It appears that HP Tech Support either
misunderstood your question, or misunderstood the difference between multitasking
(having your computer juggle two or more tasks at once) and multiprocessing
(having your computer divide its tasks between two or more processors).
Any multitasking difficulties you are having are a result of the
limitations of the Windows ME
operating system (OS)-- not your processor.
Both the AMD Athlon and Intel's
Pentium 4 are equally compatible with the multitasking demands of
your OS. Furthermore, there would be no benefit to adding another CPU (via
a new motherboard) to your system-- it would remain unused by Windows ME.
In order to take advantage of a second processor, you would need to
upgrade to Windows NT,
Windows 2000, or Windows XP,
or switch to another multiprocessing-capable OS, such as Linux.
Currently, the Athlon MP (and
even regular Athlons and Durons)
from AMD, and the Pentium-III and Xeon
from Intel are supported in dual processor systems, with the appropriate
motherboard and chipset. Even then, as befuddled by HP, the amount of
increased speed seen from adding a second processor will depend on what
programs you are running on your system and whether they are written to
take advantage of multiprocessing.
resources' are a factor in system lock-ups or sluggish performance,
the blame rests with the memory-hampered design of Windows 9x/Me.
Increased RAM or a faster (or different, or second) CPU will not solve
this built-in restriction. The only real solution to escaping this
system resource ceiling is an upgrade to one of the OS's as mentioned