Posted 06 October 2012 - 01:52
You mentioned that the system (AMD Athlon 3000+, 8GB RAM, ATI Radeon R100 video adapter) was a bit slow when running Windows 7 x64, but I didn't understand what "slow" meant? Did it take a long time to boot up or shutdown? Access programs? Perform video activities? Or something else entirely?
If it's the video card, than I can certainly understand. A twelve year old video card that was considered a "budget end" device is unlikely to give very good performance by today's standards
On the other hand, if it's disk access, than perhaps installing a small SSD (64GB or so) to hold the operating system and frequently-run apps would improve things? If you do go the SSD route, you'll likely want to install Windows Vista or Windows 7, as modern SSDs use a 4KB sectors, which are not handled very well by Windows XP, which assumes all disk drives have 512-byte long sectors.
With Windows 7, your product ID key should work with either the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the operating system, so there's no need to buy a second license to get the 64-bit version.
I don't know if you did it when trying out Windows 7, but did you install all of the Microsoft Windows Updates, as well as device driver updates from the various chip manufacturers for hardware installed in the computer? Having the proper drivers for the motherboard's chipset and SATA controllers can make a big difference in system performance.
Lastly, one thought to leave you with: It sounds like you have a decent enough system, and with some modest ($100-150 or so) upgrades you could get it performing at an acceptable level of performance for casual use. It probably would not be the greatest for running the latest games, but would be more than adequate for basic home office productivity, web surfing, watching some videos and so forth. I just put about $130 into upgrading my seven year old ThinkPad T43p laptop (Pentium M 2.13GHz, 2GB RAM, 80GB SSD, 802.11n) and it now runs Windows 7 quite well (boots up in about 20 seconds, web browsing is fast, etc.). While that kind of money may for you may be better put towards a new system, upgrading this computer will still be cheaper than buying a new one, and possibly allow you to extend its useful life by a few more years.