I have been teetering at the brink of upgrading my home computer for a while now. This has mostly been due to the amount of noise that my current system generates (loud fans), but that wasn't quite enough to make me do it.
It is the streaming video problems that have finally sent me to upgrade-land. Both Netflix and Joost hang on my current machine. As both of these apps seem pretty popular, I have come to the conclusion that my issues with them are more likely caused by the hardware that I am using.
The machine that I have been using for a couple of years is an AMD Athlon 2200+ (1.8 GHz), with 1 GB Ram, a GeForce FX 5200 w/128 MB Ram, and a 100 GB IDE Hard Drive.
I thought that this would be fast enough to run streaming video. Turns out that I was wrong.
With this in mind, I am doing an immediate "eBay upgrade" of used parts from various sellers. This "new to me" machine will be a AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (2.2 GHz), 1 GB Ram, a ATI Radeon 9600 w/128 MB Ram, and a 200 GB SATA Hard Drive. Total cost here is about $200. This machine should provide a noticeable difference in video quality, but it will still be loud and out-of-date.
Once the "eBay upgrade" is done, I need to begin exploring a proper upgrade to a quiet machine with passive cooling, at least dual core CPU, and a PCI Express video card.