So, I've recently started to pick up little upgrades for my desktop and have read up some information for considerable upgrades.
In most cases from what I have read about upgrading part-by-part may not always be worth it because your other components may cut you short. I'm currently running on a approx. 7-8 yr old desktop. It runs WinXP on an ASUS P4P800-MX mobo, pentium 4 CPU (not sure which model, haven't checked), 80GB Hard drive (thinking about putting in a second one), 1.5GB DDR RAM (it runs on pc2700 and pc3200, 184 pin DIMM), on-board intel(R) extreme graphic 2 (has 3 PCI slots for more), and my power supply can spit out 400watts max. Of course this is quite old (even has a floppy disk slot), but would it be worth overclocking and if so, how much should I overclock it that it can run with the stock fan and runs stable. Or...should I just wait 1-2 years and buy a decent laptop. If so, what laptops would you recommend that would be pretty affordable, but yet runs well and can play 3D heavy games. I'm not really a heavy gamer, but even when I was running a 2D MMORPG on the desktop and it was just barely getting by. I will be getting a laptop so I would like to see just how much I can squeeze out of this before I stop using it completely.
If you want to play games go for a desktop. Standard PC will always be faster and, at the same time, cheaper than any notebook.
If, however, you don't need running the newest titles at the highest settings anything with i5-2410 and geforce gt540m (or it's ATI equivalent) should be just fine. You'd be able to play most of the newer titles at medium-high settings.
Even overclocked it is going to be slow but if you want to do it for fun/experience go ahead. Laptops in general are not good for gaming and to suggest one without a specified budget is difficult.
Well, I'm going to obtain a new laptop in the near future due to the fact that I'll be heading off the college and carrying it around to classes in order to type notes and research with convenience. Taking both a pc and a laptop is just a bit too much for me. As to the thing about gaming, yes, I know laptops are not the best choice; however, any new laptop at this point would be increasingly much better than my current pc. Frankly, I wouldn't care how much the overclock would shorten my pc's lifespan since I'm 100% sure it's going to the dumps after my new laptop arrives. Budget-wise, I'm not too sure of what my range will be, either my parents buy it, or we combine both theirs as well as mine to purchase a decent to well-performing laptop. So if how about anything from $500 and down (parents purchase) or from $800 and down (combined purchase)
Your best upgrade for your system now would be a new graphics card, on-board graphics is not so good, but you could probably find a used or discount card that would be an upgrade over what you have now without much expense. I wouldn't advise doing it, but it'd be possible for a lark if you dropped a few bucks on it.
If you're not planning to get a laptop for a year or so, there's no point in suggesting anything, by this time next year the models will be completely different.