|Bit of a mess still I know but to be fair this case doesn't really have any cable management holes at all, Need to get a better case...|
So the first thing I did was add a 120GB 2.5" hard drive that I upgraded my old PS3 with but then the PS3 died so I pulled it out of there and stuck it in my PC as I needed more room for the VirtualBox VMs I have. It's mainly been used as a storage drive at the moment but I still need to upgrade my main hard drive as it's only 80GB And I only have about 15GB free on it. The 2.5" drive currently sat in a Akasa 3.5" to 2.5" HDD/SSD adapter.
As you may know I was using a Intel Pentium 4 630 overclocked to 3.6GHz however I finally upgraded to a Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 which I currently have overclocked to 3GHz. As you can imagine the performance has improved quite a bit and it runs a lot cooler as well. At the same time I also replaced the 80mm Arctic F fan with a 92mm Zaward Golf Blue LED Fan so now the back of my PC glows blue.
After those upgrades the component that was slowing me down the most in terms of gaming was the graphics card (A Nvidia GeForce GT 610) so I decided that was the next upgrade I should do when I could afford it. I managed to get a Gigabyte GTX 650 1GB card that is factory overclocked and that increased performance in games a lot. It also runs cooler than my old GT 610 too. Here are the results from the Unigine Valley Benchmark using this graphics card:
I also have removed a couple of fans (The 120mm blue LED fan on the side panel and the 120mm Arctic F fan) as I'm trying to figure out where most of the noise is coming from and I've narrowed it down to either the front 120mm CoolerMaster SickleFlow fan or the fan on the Arctic cooling freezer 7 pro CPU heatsink. The fans will probably get moved around a bit more yet. Oh and I did actually win a 140mm Noctua NF-A15 PWM fan with 120mm mounting holes which is still in it's box as I'm not sure what to do with it yet.
The final thing I've done is add a 3 pin fan extension cable so the front 120mm CoolerMaster SickleFlow fan can be plugged into the motherboard as the 120mm Arctic F fan was connected there before I took it out. I also changed the female connector of the extension cable from a white one to a black Phobya one as it will blend in a bit better with the rest of my hardware. I will probably do a Quick Tech Tip on how to replace fan connectors so look out for that soon.
And that wraps up part 3. The next upgrades I would like to do are the case, hard drive and RAM so hopefully it won't be too long until I get some of those done and I can post part 4.