Original idea is to buy a new CPU, new Motherboard and new RAM.
Any thoughts on what to buy, how to buy and where to buy?
That would certainly be a big upgrade - and one your current power supply likely will not support. So I would budget for a new PSU too. And since your current hard drive is likely an EIDE (PATA) drive - a near obsolete interface with limited, and on some of the newest motherboards, no support at all. So you will need to buy a new SATA hard drive too. And, of course, you need a DVD player to install Windows.
What type of Windows license do you have now? Understand ONLY
full "retail" licenses are transferable to new computers (and a new motherboard is considered a new computer). Please note a common misunderstanding is some users assume they can use their old Windows license on a new computer, or with their upgraded motherboard. It is illegal
to use an OEM/System Builders license that came with or was purchased for one computer on another computer. A disk “branded” with a computer maker’s brand name, or is labeled with “OEM", "OEM/System Builder”, “Upgrade”, “Academic Edition”, or "For Distribution with a new PC only", is not
transferable to a new PC (or upgraded motherboard) under any
circumstances. These OEM licenses are inextricably tied to the "original equipment". And most importantly, we, as users, agreed to the terms
of the end-user licensing agreement (EULA) when we decided to continue to use the software on the original computer. And that makes it legally binding
With that in mind, if you need to buy a new license I recommend 64-bit Windows 7 or one of the many free Linux alternatives.
What to buy? I recommend selecting the CPU you want to use, then find a motherboard that supports it. I like Gigabyte boards, but also ASUS, Intel and MSI. Then look on the motherboard's webpage to find RAM that motherboard supports too. If buying a graphics card instead of using a motherboard with integrated graphics, buy that too. Then, after
you have selected all your new hardware, determine your power requirements (we can help, but start with a good PSU Calculator
), then select a 80 Plus certified PSU from a reputable maker - a PSU with plenty of headroom for future upgrades and strain free operations. And I recommend 8Gb of RAM for dual-channel motherboards, and 6Gb of RAM for triple channel. Either way, that will require a 64-bit operating system.
How to buy? I don't know. Credit card works for me. Most brick and mortar stores take cash too!
Where to buy? I don't know. You did not tell us where you live. But I buy from and recommend any of the following US sites (listed in alphabetical order):
Newegg (my preferred source), and