Getting the most potential out of new PC

Greetings everyone, I am new to the toms hardware community. I've built my first computer about a month ago, so I am still learning, but I was wondering if there are specific things to get the most out of my computer. I play a lot of games but I have a lust for better quality.

Here's my specs
Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 Wolfdale 2.8Ghz
G.Kill 4GB (2X2GB) DDR2 ram
EVGA GeForce 9800GT 1GB
OCZ Fatal1ty 700w PSU (Single 12v rail, I think 56A)
ASUS P5N-D 750i motherboard
Antec 900 case
Windows Vista 64bit

My video card came with an overclocking tool, EVGA Precision, I am unsure of what I should clock everything at, although I did max out my fan speed, not thinking that will be a problem.

I guess over all I get a random FPS drops when playing games that seem to come out of the blue and I get the little bubble on the task bar saying something along the lines of Unknown video driver error or something like that. It doesn't happen that often but when it does it's rather annoying. I use the latest driver for the '9 series' from the NVidia site.

My video card temps idles at about 33C and goes up to about 45C when I play games (this is with fan maxed).
And it seems at most times my CPU is around 40C.

I'm just looking for any tips I can get to increase my fps and get the most out of my hardware. Once again, I am new to Toms Hardware, was recommended from a friend today to see what I can do to play games better. Thanks so much for taking the time to give me a hand.

Andrew OB
3 answers Last reply
More about getting potential
  1. Welcome to the forums, May I ask what resolution your playing at?
  2. What resolution are you playing at? To find out what needs an upgrade, use a program like FRAPS or an ingame benchmark to keep track of your FPS. Lower the resolution and detail, if the FPS doesnt increase significantly then you will benefit significantly from overclocking your CPU. With your GPU temps that low i would guess your CPU is bottlenecking you.
  3. I run a 1680x1050 resolution on a 22'' TV with a DVI connection. I've briefly looked in the overclocking part of the forums and some seem a little bit over my head. I'm quick to learn but in order to, I need to know how things work, what not to do type thing. That's why I haven't bothered with touching the CPU.

    Using FRAPS while playing Crysis I was getting 20 - 25 FPS on high, but 20 minutes into playing the game crashed due to some video error that I cannot seem the figure out.

    Is there anything in my NVidia control pannel that I could turn on or off to stop this problem?

    Crysis crash description

    A problem caused this program to stop interacting with Windows.

    Problem signature
    Problem Event Name: AppHangB1
    Application Name: crysis.exe
    Application Version:
    Application Timestamp: 47d6d167
    Hang Signature: 54d6
    Hang Type: 2048
    OS Version: 6.0.6001.
    Locale ID: 1033
    Additional Hang Signature 1: 7de5a3d6130a8e190f00a696c9367756
    Additional Hang Signature 2: 57be
    Additional Hang Signature 3: f2cc981ef022ef14adc1342a5113eaa2
    Additional Hang Signature 4: 54d6
    Additional Hang Signature 5: 7de5a3d6130a8e190f00a696c9367756
    Additional Hang Signature 6: 57be
    Additional Hang Signature 7: f2cc981ef022ef14adc1342a5113eaa2
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