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Fgtfv567

The Ultimate PC Part Compatibility Guide

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Is this too long? Do you have a short attention span? Scroll all the way down to Essential-ception at the bottom of this post (not page!) if you're building a PC with recent parts. People with older PCs with older parts such as AM2 and older are advised to read the Essential catagories

 

Hello friends and new PC builders! Do you want a sparkly new gaming PC? Not enticed by pre-built computers? Want to build your own, with super flexible off-the-shelf parts?! But you don't know what works with what? Don't worry, because I'm here to sort some stuff out for you. I can hear the little guy in the back saying "Oh, Fgtfv567! Isn't there something like www.PCPartpicker.com that will make sure all your parts work? While PCPartpicker is a great tool that almost everyone here uses (including me), some novice builders still may have a few questions about WHY that CPU doesn't work with that motherboard. This is the guide to answer those type of questions.

 

This guide is only to help novice builders make sure their parts are compatible with each other. It's not to help you choose parts, balance your build, or learn how to build a PC. To choose parts and to balance your build, head over to the "New Builds and Planning" part of this forum, and to learn how to build a PC, head over to LTT's Youtube channel. If you'd prefer to have a written article on choosing parts and learning how to build a PC, check out Lifehacker's Night School on PC building. You'll also have another guide there to make sure your parts work, just in case my guide isn't up to date, or flawed in some way. 

http://lifehacker.com/5828747/how-to-build-a-computer-from-scratch-the-complete-guide

If you're unclear about what a certain object looks like, see this visual guide over at PCgamer.com

http://www.pcgamer.com/the-visual-pc-parts-guide/

 

There are 8 pieces of hardware to build a fully fledged PC (9 if you count the OS, though it's software)

  1. Central Processing Unit (CPU)      [is the brains, does all the thinking]
  2. CPU Cooler      [Keeps your CPU cool while it's working hard, most CPUs come with their own "Stock" coolers except for LGA 2011, 2011-3, and any Skylake CPUs that are unlocked (K series)]
  3. Motherboard (Slang would be Mobo)      [The spine, so to speak, where everything data-wise crawls in and out of]
  4. RAM (Memory)      [stores larger info for the CPU to process, though the CPU has a small cache that is much too small]
  5. Storage      [stores your OS and other files and games, examples are Solid State Drives (SSDs, faster than HDDs, but generally more expensive) and Hard Disk Drives (HDDs)]
  6. Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)      [Pushes your pixels and textures so you can enjoy them on screen, most prebuilts have bad GPUs and don't get that great performance... You can run multiple GPUs in one system. SLI is using multiple Nvidia GPUs, and Crossfire is using multiple AMD GPUs]
  7. Power Supply (PSU)      [Powers all of your components by turning AC from the wall into DC power your PC uses, don't skimp on this, a bad PSU can take other components with it should it die]
  8. Case      [Puts everything in a box, so you can lug it around, and helps keep dust out, not required, but still]
  9. (OS, this is software)      [so you can interact with your PC further than just your BIOS]

So there are 6 important factors when building a PC:

  1. Data (Data has to be sent and received in between your part and motherboard) 
  2. Power (Your part must receive power from the PSU)
  3. Physical (Your parts must fit inside your case)
  4. Heat (Your parts will kick out heat from processing those juicy textures)
  5. Noise (Your parts will produce this irritating sound as it cools itself providing you entertainment)
  6. Price (That enthusiast grade CPU doesn't come cheap you know)

But these 6 factors can be split up into two categories: Essential (Required for compatibility) and Important Considerations (Won't mess up compatibility, but is still important to think about)

Essential:

  1. Data
  2. Power 
  3. Physical

Important Considerations:

  1. Heat
  2. Noise
  3. Price

We'll go over all of these 6 things for each component in a PC, starting with the Essential Category

 

ESSENTIAL: 

Data:

 

CPU: CPU and Mobo must have the same socket type, such as LGA 1151 to LGA 1151

CPU Cooler: See Power, CPU Cooler

Mobo: Everything else in this section plugs into the motherboard.

RAM: Make sure that the RAM's DDR type is the same as the mobo's (ex. DDR4 to DDR4) DDR types are not forward or backwards compatible, and same goes for SODIMMs, which are smaller sticks meant for laptops.

Storage: Make sure that your storage unit has the same connector type as your motherboard. Most modern motherboards will use Serial ATA (SATA), although older PCs might use something called IDE. Optical Drives, Hard drives, and a lot of SSDs will use SATA. But because of bottlenecks, newer SSDs will plug into an M.2 connector, and others will plug straight into a PCI-E slot. Both M.2 and PCI-E SSDs use up PCI-E lanes, but M.2 will use your chipset's lanes, PCI-E SSDs will use your CPU lanes, which will affect multi-GPU setups (discussed further in Data, GPU) Make sure your motherboard has enough Sata ports for EACH of your HDD, Sata SSD, or ODD.

GPU: Most modern GPUs will use a slot called PCI-E 16x. The 16x is the length of the PCI-E slot, although PCI-E is up and downwards compatible, I still recommend that you plug 16x to 16x, and etc. Older GPUs may use PCI (non-E) If you have multiple GPUs in your PC, keep in mind of how many CPU lanes you have. You can check CPU lanes, and how they get divided at ark.intel.com, but Nvidia cards need 8x lanes to run while AMD cards need 4x lanes to run.

Multi-GPU setups: This shouldn't come as a surprise, but you need one PCI-E 16x slot for EACH of your GPUs You must have the same GPU model (GTX 970 to GTX 970, R9 290 to R9 290) for all cards. There are exceptions to this, some 300 series cards work with 200 series cards, and some cards do not SLI whatsoever, like the 750 Ti. For Nvidia cards, an equal amount of VRAM is needed. VRAM doesn't matter for AMD cards, but the card with more VRAM will lessen itself to the smaller VRAM card. Your motherboard must also have a seal of approval for SLI and Crossfire for Nvidia and AMD cards, respectively. SLI is usually only possible on higher end boards, so Z and X series boards for Intel, and 990FX and 990X for AMD. Crossfire is much more flexible and you should be able to Crossfire on virtually any board with enough PCIe 16X slots.

PSU: PSUs don't deal with data, don't worry about this part

Case: Your case has a few headers at the front: USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HD audio, AC97, Power switch, Reset switch, HDD LED, Power LED. Refer to your motherboard manual if you're not sure about how to plug in certain headers. This is quite standardized, so don't worry, just plug in the similar looking headers into one another. All case headers (except power/reset switch) need to plugged in a certain way, especially LEDs! AC 97 and HD audio both act as the mic and headphone jack, but AC97 is very old, so just use HD audio. If your motherboard doesn't have USB 3.0 ports, use a 3.0 to 2.0 adapter, and you'll be set, although it'll only run at USB 2.0 speeds.

 

Power: 

 

CPU: Make sure the PSU has the needed 4/8 pin EPS connector that goes into your mobo. Sometimes you'll get a 4 + 4 pin connector that can accommodate either 4 pin or 8 pin connections. DO NOT CONFUSE YOUR PCI-E 8 PIN WITH YOUR 8 PIN EPS. This is important, confusing the two WILL fry your mobo. Your connectors should be properly labeled on the plug itself.
CPU Cooler: Plug all needed CPU fans into the needed headers on the mobo labeled "CPU Fan" or something similar. All fan headers (mobo and fan) are either 3 or 4 pin headers or molex. These are forward and backward compatible, but only 4 pin to 4 pin will give you PWM Fan Control, instead of Voltage Fan control, which isn't as sophisticated. If you plug your fan into a 3 or 4 pin header, you can control your fans, but if you plug into molex, they'll run full blast, no exceptions.

Mobo: Plug in as many 20/24 pin connectors as needed (usually one). Just like CPU power, you can get a 20 + 4 pin connector that will let you plug in 20 pins or 24 pins.

RAM: No extra connectors needed.

Storage: For Sata based devices, plug in one Sata power connector for each drive from your PSU. For M.2 or PCI-E SSDs, don't worry about it, the data connector has you covered, similar to RAM sticks

GPU: The PCI-E connector is not enough, so plug in as many 6 pin or 8 pin connectors into each of your GPUs. 6 + 2 pin connectors can handle both 6 pin connectors and 8 pin connectors.

Multi-GPU setups: If you run 3 or 4 GPUs at once, you may need to plug in a supplemental Molex connector into your motherboard. If you have multiple GPUs, you will need a higher watt PSU. Use this calculator for details regarding PSU wattage. http://www.coolermaster.outervision.com/ Be sure that you have enough PCIe connectors for all of your GPUs

PSU: Everything in this section plugs into the PSU. Your PSU needs to have a large enough wattage for your parts. Overclocking and multiple GPUs will require a high wattage. Use the wattage calculator in Power, GPU.

Case: The case has no need to be powered

 

Physical:

 

CPU: See Data, CPU

CPU Cooler: Make sure that the air cooler's height is short enough to fit inside the case, you can check manufacturer websites to make sure. For Watercooling, make sure the radiator fits in your case (See manufacturer website), and make sure the CPU block meets your CPU Socket type.

Mobo: Motherboards and cases come in all types of shapes and sizes. From smallest to biggest: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX, XL-ATX. Both Motherboards and Cases use this naming scheme, but an E-ATX case will fit an E-ATX mobo and smaller. It will not fit bigger motherboards like XL-ATX. Follow this example to see which motherboards will fit in your desired case

RAM: Some RAM sticks won't work with large air CPU Coolers due to height, so check the manufacturer's website for details. 

Storage: Make sure your case has enough sleds/mounts for your storage devices. Sata SSDs are 2.5 in, HDDs can be 2.5 or 3.5 depending on laptop or desktop, respectively, and ODDs are 5.25 in 
GPU: Double check to see that your GPU is 2, 2.5, or 3 PCI-E slots wide, and make sure your case has that many slots for your GPU (Rear case covers underneath mobo IO). Also make sure that your GPU is short enough to fit in your case. (Manufacturer's website)

Multi-GPU setups: The more GPUs you plug in, the larger your case will have to be with more rear slot covers and the more PCIe slots on your motherboard you will need.
PSU: Make sure your PSU is short enough to fit inside your case and the PSU is the right type for your case. Smaller cases sometimes use SFX PSUs like the Corsair bulldog and Ncase M1. ATX cases for ATX PSUs and same goes for SFX PSUs

Case: Everything in this section fits into the case

 

Important Considerations:

 

Noise:  

All of your fans and anything else that moves will produce sound, you can do a few things to combat this:

  1. Use software to turn them down
  2. Buy bigger/quieter fans
  3. Use sound dampening foam inside your case
  4. Use rubber grommets to stop vibrations
  5. Remove hard drives and optical drives. (SSD only storage COULD be expensive and/or too small)

Heat:

The biggest contenders for heat production is your CPU and GPU, and anything else that has an active heatsink on it (fan on heatsink) If your components get too hot, they will slow themselves down, and possibly shut off entirely if things are too bad. You can:

  1. Buy a better cooler like liquid cooling or big air towers
  2. Turn up your fans, at the cost of noise
  3. Make your case be a wind tunnel, and don't have recirculating air. In which the air spins around and around in your case and is unable to leave. This creates a negative feedback loop in which the CPU/GPU heats up the air, that exhausted air goes back into the CPU/GPU, heating up the CPU/GPU and recreating the cycle. Again, overheating CPUs/GPUs lead to thermal throttling which lowers your performance, lessens the lifespan of the chip, and can shut down your PC if it really gets too hot.

Price:

Should be pretty self-explanatory, your parts will cost money. Use PCPartpicker, do some careful planning before you buy, also talk it over on this forum at "New Builds and Planning" Remember to follow your posts so that you can see when someone responds!

 

TL:DR? Use the Bold and Underlined text in the Essential Categories to quickly learn what's what. And!...

 

Essential-ception (Summary)!

Ok, the TL:DR sucks, I get it. There's a lot of stuff up top, and most of it doesn't have to be checked if you're buying brand new, up-to-the-date parts such as Skylake and Haswell. So I've created Essential-ception (funny? clever?) to sort out the bare basics of what you need to double check. If you're troubleshooting a older PC (like AM2, my dad's old PC which went to shit), go back up, read that other stuff. Also,

 

M.2 connectors and Multi-GPUs are not covered here, Essential-ception assumes you are using one GPU, no SLI/Xfire! This list is in no particular order of importance, just top to bottom. This is so barebones, no examples or further discussion will be mentioned

Again, Essential-ception is only for parts that are new and up to date such as: Skylake, Haswell, AM3+, and the upcoming Zen CPUs. Older PCs, please read the whole thing.

 

Data:

 

CPU: CPU and Mobo must have the same socket type

RAM: Make sure that the RAM's DDR type is the same as the mobo's

Storage: Make sure your motherboard has enough Sata ports for EACH of your HDD, Sata SSD, or ODD. (This is only if you have a ton of HDDs, SSDs, or ODDs, at least 5 or 6 of any combo)

 

Power: 

 

Storage: For Sata based devices, plug in one Sata power connector for each drive from your PSU (This is only if you have a ton of HDDs, SSDs, or ODDs, at least 5 or 6 of any combo)

GPU: Plug in as many 6 pin or 8 pin connectors into each of your GPUs.

PSU: Your PSU needs to have a large enough wattage for your partshttp://www.coolermaster.outervision.com/

 

Physical:

 

CPU Cooler: Make sure that the air cooler's height is short enough to fit inside the caseFor Watercooling, make sure the radiator fits in your case, and make sure the CPU block meets your CPU Socket type.

Mobo: From smallest to biggest: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX, XL-ATX. Both Motherboards and Cases use this naming scheme, but an E-ATX case will fit an E-ATX mobo and smaller. It will not fit bigger motherboards like XL-ATX. Follow this example to see which motherboards will fit in your desired case.

RAM: Some RAM sticks won't work with large air CPU Coolers due to height,

Storage: For Sata based devices, each drive needs its own mount/sled. (This is only if you have a ton of HDDs, SSDs, or ODDs, at least 5 or 6 of any combo)

GPUMake sure your case has enough slots for your GPU(s) slot widthAlso make sure that your GPU is short enough to fit in your case.

PSU: Make sure your PSU is short enough to fit inside your case and the PSU is the right type for your case. (Usually only small form factor computers like ITX cases/mobos need apply here)


Follow the topics you create using the "Follow" button in the top right corner!

One day I will have my GTX 970. One day. PC specs are at my profile.

Not sure how to check what part works with what? Check out my compatibility guide!

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Agh it's not done!

Don't read it yet!

Accidental post!

 

Alright it's finished, please don't turn this into a war, this is meant for newcomers, mods/admins feel free to change this for looks or misinformation.

Sorry for the premature post everyone!

 

If there's something wrong, let me know, I'll do my best to fix it

 

Things I need to add to the guide!

  1. M.2 Wifi and SSDs
  2. Front IO
  3. Overclocking
  4. Custom Watercooling
  5. RAM channels (DIMMs to Slots)

 

[update 1] 1-2-16

This 2nd post will now be used for updates, as I don't want this thread to be locked by mods for "bringing up old threads that should stay dead" I've seen it happen before. (Major updates (adding brand new sections) will increase in the integer number, while minor updates (Grammar, more subtle changes) about the current integer will have increase by .01 every minor update)

 

Update on M.2 (SSDs and Wireless cards) and revisions on NVMe and PCIe lanes coming soon! This will be a sub-section like multi-GPUs!

The former will be based on Linus' techquickie

The latter will be based on Paul's chipset video

 

 

Oh yeah, I want to do custom water cooling, but I don't know jack shit about it, so if Jayz2cents or somebody wants to come and edit this, just let me know beforehand, and go ahead

 

[update 1.01] 1-2-16

I'll add a better TL:DR? and come up with a (somewhat) clever nickname for it! That'll be added along what's mentioned in [update 1] once [update 2] comes out.

 

[update 2] 1-4-16

I've added Essential-ception! ONLY newer PCs should look at this. Older computers like AM2 and older should read the whole thing.

 

[update 2.01] 1-4-16

I cannot fucking believe after all this time, I forgot to mention you need a Sata port for each of your drives. Holy freakin shit. M.2 connectors will be coming soon, haven't gotten around to it

 

[update 2.02] 1-4-16 (LITERALLY 5 MINUTES LATER)

Then I looked at GPUs. Just like Sata, I forgot to mention you need one slot for each card! This guide has been out for 2-3 months! How have I not caught these little mistakes?! Also added a sentence in Essential-ception about assuming one GPU

 

[update 2.03] 1-4-16 (LITERALLY 5 MINUTES LATER, AGAIN)
If you're wondering why I'm doing minor updates every 5 minutes, I've randomly decided to do some fact-checking over at lifehacker. I completely forgot about overclocking. I need add that in. God-fucking-dammit. And front IO. Now I have to make a list at the top of this post to remind myself what I need to add....

Follow the topics you create using the "Follow" button in the top right corner!

One day I will have my GTX 970. One day. PC specs are at my profile.

Not sure how to check what part works with what? Check out my compatibility guide!

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Posted · Original PosterOP

There is this thing called PCpartpicker..

Read the Intro


Follow the topics you create using the "Follow" button in the top right corner!

One day I will have my GTX 970. One day. PC specs are at my profile.

Not sure how to check what part works with what? Check out my compatibility guide!

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Does anyone actually ever read these. Like watching videos is so much easier. imo


"God created war so that Americans would learn geography"

"How are we going to stop school shootings?" "More guns!"

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Read the Intro

It tells you that...

Look at the notes on the bottom.


Thats that. If you need to get in touch chances are you can find someone that knows me that can get in touch.

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GPU is not needed for a PC.

 

You do not need a case.

 

Actually, computers don't need RAM, although it would literally be the slowest thing ever.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

GPU is not needed for a PC.

 

You do not need a case.

 

Actually, computers don't need RAM, although it would literally be the slowest thing ever.

Yes, GPUs are needed. Discrete GPUs are not, but some sort of GPU is needed to see something on your monitor


Follow the topics you create using the "Follow" button in the top right corner!

One day I will have my GTX 970. One day. PC specs are at my profile.

Not sure how to check what part works with what? Check out my compatibility guide!

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Yes, GPUs are needed. Discrete GPUs are not, but some sort of GPU is needed to see something on your monitor

Nope.

 

Graphics Processing can be handled by a CPU.

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Nope.

 

Graphics Processing can be handled by a CPU.

well yeah by a Graphics Processing unit in the cpu


"God created war so that Americans would learn geography"

"How are we going to stop school shootings?" "More guns!"

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well yeah by a Graphics Processing unit in the cpu

No, I mean by the CPU itself, not the iGPU.

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No, I mean by the CPU itself, not the iGPU.

but its still there and thats what actually does it


"God created war so that Americans would learn geography"

"How are we going to stop school shootings?" "More guns!"

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but its still there and thats what actually does it

*facepalm*

 

Think before GPUs were even a thing.

 

It was simply text on a screen.

 

Does the Commodore have a dedicated GPU? NO!

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*facepalm*

 

Think before GPUs were even a thing.

 

It was simply text on a screen.

 

Does the Commodore have a dedicated GPU? NO!

when was the last time you used a commodore. last week to play gtaV?


"God created war so that Americans would learn geography"

"How are we going to stop school shootings?" "More guns!"

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Posted · Original PosterOP

*facepalm*

 

Think before GPUs were even a thing.

 

It was simply text on a screen.

 

Does the Commodore have a dedicated GPU? NO!

 

 

when was the last time you used a commodore. last week to play gtaV?

Please don't turn this into a war, fight amongst yourselves in PMs


Follow the topics you create using the "Follow" button in the top right corner!

One day I will have my GTX 970. One day. PC specs are at my profile.

Not sure how to check what part works with what? Check out my compatibility guide!

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when was the last time you used a commodore. last week to play gtaV?

Actually, I found a commodore at my local goodwill.

 

I turned it on and played some some Boulder Dash.

 

AS THE OP SAID, WE BETTER TAKE THIS TO THE PMs OR STOP ENTIRELY.

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Actually, I found a commodore at my local goodwill.

 

I turned it on and played some some Boulder Dash.

so gtav?


"God created war so that Americans would learn geography"

"How are we going to stop school shootings?" "More guns!"

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so gtav?

No.

 

I hate GTA.

 

AS THE ORIGINAL POSTER SAID, WE BETTER TAKE THIS TO THE PMs OR STOP ENTIRELY.

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Lets be honest we need a gpu in this day and age for what most people use their computers for


"God created war so that Americans would learn geography"

"How are we going to stop school shootings?" "More guns!"

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Actually, I found a commodore at my local goodwill.

 

I turned it on and played some some Boulder Dash.

 

AS THE OP SAID, WE BETTER TAKE THIS TO THE PMs OR STOP ENTIRELY.

Thank you for taking my advice, I want this to be a haven for new PC builders


Follow the topics you create using the "Follow" button in the top right corner!

One day I will have my GTX 970. One day. PC specs are at my profile.

Not sure how to check what part works with what? Check out my compatibility guide!

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*facepalm*

 

Think before GPUs were even a thing.

 

It was simply text on a screen.

 

Does the Commodore have a dedicated GPU? NO!

No, but GPU =/= dedicated GPU. Commodore 64 did have a graphics processor.


Spoiler

Main PC || CPU - Xeon E3 1231 V3 || Motherboard - MSI Z97 PC Mate || CPU Cooler - Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO || RAM - 1x8GB HyperX Fury Blue || Graphics card - MSI TwinFrozr V GTX 970 || Storage - 1x BX100 250GB, 1x 1TB WD Blue || PSU - EVGA G2 750W || Case - Corsair 200R

TV PC || CPU - Pentium G3258 @ 4.5GHz 1.2V || Motherboard - MSI H81M-P33 || CPU Cooler - Stock || RAM - 2x4GB random Samsung RAM || Graphics card - Intel HD Graphics (will be R9 390 in a few weeks) || Storage - 1x SanDisk SSD Plus 120GB, 1x Samsung 1.5TB HDD || PSU - Corsair CX600M || Case - None (soon to be Cooler Master Elite 430)

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Update on M.2 (SSDs and Wireless cards) and revisions on NVMe and PCIe lanes coming soon! This will be a sub-section like multi-GPUs!

The former will be based on Linus' techquickie

The latter will be based on Paul's chipset video

 

Oh yeah, I want to do custom water cooling, but I don't know jack shit about it, so if Jayz2cents or somebody wants to come and edit this, just let me know beforehand, and go ahead

 

I fucked up, updates will now be posted on the 2nd post of this thread


Follow the topics you create using the "Follow" button in the top right corner!

One day I will have my GTX 970. One day. PC specs are at my profile.

Not sure how to check what part works with what? Check out my compatibility guide!

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