Also, look in the BIOS for a setting called "Hyperthreading". (May not be available on BIOS Rev A03). If it's on, turn it off...if it's off, turn it on.
What you do depends on whether you should turn it on or off. It may not be there, or may be greyed out.
At any rate, update the BIOS to A07 before doing anything else hardware wise.
Yeah, about that.
I searched, I read (horror stories), I downloaded the update. I know I need to have a back up of the original BIOS, JIC, but this may be beyond me. Or at least I'll need to do some further studying.
1) Can I upgrade to 2x2gb RAM without the BIOS upgrade?
2) Ditto re: CPU you recommended?
I'm not lazy, just not comfortable with the upgrade, unless you write back to say, pffft, way too easy, don't worry.
Well, here's the deal:
I've never really had to back up a BIOS. I do get a copy of the previous one to reinstall in case the new BIOS either doesn't solve a problem, or creates a new one.
I have 2 GX270, an SX270 (Ultra Small Form Factor...the power supply in an external one from a large Alienware model) and an SX280 (ditto). All have been updated to A07 for CPU updates.
But, don't worry...if the BIOS upgrade does go bad, you have nothing to worry about! Because then there is no question it's time for a different computer!
Seriously, though, I've done all 4 of them, no issue. They all have the fastest processor I could install and the most memory as well. The CPU is one I linked in an earlier post, and the memory is 2 2G DDR400 sticks.
Just make sure the power cord is plugged in securely at both ends, the dog is outside, and there isn't a thunderstorm or windstorm that could knock the power out. If it seems like it's taking too long, be patient. Mix a batch of martinis or something. And if it fails, the machine will tell you it failed and reload the original BIOS.
$0.02+a grain of salt...
One thing I would impress on noobs to Linux, partition a ~28G partition as /. Partition the rest as /Home.
When the system fails, reinstall and use the exact same username and all your 'stuff' comes back to you.