However, if any non-replaceable parts broke then the laptop is pretty much trash.
Nothing is broken or overheating (99.9% positive). I'm just getting terrible performance when trying to play Battlefield 3 and Dead Island.
I think the problem is the graphics card (GeForce 330M GT), which just can't keep up with the processor (i7-720 or 820). So I was hoping to save a few bucks on creating a new computer by recycling the old parts or just replacing the graphics card. It appears that it can't be done and workarounds don't appear to be worth it...
Thanks a ton for helping a neophyte out!
Now off to learn how to build a desktop! For science!