I've got an ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe Motherboard with a GeForce FX-5200
video card and a AMD Athlon XP 2500+ CPU. I use an AGP motherboard/videocard combo and I'd like to stay that way. I'm looking to upgrade partly for the sake of upgrading and partially because of an upcoming PC game. I have a rather limiting budget of $170, and I wanted to know how to spend that money to greatest effect (I want to my computer to not need upgrading for a while). My options are listed below. Can anyone help me?
For Windows XP
2.5 GHz P4 (single core) processor or equivalent
1 Gigabyte RAM
A 128 MB Video Card, with support for Pixel Shader 2.0
At least 15 GB of hard drive space
I assume the options you listed are actually the requirements for the game you want to play. If you really want to keep your old motherboard and CPU the best way to upgrade is to get a better Video card and more RAM.
The total with shipping is less than $165 so it is within your budget. As long as your power supply will handle the new card you should be fine.
That said, you may be better off saving your money and buying/building a whole new computer. Your old machine is just that, old and outdated. The parts you need to add will not work in a new machine so you are throwing good money after bad (in my opinion) You could build something that will run circles around your old machine for around $500-$600. Maybe you could sell the old PC to someone for a hundred or two. Add your upgrade money and a little more and you could have a much more viable gaming rig.