Computers running slow or not at all

We have 2 computers in question - my wife's Dell laptop and my EMachines desktop.

My wife's issues first. When opening software it takes literally minutes for the application to open up. When browsing it also takes >30sec between the mouseclick and the action requested. This computer functions so slow it's practically unusable. Here's the stats:
Windows 8 (32 bit)
Intel Core i3-5005U 2.0 GHz. 2% of the CPU is being utilized.
Memory is 4GB 1600MHz. 3GB is being utilized. 823MB of memory is available
Her HD has >75% of free space on it.
Task Mgr shows 6 apps and 74 background processes
We purchased it about a year ago and haven't upgraded it.

My desktop can't do anything involving Flash with more than 2 applications (e.g. I can't have Facebook and Pandora running at the same time). I have some rudimentary audio and video editing tools but the machine cannot operate them. I'm sure my problem with this Desktop is due to the age of the machine. Stats:
Windows 7 (32 bit)
AMD Athlon LE-1660 2.8GHz
4.0GB memory
Ample space on my HD
Purchased this machine in 2007 and upgraded only the memory and the processor.

My computer is obsolete. But my wife's shouldn't be running so slow. What can be done to get things running optimally?

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Clarification Request
what are they?

"6 apps and 74 background processes"

If you post them, we can check on them, see if anything suspicious.

Information on your computer type

Socket AM2+

Main article: Socket AM2+

Socket AM2+ is an intermediate successor to socket AM2, which features split power planes, and HyperTransport 3.0. Socket AM2+ chips can plug into a socket AM2 motherboard (although certain motherboard manufacturers do not support this), but operate only with HyperTransport 2.0. AM2 CPUs are no longer manufactured, and are usually only available second hand.

Socket AM3

Main article: Socket AM3

Socket AM3 processors are able to run on Socket AM2 and AM2+ motherboards with appropriate bios updates, but not vice versa. AM3 processors have a new memory controller supporting both DDR2 and DDR3 SDRAM, allowing backwards compatibility with AM2 and AM2+ motherboards. Since AM2 and AM2+ processors lack the new memory controller, they will not work on AM3 motherboards.

Drop this into yours. It's worth the $12, Make sure to have some thermal grease.

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That AMD Athlon LE-1660 Lima Single-Core ...

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