Is it possible to turn this machine into a reasonabe gamer. I know I can add ram and a SSD but wondering if I can add a graphics card to this AMD A6-5400K processor? Would I need more power? Am I wasting money; should I just buy a new PC?
This is the system requirements for COD Cold War. The Minimum requirements will run the game at lower settings. The Recommended Requirements will run the game at maximum settings which is what we want.
The computer is 8 years old. Every three years in computer life is like light-years. You can make some improvements, but I am not certain that you will be satisfied with the performance in games.
HP didn't begin using UEFI until mid-October, 2012 in most of their computers. Since your computer came with Win 8 it may be possible that you have UEFI. You can check in the System Information for the BIOS Mode. If you have UEFI you can use a better video card. The motherboard has a "PCI Express x16 (Gen 2.0)" slot. It will require a power supply unit (PSU) upgrade. I normally recommend at least 500W, depending on the requirements of the video card. I like Corsair products. Full modular PSU's are good for smaller mid-size cases. They allow you to use only the cables that are absolutely necessary. This allows for better airflow.
The motherboard has "Dual channel memory architecture" which means that the memory should be installed in matching pairs to get the best performance. You can run CPU-Z to find the manufacturer and timings of the current memory: https://download.cnet.com/CPU-Z/3000-2086_4-10050423.html
This information is in the section titled "SPD". Once you have this information you will be able to determine if you can match the memory exactly or if you will have to replace it with new matching pairs.
You suggestion of upgrading to a SSD boot drive is great. This is the best upgrade for the least amount of money. It will boost system performance significantly.
You will have to decide if spending the money for these upgrades is worth it or not. I can only give you the information.
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