Performance Tweaks for New Build

Hey guys/gals - Long time lurker, first time poster here :) A nice tax return this year spurred my interest in building a new gaming rig after being out of the scene for the last 7-8 years lol. I was hoping you folks might be able to assist me with some performance-related tips/tweaks for a gaming rig - I've been out of the PC gaming scene for a long time now; so I'm hoping some of you can help me out. :) My new rig:

Corsair 600T Case in White
Intel i5 3750k 3.4GHz
Corsair H80i Liquid CPU Cooler
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 Motherboard
Corsair CX750W Modular power supply
2x8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3
Samsung 256GB 830 Series Solid State Drive (OS install and Game installs only)
Western Digital 200GB 7200 RPM SATA Drive (from my old PC - using for application installs and personal files)
MSI Radeon 7970 3GB OC
Windows 7 Enterprise Edition 64-bit
Microsoft Security Essentials installed for antimalware/antivirus

I have the MSI Afterburner utility installed, but I have not done any overclocking of the video card or my processor yet. I updated the ATI drivers to the latest build as of this past Saturday night (3/2/13), but they are not the beta drivers (which from what reading I've done they appear to be stable and greatly improve 7970 performance in Crysis 3; which is one of the games I'm looking to run, so I may be installing those beta drivers tonight)

I have nothing but Windows and the games I will be running installed on my solid state drive. All other applications, files, and data will either be on my 2TB external drive or the internal 200GB SATA drive I have from my old machine.

If any of you have a few minutes to spare and know of any BIOS/Video Card/CPU/RAM/Miscellaneous tweaks I can apply to squeeze out additional performance, I would greatly appreciate your input! If there are any details I left out, please let me know and I can fill in the blanks as needed. Thanks in advance!
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  1. there isnt any reason to run windows enterprise but if you have another license lying around, go ahead with it

    the build below is pretty much black and white with some grey
    get this instead

    ram. cheaper ram but just as good

    case. windowed version is 5 bucks more. much better case than the 600t
  2. I guess the important part I failed to mention is that this rig is already up and running with everything I stated above; so swapping out parts isn't really an option for me at this point. The 600T that I got is a windowed version though.

    The Windows 7 Enterprise is because I had an extra license laying around, I know it doesn't really bring any value add to the build.
  3. ahh i see. you should be performing pretty good at stock speeds. you could use afterburner and overclock it to 1100mhz. should give you a couple more fps

    apps that you should download.

    avast free anti-virus (if you dont already have it). great basic protection. much less crappy than macafee and much less bloatware than norton

    Ccleaner. saves you space by clearing the drive of things such as old memory dump files and all that. and it can clean up your registry of errors. there is also a drive wiper where it cleans your drives down to the bone. it makes system recovery not possible as the things that you have deleted have been actually deleted but will save a lot of space. i ran it and it cleared about 10gb worth of stuff
  4. The card came OC'd at 1100mhz from the factory (MSI), though I've read a couple of places that it can be OC'd even further and remain stable.

    I decided to go with Microsoft Security Essentials - it seems to be very lightweight and non-intrusive so far. It was a toss-up between that and Avast. If MSE gets on my nerves then I'll give Avast a shot.

    I will have to check out CCleaner as well - another I've heard mentioned is DriverSweeper? For ensuring old video card drivers are actually removed from the system when installing new ones. Thanks!
  5. Did you run the utility that came with the SSD to make sure windows is set up properly? It may suggest some tweaks.

    I ended up turning off the pagefile to keep added writes from the SSD and been 10 months without an issue. You can also disable hibernate to save SSD space.

    Bring up the performance tab in task manager and stretch it across the screen. Play your most demanding games for a while then tab out and check CPU utilization. If you are bumping up against 100% a lot or constantly, it'd be worth trying some mild overclocking to give some breathing room. BF3 is why I'm at 4.1Ghz.
  6. avast is much better than MSE in terms of protection. much more extensive too
  7. J_E_D - I didn't have any kind of utility that came with the SSD that I'm aware of, but I'll look through the various boxes of stuff again tonight.

    Windows installed without a hitch and I haven't seen any issues so far
  8. I went to Samsung's site and they offer a SSD Magician utility that enables TRIM on the drive - but it's stated that this is only needed in the event that your OS doesn't support TRIM, which Windows 7 and 8 both do.
  9. Magician includes other optimizations - see the 4.0 manual, page 13
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