Having owned my current computer since 2002, I've decided it's finally time to upgrade. I've been looking at new machines in stores, but I'm just not liking the things I'm seeing. It seems they all have an enormous amount of junk on them that is basically advertising for things I will never use. My mom's computer is like this and using it is a nightmare. Also, my current computer works well enough except for a few problems, so I think I would like to just give it an overhaul. That being said, I'm not terribly knowledgeable in this area, so I'm not even sure this is something I should undertake. But I installed my current graphics card, my CD burner, and a new hard drive, and they work just fine, so I think I can do it with a little help.
I use my computer mostly for browsing online, but I also like to play games occasionally. Nothing too crazy, just things like Sim City 4 and other similar things. So I don't think I'll need some super advanced graphics card, but I would like it to run the games I might play with ease. My computer in its current state can function okay with things like this, but it seems to be operating near its limit. It also has Windows 2000, which is now starting to become more and more of an issue with modern software. I've also discovered that, with my motherboard, it seems I'm limited to 2gb of RAM, and that's assuming both of the slots still work. I currently have two 256 chips, but when I boot up it just says 256mb RAM, when it should say 512, right? So I'm not sure if it's one of the chips or the motherboard itself. Regardless, even if it's working properly I haven't found any RAM larger than 1gb. Granted, I may just not be looking for the right thing, I don't know. But I want to make sure I can expand further in the future if I want to. My hard drive is less than a year old, and it's 320gb and that should be way more than I'll ever use. With Windows 2000 I can't even use half of the capacity, and I've only used 19gb worth of space! I have a CD burner that works fine, and I can reuse the case, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers. Also, for whatever reason no sound works on my computer now, and I haven't yet been able to get it to work. So it seems what I mainly need/want is:
Motherboard with processor
Windows 7/newer OS
Anything I'm not thinking of? Any suggestions on what may work well together? I've also seen some kits online that are tempting, even though I'd like to reuse my case if possible, but it's not a requirement. As you can probably tell, this doesn't need to be anything terribly fancy, just a decent improvement over my current setup without all the unnecessary crap that comes with store-bought computers. I need a simple computer that needs only to do a handful of things really well.