I bought a HP Pavilion Elite e9017c PC when I was a feshman (3yrs ago) and I am trying to run several Autodesk programs (as well as CFD and solidworks) and am trying to find out if this system is upgradable to handle this kind of work load. And who knows, maybe I am asking the wrong question.
You can always do better with speed, but your present system if it has the q8200 should be able to run those programs. The board limit for ram is 2 gb/slot; newer boards can take up to 8 gb sticks. But changing to a non hp board requires a new windows coa, so I wouldn't do it. Also, even though faster wolfdale quad cores are available, I wouldn't spend the money on an outdated cpu. They cost over $200; not worth it in my opinion. The money would be better spent on a newer 1155 system.