The graphics card, particularly with Vista's Aero system of largely pointless eye candy, can have a pretty significant effect on how responsive your system feels. Aero is likely to be far less demanding than your average game, but could well overwhelm some lower end integrated graphics chipsets.
As for processor speed vs RAM, it's not a one or the other, but RAM tends to have a bigger impact on performance than processor speed. A slower processor coupled with plenty of RAM will feel faster than a system with a fast processor, but very little RAM. However, there are programs that rely almost entirely on the ability of the processor to crunch numbers, so it's not always a simple one or the other scenario.
may get hp6000 w/Vista. Often have several windows open + excell but no games. does graphics card matter? also, which more important; processor speed or ram? need advice please.. Thx much. wsh