HP Compaq dx7500 Microtower Computer (Hardware Upgrades, Windows 10 & Review)

This blog post is about my HP Compaq dx7500 microtower computer, hardware upgrades, Windows 10 and a review.

HP Compaq dx7500 Microtower Computer

I purchased this computer second-hand via eBay for £28.45 GBP (including P&P) in 2016. I think the business computer was released in 2009 and I use it for personal and work use.

Operating System
The computer originally had Windows Vista installed, but I upgraded it to Windows Professional 64-bit. I definitely wouldn’t run Windows 10 without the graphics card, CPU and RAM I installed, which didn’t originally come with the computer.

There isn’t in-built WiFi, but there is a RJ45 network connection, which I prefer for my networking needs.

I’ve upgraded the dx7500 computer with second-hand purchases and it was a low budget spend to meet my needs.

Rear of HP Compaq dx7500 Microtower Computer

I’ve got two DVD drives in the computer, but only one is connected as I’m using the other drive bay for storage.

I’m unsure if the 300W Liteon PSU in my machine is the original unit, but it’s what I received from the eBay seller.

The motherboard
The Pegatron Corporation 2A84h motherboard is a socket 775. I’ve replaced the motherboard’s CR2032 battery. I’m able to enable or disable virtualization technology via the bios.

Virtualization Technology

Hardware upgrades
Below is a list of upgrades I’ve made since purchasing the computer.

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 @ 2.66Ghz CPU Socket 775
  • 8GB Ram (4x 2GB DDR2 PC2-6400 Nanya NT2GT64U8HD0BY-AD)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5450 1GB graphics card *
  • SanDisk SSD U100 64GB Solid State Drive
  • 3.5” Seagate Pipeline HD ST3500312CS 500GB
  • 3.5” Seagate ST2000VM003 Pipeline HD 2TB

* I’ve connected a BenQ GW2270 monitor running at 1920×1080 @ 60Hz resolution. I’ve got a second DVD drive placed in the case, but it is disconnected and only there for easy storage.

The Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 CPU
The socket 775 LGA CPU replacement didn’t cost me too much on eBay, and it wasn’t tempting to buy a better CPU due to costs at the time. I purchased the replacement CPU second-hand in 2018.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 CPU

I recently ran a Cinebench R15 CPU test and received a score of 276. This score was higher than the Intel Core i5-3317U CPU which was shown in the Cinebench ranking list.

Using CPU-Z I got a CPU single thread score of 920 and multi thread score of 3432.

The hard drives
I purchased the SSD via eBay, which didn’t come in a case. The SSD is unwisely hanging from a couple of cables, which is my fault and not recommended.

Inside HP Compaq dx7500 Microtower Computer

The two 3.5” 5900 RPM hard drives were removed from cheap Sky set-top boxes I purchased at car boot sales. None of the hard drives are impressive and are compromises to meet my needs.

On the solid state drive I’ve placed Windows 10 and some applications I regularly use, whilst the 500GB contains my Steam library for games and the larger hard disk is for my photography and video editing files.

ATI Radeon HD 5450 graphics card
There was no way I was going to use the onboard motherboard graphics card. Instead I inserted a cheap graphics card that I already owned.

ATI Radeon HD 5450 graphics card on motherboard

Gaming on a dx7500
This computer isn’t for high performance gaming. I regularly play Blitzkrieg Mod with Company of Heroes, Red Alert 3 and Windward. I’ve had a few issues with CoH (when using the mod) and Windward, where the game slowed down, but I usually don’t experience any problems with my favourite games.

Recently I played three computer AIs versus two people multiplayer, on a six player CoH map with the mod and didn’t experience any problems.

Working on a dx7500
Along with LibreOffice and Chrome, I regularly use Corel PaintShop Pro x9 and Vegas Pro 14. It’s not a good system for 1080p video editing, but I only get frustrated with the time it takes to encode.

At the time of writing this blog post, for general web browsing and LibreOffice use, I doubt 6 or 8GB of RAM is required and 4GB might be okay. Though I’m glad I’ve purchased 8GB of matched RAM.

ram, fans and part of a motherboard

Using YouTube
I can play videos full screen in 1080p on YouTube using Chrome without any issues. Sorry, but I never bothered to check before upgrading my computer.

I might replace the graphics card at some stage, but otherwise I can’t see myself making additional purchases unless hardware failure occurs. Obviously at some stage I will move on, but no plans yet.

I’m pleased with the upgrades I made to the HP Compaq dx7500 computer.

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