GAMER upgrade, but which one???

Hi all, this is my first post to Tomshardware.com, so be cool. I'm pretty computer illiterate but easily teachable.

I have a Dell Dimension XPS R350, w/a PII 350, 128 Mb SDRAM, and a Diamond Viper V770 Ultra 32 mb video card. These are the only upgrades I've made to the original computer.

I want to improve my GAMING!!!! I've talked to some people from the dell forums about this subject and I wanted to get some of your expert advice as well. It is obvious that I need a cpu upgrade. Which one I get will depend on you guys. My mobo can handle an upgrade to a PIII 1 GHz. Some people have been really big on the hard drive/controller card combo upgrade as well. This is pretty new to me. I have a generic 8.4 GB, 5400 rpm, 33 mbs speed drive now. Ancient, I know. Any ways, I want to know what you guys think.

My question is: In order of priorities, what should be my upgrade schedule to improve my gaming??? For example, one guy wrote me and said, 1) CPU, 2) Video card upgrade, and 3)Hard drive/controller card combo. Others are really big on the hard drive/controller card combo upgrade first. What do you guys think???

Thanks for all and any replies.
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  1. The problem is that you have a lot of outdated things, so to only upgrade one thing is not going to help you that much. If you upgrade your CPU then you will have a major bottleneck in your video card. If you upgrade that, then the bottleneck is somewhere else. If I had to choose an upgrade path I would do the following:

    1. CPU/Video Card 2. Memory 3. Hard drive/controller card

    But if you really want better performace, you need a whole new configuration....basically a new computer because for ultimate performance you need a P4 or an Athlon. Both of which are going to basically require a new computer.
  2. i agree. if it was me i'd go with a high end vid card first. that way you can use that on your next system as well. the vid cards now work in such a way that they take the strain off your cpu so that shouldnt be too much of a problem. does your mobo have an agp slot? i guess it all depends on that. i had been running quake 3 on my celeron 533 and geforce 256 ddr vid card with no loss of frame rates at all. then i upgraded to athlon 850 and kept the same card.
  3. 1) video card
    2) cpu
    3) memory
    4) hd/ controller

    I don't have the time to procrastinate.
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  5. <b>STOP YOUR SPAMMING</b>,
    I have seen your adversitments in <b>3</b> threads now. If anything this is going to want people want to steer clear of you.

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