of course he had XP for the asking. This PC had everything already loaded on it plus a ton of anti-virus and firewall protection programs-so that was all a bonus. From some of the other programs I found, it had been in a middle school somewhere. I did OK....just part of me wishes I had one of the newer Dells.
 
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Old 02-01-07, 01:47 PM
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When you do decide to upgrade, and build your own, I suggest you go to www.pcper.com and join the forums there.. I learned a lot from some of those guys as to what MB, RAM, and CPU to put together..
I've been building my own for over 20 years.. There is no greater joy than building, modding, and tweaking something you built yourself..
 
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Old 02-01-07, 03:12 PM
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I'm sorry if my answers offended anyone or caused undo stress. I call them as they see them. When one purchases a computer, one has to think long term.

I would never buy a used computer, no matter what the cost, if I were intending to use it as a complete system.

I would not waste time upgrading a system, except perhaps a part or two here or there. Certainly never a motherboard or processor. It;s not that I couldn't, it's just that when it's time to upgrade to that extent, it's time for a new machine.

New systems can be had for less than $500.00, with decent specifications and a warranty. If that is too much, then one has to wonder if a computer is in the budget at all.
 
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Old 02-01-07, 05:54 PM
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I did something similar to what you're asking about just because for what I used it for I couldn't justify the cost of a new computer. I had an HP 400 MHz Pentium II with a 6 GB hard drive I bought new in 1998. I upgraded the RAM to 256MB (the max it would hold) for around $40, added an 80GB second hard drive for $50 and a CD burner for $40. I upgraded the OS to Windows 2000 for free using an extra licensed copy from work. It almost became a challenge to see what I could get out of the old thing. I even ran AutoCAD 2002 on it.
 
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Old 02-01-07, 06:14 PM
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you spent 180.00+, and considering spending another 50.00+=230.00. dell has 2 new for 359.00 and 1 for 369.00 right now.
I actually agree with racraft. You are basically not going to be able to get the performance of a new computer out of it and trying to will cost you more than a new one. most antivirus and firewalls can be had for free. You couldnt use his xp unless he had trashed the computer it was on, as it only allows one installation on one machine, and even if he had, if it was ever registered, you would have to make a call to microsoft.
I also understand you have made a giant step up in systems, and are now looking to push it even further for cheap. It's just not worth it at todays computer prices.
And oh yeah....welcome back from the stone age. the future awaits!!
 
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Old 02-02-07, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by racraft View Post
I'm sorry if my answers offended anyone or caused undo stress. I call them as they see them. When one purchases a computer, one has to think long term.

I would never buy a used computer, no matter what the cost, if I were intending to use it as a complete system.

I would not waste time upgrading a system, except perhaps a part or two here or there. Certainly never a motherboard or processor. It;s not that I couldn't, it's just that when it's time to upgrade to that extent, it's time for a new machine.

New systems can be had for less than $500.00, with decent specifications and a warranty. If that is too much, then one has to wonder if a computer is in the budget at all.
Hi,

As I stated before, not everyone can afford to purchase 'new'. Upgrades to the minimum $/optimization is a good point. Meaning if you are upgrading to just have the new piece of hardware without a gain in performance then yes, just throw the money my way.

My point, is that you do have a tendency to view things pessimistically. As an engineer that can be a good trait but to over use is a bad trait. Breaking things down to the simplest terms can be difficult, but necessary.

Your statement about ' When one purchases a computer, one has to think long term.' seems to contradict your stance/opinion. Most systems slip rather fast after purchase. Meaning the technical curve is steep. Therfore we should all wait for the big one? Not really!

You can purchase and go the upgrade route within the specifications of the machine. You just need to know the limits to prevent unwarranted waste of resources. Be $ or time. Which BTW are directly related.

Originally Posted by racraft
I would never buy a used computer, no matter what the cost, if I were intending to use it as a complete system. I would not waste time upgrading a system, except perhaps a part or two here or there. Certainly never a motherboard or processor. It;s not that I couldn't, it's just that when it's time to upgrade to that extent, it's time for a new machine.
A upgrade of a motherboard to a system can be the same as replacement of the system. Meaning that someone who upgrades the motherboard is genernally moving to a different class of processor and/or abilities available to a family of processors for that motherboard. You must have a vast $$ resource therefore moving from machine to machine. Hey, can you send me your excess machines? I know some people who could certainly use them.

Originally Posted by racraft
New systems can be had for less than $500.00, with decent specifications and a warranty. If that is too much, then one has to wonder if a computer is in the budget at all.
Cass, Cass and yet more! Really, I reject this very much. You can get a good used machine that will meet the requirements of the average user. A machine that will allow one to edit a document, surf to get content of the document and a means to reproduce the same document. Not everyone has the funds to purchase bleeding edge. You can wonder or judge all you want but please have a little heart for the little guy/gal.
 
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Old 02-02-07, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by tae View Post
you spent 180.00+, and considering spending another 50.00+=230.00. dell has 2 new for 359.00 and 1 for 369.00 right now.
I actually agree with racraft. You are basically not going to be able to get the performance of a new computer out of it and trying to will cost you more than a new one. most antivirus and firewalls can be had for free. You couldnt use his xp unless he had trashed the computer it was on, as it only allows one installation on one machine, and even if he had, if it was ever registered, you would have to make a call to microsoft.
I also understand you have made a giant step up in systems, and are now looking to push it even further for cheap. It's just not worth it at todays computer prices.
And oh yeah....welcome back from the stone age. the future awaits!!
Actually, I spent around $130. I now have one of the "entry-level" Dell machines. I don't know what it cost as it was a gift. But the first thing I had to do was spend $180 to upgrade the RAM. And the second hard drive I purchased for $50 is now its second drive. Yeah, it's nicer and faster, but if I'd had to purchase it myself I would've kept the old one a bit longer.
 
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Old 02-02-07, 10:25 PM
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Well, after reading all the responses, I don't think I've 'exposed' myself much at all. I'm only putting another $46 worth of memory and leaving it at that-still well under $200. Leaving my old PC was literally like leaving the "stone age" as was said. I did everything I could for my old one-it just didn't have enough memory and the processor was too slow. You should have seen the look on people's faces when they were over here and it was running. I had PC techs tell me they never saw a PC do the strange things mine was doing. Obviously the "curve" is very steep in PC technology and I was at the very beginning of the curve. I do think however, that give a fair amount of memory like 512MB or more and at least a 1.1GHz processor, one would be able to do most easy tasks and negotiate the Internet for many yrs to come. Possibly the curve is starting to flatten out or maybe it's now the law of diminishing returns. I'm not a gamer and I don't do digital photo yet, or spend endless hrs watch streaming video....so maybe a dual core, 4GHz+ processor wouldn't be a prudent investment right now.

I still like the idea of building my own, putting in all the goodies I want (probably more than I would buy outright on a ready made PC) and giving it a go that way. Right now, I'm as happy as a pig in sh*t and I don't think I'm gonna be talked out of that state of mind for some time. Thanx loads for all the input, guys!
 
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Old 02-02-07, 11:09 PM
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I've always had limited budgets

for my computers and hobbies too, so I can feel your pain. You've maxed out the memory, but what are you using for video?

I did notice a fair improvement after I upgraded my video from the integrated video. You'll need to know what you have now and what the motherboard's limits are. Most critical is the type of slot.

I was able to find a better card at a local computer shop. I spent about $25-30 on it, your mileage may vary. Try to stick with an Nvidia or ATI chipset if you can.

Hope this helped!
 
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Old 02-03-07, 09:37 AM
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Desy...first of all, tell me why I would need to upgrade my video card. In other words, what would be the symptoms? Secondly, I'm not sure where to find my video card type. In 'system information' there seems to be a lot of specifications-not sure where in there is the type of video card I have....

**Update: Thanks to ol' google I think I found out what my video card is; Intel 82810 Graphics Controller
 

Last edited by Real1shepherd; 02-03-07 at 10:09 AM. Reason: updated info
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Old 02-03-07, 10:56 AM
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probably would not do anything more than add memory either when you do feel like upgrading there is alot of entry level computers that would work fine for most people that do not use there computer for much, building your own is another option if you want a little to alot better system than the cheaper entry level models.
one thing that really kind of bothers me about older computers is the never ending updated drivers,software etc that can make restarting a long process.
 
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Old 02-03-07, 03:48 PM
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I doubt very much that you have a video card. The video is, undoubtedly, on the motherboard, meaning that it shares some of your memory, further slowing down your PC. This is common on less expensive PCs, and is one way they can be sold so inexpensively.


The problem with older machines is that you reach a point when they can no longer accept software or hardware updates. For example, 512 MBytes of memory is not sufficient for Vista. Many feel that it is not even sufficient for XP. Adding to that is the operating system. Most PCs designed for Windows 98 or Windows MyEnemy cannot be updated to XP. Sometimes they are and they limp along, but invariably a problem develops down the road.
 
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Old 02-03-07, 09:38 PM
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Sorry, I should have done

some more research before posting. Your HP has integrated video, but doesn't have a slot for a video card, which means the video can't be upgraded.

I found your computer's specifications here: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=bph06796&cc=us&lc=en&dlc=en&product=62761&dlc=en&lang=en

Please disregard the info in my previous post.
 
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Old 02-04-07, 09:33 AM
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Desy...that's cool. I would have found that out anyway at some point, but thanx for the link. Uhhh...can't get that link to work as pasted.
 

Last edited by Real1shepherd; 02-04-07 at 10:41 AM. Reason: updated
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Old 02-05-07, 07:22 AM
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Hi,

You can get info at;
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/genericDocument?cc=us&docname=bph06796&lc=en

The HP has 3 PCI slots, so if you want to change the video to a different one then you can. You would go into your bios and disable the integrated video chipset once you have the new pci video card installed.

You would see some increase in performance but the cost would be the factor here.
 
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Old 02-05-07, 09:10 AM
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Tigerdirect has some.. Just Google "pci video"..

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/category_slc.asp?CatId=319
 
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Old 02-05-07, 09:12 PM
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I still have an old CRT monitor, so probably a new large LCD will be my next investment before I will be able to appreciate video upgrades. Put the new memory chip in. Noticed that two of the small contacts had what looked like a razor slice deep into both. If I as a lay person saw this right off, I would think that Arch Memory could have culled it. Found out that the fan above the CPU was filthy along with the heat sink fins. Cleaned it all up and the fan sounded sick. Most of these fans though have a sticker over their bearings and if you carefully peel the sticker back and place a large drop of good oil on the bearing, that will make them sing again for a long time.....worked. I noticed the other night my PC was running really slowly....I tired everything and nothing made any difference. Turned it off and the next day it was fine-my guess is that fan and starting it up again kicked some dirt loose so it sped up. Anyway it's got new oil......things are good right now...except for the monitor issue.;-)
 
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