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How to choose components when building a PC

Will my PC components work together?

You are going to build a PC. How do you know if PC components will work together? PC Advisor's Helproom Expert explains.

QUESTION I want to build a Windows 7 64bit 'super-computer', but I don't know whether my chosen components will work together. I'd like to use an Intel Core i7-2600 processor, two 4GB Patriot Gamer 2 Series DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) RAM modules and an nVidia GeForce GT 220 graphics card. I have my eye on either an Asus P8P67 LE or Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P motherboard, and have already selected a two-terabyte (2TB) Western Digital Caviar Green SATA-300 hard drive, a 10-speed Blu-ray drive and a 1,000W Rosewill PSU. Can you foresee any compatibility issues? Ayoob Elias

HELPROOM ANSWER While we can't guarantee the compatibility of your chosen components without building the system ourselves, we can't see any obvious problems with the specification. However, we have a few suggestions.

If you're using an Intel Core i7-2600 processor, the Gigabyte motherboard isn't suitable. Second-gen Core processors are supported only by Intel's Cougar Point chipsets, currently designated H61, H67, P67, Q67 and Z68. The Gigabyte's P55 chipset doesn't support your selected CPU. The Asus model will work fine, but the non-'LE' version offers extra features and superior overclocking potential.

Unless you're planning on overclocking the processor, the 1,000W PSU will be overkill. It will also increase energy consumption. A 600W or 750W model will be ample for your specification. And if you do plan to overclock, we recommend substituting the i7-2600 with an i7-2600K and considering an enhanced CPU cooler.

See also: Video guide - How to build a desktop PC

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