I have a HP Pavilion a1640n and I installed the GeForce 8500 GT card a few years ago, so I could play wow, at least a little bit better. I'm going to be getting into Star Wars the Old Republic and I was at least looking to run it on medium-ish settings. Don't really care if I can run the game on Highest, but I don't want to be stuck in lowest.
I was also looking to upgrade my ram from 2GB (2 X 1GB) to 4GB (2 X 2GB). I think I can handle this part but some advice would be helpful.
I'm looking to spend around less than $200, if possible on the graphics card.
yes, i fear even a 6770 would be bottlenecked by the woefully inadequate 1.86ghz C2D. barring that, there may be issues with the increased heat output and energy consumption from the 6770. however, the 6770 is a generally good card, will provide better fps/detail, and could easily be carried over to a new machine...and for well under your $200 budget (assuming the power supply is adequate)
finally, at what resolution do you game?
EDIT: as there is nothing wrong with your current ram, and your mobo supposedly has 4 DDR2 DIMMs, a slightly cheaper option would be to go with an additional 1x1gb ddr2 kit for a total of 4gb
if it does have a 1.8ghz core 2 duo, then i agree, a vid card upgrade like a 6770 will be overkill and bottlenecked by the cpu. If you can find out what cpu's are supported by your motherboard, you could upgrade the cpu and vid card for $200 and have a well balanced system. http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00... this says it can support any 6x00 cpu with conroe core. so the fastest cpu you are likely to stick in is a core 2 e6700 (2.67ghz). e6600 cpu's are pretty common, but there is an old e6600 and a new e6600.......only the older one 2.4ghz will work. you will have to go to ebay to find these cpu's. then you can get something like a gt240 to pair with it and you will have a pc that can now play 4 year old games smoothly. new games will still run poorly due to the cpu though unless you do a serious upgrade and spend lots of money (basically you will need a whole new computer)