Is the best way to speed up an old laptop is to Buy more RAM or buy a new processor (CPU / GPU)?
There is no question of switching to an SSD hard drive.
Laptop HDDs are slow, their speed is 5400 rpm and transfers between 50/30MB read write, plus over time the data becomes fragmented and the access time to files is much longer.
An older laptop will at least support SATA2, it won't take the full potential of the SSD (SATA3) but you will achieve speeds between 200/180MB read write.
If you use a lot of programs at the same time or many browser tabs expand the RAM, usually many support 2GB and that is their maximum.
Changing the thermal paste and dusting inside will improve the temperature.
It depends... if it is a celeron or pentium, very little can be done... but if you have at least 8Gb of RAM, the best thing to do is to replace the hard drive with an SSD. That will give new life to the computer for sure. The change of processor ONLY if it can be changed (as many come fixed without being able to change) and only if the motherboard in question supports the replacement by a Core i5 or i7 without changing the cooling.
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