Long awaited upgrade!

Hi, I own a Dell Inspiron 1520 (Core2Duo T7300 @ 2.00Ghz, 3Gb RAM DDR2 @ 667MHz, nVidia 8600M GT 256Mb). The system is 4 years old, but since I don't have enough money to buy a brand new one I would want to upgrade its components to: Core2Duo T9500 @ 2.6Ghz (170$), 4Gb RAM DDR2 @ 800Mhz (60$) and possibly a Blu-Ray Writer (160$) - probably not, since I don't have any Blu-Rays. I also wanted a new graphics card, but since laptops weren't made for upgrades in that department, I thought of an external graphics card, and found the ViDock. I already have some graphic cards in mind:
MSI Radeon HD 6770, 1024MB, DDR5, 128-bit, PCI Express x16 v2.1 - 130$
Sapphire AMD Radeon HD6790, 1024MB, GDDR5, 256bit, PCI Express x16 v2.0 - 170$
Palit GeForce GTX 460 Green, 768MB, GDDR5, 192-bit, PCI Express x16 v2.0 - 170$
Palit GeForce GTX550 Ti, 1024MB, GDDR5, 192-bit, PCI Express x16 v2.0 - 150$

I would appreciate some guidance, should anyone be willing to impart it! I have some questions:
1. Would my laptop support this kind of "upgrade" (I'm referring to the video card)?
2. What about the upgrages I intend to make? Do you think they're worth it? Will they be compatible?
3. Since I have nVidia on-board, can I have an ATI external?
4. Which of the graphic card do you recommend? (Or some other, better one under 170$)

PS: My Dell also has 3 mini PCI-e slots, with only one in use by the wireless card. What kind of upgrades can I make using that particular slot (concrete solutions)? The slots are internal, with a limited space.

PPS: Sorry for the length of the message or if I inadvertently crossed any lines or violated any forum rules with it! Again, any help - greatly appreciated!!!
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  1. 1. You'll need to find out if the T9500 will be recognized by the laptop's chipset. Just because it can physically into the socket doesn't mean it will automatically work. You'll to contact Dell for this info.

    2. The video card should work, however, I am unfamiliar with what the bandwidth limitation are for an ExpressCard interface. I can guaranty that using a card with ViDock, the card will not be as fast as if it were installed into a desktop PC.

    3. The cost of this upgrade seems to range between $580 - $660 excluding the Blu-Ray drive (which I think you don't need). I suppose in a way it can be worth the upgrade as long as your next laptop also has an ExpressCard slot. However, it seems ExpressCard slots are being phased out of laptops. None of the laptops I was looking at when I was shopping around had this slot.

    4. The problem with buying a powerful video is you don't really know how much of a bottleneck the ExpressCard will be. Buying a Radeon HD 6670 will probably be a safe bet since the bottleneck shouldn't be that much. But that isn't really considered a powerful graphics card for a desktop. For a laptop it would be considered pretty powerful. I would say that the Radeon HD 6770 would be a good choice. It is basically as powerful as the Mobility Radeon HD 5850 in overall performance excluding any bottlenecks.

    I would buy the following HD 6770 for $99 + shipping since the hot air is directly exhausted out the back of the card.

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