I finally bumped up to 4GB of RAM on the main computer, and I saw that CoD4 was hanging after a few minutes of play.. I decided to investigate this after consulting my Mobo's manual and finding that I should remove the vid card before upgrading memory to avoid memory conflicts. When I took the vid card out, I did a general cleanup, and I caught a whiff as if something had fried.. Turns out the puny little fan on my GeForce 6600 took a dive and has probably been like this for a few months.
I did my research, and luckily Computer Wizards here in town had the right replacement I needed: The Zahlman V700 VGA Cooling Fan.
This beast of a fan is quiet, yet pretty darn efficient. The LED fan is pimp too ;-)
This fan uses a reinforcement plate to help secure the fan onto the card.
A little bit of Arctic Silver, and add the provided heatsinks for the memory chips and voila!
After this (and my new LANBox to replace the Sucky QPack..) I popped in CoD4, and got slightly better results, but it still seemed like I could do more. I found some help perusing through Google, and found this:CoD4 Tricks Call of Duty 4 Multiplayer Tips. VERY helpful page on how to max out your FPS, as I was getting a steady 35FPS. You need around 60FPS to have a seamless game. After running the in-game console and tweaking a few settings, I have this:
Click the pic to see a better resolution shot. I've got around 80FPS! During most heated situations, it's down near 50. The biggest increase I saw was taking away the shell ejections, and upping my refresh rate to 72hz. I also found the "sweet spot" resoultion, which is slightly under what I normally use: 1080x768.
Finally I can start to hone in my skills on the PC! Next up is getting GTA San Andreas to work again.. Stupid audio drivers..