Hello, I am LostElement, but you can just refer to me as LE. I will be adding a lot of imformative stuff for you guys so you can better make a decision on building your PC. It's not done (Yet!) but I intend on working on it and updating it!
Section I: Power Supplies.
Why is choosing a good power supply important?
Well, quite simply, the power supply is the most important component in your rig because it's the only component in your system that can damage your hardware even if the PSU is "working". A good performing PSU will ensure that your hardware will receive clean power and won't get damaged because of poor performance. If a unit is bad enough, it could be a very real fire hazard... I am looking at you EVGA B3.
"What do I look for when choosing a power supply?"
If you don't want to try to learn the complexities of a power supply and electrical engineering, then you can simply resort to professional reviews. What classifies as a professional review? Someone that had load testers and other testing equipment and tests the power supply's performance, someone that can take a part a power supply and identify every component inside, and has extensive knowledge in electrical engineering. Quite simply, these two sites are good for those kinds of reviews. JonnyGuru.com and TomsHardware.
Note, these are the bare basics. If you want to know more, check out the link below.
Consumer or YouTuber reviews literally do not matter. All they can say is that the system turns on.
Efficiency does NOT mean quality.
Here is a bunch of guides to a PSU. (Thanks, Vagabond139 )
- http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-power-supplies/ (easy)
- http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/why-99-percent-of-power-supply-reviews-are-wrong/ (easy)
- http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/how-we-test-psu,4042.html#p1 (easy to medium)
- http://www.corsair.com/en-us/blog/2013/march/why-does-a-better-power-supply-mean-a-better-computer-experience (easy)
- https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/2053-power-supply-voltage-ripple-and-relevance (easy)
- http://www.overclock.net/t/761202/single-rail-vs-multi-rail-explained (easy)
- http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supplies-101,4193.html (hard)
- https://www.techpowerup.com/articles//overclocking/psu/160/1 (hard)
- http://www.xppower.ro/dwnd/Essential_Guide_to_Power_Supplies_full_pdf.pdf (very very hard).
I have a link to a google document listing power supply terminology and a list of good units and non recommended units. Power Supply Terminology and List
Chapter II: Bottlenecking GPUs, and CPUs
What is Bottlenecking?
A bottleneck is a phenomenon where the performance or capacity of an entire system is limited by a single or limited number of components or resources. The term bottleneck is taken from the 'assets are water' metaphor. As water is poured out of a bottle, the rate of outflow is limited by the width of the conduit of exit - that is, bottleneck. By increasing the width of the bottleneck one can increase the rate at which the water flows out. Such limiting components of a system are sometimes referred to as bottleneck points. - Wikipedia
That being said, should you worry about it?
Any CPU can bottleneck any GPU. Just depends on your performance vs visual quality expectations and the types of applications or games being run and the conditions they are being run in. - Allan_M_Systems
No, why worry about something that won't affect you?
Chapter III: Cooling
Pretty much every single component can get hot in your system, except for the fans and the case itself. Having adequate cooling is very important in your PC, as it is with anything that generates a large amount of heat.
Let's start of with a topic that I see people asking the most, and that's case airflow. Some people think the more fans, the better cooling, but the truth is you only need a total of three fans. Two for intake and one for exhaust is generally sufficient airflow. Beyond three fans you start getting diminishing returns and all it does is look cool pun intended. However, one advantage to have more than three fans is noise. You would think a lot of fans would generate a lot of noise, and it would, unless you reduce the fan curve.Six fans at 900RPM vs three fans at 1600 RPM would generate roughly the same amount of airflow. (Assuming all fans are the same model), but really, if you wanted silence, just go for Be Quiet! fans.
There are three different types of pressures. Static Air Pressure, Negative Air Pressure, and Positive air pressure.
Negative air pressure is when your are exhausting more air out of your case than you are intaking. This is typically worse for cooling and generates more dust. Most OEM PCs have one fan set to exhaust. Typically, one exhaust fan is all you need in a normal system.
Static Air Pressure When there is an equal amount of air coming into and out of the PC.
Positive air pressure is when you have more air coming in than air coming out. This helps against dust build-up.
Air Cooling vs AIOs vs Custom Waterloops
The age old discussion. "Should I get an Air cooler or water cool my PC?"
Well, first let me correct you.
Air cooling and water cooling are incorrect terms. The proper terms are CWC, HSF and AIO.
- AIO: All-In-One. The 120, 240, 280 liquid rad coolers.
- HSF: Heatsink Fan
- CWC: Custom Water Loop.
HSFs are the best value. A good one costs much less, is more silent and more or less performs the same. Something like a Thermalright Macho Rev.b will perform within 3c of a 360mm rad AIO.
AIOs are a gimmick. You're really paying for looks. Nothing more.
CWC are terrible value but look great. Temps are good, but not enough to justify the 500+ $ price tag.
So, what should you get? An HSF, really.