Pulling My Hair Out! Slow running system... Rate it

Hey Folks,

I don't often post to forums, but I remember when I built my last PC (prior to this one), the people on TOM's FORUMS were very helpful. I was just wondering if there something wrong with how this PC is built that is causing some major slowdowns, and if there are any quick/dirty/easy fixes that would improve my performance

Specs are

Processor: QuadCore AMD Phenom II X4 Black Edition 940, 3000 MHz (15 x 200)
MB: Asus M4A79 Deluxe (2 PCI, 4 PCI-E x16, 4 DDR2 DIMM, Audio, Gigabit LAN, IEEE-1394)
Memory: 2x Mushkin 991557 2 GB
Vid Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB)
HD : ST31000333AS (1000 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA-II)
DVD-R Drive

I should mention that I am currently running Windows XP Home Edition, and that I do have a USB/Sata HUB for hard drives and a USB drive also connected.

I do understand that a reformat/reboot would be the most obvious choice, but I'm wondering if there a piece of hardware I'm missing, or a setting that I can alter to get some more horses out of the machine. I would also like some advice on switching to Windows 7, and whether this unit can handle it.

Thank you for any advice you can give me!
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  1. I should also mention that this system isn't really used for Gaming, rather I use it for browsing, occasionally designing things with Photoshop. I do have the occasional bout of Portal 2 / Civilization 5, but these seem to run okay!
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