Many thanks to the folks whose suggestions helped me to decide on a CPU/motherboard upgrade that was both effective and economical. Now granted I was long Long LONG overdue for an overhaul, but this new system--modest as it is--is just mind blowingly better than what I was relying on up until just two days ago. I had a P4 550 at 3.4GHz. I now have an E2200 mildly oc'd to 2.42 GHz from 2.2. I'll get more aggressive with overclock testing after I finish reinstalling apps and getting things configured the way I like them. The thing that really gets me is that despite performing so much faster and being overclocked, this new system is an icebox compared to the blast furnace the P4 churned out. I mean I was expecting it to run cooler, but formerly the air coming out of the case was warm at idle and actually hot under load. Now it's gone to *cold* at idle and *slightly* warm under load. Crysis was playable formerly, but now it's actually smooth. Choppy spots in various games are smoothed out. 3DMark06 is almost doubled to over 9000. I could go on gushing endlessly and bore you all to death, but I'll spare you the bother and get back to playing with my new toy. Thanks, folks.