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Questions about a recently built computer

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October 25, 2012 8:10:25 PM

This is my first experience with building my own computer and I have a couple questions.
1.) I did some googling to find out what other peoples' temps are on the FX-4100, and it came to 20c(68F) at idle and about 50C(122F). In HWmonitor, it shows both a generic CPU temp and then a dropdown for my processor that lists the temp of each core. Which of these is the proper one to watch closely? (Note: I'm using the manufacturer's heatsink and fan)

2.) My case came with 4 fans (rear 120mm, top 200mm, and two front 120mm's) and they each have a fan controller switch(3 speed). These are inaccessible when the case is closed and I'd prefer to let them slow down if my computer is idling. The other issue is that they are 3pin where all but one port on my motherboard are 4 pin. I've tried speedfan, but it is only able to control all of them at once, and doesn't seem to automatically manage them. How do I make my fans speed up/ slow down based on temps? (At the moment I have to monitor and adjust manually)

3.) I'm currently using HWMonitor to check my temps and occationally it will be different from what BIOS or speedfan will show. Is this because HWMonitor is more/ less accurate? Or is it because of how they calculate or retrieve the temps?

4.) I have two pairs of 4gb ram (see specs), they are plugged into the proper slots (as mentioned in the MB manual) and are different brands. Will this cause any problems down the road?

5.) As mentioned in question one, I am using the manufacturer's heatsink/fan. I had intended to install a CoolerMaster Hyper 212, but it is slightly too big for my case and I will be returning it. Should I buy an aftermarket cooler even if I have no plans of overclocking (at least for now)?

6.) I watched Newegg's and Lifehacker's videos on assembling computers and found them very helpful. However, Lifehacker's guide mentioned that you should stress-test your hardware. After searching for a bit I found quite a few pieces of software claiming to do that. What would you recommend I use?

7.) My laptop I used to have scored a 5.6 on the Windows Experience index. My new computer scored a 7.2. Mostly to see just how the stacked up against each other. Is this rating really that accurate in determining performance? Or is it only good at testing core Windows functions?

Many thanks to any who answer my questions.
- Ryan S.

Specs:
Antec 900 case
ASUS Sabertooth 990FX Motherboard
AMD FX-4100 Quad-Core 3.6gHz (3.8 turbo)
EVGA GeoForce 550ti 1gb
2x 4gb G.Skill Ripjaw
2x 4gb Patriot Gamer 2
128gb crucial SSD
1tb Western Digital Black
Corsair 650W power supply

October 25, 2012 8:43:46 PM

1) You should focus on all the CPU readings, there cores should be close to each other within 1-3 degrees.

2)To alter fan speed try the bios and turn off turbo and use smart fan option

3)In the bios cool'n quiet is not used and the CPU is not at true idle. So technically, both are correct, HWmonitor displays temperature both at true idle or load while the bios shows it with a little bit of load.

4)You may have problems overclocking the ram together but if they are working right now then its fine. Next time its best to buy matching ram sticks for maximum compatibility since sometimes it wont start with incompatible ram sticks.

5) If 20 degrees is your idle and 50 is your load then you have absolutely no problem with the stock heatsink. AMD bundles the stock heatsink for usage with the stock speeds. So basically, the stock heatsink is enough for running at stock speeds maybe a little bit of overclocking. Nevertheless, the Hyper 212 is the way to go if your overclocking.

6) Use Prime95 for testing out your CPU and RAM, and then use Furmark for your video card.

7)Honestly, the windows experience index is just a measure using windows functions, it often rates your components falsely. My integrated HD 3000 gets a 4.4 score for gaming but at the same time my integrated HD 4200 gets a 3.8. The HD4200 plays games better but go the lower score (but at the end of the day they both are terrible for gaming :p  )

Prime95- http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft/
Furmark-http://www.ozone3d.net/benchmarks/fur/
!