It's an IBM Thinkpad T41. The only hardware changes I have made are replacing one 256 memory stick with 512, and upgrading the 40GB HDD to an 80GB one. However this was quite a while ago, and the stuttering has only gotten serious recently.
With Windows Task Manager open, in the processes window sorted by CPU usage, I notice "System" jumps right to the top whenever there's a spike/ stutter. However, I can't seem to find the process within "System" which is causing this:
Any ideas what else I could do to investigate this?