Upgrading the Motherboard and Processor

May 16, 2011 at 21:35:47
Specs: Windows XP, 384
I have a HP Pavilion PC Model 6645C. Here is the link to see the stats for it: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/...

I want to get another motherboard and/or a processor but I have no clue what to look for. I do know that the wrong thing will possibly burn-up the computer or something like that. Is there such a thing as getting a motherboard that is to strong for power supply? The names and most of the stats on the motherboards don't help me because I know nothing about them. Or would it be better to find one and ask if it would work in my computer?

Processors: Pretty much what I said about motherboards.

Also, I am on a fixed income and can't buy a newer computer right now. Maybe just the next size up or for the motherboard/processor. I went on Amazon and the prices are all over the place which is really confusing. Please tell me in simple terms, while I do know some computer terms some is still gibberish to me.


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May 16, 2011 at 22:05:05
Sadly, upgrading much on that machine will be difficult if not nearly impossible. The power supply is quite weak for a more modern motherboard, and the design of the case limits you to which motherboards you can use. If you have a compelling reason to upgrade (and since you're on a fixed income), you may want to look into something like a refurb unit (which could easily be cheaper than an upgrade):

(avoid the "Samba" unit at top since it has no hard-drive or OS)


I've dealt with both companies (I tend to prefer Computer Geeks) and have had little trouble out of either. Just make sure whatever you buy that it comes with an operating system either preloaded (which you'll have to create a backup of when you first receive it) or on CD. Also make sure it comes with drivers for all peripherals, and that you have a monitor that will work with it (most will).

A good choice for just basic computing would be the Dell Optiplex that Computer Geeks has (currently $130+S/H):


"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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May 16, 2011 at 23:32:08
I have one of those 6645's here that I haven't used in a long time. Like T-R-A stated upgrading it doesn't give you much to go with. You would need a mini atx form factor motherboard which means less room for add in cards but I get from your post that you just really need something a bit stronger than what you have. Along with this motherboard and whatever processor you choose you would also need a new power supply because I believe that computer came with a 200 watt unit and that just isn't good enough for todays processors. You'll also need new ram (memory) because what is in the computer now will not work in any motherboard less than 8 or 9 years old. While the hard drive that is there may still work it is only 15Gbs and runs at 5400 rpm. That is fairly small and slow by todays standards so it would be worth upgrading that as well. Also your operating system, it came with win 98 on a system recovery disk. This may not work with a motherboard change.

Let's see New Motherboard - needed
New CPU - needed
New Power supply - needed
New Ram - needed
New hard drive - good idea
New operating system - needed?

All that is left is a cd rom drive and your case which has really bad airflow.
If you just want the fun of doing it yorself then I would look into buying one or two pieces at a time and build your own. If you just want a working computer that will keep up better than what you have it may be cheaper to go the route that T-R-A suggested or shop around for maybe a used system in the paper or something.


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May 17, 2011 at 19:28:57
Thank you for the info. I kind of thought that might be the case, the size of the tower tell you what size the motherboard has to be. Power supply I was kind of thinking about that, too. Your right, if I want to build one I should get a different tower case.

If you don't mind me asking a similar question for a different computer, http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/...

This computer stopped working, I mean put the on button and nothing happens kind of stopped working. So a friend said to get a new power supply, which I did, correctly according to him and a few internet sites I went to for help. Turned it on, nothing! My friend said the it probably took the motherboard with it.

Now can you tell me how I could check the motherboard? What kind of tools would I need to do so, I haven't any but the standard around the house kind(wrenches, screwdrivers, etc.)

Also, if I replace the motherboard do I have to buy another processor separately? Or is it a good idea to buy both together that I see at some websites? I really don't know what comes on a motherboard as standard stuff.

Hope you don't mind the newbie questions to much, most of the computer knowledge I have is self-taught, so I know that there is a lot of stuff still left to learn.

Thanks people!

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May 17, 2011 at 20:33:59
First thing I would suspect is that you may have bought either a dud (or possibly wrong type of) power supply. You'll need to find a decent multimeter to check to see if voltages are what they should be. Any major-brand PC (Dell,HP, etc.) is likely to have some proprietary components and HP was no different at one time. The newer machine however, may accept a "standard" P/S, but I'd check to make sure. Your friend may be correct about the MoBo being taken out with the P/S; when power supplies fail, they sometimes take other things out with them to (especially with power-surge issues like lightning). Motherboards can be sold separate from CPU's or with a kit, but you still need memory, video (if not on-board) and other peripherals as well. Again, depending on what is wrong, it may be cheaper in the long run to replace the entire machine than try and fix it; since the price of individual components can quickly add up to more than the price of a new/refurb machine. If you've never built an entire machine before, it helps to verify that the components within will work with each other; you should get some more technical advise before you buy anything.

As far as your "arsenal" of tools is concerned, the aforementioned multimeter is a must for both the PC side and house-wiring side of troubleshooting. You also need at least a basic understanding of AC/DC electronics and safety (sounds like you may already have that). Here's a list of the common stuff in a basic "PC-repair" kit:


"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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May 17, 2011 at 22:05:17
I am going to completely defer to T-R-A on this question with the exception of this statement. The reason many of us take the trouble to rebuild a system if something has caused major casuality is because we enjoy doing it. If the system is not to much out of date and it is only one or two components that are bad then you may be able to fix cheaper than buying another system but if you're talking about an overhaul it may even be cheaper to buy new from walmart or sears and get the warrenty.

Personally I do a lot of research when thinking of building myself a new system. One reason is I look for longevity both in how the parts hold up and how quickly they will be beyond support. I am not on a fixed income but I byfar don't have money to throw away so I buy a piece or two at a time generally starting with a motherboard and a power supply. Before doing this I have a plan for what I want the computer to do when I get it done. Knowing this helps me choose the right motherboard. From that choice I then know what is needed in a power supply. By the time I am done I probably will have spent twice what I could have bought the same system for new but unless I went without for a while and saved the money, which I can never seem to do, I could never afford that system new off the shelf. The system I am on now probably cost me more than two grand to build when I could have got it from sears for just over one grand. However on most of my parts I got at least a three year warrenty. I got parts that while they may not have been the ultimate greatest thing out at the moment they were known for being long lasting. A lot of "off the shelf" computers, in my opinion, use some "cheap" parts power supplies being the big one in my experience. If the components require say 450 watts for the system to operate they put in a 450 watt psu made by the lowest bidder. When you want to upgrade later you have to upgrade that as well. I always look to put in an extra 150 - 200 watts it costs more now but if and when I upgrade a little bit it is already done and I look for a more top of the line psu or at least a good deal closer to the top.

In the end cost is guided by what you want.
Do you want to do it yourself? If so what do you want it to do? Also what componens do you have now that can work with new hardware? This may save you a few bucks but the older the system is your starting with the less that will probably be usable with todays new hardware.
Do you want a name brand and a warrenty? Again what do you want it to do? if all you need it for is browsing, sending email, and chatting then there is no need for an ultimate liquid cooled gaming machine costing $4,000 or more.


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May 17, 2011 at 22:36:12
"I am going to completely defer to T-R-A on this question with the exception of this statement. The reason many of us take the trouble to rebuild a system if something has caused major casuality is because we enjoy doing it."


I agree totally. I get a degree of satisfaction out of salvaging an old system or building new myself. I was just going by what zarelda mentioned (original post) about being on a fixed income. Repairing PC's can often be more expensive than what it would cost to replace it. And in my years of working on systems, I always let the customer know when they were approaching the "upside-down" point before I proceeded with a system. I'm not trying to discourage zarelda from attempting the repair; just making sure that he/she knows that there comes a point (as you mentioned) that it depends on how much someone wants to put into a system, and what they expect in return---whether it be saving money by doing so or getting the satisfaction of building/repairing it themselves.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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May 18, 2011 at 02:17:22
That is more or less what I was getting at. Do you just want a working computer or do you want to make the old one better yourself. Both have costs depending on what final result is being seeked. I don't want anyone to be discouraged just trying to say it may not be as simple as just replacing one component to upgarde a system. Like I said I have one of those old Hp's and it still works great. By todays standards it is so slow I wander how I got along on it. It's also kind of my pride and joy. It is the first computer I ever opened to work on myself. Then I thought adding a net interface card and upgrading my ram to 256mbs was doing something. I was able to add a nice little pci video card and a slot fan. Those things rather sucked for airflow.

I understand the fixed income. I sometimes wish I was on one that's why I suggested researching and buying one or two pieces at a time. If the OP is not into that though I see nothing wrong with refurbished models at a resonable price. Just sort of stressing that we sometimes pay a bit more to take pride in our work.


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May 18, 2011 at 07:00:55
Thanks people! I appreciate all the advice. I will have to go and buy a multimeter soon.

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