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OK, so I built my current computer about five years ago (during the summer of 2003) and it has become way under powdered. I am entering graduate school in August and as a result don't have the funds to build the computer I really want. I'm not going to be able to play a lot of computer games anyway...but I would like to see if there is any reasonable upgrade I can do to my computer that would make it hold out for another year or 2. I would like to get a couple new games (I like first person shooters and would like the new Medal of Honor and Call of Duty games) and be able to play them...even if at low-medium settings. Anyway, I don't know if this computer is even worth upgrading...part of me says no, but then again part of me thinks I could sink a couple hundred dollars or so into it and make it quite a bit better. So, I'm looking for the advice of the experts here. Here are my current (pathetic) system specs:

Athlon XP 2400+
Asus A7N8X-X Motherboard
2 sticks Kingston PC2700 512MB
Ati Radeon 9500 Pro 128MB
Western Digital 250GB Hard Drive
Windows XP SP2

I don't know what the power supply is...I think its in the range of 300W. Also, when I built this computer I wasn't very knowledgeable and I bought a case and power supply combo, but it has worked for me for 5 years so I can't complain.

Anyway, is there anything I could do with this computer to make it better at minimal cost. I don't really want to rebuild it from the ground up, I'd rather stay with a socket A processor...but would it be worth doing? Also, would a cheap sound card be worth throwing into it and maybe picking up some mid-level speakers (my current one's are crap and I have integrated sound).
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Neil Jones

Neil Jones

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By today's standards the computer is ancient - hardware that is typically more than 18 months old is effectively obsolete as it'll have been replaced by newer bits three times over in that time. I'd argue your computer is not worth spending any money on.
Realistically anything you buy will become faster than the rest of the bits in that computer as it's all pretty evenly matched. Socket A processors are impossible now to buy new and eBay is a case of buyer beware.

Separate sound cards, in my own opinion, are not worth investing in unless you have a super-duper 5.1/7.1 etc surround system that you don't have enough holes on the back to connect it all to already. A lot of new boards come with six sound connectors on the back by standard now anyway and they all play sound to the same level. Your speakers will be a personal preference as you can take them across to a new system as and when you buy/build one.
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