Why ouch. He had some good points but to me it sounds like you are just making an excuse to build a new system. Now don't get me wrong I'm not looking to fire off at the mouth and start an argument. So before you get upset just read. This is a forum of course and it's used for discussions, and all I am doing is discussing.
So the part I find confusing is you said…
“I can't just swap out the motherboard. I would have to reload my system or at the very least do a repair installation of Windows. And there goes my time.”
Isn't your time going to be “wasted” even if you build a new system? Wouldn't more time be wasted on a new system since you will have to load OS, drivers, software and then restore any additional items (favorites, backups, etc). Wouldn't it be the same amount of time at the least?
Now as for RAM, what did you use before? Was it not KINGSTON? I would have assumed you would have used that and wouldn't it carry the warranty still? Easy fix there. What type/speed was it? I have some extra chips as do a couple people I know. Want to swap it and test it? Takes about 30 minutes. And have you even run a memory diagnostic test to see if the RAM is bad? Won;t even waste your time with that, it can run while you sleep….rssults when you wake.
CPU….hmmm..couple of tests can prove it wrong, and I think those CPU's can still be found quite a bit for about $100 – $150. And most places have a 30 day warranty on CPU's or extended warranties available as well as the DOA garuntee. Hell, pick up a system pull for $50 on eBay or see if you can find a system pull. If you can't let me know. I still know some IT guys who can maybe get you one.
Reason I am questioning is it seems that you WANT a new system and not resolving your problems with your old system provides the excuse for it (excuse isn't the word I want but my brain is fried). I'm sure you spent some decent money on your old/current system and I just think it would be a shame to not even try to fix it when it's not hard or time consuming to find the problem or fix it. It would be like just throwing money away.
So to end. If you are just in the mood to build a new system then say, “damn it I want a new computer!” and we will all completly understand.
If you computer isn't working and you don't have the money or time to spend then maybe see about fixing it and or asking others to help. I am more than willing to help you find the problem and save you some money. Look at it this way, your new system is gonna run you $800. If it were something as simple as a board you could save yourself $500 or more. If it's the processor or RAM…maybe $400 savings. Still though, savings is savings and you could always re-invest it back into your current system. More RAM, better CPU, better graphics card…and still have money left over!
Personally, I didn't need to build a new system. My old one was working fine with the typical XP hiccups. But as I do I build a new system every 4-5 years. Just so happened also my dads system was old and out of date. Prefect timing. He gets a lot better system than what he had and I got mine.
OK, time to get off my soapbox. If you need help with the old lady of a box let me know. I would be more than willing to help. If your gonna build a new system knock yourself out…again help is here for that if you want it!