Upgrade my PC on a budget

I have a PC I built a few years ago. At the time was mid-range and now it is at the low end of course.

EPoX 8RDA+, Athlon 2100(or whatever runs at 1.8Ghz), 512MB 333Mhz DDR RAM, GeForce3 32MB AGP, 20GB 7200rpm harddrive.

Please let me know what the best upgrades for around $300 would be -- include links to buy if there is a good deal you know of. I'm not worried about the harddrive right now (don't download that much porn) so CPU, RAM and videocard seem like the best upgrades for my gaming needs. I'm not sure if it would be better just to put the money into a totally new computer. I can't afford much more than this right now and I think this upgrade could put me back in the mid range until I get a whole new system in a year or two. What do you'll think?

Just upgrade your CPU to an athlon 2500M(mobile's overclock really well) and another stick of ram and you should be fine for some time. Get yourself an 8mb cache 7200rpm hd as well and keep your old one so you have two hd's in your system.

upgrade videocard? upgrad RAM (speed) and maybe amount? I don't think I stressed I'm upgrading for gaming reasons. I'm not worried too much about the size of my harddrive but if the cache will help a good deal then maybe i'll rethink getting a new one.

"CPU, RAM and videocard seem like the best upgrades for my gaming needs"

Going with that I feel the upgrades you need fall in the order of Graphics Card, then CPU, then RAM. The Graphics card is deffinitely the first one, but the difference between CPU and RAM are less, but if you want to game and play any of the newer titles that have come out you NEED a better graphics card then that. So it really depends on how you want to split up your cash right now. Personally I'd say check out getting an Nvidea 6600 GT graphics card, it's much better then what you have an will run you about $175. After that you can look at getting an AMD CPU that's in the 3GHz or 3.2GHz range (keep in mind I believe that 3.2GHz is the fastest your motherboard can support, but double check that). You can pick up a CPU like that with the stock heatsink that comes with it for about $120-$140. That right there will will pretty much fill your budget, but I think you can get by on your RAM and then possibly drop in another 256-512MB of RAM a little down the road. Some people will argue over which graphics card to get, some people will argue that you need more RAM. If you're primarily going to be gaming, then I feel Graphics Card, CPU, then RAM is the order that you need to upgrade. Using that as the order of needed upgrades you can mess around with the different components to get a total upgrade that you're happy with, so you might get the graphics card I suggested or the Ati equivalient (I personally prefer Ati but both make great cards), so you might get the card I suggested but then go with a slower CPU so that you can then get some RAM within your budget. Or you might choose to get a faster/better graphics card then what i suggested, then get an AMD 2500+ Mobile and overclock it (make sure your motherboard and cooling can handle it) and then get maybe 256MB of RAM.

You can play with the specs how you want, but I really think the GeForce 3 is what's holding you back in your gaming

Yep, that vid card is the "show stopper".

You should be alright with everything else, but eventually you may want to upgrade to 1GB of RAM and a faster CPU.

RAM is real cheap right now for DDR so I would start with another 512. THG had a good review on Nvidia 6600 cards which should be found for less than $200 right now, so that might be a good choice for a budget upgrade as well. I would do those 2 first and look at the CPU last if you still have the $$$.

Max out the ram, get a new video card, and maybe a bigger, faster hard drive.

6600 gt vid card for 200.

another 512 mb ram.

newegg.com is fast and has low prices.

with those 2 upgrades you should be in business for any game.

Would be good if you could overclock that cpu to about 2.1 or so.

You've got a great overclocking mobo...you should overclock that whore and buy yourself a vidcard. When I originally read your post I scanned it and I didn't realize you were using the machine for gaming. Get a stick of ram and a 6600gt or 9800pro. That should give you a good boost.

great, thanks guys!