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Old 07-18-2009, 01:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question HP Pavilion a6000n upgrades?

My current system is...

-HP Pavilion a6000n
-Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4200+ (2 CPUs), ~2.2GHz
-Memory: 2942MB RAM
-NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE with (122mb dedicated) and 394 approx total memory.
-Vista home premium (32 bit system)

I have no extreme experience with computers but am slowly learning. I got this computer for something around 100 bucks and figured it was worth the buy, now I'm looking to see what I should upgrade on the system and what would suffice for medium-high end gaming.

According to canyourunit.com I am doing fairly well on all components except my video card. However, I tried bringing up WoW for a simple test and the log-on screen is extremely laggy. I don't still have an active account for the game so I can't give a framerate but I'd say 10-15 fps on low settings. I found this to be extremely low and am wondering could all this be because of the graphics card or could it be another problem?

On a side note, I do not see a graphics card in my tower (got this info from dxdiag, it must be integrated?) but I do see an open slot, we tried substituting a friends in there but did not have the adapter for the monitor plug so we weren't able to test it out. So it boils down to IF the graphics card IS the problem, is it possible to get an adaptor, plug in a better graphics card, and run some games pretty decently?

Sorry for the novel >_<
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Old 07-18-2009, 01:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: HP Pavilion a6000n upgrades?

Your integrated graphics will definitely slow down your games. It's an integrated chip, and an older one at that.

First of all we will need some info.

1. Does your motherboard have a pci-express slot? I assume it is since it's most likely an AM2 board, but proprietary boards have surprised me before.

2. Tell us about your power supply. Look inside your case and see if the side of your PSU has a sticker with specs on it. We need to know how many 12v rails you have, how many amps are on those rails, and how many total watts your PSU can produce. Also we will need to know if it has a 6 or 8 pin pci-e power plug or two. If it doesn't have these it won't be the end of the world since you can use an adapter (so long as you have plenty of extra molex connectors) but usually if these aren't present it's a sign that your PSU probably doesn't have the specs for a higher end card anyway.

Let us know what you find out.
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: HP Pavilion a6000n upgrades?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thilly View Post
Your integrated graphics will definitely slow down your games. It's an integrated chip, and an older one at that.

First of all we will need some info.

1. Does your motherboard have a pci-express slot? I assume it is since it's most likely an AM2 board, but proprietary boards have surprised me before.

2. Tell us about your power supply. Look inside your case and see if the side of your PSU has a sticker with specs on it. We need to know how many 12v rails you have, how many amps are on those rails, and how many total watts your PSU can produce. Also we will need to know if it has a 6 or 8 pin pci-e power plug or two. If it doesn't have these it won't be the end of the world since you can use an adapter (so long as you have plenty of extra molex connectors) but usually if these aren't present it's a sign that your PSU probably doesn't have the specs for a higher end card anyway.

Let us know what you find out.

1. You'll have to elaborate more sorry. Express slot sounds something like an opening where you can easily install a graphics card with a screw or two and have the monitor plug coming out of the back of the tower. If this is the case, then yes I have one.

2. Here's what I could find out (copied it all because I'm kind of a newbie when it comes to these)

Model: ATX-300-122 Rev: DDR
Input: 100-127V-7A 200-240V-4A 50/60Hz
BSTATX=300-12ZDDR
Output 300W Max
+12v---/19A -12V---/0.8A
+5V---/30A +5VSB---/2A
+3.3V---28A

+5V & 3.3V 180W MAX +5V & 12V 288W MAX

Not sure wbat the Pci-e power plug is, however, there are 3 larger and 1 smaller plugs which wires are running to and stop. They look like a female end to a designed outlet but they could also be some sort of connector. They are hanging loose (twisty tied) in my tower, unconnected (or so it looks). Can get a picture if needed.

EDIT: I think the "plugs" are in fact connectors. Two wires of the same color are both running into each separate box.
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: HP Pavilion a6000n upgrades?

well you do have a pci-e expansion slot.

300watt psu will be a limiting factor.

what is your budget for this upgrade?
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: HP Pavilion a6000n upgrades?

Well this started out as a simple graphics card to help run games slightly better, but now that I think about it I'd really rather spend the extra money and upgrade my entire PC. I've been looking at some parts that look fairly cheap but the only problem is that I'm not sure they fit my system. Perhaps you could help me out on that? (By the way, budget is about 1000 USD max at the moment.)

Some links are... Posting a few in case some don't fit.

Processors:

Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor - Processors - Desktops

Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

Video/Graphics Cards:

Newegg.com - EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

Newegg.com - BFG Tech BFGEGTX260896OCE GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

OS (64 bit)

Newegg.com - Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - Operating Systems

I'm not sure what kind of power supply I'd need for it, I'm guessing 750 or over though.

Thanks for the help in advance
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: HP Pavilion a6000n upgrades?

If you only want a single graphics card you can get away with 500-600 watts as long as the 12v rails are beefy.

As far as an operating system goes, be aware that you can use the Windows 7 RC in 32 or 64 bit for a full year, if that is something that interests you. Would save some cash for the time being.

did you plan to upgrade your motherboard/hard drives/case/ram? Or just cpu/power supply/graphics?

Both of the cpu's you listed are very nice. However since your motherboard is AM2 you won't get the full benefit of that AM3 Callisto. If you want quad core that 940 is definitely recommended by myself and many others here. If you want dual core I'd go with a less expensive AM2+ cpu.

Newegg.com - AMD Athlon X2 7850 Black Edition Kuma 2.8GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2&#43; 95W Dual-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

I like this one, and it's also black edition so overclocking is easy.

What sort of gaming/image editing/video editing do you plan on doing? Both video cards you linked are nice but depending on your needs you may need more or less power. As a capable middle road I'd choose the GTX275 if you want to stick with NVidia.

Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V &#47; EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Power Supplies

This PSU will be plenty of power plus some extra if you ever choose to do some further upgrading.


Let me know what you think, and whether you have any other questions.
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Old 07-18-2009, 06:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: HP Pavilion a6000n upgrades?

if you have $1000 to spend on upgrades, i don't see a point in upgrading your current system because you could get a new i7 rig if you build it yourself.

but from the info you've given, it seems like you might have some trouble assembling a new pc. if you're up to it, there are a few guides here and around the web that would help you build your own, like this one.

Build a PC - Introduction to Building your PC - PCitYourself.com

depends on what you wanna do.
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Old 07-18-2009, 11:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: HP Pavilion a6000n upgrades?

To Muffin Man
Well, building my own rig would be amazing considering the performance I could get, but like you said, I'm not so sure I'd be able to assemble it. Would I have to solder parts or could I get by with various plugs / wire couplings? It would be a first I've done anything to a computer besides add ram. If it does require tools, what all would I need? I'd be eager to learn and if the guide you linked is fairly in-depth I'd be willing to give it a try.

To Thilly
I'm mainly looking at high end gaming on higher settings. I was wanting to try out Crysis and be able to perform on high settings but would also like a card that could support future games coming out, or a cheap enough one where it wouldn't leave a mark if I needed to buy another in 6-12 months. I could easily just upgrade the Video Card / PSU I guess, but I'm just afraid if I were to only do that I could possibly be disappointed with the only minor increasing results. I also have a 2.2 dual and saw that quad 3.0 for under 200 bucks and was hoping to grab it while it lasted. What do you think about it all? Perhaps I should try and build my own rig? Or do you think it'd be too complex?

As for the OS, I actually am getting one within a few weeks from a friend for free, so I could use your suggestion until then, thanks for that.


EDIT: I think I'm going to try for a new rig, possibly reuse the HP Pavilion case / drives if possible. If not I'll swing for a new one. Anyone have any suggestions on where to start? 800-1000 being a rough budget.
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: HP Pavilion a6000n upgrades?

nope, nothing like that. building a pc is basicly like a puzzle, pretty much everything fits into a socket only one way, and the only tool you'll really need is a screwdriver.

if you do build a new one, you can't use your HP case, because only their own mobos fit their cases. you could, however, reuse the disk drives and hard drive if you wanted to, but if it fits in the budget, it wouldn't hurt to get newer ones.

this build is $999 + shipping (you can get $25 back in rebates)

Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!
Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!
Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V &#47; EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Power Supplies
Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives
Newegg.com - Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases
Newegg.com - SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - CD / DVD Burners
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: HP Pavilion a6000n upgrades?

All looks good, and with an i7 in my price range! The only question I have is if the graphics card is going to run the higher end games pretty well. Not talking about a gtx295 or anything, but what kind of performance could I expect in a modern game? (e.g. crysis, fallout 3, gta IV)

Thanks for the build, rep'd. Everything looks pretty solid. Going to work, but will be back later tonight to consider tossing in an order.
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