Performing A Visual Inspection
After you've ran PC wizard and poked around your computer's internals via the software, you'll need to shut down your computer and open the case. PC Wizard can tell you a great deal of information about your PC, but there are some things you'll need to know that you simply won't be able to discover without cracking open the cover. Again, write down the answers to these question as you discover them.
How powerful is my Power Supply? The Power Supply provides the juice which allows your computer to operate, and if you try to draw more power than the power supply can provide, your computer will shut down. Luckily, power supplies readily list their vital statistics on their exteriors. There is one main stat that you'll need to know about, which is the maximum wattage that your power supply can handle. This will be expressed as "250W" or "500 watts" and so on. You'll also want to note the power connectors available. Your motherboard requires a 20 or 24-pin connector, pictured to the left, and a 4-pin connector. You'll need to write down if you have the 20-pin or 24-pin connector. Also write down the number of Molex connections you have, the number of SATA connections you have, the number of PCIe connections you have, and whether the last ones are 6 ot 8-pin.
How much cooling do I have? Many pre-built PCs that aren't geared towards performance have terrible cooling. Take a count of the internal fans that you can find, and their locations.
What expansion slots are open? Inspect your motherboard to determine how much expansion it allows. You'll mainly want to take down the number of PCI slots, PCIe slots, the SATA ports, and any empty RAM slots. If you have an older PC, you might also encounter AGP slots and IDE connections. Take note of those, as well.
How much room do I have in my case? Inspect the 3.5" hard drive bays and the 5.25" media bays and take note of how many open spaces are available. Also, take casual note of how cramped your case appears to be. Is it easy to move your hand between parts, or do you often have to maneuver between components that are extremely close to each other?