Should I Upgrade or start over

I have a Homebuilt PC that is several years old.

ASUS A8N SLI Premium ATX Motherboard
AMD Athlon 3500+
4 x 512MB RAM (PC3200) 400 mHz
500 Watt Power Supply
160 GB HD 7200 RPM
Windows XP

I'm looking to improve the speed of this computer that my wife uses for web browsing, small excel spreadsheets and downloading the odd torrent.

I've been thinking about doubling the RAM, potentially upgrading the processor and going to Windows 7 so I can connect it to my home network.

I'm a fan of buying the most for my dollar but my dilemma is should I just spend $300 to $500 and get something new or sink more money into this old one.
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More about should upgrade start over
  1. That is a really old MB that only supports old cpus and original ddr memory. I wouldn't spend money on upgrading it. Also, your estimate for putting together a new pc is too low imo. Look at more of the 500-700 range.
  2. Get this:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.753182

    and pick a 500 watt power supply

    ~$400 system that will blow away your wife's current system.
  3. AMD A6-3650 Llano 2.6GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6530D AD3650WNGXBOX $119.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103943

    Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BLS2KIT4G3D1609DS1S00 $44.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148544

    COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $59.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119233

    CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 (CMPSU-430CXV2) 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply $44.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026

    ASUS F1A75-M LE FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $89.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131769

    ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM $18.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204

    Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $84.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148767

    Here is a build for a completely new computer (minus Windows, monitor, mouse+keyboard, etc).

    If you want to reuse some old parts from your current build (i.e. case, power supply, dvd drive, hard drive), you would only have to get the APU, RAM, and a motherboard. From my list above, that upgrade path would total $255 before shipping and taxes (if applicable). These components would handle everything your wife would want to do superbly.
  4. These are both very good options (thank you for your responses) and would end up costing me round $500. One of my coworkers also sent me this link:

    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=1857703&sku=B69-0510

    Considering that I want this system to last as long as possible can someone help point me in the right direction to what board and processor for $500 will last another 6 years (Hopefully). I've always been partial to AMD but considering that I don't game anymore I open to trying something new.
  5. Since it is not heavy gaming I would go with the system that your coworker found. 6 cores should last you quite some time!
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