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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have several questions and they all lead back to will my motherboard support it, so I figured this might be the best sub forum to post in?

HP Pavilion p6243w Desktop PC
Here are all the specifications neatly listed on HP's website, everything looks right,
HP Support document - HP Support Center

Question one, even though the machine says it supports up to 4gb* of ram, can I buy an 8GB 2X4GB DDR2 800MHz PC2-6400 240PIN DIMM Memory AMD Motherboard Desktop RAM and expect it to work for my PC? I understand that is a LOT of ram and that my machine would be bottlenecked but it's affordable (anywhere from $13 to $25 for a kit).

Question two, the specifications page says only socket AM2+ processors are supported with this motherboard. If I can upgrade to 8gb of ram, whats to stop me from buying the best processor I can? I mean, this thing is from 2009, I imagine there are some relatively affordable deals out there now for refurbished parts but IDK what I'm looking for and don't know what socket AM2+ even means for sure.

Question 3, with 8gb of ram nailed down and a great processor what should I be looking for in the graphics card department?

Question 4, with all three earlier questions sorted I suspect I should buy a power supply first to support the upgrades? Or buy the parts first then buy a power supply last?

I have $250 to work with but if I HAVE to I guess I could spend $50 more. Maybe even more if I could get a little more confidence on this holding up but I don't know the first thing about hardware, just some very basic things. If I were to compare computer knowledge with car knowledge I can change the oil, wind shield wipers and replace the battery and that's about it. Hope that analogy makes sense, haha
 

· TSF - Enthusiast
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1/ The pc will probably boot, but more than the first 4GB may or may not be used. More likely the PC will not POST at all. I'ld believe HP and stick with 4GB maximum. If you proceed with a 2 x 4GB kit, test with a single DIMM to start.

2/ AM2+ procs with TDP up to 95 watts. There are a lot of good upgrades over the stock Sempron. At max, one of the low end Phenom II quads (say an 840/940). If you find something you like, post it here before you purchase.

3/ Has PCI-E x16 slot. This would be a version 1.x/2.x. Should support a new 3.0 card, but I've had issues getting a 3.0 card to work on some older motherboards. I'ld look for something like a Nvidia 9800 GT or a Radeon HD 5770.

4/ Power supply. Replace this before you add a discrete graphics card. At the minimum, a 400-450; a 550 would be better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
So I can upgrade the ram and the processor first and not upgrade the power supply until I get the graphics card?

How do I tell if one processor is better than another, is there a tutorial anywhere on that or a cheat sheet? I'm guessing because of age and the fact there's a lot of refurbished parts $ isn't a good judge

I'll just grab a 550 like you suggest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
1/ The pc will probably boot, but more than the first 4GB may or may not be used. More likely the PC will not POST at all. I'ld believe HP and stick with 4GB maximum. If you proceed with a 2 x 4GB kit, test with a single DIMM to start.

2/ AM2+ procs with TDP up to 95 watts. There are a lot of good upgrades over the stock Sempron. At max, one of the low end Phenom II quads (say an 840/940). If you find something you like, post it here before you purchase.

3/ Has PCI-E x16 slot. This would be a version 1.x/2.x. Should support a new 3.0 card, but I've had issues getting a 3.0 card to work on some older motherboards. I'ld look for something like a Nvidia 9800 GT or a Radeon HD 5770.

4/ Power supply. Replace this before you add a discrete graphics card. At the minimum, a 400-450; a 550 would be better.

So this card, used and selling for about $65 after shipping is what you suggest? Because that seems like a good price. Theres one for almost $100 refurbished and it comes with a 90 day warranty, not sure if it's worth it because I imagine the used one working for at least a few months before it gives up. I don't know, your thoughts?

https://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-PCI-Express-Graphics-512-P3-N973-TR/dp/B001KZH8KO

Here is a power supply for a reasonable $43 after shipping,

HP Pavilion p6243w Power Supply Replacement 550W


These should both work on my machine just fine?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
2/ AM2+ procs with TDP up to 95 watts. There are a lot of good upgrades over the stock Sempron. At max, one of the low end Phenom II quads (say an 840/940). If you find something you like, post it here before you purchase.
https://www.amazon.com/AMD-840-Quad-Core-Processor-HDX840WFK42GM/dp/B00QG6R802

The only thing is, it says AM3 but I've been reading and isn't that backwards compatible with AMD 2/AMD 2+? I think this one is for me but will wait for what your thoughts are on the matter because I don't want to impulse buy something I can't use
 

· Moderator; Hardware
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Personally, I'd go with a quality name brand power supply over generic or OEM model, such as a Seasonic.

There are two parts to cpu support. 1) the most obvious is the socket type. and 2) the BIOS. With OEM hardware, the BIOS typically does not support all of models of a specific cpu line (ie: all AM2+ cpus). They are typically restricted to the few cpu's that were actually used in production for that model.

You can check the HP website. The documentation for that model may list all of the supported cpu's. You can also sometimes find the cpu's listed in the parts list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Personally, I'd go with a quality name brand power supply over generic or OEM model, such as a Seasonic.

There are two parts to cpu support. 1) the most obvious is the socket type. and 2) the BIOS. With OEM hardware, the BIOS typically does not support all of models of a specific cpu line (ie: all AM2+ cpus). They are typically restricted to the few cpu's that were actually used in production for that model.

You can check the HP website. The documentation for that model may list all of the supported cpu's. You can also sometimes find the cpu's listed in the parts list.
I grabbed a better power supply like you suggested, something I can take with me when I move onto a better PC.

In case anyone finds this thread for this model PC in the future, here's how I solved everything and what parts I chose. Everything works but the graphics card was an incredibly tight fit, any bigger and I would have had to return it.


AM2+ Processor, AMD Phenom X4 9850 2.5GHz 4x512KB Socket AM2+ Quad-Core CPU

PSU - Antec HCG-620M

Ram 2x 4gb kit, HP - Memory - 8 GB : 2 x 4 GB - DIMM 240-pin - DDR2 - 800 MHz / PC2-6400 (this was a concern, but now that I went over HP's website I saw they were talking about a x86 operating system and how you can't go over 4gb, not about what the mobo would support which it supported the upgrade to 8gb just fine because I have a x64 OS)

EVGA GeForce GTX 950 02G-P4-2957-KR 2GB SSC GAMING, Silent Cooling Gaming Graphics Card

Everything was used or refurbished but the real coup was the power supply and graphics card, I can take those with me which is why I justified the added expense and broke budget for them.
 
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