Entry Level Gaming Rig Built - Setup Tips Please

Hey guys just thought I'd share my first gaming PC build in quite a few years. I'll have a few questions for the pro's as to how I can squeeze some more juice out of it, for better FPS in BF3.

Case: Thermaltake Commander MS-iii. 120mm Fan on top to draw out hot air, 120mm Fan on side to blow some cool air onto the GPU.
PSU: Antec VP450P
Mobo: Asus P8H61MLX
CPU: Intel/Celeron G540
GPU: Gigabyte GTX650 OC
Drives: Asus Optical, WD GREEN 2TB 64MB CACHE, OLD WD 160GB 8MB CACHE
K/B: Thermaltake Challenger Ultimate
Mouse: Thermaltake Black
Headset: Thermaltake Shock
Pad: Thermaltake Pyrrhus X-large
Screen: Old AWA 19" LCD TV/MONITOR Combo
Sound: Asus DGX w/headphone amp

Currently playing BF3 Online, MW3 Campaign, Far Cry 3 Campaign. Completed and/or had enough of Crysis/Warhead/Crysis 2, MOH: Warfighter. I'm eagerly awaiting Crysis 3 and the new Star Trek game for PC! :D

I'd like some help deciding how I should best go about getting my OS off of the ancient 8mb Cache WD drive and onto the newer Caviar Green?

Installed on the old drive is Win 7 Pro X64, and a handful of very small programs like cpuz teamspeak etc. My games are installed onto the new drive. I'm looking for the quickest and easiest way to do it without having to re-install absolutely everything and take a whole day to be back up and running. Would somehow ghosting it across on another partition perhaps work?

I have some questions about Overclocking my GPU a little that I'll get to later, but I'm more keen on getting the OS onto the faster drive first to see what improvements I might notice in all round performance.

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  1. WD GREEN 2TB 64MB CACHE, OLD WD 160GB 8MB CACHE is slowing you down

    green WDC is 5900RPM drive... get at least 7200RPM for boot/OS drive

    or.... 128GB SSD :D
  2. For better performance in BF3, you would want to upgrade the cpu.

    There are programs to image one drive to another. I used one called something like disk image or easy disk image or something.

    Good software for overclocking GPUs is MSI Afterburner.
  3. AMD Radeon said:
    WD GREEN 2TB 64MB CACHE, OLD WD 160GB 8MB CACHE is slowing you down

    green WDC is 5900RPM drive... get at least 7200RPM for boot/OS drive

    or.... 128GB SSD :D

    Everyone says this about WD green drives. I have been using a WD green 5400rmp drive as my main drive for a year and I have noticed no difference in anything between it and a 7200rpm drive.
  4. a celeron is by no means a cpu for modern gaming lol, but you would want an SSD it make a bigger difference than you'd think.
  5. and the 650 OC is a great GPU but you might want to upgrade it for crysis 3
  6. Yeah I'm well aware the 8mb cache is slowing me down, sigh :(.... I want to at least get the OS over to the WD Green for a little bit of a 'free' boost until I can go SSD in the next month or so. Hell even a good little 60GB SSD for 50 AU$ would do me I just want one OS and two games on it at a time :)

    I already have MSI Afterburner although not used it just had a look around it. I'm going to tackle my first mild O/C with the stock fan and extra 120mm adjacent to it in the side of the case. After this OS being on the slower older drive issue is sorted.

    I realise the CPU is craptastic also it was just what I could afford at the time. :)

    My 'wish list' for this year is:

    24" Asus LCD
    One or two SSD's likely Raptors as I've heard good things.

    And that should see me pretty happy for a while. Would LOVE a GTX 680 TOP ASUS edition. But yeah might aswell keep dreaming for the moment have a wedding to have paid off by the end of the year! :)

    Thx for the comments
  7. mansfield said:
    and the 650 OC is a great GPU but you might want to upgrade it for crysis 3

    Hopefully I can still play comfortably on med-high settings. I'd love a 680 but too exe for me currently. Damned annoying you cant SLI 650's that would of been nice.

  8. Well I thank everyone for the previous advice given. I have since the other week upgraded to an ASUS 23.6" LED LCD. Wow what a step up from the out dated 19", it looks magnificent. I also picked up a cheap second hand 19" dell screen (height orientation twist all adjustable as I wanted) so I can multi-task better. Winamp gpuz cpuz etc on the second screen while gaming. Awesome for watching a video on one while still googling other things on the other screen.

    I did away with the aging boot HDD and partioned the WD green with the much higher cache for a fresh install of Win 7 Pro 64 bit. I'm very pleased with the free performance gain it is noticeably faster now. I of course realise an SSD would be a much better option but all in good time.

    I've just gotten the Crysis 3 Beta off of origin, and I am most unhappy with how my computer runs it. With fraps it was rarely showing 30FPS let alone over that. Turned settings resolution down to low and it was playable but you know how it is....looks cr@p!

    I'm wondering if my CPU or GPU should be my next upgrade. i5 3570K would be my CPU pick and Asus GTX 670 or 680 Top CU Ti highest range for GPU.

    What are your thoughts?

    My memory is only the cheapest off the shelf kingston (8 gigs) so I know I could spend around 65$ and get an 8g kit of hyper-x at a higher 2400mhz.

    In summary my next upgrades will be: (but I'm unable to decide in what order, to get better gaming performance sooner rather than later, as I won't be able to buy more than one or two upgrades at a time)

    1. Cpu - i5 3570K
    2. Top of the line (ASUS Direct Top CU 2 Ti or what have you) 670 or 680 GTX
    3. SSD Boot Drive - Single 120 Gig Raptor or Even Two Corsair GT 60 gigs in some kind of raid config.
    4. Ram upgrade from 8 gig 1333mhz to 2400mhz

    I've taken my most semi-educated guess on the order I should go with! What's your opinion?
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