Hard Drive Bottlenecking my computer? Help please

I recently built myself a new rig but with some old components.. to lower the cost. Memory is the only thing i kept from my previous build.

Motherboard: ASrock Z77 Pro-4 m
Graphics Card: EVGA 660 FTW signature 2 , 2GB DDR5
CPU: Intel i5 3570k
Ram (From old rig): OCZ Ram 2gbx2 4 gb
PSU: Corsair builder series 750w
Hard Drive(From old Rig): Hitachi 500GB

The thing is this hard drive is about 4 years old now, and it was from a basic retail HP computer. I had another hard drive that was more recent, but it became bad and it died on me not too long ago. My build runs great, but i feel like i could be getting better results in most things. The only reason I'm using this current hard drive is to be able to use my computer until i have enough sufficient money to buy a new hard drive, or even a solid state drive, and new g.skill ram. Point is i will eventually buy new memory, but i'm just curious if my hard drive is holding my pc back from performing it's best?
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  1. Although yes, it should not effect pure FPS in games so much. So exactly in what way do you find performance lacking?
  2. Give us more details on the RAM. Also give us more details on the HDD.

    Even without those answers, your HDD will always be the slowest component in terms of data transfer/processing bandwidth.
  3. a mechanical hard drive is always a bottle neck.
  4. hitachi hdp7250gla360 is the full hard drive spec, and my ram is OCZ Obsidian 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) from a quick newegg/search.

    The area where i feel it lacks is my load times for my games. Battlefield 3 takes about an average of 1min-2 min to load a game. I can understand under a minute but 2 minutes is too much for my taste.. Also when i record i feel like fraps is brought down by the actual hard drive, not the graphics card.
  5. Hdd is the primary factor in long load times. Ssd will make a big difference.
  6. My philosophy is that subjective Windows performance is influenced by CPU power, RAM, HD throughput (read, write, seek) and general SW load within Windows (number of processes etc)
    I find that while CPUs and RAM have come a long way in the last, say, 5 yrs, HDs have not. They got mostly bigger in capacity and the speed increases are nowhere as hight as with our powerful CPUs.

    So, the HD is probably a "bottleneck". In other words adding an SSD is gonna do wonders.
    I also find that conventional HDs get a little slower over time (but maybe just subjective).

    I use HD-Speed by Steelbytes to get a feel for HD performance.
  7. SSD vs HDD in my experience:

    SSD will greatly increase speed in everyday computing (boot, opening files, switching between programs, etc).
    SSD will somewhat increase speed in games (helps start and load times, but not really any effect on FPS).
    HDD will begin to slow down once you exceed ~85% full. SSD doesn't appear to have that same problem.

    System RAM will also make a difference, because with more RAM the game has to hit the HDD less.

    RAM is probably the cheaper and easier thing to upgrade first, if you had to pick 1.
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