Look at the end of the page for what I plan to upgrade, taking into consideration everyone's suggestions as well as some offline.
I'll get straight to the point. And thanks for all the help in advance.
I'd like to be able to run some newer games, not with all the eye candy but decently. I'm looking to spend under $1,000 (CDN, but that doesn't really matter with the exchange rate nowadays, does it hehe)
The following was bought for $810, October 2004.
Motherboard: P4PE-2X, with 2 RAM Slots, 4 PCI, 4 hard drive bays
CPU: Pentium 4, 2.4 GHz
Case: Antec Sonata
Power supply (from case's manual, not confirmed): Antec TruePower ATX12V, max 360W
20-pin main power
6-pin aux power
4-pin +12V power for motherboard
5 to 7 4-pin peripheral power connectors
2 to 3 4-pin floppy power for drives
RAM: 1280 MB
256 MB, DDR 333 PC 2700
1024 MB, DDR - don't know other details (not included in original purchase)
WD800BB-55JKA0 (80.03 GB)
WD1600JB-75GVC0 (160.00 GB) (not included in original purchase)
Looks like you might need an all-around upgrade. I'm not sure, but you *might* be able to reuse the case. The main thing you need is a new motherboard, which also means new processor, RAM, video card. For under $1000 you should be able to still get a pretty solid system running. To me it seems like your best option is to fresh start, which can definitely be done on that budget.
The Antec Sonata is a really nice case, and the two hard drives are serving me just fine (I have a combined ~1 TB of portable memory which I use for most of my files). The DVD writer is good too. There are about 15 barebones, between 5 and 20 years old, lying around the house - I don't want to add another one =)
Okay, okay, my list comes to about $1,100, BUT it has an X38 motherboard that will overclock any chip to it's MAX and it has TWO PCI-e 16x slots to take advantage of another 4870 down the road. The Corsair PSU is also able to power two of them reliably.
Thank you for all your help. Now, would it be an option to keep my motherboard? I realize that this would put me way under the $1,000 mark. At the same time, the more money I save the better. So what if there was that restriction, of keeping the motherboard?
That would negate the whole reason/benefit for upgrading. Your current motherboard likely doesn't support any contemporary processors/RAM...without a contemporary processor there's no reason to bother, really.
You're much better going with this RAM (2x2GB is easier on the Northbridge (and, therefore, better for overclocking) and leaves room for expansion)...or is that the one you meant to list (based on the price you've shown)?
Nope, I meant to list the one I listed, so I'd have 4 sticks of 1GB. I do agree it's easier to expand in the future. The price is better: 90 (after rebate) for 2x2GB, or 140 (after 2 rebates) for 4x1GB. So yes I'll change this, thanks!