Up until now I've run BF2, CSS, etc with no real problems. FPS could be better, but it's been alright. I downloaded the Orange Box games from Valve and found out that Half Life 2 Ep 2 and Team Fortress barely run at all, and they're unplayable.
The integrated graphics from nvidia no longer cut it, so I started to look for a pcie card (for which I have a slot). Right off the bat it's evident that some of the higher end cards require a lot of room, so I started thinking about positioning and what I could fit.
Here's the problem: putting in any graphics card I can find would require installing it upside-down, unless I'm way off base (and I hope that I am). For some reason this computer is built with a right-side access instead of the left-side I'm used to. I'm not opposed to putting something in upside-down... except that many of the cards require two slots in the back of the case. Here are a couple pictures to help clarify what I'm talking about.
Inside the case.
Closeup of the PCIE slot.
The pcie slot lines up with the top knock out. If this were a mirror image... then it would be great since the blower/fan portion of the card would use the second slot from the top.
Unfortunately that is not the situation. Using the PCIE slot would require flipping the card upside-down, putting the blower somewhere piled on top of some capacitors or something and blowing right into a solid steel part of the frame.
Basically... wth? The consensus from my gaming buddies (after the laugher and shouts of "dude... you're screwed!") is that I have to buy a new computer. Well... this one's a year and four months old and that is definitely not in the budget.
Has anyone run into this before? Maybe my lack of experience is showing and this is no big deal. Any help would be appreciated.
PS: Yes, I know I should have built my own, and yes, I know this is what you get when you buy a stock computer.