Advice on upgrading an old system.

So here's my problem: I have old computer that I built forever ago. I'm looking for a way to improve its speed via hardware, but I'm not experienced enough to be able to identify where the bottleneck might be. For example, would it do me any good to add more memory with a processor like this one? If not, is there way to overclock my processor (I believe there is but I want to make sure before I tried).

WHAT I NEED: Legitimate advice on potential upgrades (faster chip, more memory, etc.)

WHAT I DON'T NEED: Unhelpful comments regarding the age or construction of my current machine ("just buy a new one," etc...)

I have too much going on right now to consider building a machine in the short term and I don't want to buy a new one. I expect to have time to research and build late summer or early fall. What I'm doing now is a stopgap measure.

Here is a screenshot of my system report so you have some detailed information to work with. Please post any questions (or any additional info you need) and I'll try to answer them as best I can.

Thanks for the help.

(And if anybody knows a free image host that allows higher rez photos...).
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  1. Best answer
    ASUS CPU Support page for the A7V8X

    As you can see from the above link, your system will support up to an Athlon XP 3000+ if your system's southbridge has the FSB333 sticker, or an 2800+ if not. PCProgress has the XP 2800+ in stock (I think they're used) for $60. You may find a better/riskier deal on EBay.

    The specifications state you can have three DDR266 DIMMs, two DDR333 DIMMs or only one DDR400 DIMM installed. What route you take will depend on what's currently installed or if you're willing to replace what's there. RAM upgrades would run between $25 (single DDR266 512 Meg) and $100+ (three DDR266 1GB) depending on what you decide to do.

    Your graphics card is about as high as I'd go with your system.

    -Wolf sends
  2. Thanks Wolf. Is there anything special I should consider when swapping out my chip (besides the thermal paste)?

    Also, what do you think would be the best cost/benefit? CPU or RAM?
  3. Verify exactly what CPU you get and are trying to install. You may need a BIOS update (download from ASUS web site) from ASUS before you can install the new CPU. As far as cost/benefit, it's hard to say. Sure you could use a CPU speed boost, but only if you can find a chip cheap enough. More RAM would be nice (and probably cheap), but you're not seriously hurting there and may not see much benefit at all.

    -Wolf sends
  4. Best answer selected by thegibson.
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