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I am trying to setup my own new computer. I haven't done this before and hence needed guidance from all here.

I can google out the results for steps to follow for setting up my machine, but I do not understand what components are compatible with each other? For example there must be specific models of motherboard that are compatible with Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz.

In general, if there is a website that can guide me on all compatible components, that would be great. If not, how would I be able to check compatibility?

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@slhck: Thanks for editing .. makes the question more accurate .. –  darkie15 Oct 20 '12 at 18:30
    
did any of the answers below answer your question? –  Carl B Nov 1 '12 at 22:07
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Compatability is an open situation until you have your parts list in order.

As you are centering your build around your CPU (socket LGA 1155), your first part for compatability is the motherboard list of LGA 1155 motherboards from New egg. Here a link to Tiger Direct for same socket type.

The form factor of the board could be the next compatability check. Depending on the size you pick, your storage case will need to accomodate. So, E ATX, ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ATX. A large case can fit the smaller form factor boards, obviously not the other way around. See question Is the case big enough? motherboard

Once you pick your motherboard, the vendor has specs listed for RAM type. They typicly have Compatability lists for RAM by vendor and GB size. Here is an example of Foxconn memory compatability link for an H61HXE-V board.

Once you have figured out all your componnents and the quantitly of each, you might want to ensure your PSU will support the build and board. Here is Thermaltake's PSU calculator . It is pretty detailed in that it takes into account all the required (CPU, quantity and type of HDD/SSD, CD/DVD/BD drives, Vid cards, RAM type and quantity) plus the auxiliary items (Fans, lights and so on) for recommended wattage. And you want to check that it will have the power connections you need for the board (20+4 main power plug plus 4,6 or 8 pin second plug)

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I buy most of my components from NewEgg. They have some good search features and help; specifically for the CPU/motherboard, the socket types must match. For your processor, I think you will want a motherboard with an LGA 1155 socket. Then, just decide which chipset you want based on the features you want.

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LGA 1155 is just the current Intel Socket. This is subject to change over time. It will also be a different socket if you want an AMD processor. –  Simon Sheehan Oct 21 '12 at 3:23
    
@SimonSheehan - I believe the OP posted that the i5-2500K 3.3Ghz was the central component to start the compatibility check and I believe that is an LGA 1155 socket CPU. –  Carl B Oct 21 '12 at 22:59
    
@Carl my point was more that the answer to the broader question (what hardware is compatible) will change. –  Simon Sheehan Oct 22 '12 at 2:50
    
@SimonSheehan - point taken. –  Carl B Oct 24 '12 at 13:50
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