Per my response on your other thread(crap machine), I played HL2 on that machine also, as well as many other FPS games(the only kind I play). All worked fine on at least medium settings at at least 800x600.
You might try a fresh install of XP(SP1 if possible). Sometimes XP just gets so scrambled, that a fresh install is the only fix.
SP2 is just a bunch of bloat and useless security. I ran SP1 with Comodo firewall and never had a security problem.
The original Half-Life 2 is an old game now and not terribly demanding; I played through it at 1600x1200 on a Radeon 9500 Pro. The new episodes need a lot more power.
Anyway, if the frame-rate stays the same I'd suspect it's CPU or RAM... from what I remember using PC133 RAM typically cost you about 20% of the CPU performance on a Pentium-4, and the 1.7GHz P4 wasn't terribly fast to begin with (AFAIR 1.6GHz P4 was roughly as fast as a 1GHz P3).
It's your CPU and Graphics card, not your Ram. I wouldn't invest any money on it to be honest, because it's just not worth it, just save for new components.
It's Not My Graphics Card....It's My CPU Or RAM Because Changing Graphical Settings Doesn't Strain My Graphics Card, There Is Also No Frame Difference Between Playing Half-Life 2 In DirectX7 And DirectX9.
I'm Not Going To Get A New Computer Yet So I Just Need A Bit Of Help On Upgrades.
I can get a Geforce 7600GS for $100NZD Thats Around $75NZD
I can get 1GB Decent RAM For $60NZD ($45USD)
But now for the processor, my motherboard is a piece, its only socket 478 so I can only get a pentium 4 3.2Ghz which is fine for me, my motherboard also only support 400mhz FSB but i understand this is backward compatible? Say I got a socket 478 processor with 533Mhz bus it would just slow it down to 400Mhz right?
The following would run your games. You could reuse the remainder of your existing components. I have used Newegg links for informative purposes only as it will not be a shopping option for you. Hopefully these will be available in your area.