Newbie looking for what to buy first

I'm pretty new to the whole computer gaming deal and so I am currently slowly upgrading my slimline HP (s3407c).

I already got and installed a low profile GeForce 9800. The rig has a 160W internal PSU and and a 200W external PSU. I am now looking at what to upgrade next. one of my friends (a lot more computer savvy than me and is helping me with the putting of it all together) just got a AMD X4 940 am2+ but is looking at a different, better processor and will give me the hardly-used 940 for $140. We checked and it supposedly would work on my pc. It would be going from an AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core 4800+ 2.5GHz to an AMD X4 quad-core 940 am2+ 3.0GHz. But I also know that I need more RAM. I currently have 2 1GB sticks and could upgrade to 2 2GB sticks.

So, in short, should I upgrade my CPU from AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core 4800 to an AMD X4 940 or should I upgrade from 2gb ram to 4gb ram (which of the upgrades would give me the most performance boost?) sorry if this is lengthy, I just wanted to make sure y'all had the information needed to give me the best answer you could.
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  1. personally..

    replace the case with a new case which will hold a proper atx motherboard or micro atx.

    your fighting a losing battle with this hp slimline as the case is its limitations.

    get a board to go with it and then you can get your ultimate goal and go for a phenom 2 x4.

    I really would sell this old hp and move on.
  2. oh, thanks! I forgot to say that my friend has an extra (larger) case laying around he was gonna give me, but I wanted to know whether to go for the RAM or the processor first before we moved everything over. I'm using the slimline because its the newest non-Mac we own and I don't have the money to go and buy a whole new rig when this one, at least seems to, work pretty well. My current board supposedly would work with the 940 (unless you know that it wouldn't?) and I'm also assuming then that you say to go for the processor before the RAM? (I can only get one or the other at this point)
  3. The 2x1GB RAM should be adequate for most gaming and applications. I have 2x2GB ram but I never see my RAM utilization even during most intense gaming...

    So go for the processor first. The X2 4800+ will be bottleneck to your 9800. The X4 920 should be a huge boost in your PC performance.

    By the way, I am interested to see how you managed with the external 200w PSU. What did you connected to it... will appreciate some pictures if possible. :)
  4. zipzoom, where are you seeing the 940 for only $140? the cheapest I can find it is $170 and most places list it as over $200, but thanks for the link to the ram!
  5. You will need a new mobo to support the am3 socket. if your going to buy new ram go ddr3 and not ddr2. Prices for ddr2 just arent worth it anymore. You will also need a new psu. 300 watts will not cut it for your needs. To answer the question of which would increase performance more, that would be the amd 940. memory will not give you huge performance increases like a new processor will. Here is a link that shows the amd 940 for $130 before shipping
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