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General questions about my first build

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June 17, 2014 2:00:52 AM

I just ordered my build on Amazon 2 days ago and it should arrive tomorrow (6/18), but I still have a lot of questions, mainly regarding my motherboard and fan placement.

My build:

Mobo - Gigabyte G1.Sniper B5 (B85 chipset)
CPU - i5-4590
- CM 212 Evo
GPU - R9 280x Toxic Edition
RAM - HyperX Black 8gb RAM
Case - Corsair 300R Windowed

Questions:

1) What is the ideal fan placement for my case? I bought four 120mm case fans but was wondering if they should blow air in/out and where they should be placed. Is there a guide for this somewhere?

2) How do I know if the fans are compatible with my motherboard, and how do I connect them to my motherboard? Do I need extra cables? The specs for my motherboard say it includes "3x system fan headers". Is that where they plug in?

3) Would it have been worth it to spend $20 more for the Asrock Z87 Pro4 motherboard if I'm not planning on overclocking/crossfiring? Are there any performance benefits in gaming between the two?

4) I purchased a PCI-Express wifi adapter to go in my motherboard. Will I need to plug that in before I boot my computer for the first time, or after?

5) If I have a pre-OCed card (R9 280x Toxic), will this board give me the same performance as another board that supports overclocking GPUs? I don't plan to overclock more than it already is, but does this board support pre-overclocked cards?

Sorry if these seem obvious but it's my first build.
a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2014 2:07:01 AM

traditional fan placement is front/bottom intake, top/rear exhaust.

the fan headers are indeed where the fan plugs in, there are 3 and 4 pin fans depending on whether they are PWM or not, both should work in a 3 pin header

I don't see any advantages to that board

I believe you can do it either the first time or any subsequent time after that

The GPU should perform close to the same in all boards, only difference should be whether it is PCIe 2.0 or 1.0 (or I guess 3.0 for some GPUs)
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June 17, 2014 2:34:45 AM

Thanks for the quick answers.

Just to be clear, I do need to buy extra cables for the fans to plug into the motherboard? The fans I'm buying are : http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Super-Fan-120/dp/B0... . They don't seem to come with any cables and I don't think the motherboard has any either. These are 3-pin fans by the way.
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a c 306 V Motherboard
June 17, 2014 2:51:37 AM

Fans come with cables. But you can also get extensions for a few dollars if you need to.

Best fans are Noctua - but expensive. Next - Corsair - more affordable.

All you need for case fans is 3 pin fans. 4 pins do PWM control - for CPU coolers.

Edit - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias...
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June 17, 2014 3:36:40 AM

I picked Corsair because of the price (4 for $17). I actually wasn't even planning on using extra fans on my case, but I saw that offer and figured I might as well.

Another question:

My motherboard has 3 system fan ports, but they are 4 pin. If the fans are 3-pin, would they still work on those headers?

If so, then would I plug the fan into the first the first 3 pins (pin 1, 2, 3) or into the next set of 3 (pins 2, 3, 4)?
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a c 306 V Motherboard
June 17, 2014 3:39:25 AM

Yes - 3 and 4 pin are interchangeable. But 3 pin don't let the pwm work - just voltage control of speed.

The connectors only let you plug them in one way - try it.
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June 17, 2014 3:44:36 AM

I also have one more question:

It'd be a waste to crossfire with this motherboard or the Asrock z87 Pro4, right? I think they both have a second PCIe x16 slot, but it runs at x4. Since it runs at x4, is it worth it to crossfire or should I not attempt it?
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a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2014 3:49:42 AM

Actually you don't lose as much as you would think when using a 4 lane PCIe slot compared to a 16 lane one. Of course I always think you should go with 1 really powerful card versus two cards in crossfire/sli
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a c 306 V Motherboard
June 17, 2014 3:52:35 AM

The mobo spec says it runs xfire. So do it.
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June 17, 2014 3:56:13 AM

Great. Thanks you both for your help!
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