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Old 02-08-2012, 10:08 PM   #1
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Smile Is there any way to make this computer faster at basic tasks and low-end gaming?

For quite a while now, I have had this computer that was basically purchased at a department store as an all-in-one package. It's an HP Pavilion P2-1013W desktop.

It's a Mini ITX form factor...I presume the case is, as well.

Motherboard Specifications, APXD1-DM (Bluewood4) - HP Customer Care (United States - English) It is apparently known as a Bluewood4.

Is Mini ITX the only motherboard that I can fit into this type of case?

This computer has a laptop-style power plug that plugs directly into the motherboard and has no PSU at all. There seems to be a "place" for one in the typical upper back portion of the case, but the back is riveted on...yet the case has the locking mechanism that would grab onto a power supply on the side of the case inside.

I already know that my current motherboard has absolutely no ports at all for expandability. It came with 3GB of PC3-10660 DDR3 1333MHz RAM. It has integrated graphics and is a piece of junk. It lags/takes a long time to load even basic games. It actually processes games and hd video better than basic tasks like windows updates (those take an incredibly long time).

I actually don't mind the case. I like the smaller size and the design of the case itself. Please note that I am not a heavy gamer, so I'm not asking to take a piece of junk machine and magically transform it into some graphic intensive monster.

My question is...can I change the motherboard in this and find one that has a better performing processor that will be quicker than what I have in it now? I have gone to newegg.com and looked at motherboard/cpu combos for Mini ITX, for instance. All I see is Atoms and stuff like that. Apparently, even the E-450 in this desktop is actually meant to be a netbook processor. Can I fit anything else into this case?

Even with this piece of junk processor with the integrated Radeon HD 6320 graphics, it can reasonably play the the lower-end games that I play (SWAT 4, C&C Tiberium Wars, Orbiter Space Simulator, etc.) with okay graphics. It is moreso the speed of daily tasks and lagging simply due to the crappy processor that bugs me more than anything.

The processor is soldered into the motherboard, so I can't do anything with this current setup. I'd rather not buy another case and all of that. Yes, I do know that for probably $400 I could build a decent moderate gaming computer. But I don't feel like doing all of that right now. This case appears to have more room for other larger motherboards, based on the screw holes inside that extend wider (and possibly taller) than the current motherboard.

I would like to be able to keep the RAM, if possible.

Here are a few pics of the said computer:

http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/2...267500x500.jpg Maybe this well help determine the size of my computer case...hopefully.


Back of computer: Imageshack - photo0177o.jpg

Where the PSU should go, from inside: Imageshack - photo0176w.jpg It looks to be riveted...can I disconnect those rivets and add in a PSU somehow? The case has the locking mechanism similar to other cases that I have had in the past when I installed a PSU, but none of them had the upper back panel riveted closed like that.

Motherboard:

ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting

The other screwholes seem to support a longer motherboard of some type.

I also realize that yes, Mini ITX boards and combos are rather expensive.

Humor me - what can I physically do to make this faster as-is without buying a new case and "starting over"? Could I add in a power supply and better motherboard/processor? If so, which is a good one?

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Is there any way to make this computer faster at basic tasks and low-end gaming?

The E-450 is far from a piece of junk. It may not be the i5 or i7's of the world, but it'll more than hold its own in lower end tasks, and spank whatever you have in the system now.

Just glancing at the board, it appears to be the standard MiniITX format with one exception - it's a proprietary board, since the power is on the mainboard itself and uses an external power plug... your best bet is to scrap the system and move on. You can buy new SFF (Small Form Factor) systems now for the price you'd pay to make this one workable. Unfortunately this is what happens when you buy into these systems in the first place.

If you don't mind putting extra work into it and buying the parts necessary to make it more up to date (i.e. a separate power supply, modded into the case or externally, etc) then by all means go for it, but your prognosis for "out of the box" upgrading is next to nothing sadly.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:29 AM   #3
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Smile Re: Is there any way to make this computer faster at basic tasks and low-end gaming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indigo View Post
The E-450 is far from a piece of junk. It may not be the i5 or i7's of the world, but it'll more than hold its own in lower end tasks, and spank whatever you have in the system now.

Just glancing at the board, it appears to be the standard MiniITX format with one exception - it's a proprietary board, since the power is on the mainboard itself and uses an external power plug... your best bet is to scrap the system and move on. You can buy new SFF (Small Form Factor) systems now for the price you'd pay to make this one workable. Unfortunately this is what happens when you buy into these systems in the first place.

If you don't mind putting extra work into it and buying the parts necessary to make it more up to date (i.e. a separate power supply, modded into the case or externally, etc) then by all means go for it, but your prognosis for "out of the box" upgrading is next to nothing sadly.

Thanks for the info. I'll just wait and build one from the ground up, later. The system was moreso purchased on a whim out of necessity (and with price in consideration) at that time.


One more thing that I am curious about for this system:

Obviously, the integrated Radeon HD 6320 graphics share some of the RAM, as needed. The HD video for playback is actually very good, and I can deal with the games on the lower to moderate settings for now.

Would adding more RAM help the system run a little faster and perform a little better for the video/gaming/general application functions?

When the system was first purchased, it had 64-bit Windows Home Premium with the standard annoying "recovery" partition. I had my own Windows 7 Home Premium discs, so I formatted both partitions and merged them to form the single C: drive. The Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm 500GB seems to be a pretty good drive. I chose to install the 32-bit version instead, since a lot of programs around that time were not 64-bit compatible (including printer drivers, and I needed my printer at that time). I know that Windows 7 32-bit recognizes a range of about 3.5GB up to 4GB of RAM theoretically, depending on each system. I have Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit and 64-bit discs, so I have been wondering if formatting and upgrading to a clean install of 64-bit and throwing some more RAM in would help anything.

This system came with 3GB of PC3-10660 DDR3 1333MHz RAM. There are two slots available, and one currently has 2GB and the other has 1GB, which I have heard kind of slows things down a little if they do not match.

Based on the motherboard info:

Single channel memory architecture

Two 240-pin DDR3 UDIMM sockets


Supports DDR3 UDIMMs
  • PC3-6400 (800 MHz)
  • PC3-8500 (1066 MHz)
Non-ECC memory only, unbuffered

Supports up to 4 GB on 32-bit* systems

Supports up to 32 GB on 64-bit systems (with 16 GB DIMMs)


Out of curiosity, I did a scan on crucial.com with the system scanner and it shows that each memory slot can hold DDR3 PC3-10600, DDR3 PC3-12800, DDR3 PC3-14900 with a maximum of 8GB per slot. Obviously, that's overkill for a system like this. I know of a place where I can get memory cheaper than crucial. Would it be worth slapping a couple of 4GB in here to free up more memory for graphics and applications?

On a system like this, would I even notice a difference between the different memory stick speeds? Thanks.
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Is there any way to make this computer faster at basic tasks and low-end gaming?

It depends on how much RAM is currently mapped to video, and whether or not it needs more. Once you get to a certain amount of RAM, adding more is kind of superfluous unless you know you'll tax it all. Most integrated video cards are fine with 256-512MB of RAM at the upper end (now) so if it's already there, adding more won't help much.
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