1. I'll get the SSD upgrade... I've been mulling over this for a few weeks now (due to it being the cheapest upgrade of the lot) so will just go ahead and do that.
2. I'll try my best not to break anything although I can give no guarantee over that lol. it would be just typical that I somehow manage to drop the SSD directly after opening the box. Fingers crossed though, I'm sure it'll all be fine.
3. At some point down the line I'll get a new system - but for the time being I'm going to persevere with the R4 and eek out as much as possible from it... in a couple of years, if I'm still using this, it'll have been going for ten years which is great... even taking into consideration the inflated price I originally paid for it - can't complain.
2. You have "real work" to do. The Aurora-R4 you own ... its CPU and Memory are fine for that work-load. It's 100% stable. If you start messing at that level, it might become only 95% stable/solid/reliable. Motherboard or something else could die tomorrow (especially if you start messing with it ... even if know what you are doing and are careful).
The only way I would buy a $300-$400 video card for it ... is if you planned to sell it later (or move it to a new custom build).
3. IMO, now is that time. Put all this upgrade money toward a new one ... they really aren't that much. And, you get a warranty.
I don't think 10 years is really realistic for a video-production workstation. My posts in this thread were based on the idea that you have real work to do. The computer is just a tool, and frankly, it's "expendable" (as in "expendable crew-member" from Star Trek).