I've thought about doing this for about a year off-and-on.
When I got this PC about 16 months ago, it was mainly for school/work, and it's not really a gaming machine because of it's poor graphics card.
These days I'm a console gamer again, but I used to be a PC gamer years back, and due to this machine having a pretty good processor and RAM, I quickly got the itch to upgrade, but never did for a variety of reasons.
The only reason that remains is what's keeping me hesitant now: The power supply is only about 300W. To add a good mid to high end graphics card, I would need something closer to 450-600W to have plenty of juice.
I'm not really here to hammer out exactly how much W I need, but simply this:
1) How hard is it to replace the power supply?
In past computers, I've done-it-myself to replace processor fans, harddrives, ram, graphics or other cards, but never the power supply. I'm assuming that due to my other experiences, I shouldn't have much trouble, but then again I've never done it so I wanted to hear from someone who has.
2) Will Vista or other hardware (than the power supply) in the tower freak out with the boost in power, or will it be smooth? Any horror stories or cautionary tales I should hear in that regard?
That was my other unknown. I didn't know if, for God knows what reason, upping the W's would make Vista bulk or other hardware pieces screw up.
Everything I know says it shouldn't do anything bad at all, but again, never done it, don't really know.
Thanks in advance.
I'd eventually like to do this if I'm convinced I can do it myself and without risking the PC. I can't afford to have this PC stop working because my current job involves typing up depositions. That's why I'm playing it extra safe.
Given the fact that I have a (now outdated, but still) quad-core intel processor (@ 2.4Ghz) and 3GB or RAM, I'm confident I could get some good gaming out of a nice graphics card.
If the feedback I get sounds good and reassuring, the final hurle will simply be my willingness to spend.