Quote: Originally Posted by kylehimself
1. Can a PSU bottleneck performance or if there wasn't enough power would the system simply crash?
In thousands of service calls I've never yet seen a case where a computer runs slowly because it's not getting enough power... This is digital circuitry driven on crystal controlled clocks... it works or it doesnt. An inadequate power supply is going to cause hardware errors, usually occuring randomly throughout the system, a very long time before it's going to slow it down or speed it up.
2. How can I test a CPU to make sure it is running at it's optimum performance?
Is your computer working?
A cpu is, again a digital and clock driven device... it works or it doesn't.
Overclocking might speed it up a little by changing the clock rates, but still the chip is going to simply do what it does, or not.
3. What sort of temperature is considered good whilst running high performance applications like high spec games?
Now here's something we can talk about... All chips, all electronics actually, have a maximum safe temperature above which you risk converting it into s puddle of solder. Generaly the goal is to keep things as cool as possible. In my own work I generally consider 55 degrees celsius as the point where I start paying attention to heatsinks and fans... under heavy load 65 is generally a safe upper limit for most CPUs.
If you want to look up your own chip you can usually find the thermal limits on the manufacturer's website...
4. Lastly, on finishing up a build and everything is where it needs to be. When turning on the power will the normal boot screen come on (motherboard branding or whatever)? If so, is installing Windows just a matter of following the the boot from disc option?
Generally I will get into the BIOS and check it over before proceeding to install windows (or anything else). The goal is to ensure your drives, memory and other hardware is all correctly recognized. You should also let it run on the hardware monitor making sure your temperatures and voltages are ok and stable. Also there are system wide parameters --boot order, drives, etc.-- that can be adjusted to help it start up reliably every time. DO NOT overclock until you are sure the system is stable for several days.
Then you can install windows...