Several choices - SSD, CPU, Cooling or a combination?

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Within a month or so, I will have a decent amount of money to spend, probably £200 at most. I have several options, and at the moment I'm not sure what to go for.

My initial thoughts went to a new CPU, see my thread here; http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=18227916

I could drop in a quad or hexcore and see a noticeable performance increase. The thing is, performance is fine for the games I play at the moment tbh.

The next is an SSD. I was thinking that a 120Gb Crucial or OCZ would be a worthy upgrade with enough space for the OS, WoW and a few other games. However, I'm not exactly unhappy with the performance I get at the moment, and setting up the drives seems a lot of trouble; there are many conflicting suggestions regarding installation and setup.

Another thing that I've always been wanting to try is watercooling. My PC can be quite loud at the moment, and I would see a great improvement as I'm on stock cooler. AFAIK, I can get a decent CPU only loop for less than £200. Once again though, is that upgrade worth it, when I will only gain a few hundred MHz on the CPU? It would be upgradeable though, so I could tale it through to future builds.

Finally, I could get a decent air cooler, a few fans and a smaller SSD for a similar price? Would this be a better compromise?

So, final question, what would you do?

Opinions and advice greatly appreciated! :)
 
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If it plays games to your satisfaction at the moment then, in my opinion, a decent air cooler and ssd.

I've never attempted watercooling but like you say, the slight increase achievable would likely not justify the cost if budget is important.

Have you identified which fans are noisy? Is it definitely cpu fan which is noisy?

A new cpu? Well, would it port to your next build? If not, the money would be better spent on an ssd which will be usable in future builds.

I'm far from knowledgeable as far as computers go but just my opinion.
 
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Soldato
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I'd go with the SSD. It'll bring a ray of sunshine in to you everyday PC usage.

There's an awful lot of guff spouted about SSD's, and to be honest, like most PC "tweaks", none of it makes any real difference. Just stick it in like a normal hard drive, then hold on and feel the G's. :D
 
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All my fans are loud tbh, the GPU is never audible over them except when folding and temps reach 70c.

Still, I'd be looking to replace the case fans with something more desperately as they are loud at idle. When playing games and the CPU fan gets louder, I'm wearing headphones anyway, so can't hear it.

The thing is with a smaller SSD, I dont think I would even be able to fit WoW on it with all the expansions along side Windows 7.
 
Soldato
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if it was me i'd follow the above advice and go for a decent air cooler a couple of nice quiet fans and a smaller ssd, maybe the crucial c300 64gb. also as you're buying in a month or so by then the next gen crucial ssd's c400 should be released and they hopefully might cause the c300's to drop in price

watercooling is a nice idea but unless you're planning high end overclocks i don't see the point.
 
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I keep thinking that if I buy an SSD, I may as well buy a big enough one now, rather than be disappointed with a smaller one.

How much free space is there on a 64Gb SSD with W7 on?
 
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I looked the other day and my Windows folder is just under 20Gb, but I dont know how much other folders are. AFAIK, only the users and programdata folders are moveable from the boot disk.

I am pretty much set on an SSD now, but I'm not sure whether to buy a small one along with a good cooler and fans, or a bigger one, and just few case fans maybe.

For the SSD setup, does this sound alright?

Backup my Users folder to my old IDE HDD. Plug in the SSD, enable ACHI and update firmware, Secure Erase etc. Then unplug all but SSD, install Windows, then disable defray etc., by running WEI. Plug in other two drives, reformat WD which has old Windows install, then restore Users folder to it and change default Users location from SSD to HDD and continue to use that for data?

Am I missing anything regarding installation? Do I need to change anything manually on the SSD, and what drivers do I need to install? Also, I'm prett set on the Crucial C300, does it come with a SATA cable or do I need to buy one?

Thanks everyone! :)
 
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