I spent much of this evening having a hunt around the web for the information I need, but it quickly developed into a whack-a-mole situation with myself opening tabs and trains of thought alike, so I thought I'd ask some people more in the know than I.
In short, I'm trying to get another two or three notches of gaming performance out of an old PC that was never really built for the task.
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5200+
Graphics: NVidia GeForce 7050 PV / NVidia Nforce 630a
I'm pragmatic with my gaming. I generally play games 3-6 years after they come out, and pick up classics I've missed. Every now and then, I might play a modern game if I'm REALLY excited about it, but this is pretty much restricted to RPGs or turn-based strategy for obvious reasons. I did get Fallout: New Vegas running, but I had to turn down the difficulty to compensate for the framerate. Next on the list is SWtOR, and since that runs online I guessed that my machine would have to make the step up.
The thing has life in it yet, so I'm not looking to replace it. Looking at the specs, the most obvious thing to me was the on-board (?) graphics (though I may grab some RAM while I'm there). So I've started looking at things like this:
1GB GeForce GT 430
1GB GeForce GTS 450
Stuff like that. I'm not expecting to stick all settings on high and put my foot to the floor, I just want functional, and maybe a little bit of "Wow!" out of the more aging parts of my gaming collection.
So, firstly, am I on the right sort of track for that?
Now that said, there is another issue...
My PC is hot. It is hot at the best of times and when the action hots up on games they slow down, the fan screams for mercy, and on more than one occasion they crash. For reference, Core Temp puts the CPU at present (running a minimalist firefox and nothing else) at 49C and 53C. A few weeks ago I cleared the dusk out and cleaned the fans, which shaved about 10-20C off what it was. Speedfan has been known to record 90C+ on some days.
The case is the standard nameless box it came in. It sits on my desk 14cm from the wall at the rear, and 10cm from the wall to its unvented right side. It has a single, rear fan, and two pithy vents on the unblocked left side.
Now, I know those graphics cards I looked at aren't much, but I'm guessing they're not going to make the situation any cooler. So. Is it worth me getting them? Do I need to change my case? Do I need to make upgrades elsewhere?
All advice welcome!
Also, why the [bleep] can't I make these things brief?