Replacement HDD came in today (WD Caviar Black 32Gb cache 500Gb SATA 6Gb/sec HDD).
Popped it in & booted up & checked in BIOS............BIOS recognized & ID'd it! YAY!
Went into Disk Management & set it all up. Once that was done I then went into the Performance tab, into virtual mem, turned off the "automatically manage the paging file across all disks" & moved the page file off the C:\ drive (set to no paging file) & onto the E:\ drive (set for system manage). Applied, saved & rebooted box..........................
Man I LOVE this setup!
Yeah Skuzzy I know that the OS is not loading data from 1 disk into ram & writing data out to page file on another disk from ram at the same time but it's doing it sooooooooo fast that it sure seems like it. I can certainly tell the difference.
It's complete now!
I set the shadow textures at 8196 yesterday & this 560Ti started choking on that setting once the scene had a lot of fire & smoke going & 20+ planes in view (defending a large base).........never got any error messages, the game didn't try to cut back on any shadow settings...........FPS dropped to 47 & was very choppy until the plane count dropped to around 12 in view at which time the FPS went back up to 57-60.
So far I haven't gotten into/found a graphical event large enough to choke the card when shadow textures are set to 4096.
I'm figuring that it's the vid card that is overwhelmed as if it was the CPU the game would read this & shut down some/all of the shadow texture settings to free up enough CPU cycles to not allow the game to go into fault (this would happen on my old box if I pushed the shadow textures to 8196 & more than 5-6 planes along w/ a burning base in view).
I can feel a 680 tapping me on my shoulder just asking to be bought!
The 8196 shadow texture is going to choke any current card, they simply lack enough video ram. I'm under the impression that the shadow texture feature is a bit weird, other game engines produce higher quality shadows without eating up all the display ram in the process.