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Configuration Guide & Glossary

Motherboards are most typically sold in 3 sizes – ITX (small), MicroATX or mATX (mid-size) and ATX (full-size). Larger full-size ATX motherboards require equivalent or larger case sizes. If you have selected a case which is ITX or mATX, you will not be able to configure the system with a full-sized motherboard. Please select either a smaller mATX motherboard or a larger ATX case. Visually, matching the motherboard to the case size (ATX/ATX and mATX/mATX) may be preferred, though is not essential.

The selected case does not support the selected (size) liquid cooler / radiator (AIO) dimensions. Cases which may visually appear to support a specific AIO size may lack sufficient clearance for cabling and/or radiator depth. Some cases that support 3x120mm fans (360mm total) will not support a 360mm radiator due to the additional height clearance required for the radiator and/or connectors. Some case manufacturers may list support for a specific AIO size which we have found to interfere with motherboard installation and we may have excluded it from our supported list on this basis. If you feel that the specific AIO selected is (or should be) supported in the selected case, please contact us to discuss, as some limited or custom scenarios may be possible to support.

Each case has a maximum supported height for CPU coolers to ensure that they can be installed without interfering with the closure of the side panel and to avoid contact that may lead to vibration or damage during transport. If the selected CPU cooler is too tall for the selected case you will need to either select a different case or a smaller CPU cooler.

Larger CPU coolers (typically with a 120mm or larger fan) provide improved cooling and reduced noise for higher power CPUs, with the larger fans able to run slower and more quietly whilst also being able to handle significantly higher thermal loads. Liquid Coolers (AIOs) can provide additional cooling capacity for high capacity systems.

M.2 storage options and support vary by motherboard. Some older or low cost motherboards may not support M.2 storage options, while other motherboards may support 3 or more M.2 storage options. Most B560 chipset motherboards will support fewer M.2 devices when used with Intel 10th generation processors than when used with an 11th generation processor. If you wish to install multiple M.2 storage options you can either select a later model processor (11/12th Gen or AMD), or an alternative motherboard option. Alternatively, consider use of SATA storage for additional storage devices.

Each case has a maximum supported length for graphics cards to ensure that they can be installed without interfering with case structure and/or cooling systems. If the selected graphics card is too long for the selected case, consider either a shorter graphics card or a larger case option.

Balancing system component selection is key to ensuring optimal performance. Budget permitting, we recommend using an Nvidia RTX3050 or AMD RX6600 or higher series graphics card for optimal gaming performance. For information on the relative performance gains of these newer cards we recommend reviewing our graphics card buyers guide here: http://www.crox.com.au/bg-gpu/

We have estimated peak power consumption for the selected configuration and deemed that the selected power supply does not provide sufficient headroom to allow reliable and/or efficient usage of system. Please select a power supply with a higher wattage rating to support the selected components.

We have estimated the peak power consumption and the vendor recommended power supplies for the selected configuration and consider that the selected power supply is higher capacity than required. Selecting a lower wattage power supply may help reduce cost, permitting alternate upgrades. If this configuration is within your budget the larger power supply may provide some additional headroom for future upgrades.

The graphics card vendors have recommended a minimum power supply size which typically includes significant allowance for lower quality power supplies than those that we offer here. We provide this information for reference as some customers like to stick with vendor recommendations even when they are higher than is necessary to support the selected configuration. For details on estimated Peak Power consumption for your current configuration and minimum recommended power supply sizing please expand the “Power Supply” section.

While the selected CPU is supported by the selected motherboard, vendors engineer different levels of capacity and resiliency in to their designs. Entry level motherboards lack advanced Voltage Regulator Modules (VRMs) and/or cooling systems to support extended load use of higher power processors and this may lead to reduced performance (CPU throttling) or system instability. Higher performance motherboards offer both additional VRM phases and advanced heatsink/cooling capacity to offer sustained system performance on high power processors even under maximum load. We assess and recommend motherboard suitability for high power loads based on the results of independent testing. Actual results may vary depending on use type, case selection, cooling method and other factors.

Most processors offer both a standard or “rated” Thermal Design Power (TDP) and a peak TDP which denote how much power (and therefore cooling) they require at different modes of operation. For example, an Intel i7-10700 processor is rated at 65 Watts of TDP (PL1) or Base Power, but has a Maximum Turbo Power or peak TDP during burst of up to 224 Watts (PL2). Advanced CPU coolers used in a correctly configured system can allow processors to run at their peak performance for longer, thereby offering improved overall system performance. We have determined that the cooler is sufficient for standard operation but use of a liquid cooler may offer additional performance and cooling for extended operation at peak performance.

CPU coolers that offer LED lighting effects may conform to either RGB (12V) or A-RGB (5V) standards. Motherboards may offer one or other of these standards (or both), or in some cases neither (especially with older refurbished systems). Customers may elect to change the CPU cooler to one that is supported by the motherboard, or install a standalone controller.

Many components are available in BLACK or WHITE finishes, with a selection of other colour options also available in selected configurations. When using a white computer case you may want to compliment the finish and effect with other white components. While black components will typically work (visually) in most white cases, we do not typically recommend using white components in a black case as these tend to “stand out”. This warning is designed to prevent inadvertent selection of white components where not intended, however the components are still valid supported options.

When using an Integrated Graphics Processor (IGP) such as the Intel Integrated Graphics, Intel Xe Graphics or AMD Radeon Vega Integrated Graphics options, the IGP will share main system memory, reducing the available memory for Windows/Application usage. Memory speed is also much more important for system performance when sharing memory with an IGP. We recommend a minimum of 16GB of ram of 3200MHz (or higher) speed and with a latency of CL18 (or lower).

Most processors have a base supported memory speed (newer generations typically support faster memory options). Memory speeds higher than the base supported speed require compatible motherboards that offer XMP (Intel) or AMP (AMD) to facilitate memory over-clocking. AMD and Intel processors use an “Integrated Memory Controller” (IMC) which has been validated to support the listed memory speed on the processor. The extent to which the IMC can run faster memory speeds (over-clocked) can vary significantly between CPUs of the same model (often called the “Silicon Lottery” as two customers with the same processor can get very different results). While faster memory can deliver improved performance, speeds higher than the CPU officially supports are not guaranteed and may be unstable.

Note: Faster memory speeds may have higher latency resulting in minimal performance gains eg. 3200MHz CL16 vs 3600MHz CL18 (higher speed in this example has a higher latency value).

We recommend 3200MHz memory with a latency of CL16 for general use. Memory speeds of 3600MHz may benefit newer AMD processors and/or systems with integrated graphics. Memory speeds higher than 3600MHz are not recommended and provide negligible benefit to system performance.

Where customers order memory speeds higher than 3200MHz we will configure the memory at the highest stable speed that the processor supports during our testing.

The selected CPU/Motherboard has a base supported memory speed of 3200MHz (or higher). Increasing the speed of the memory selection can significantly improve your system performance for minimal additional cost.

We recommend 3200MHz memory with a latency of CL16 for general use. Memory speeds of 3600MHz may benefit newer AMD processors and/or systems with integrated graphics. Memory speeds higher than 3600MHz are not typically recommended and may provide negligible benefit to system performance.

Memory speeds higher than the base supported speed require compatible motherboards that offer XMP (Intel) or AMP (AMD) to facilitate memory over-clocking. AMD and Intel processors use an “Integrated Memory Controller” (IMC) which has been validated to support the listed memory speed on the processor. The extent to which the IMC can run faster memory speeds (over-clocked) can vary significantly between CPUs of the same model (often called the “Silicon Lottery” as two customers with the same processor can get very different results). While faster memory can deliver improved performance, speeds higher than the CPU officially supports are not guaranteed and may be unstable.

Note: Faster memory speeds may have higher latency resulting in minimal performance gains eg. 3200MHz CL16 vs 3600MHz CL18 (higher speed in this example has a higher latency value).

Where customers order memory speeds higher than 3200MHz we will configure the memory at the highest stable speed that the processor supports during our testing.

Memory speeds higher than 3200MHz are not typically recommended and may provide negligible benefit to system performance.

Memory speeds higher than the base supported speed require compatible motherboards that offer XMP (Intel) or AMP (AMD) to facilitate memory over-clocking. AMD and Intel processors use an “Integrated Memory Controller” (IMC) which has been validated to support the listed memory speed on the processor. The extent to which the IMC can run faster memory speeds (over-clocked) can vary significantly between CPUs of the same model (often called the “Silicon Lottery” as two customers with the same processor can get very different results). While faster memory can deliver improved performance, speeds higher than the CPU officially supports are not guaranteed and may be unstable.

Note: Faster memory speeds may have higher latency resulting in minimal performance gains eg. 3200MHz CL16 vs 3600MHz CL18 (higher speed in this example has a higher latency value).

Where customers order memory speeds higher than 3200MHz we will configure the memory at the highest stable speed that the processor supports during our testing.

Newer processors that include a mix of both Performance and Efficiency Cores work best with Windows 11 which has improved processor scheduling to support these recent changes. While Windows 10 is fully supported on these systems, some applications or games may end up utilising efficiency cores instead of performance cores, resulting in sub-optimal performance.

The high performance primary storage (SSD) is used to install Windows and provide optimal operating system performance. While slower and cheaper hard drives (HDD) can be used to store additional applications and data, increasing the capacity of the SSD and using that for additional storage will also improve the performance of those applications. Using a combination of SSD and HDD drives can allow for higher overall capacity at a lower total cost albeit with some performance trade-off. A 240G SSD will typically allow the installation of Windows, Office and maybe 1 game, while a 500G SSD may allow up to 3 or 4 games to be installed on the SSD. A 1TB SSD is typically the best value/capacity combination and depending on usage can allow for the installation of up to 10 or more typical games.

You may wish to consider adding additional storage to your system. Upgrading the primary storage to at least 1TB or adding a secondary storage drive is recommended to allow room for the installation of additional games/applications. With modern game titles now consuming 100+GB of data per instance, additional storage capacity provides room for the installation of additional games or future growth. For general office use, or where only 1 or 2 games will ever be required a smaller capacity storage selection may be adequate.

Traditional Solid State Drives (SSD) have revolutionised storage performance. While early SSDs used SATA connectivity, as the drives got faster they reached the performance limitations of the SATA standard. Newer SSDs now offer PCIe connectivity via the NVMe standard. NVMe SSDs can provide up to 10x the performance of a traditional SATA SSD. High performance NVMe drives may list read/write speeds up to ~5000MB/s compared to the SATA limitation of ~550MB/s. Upgrading to NVMe based storage is typically recommended for the small price premium offering improvements in overall system performance and responsiveness.

Larger full-sized ATX motherboards typically look better visually than a mid-sized MicroATX (mATX) motherboard when installed in a full-sized ATX case such as the one selected. Consider using a full-sized ATX motherboard or changing to a smaller mATX sized case. While the larger ATX motherboards typically offer a few more options for future expandability, motherboard sizing is predominantly a personal preference that affects only the visual appearance of the system to a limited extent. This recommendation is for reference only and is not an essential change.

The selected Radeon RX series graphics card offers improved performance when used with a PCIe Gen4 capable processor and/or motherboard. PCIe Gen4 is offered on Intel 11th and 12th Generation processors such as the Intel i5-11400F, i3-12100F and i5-12400F and on AMD systems with Ryzen 3600/5600 or higher series processors when installed on a B550 or higher series motherboard. If you don’t see this message recommendation then you’ve selected a PCIe Gen4 capable system.

Note: Ryzen 4000 series, 5500, 5600G and 5700G do not support PCIe Gen4 but can still be used with this graphics card in Gen3 mode.

For more information please see our Graphics Card Buyers Guide here for relative performance graphs covering Radeon RX series cards in both PCIe Gen3 and Gen4 configurations.

The selected Radeon RX series graphics card is supported but NOT recommended with this second generation processor i5/i7-2xxx. Performance will be degraded due to reduced bandwidth on systems that do not support PCIe Gen 3 or Gen 4. We recommend upgrading to a 3rd or 4th generation CPU (or higher) or changing to an Nvidia GTX series card instead.

For more information please see our Graphics Card Buyers Guide here for relative performance graphs.

Based on the supported AIO sizes provided by the case manufacturer and our experience with these cases we recommend specific size AIOs which we feel are better suited to specific case models. While bottom mounted AIOs may be supported by manufacturers we tend to avoid this configuration due to the potential for pump failure in this orientation. Top mounted AIOs are typically preferred for optimal performance, although most cases will only support the larger 360mm AIOs when front-mounted. Our AIO recommendations are based on optimal pump placement, visual appeal, noise considerations, existing case fan allowances and experience. We can support AIOs that differ from our recommendations where they are listed as compatible (if you can add the configuration to cart, we have deemed it compatible).

There are two common standard for wireless – “AC” wireless or WiFi5 which offers speeds up to 1200Mbps and “AX” wireless or WiFi6 which offers speeds up to 3000Mbps. Higher speeds can be useful for transferring files over internal networks and between computers/devices in the home, however most homes are limited to NBN internet services with <100Mbps of connectivity. Where the primary use of the wireless connection is the internet, AC wireless typically provides significantly more capacity than the majority of internet services available in Australia. If you’re lucky enough to have a fibre or Gigabit internet service to your home then an AX wireless option may provide some additional benefit.

We have assessed the power consumption of this configuration based on the components you have selected.
Est. Peak: this is the power (in Watts) that we estimate your system will consume when briefly operating at its peak power draw. Typical power usage will likely be lower than this value.
Minimum: this is the minimum recommended power supply size that we recommend for this system to allow sufficient headroom and stable long-term reliability. Many graphics card manufacturers include a minimum recommended power supply size which is higher than our minimum recommendation, however this is predominantly done to cater for lower grade/poorer quality power supplies and/or for combinations with other much higher specification components.
Recommended: this is the graphics card vendors minimum recommended power supply size and typically includes significant allowance for lower quality power supplies than those that we offer here. We provide this information for reference as some customers like to stick with vendor recommendations even when they are higher than is necessary to support the selected configuration.

The selected large/over-sized air-cooler is within the height specification of the selected case however due to the width of this cooler the installation may interfere with memory module height and/or accessibility. We recommend selecting non-RGB memory to minimise height (modules will not typically be visible under the CPU cooler, so RGB provides little to no benefit). This particular combination will be subject to manual validation by technicians prior to acceptance to ensure the cooler can be installed with sufficient memory clearance.