I was given a Dell p4 3.2ghz (socket 478) with 2 gb RAM (cpu and mobo only). With my old system I had just bought a new Geforce 6600 GT 128mb AGP card which I moved into the Dell along with my optical drives and hard drive from my old system. I played Oblivion with some of the performance tweaks and it ran great at high settings. The thing is the machine is a server which has just one fan that speeds up as needed and gets quite loud. Also it is a server and never goes into standby mode, and the screensaver goes on sometimes, but not always.
I would love to get a new system (build one, actually, which is why I am here) but since my rig is decent and I do not NEED a new system, how can I justify getting a new machine? I can say "I can't hear what the characters are saying over the fan noise" :wink: . I would start with a barebones sytem (except I would not skimp on the RAM) and add to it over 1-2 months.
It sounds like all you need is a new fan, or modding it so the internal fan does not have to work as hard.
If it is the kind w/ the green CPU shroud you can rip it off and zip-tie a decent 80mm case fan to the CPU heatsink - it should keep the cpu cool enough so the existing fan does not have to work as hard, just remember to keep it blowing front to back pointing towards the existing fan (blowing across the cpu fan) so it should also help case cooling as well.