Description

Hello and thanks for checking out my profile. I hope you look around and like what you see, I welcome any and all feed back. I built this rig to be able to meet all my needs for work and personal and to be somewhat future proof. I do a lot of music production and video rendering, streaming videos and music, watching videos in 5.1 etc.... So, in keeping with my wanting this build to be future proof and be able to perform all I needed it for, I chose the Skylake i7-6700k and the Z170 platform. The 6700k brought me current in intel's world, I had been 3rd generation for years and it was time to upgrade. I watched a lot of benchmarks comparing 4th and 5th gen i7's and while the performance gains over the 5th and 6th gen i7 was at best 5-10% with Skylake, it was close to a 30% performance hike over the current Ivy Bridge I had. As for the Z170 platform, I was very much attracted to the added pci lanes, DDR4 memory, SATA Express and of course M.2. Its was very hard to ignore the crazy fast read / write speeds of the M.2 PCI SSD. For that drive, I chose Samsung's SM951 128GB for my boot drive, let me tell you, it is CRAZY fast, 5 second boot up with windows 10.

Here is a complete rundown of the build:

MOBO: I chose the MSI Z170A M7. I read a lot about this board early on and really liked what it had to offer. I reviewed other Z170 boards as they became available but none of them stood out over this MSI in the price range. For me it has proved to be a solid board so far, from build to post and OS, absolutely no issues at all.

CPU: I chose the Skylake I7-6700K. I liked the performance boost it had over my 3rd gen i7-3770k and it allowed me to get current with my processor. I also felt it was a perfect match for my needs. This processor is performing very well so far. I haven't done any over clocking yet. My stock idle temps are 20-26c with Corsair's H110i GTX AIO. My idle temps on the Ivy Bridge were 35-40c.

Graphics: Being a fan of MSI products and again, reading and watching all the benchmarks, I chose the GTX 970. I started out with one card and a 1080 panel to see how it would perform for my needs and tastes and it did very well. I mainly play GTA V and it handled it pretty well with 60 or so fps, very low power draw and low heat. Shortly after I installed the first card, I found a deal on my second card and with future intentions of going to 4k, couldn't pass it up. Now paired with the 6700k with everything on very high, 40-50FPS + (4k/60hz) is the norm. Very nice cards for the price / performance.

UPDATE.....After playing games in 4k with the 970s for awhile, I have stepped up to sli 980ti's and must say, it was worth every penny. The MSI GTX 980ti's are monsters, they easily chew up any game on max settings ( No AA Needed on a 4k panel ). Frame rates are well into the upper 50's to lower 60's on just about everything I play. I haven't done any huge over clocking on them yet, really have had no need to.

Monitor: I chose an Acer B286hk. I bought it at a steal on ebay as an "open box" deal. This monitor has blown me away with its crisp detail. The colors are very vibrant and sharp. Gaming on this panel is a joy, GTA V looks amazing and streaming 4k videos is amazing. Coupled with the Blu Ray, this makes a great overall 4k experience. It might not be the best choice for gaming but as I stated before, I wanted this build to be able to wear many hats and this panel has not let me down.

Memory: I chose 16gb (2X8) 3000Mhz Corsair LPX. (CMK16GX4M2B3000C15R). I had researched this memory and found it to be compatible with my mobo and that it had none of the issues booting with XMP and would run at its overclock at 3000Mhz without any issues.

SSD: For my boot drive, I chose Samsung's SM951 (128 GB). This thing is crazy fast and paired with the 6700k and 3000mhz memory this build is super snappy and quick. Load times make you chuckle. My other solid states are Kingston Hyperx Savage. Two of the three are 240GB for mass storage in raid zero and the third savage is 480GB for games and such. They are super fast and I thought they would match my build pretty well.

Sound Card: I chose Creative Sound Labs Sound Blaster Z 5.1 PCI card. I am an audiophile and this card is amazing. It is paired up with Logitech's X-540 speaker system, its simply amazing. Gaming and watching movies in 5.1 sound with this thundering bass is incredible.

Power Supply: Corsair AX1200i. This power supply needs no introduction, it is by far the best supply myself or anyone could own. Very high quality caps and components, VERY stable. Paired with corsair's link software and coupled with the H110i GTX cooler, you can monitor everything power and temp related in real time and adjust voltages , rails, fan speeds, led effects....etc. Very nice supply and worth the money. It's just silly to spend a ton of money on great gear only to cheap out on your supply and possibly go down in flames, spend a little more on your power supply and protect your investment, and not to mention your power bill.

Case: Corsair 760t was the choice here. This case was simply a pleasure to build in, especially with an sli rig and multiple drives. Air flow was very important to me and I have achieved it very easily with this case, everything runs very cool. I especially loved the large open view side panel.

Sleeved Cables: I felt this build deserved a little flare so I chose Corsair's Sleeved Cable kit. This kit is very well made, very high quality craftsmanship. The sleeve material is more a nylon coating than para-cord. The connectors are very sturdy and interface all the connections securely. The heat shrinks are all very uniform. This kit will add a nice final touch to any build.

MSI SLI Bridge: What can I say, it just looks cool.

Thanks for checking out my build, please feel free to comment and let me know what you like/dislike or have any questions on any of the pieces.

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Comments

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

This is a sick build! Seriously! I really think you did well with the LED's, white for the main show of the PC, and red to glow on the savage SSD's! Really clean cable management as well, dope build man! +1 :P

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you for the kind words and the +1, It was a fun project.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

And please allow me to return the gesture, You do some really nice work too, your builds are super clean and just perfect, well done.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, the color scheme is overused but I'm a sucker for red/black builds. Very well done. +1

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you, I agree, seems there are a ton of red and black builds, kinda have the get creative to stand out from the pack.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

WOW. Absolutely amazing! What a beautiful build! The white with the red and black? Beautiful. +10

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much for checking it out and for the kind words.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks great, only thing I'd change is turning around the bottom fan so it can act as an intake to push air up for your gpus. The LED strip for the SSD's looks great and is pretty inventive.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the kind words. As for the bottom fan, I really have no need for it there at all, I have so much air flow already from all the 140's. My 970's fans hardly ever come on , cards are averaging 40c most of the time and maybe lower 60's when gaming. I placed the bottom fan in there before I knew what the temps would be like. Thanks for your suggestion though.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

I must say, you have some very nice and clean builds yourself, excellent work.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks , I swapped the GPUs in both builds, haven't gotten around to either updating old logs or creating new ones.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 came in my pants.

would come again :3

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Just...WOW! °_o
+1.000.000

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Bro nice build but i recommend that u remove the pci sound card coz the 6700k supports only 16 pci e lanes and since u went sli you cards are running at 8x each but since u have put the sound card ur cards will run at x8,x4,x4 which means u wont enjoy the true sli performance. otherwise great selection of parts!!!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for checking out my build. Yes, I agree to the slight performance hit on my 970's but it is so minimal as in 3-5 fps less than I would be without my sound card, it was worth it to me to be able to achieve the audio I required for this build. I know, this mobo has very nice integrated sound but believe me when I tell ya, it doesn't come close to what this Sound Blaster 5.1 can do. So, in keeping with that, I was cool with taking a minimal hit on my gpu's but like I said, its only 3-5 fps and with this machine being used for so many different things, it all works perfectly. Kinda give and take to make all devices happy.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Right. I am glad that you had such less performance drop!

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  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I had read that somewhere when I was shopping parts for this build and was worried that I would be loading up my pci lanes but with the z170 chipset, I was relieved I would be fine.

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  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Right. So if i run 2 980s on sli and put a pci wifi card I will not experiance any performance drops?

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  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

I agree to all of the above, As we all know, this can be a huge learning curve at times and I am happy to get all the input and advice I can get. Radox , thanks for your insight in this, I kinda worded that wrong in my reply, what you said is actually what I was trying to say, that was my understanding as well I just worded it wrong. Thank you again for clearing it all up.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Beautiful

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks Alfred0, love your build as well, very clean.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

This is a really nice looking build. I just ordered the same mobo and plan on getting an M.2 SSD for it.

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you for checking it out. You will love this mobo, it was painless from install to OS , everything went very well. Only thing I can tell you is make sure you check compatibility of your memory you choose. Some folks reported issues with certain speeds/brands of memory with this mobo, I found that the Corsair LPX was a great match so I went with it. Glad I did. As for the M.2, you will not be disappointed at all, just make sure you only have the M.2 online an no other drives plugged in when you install your OS and it will go very easily. Good luck in your build and If I can help in any way, I would be happy to, feel free to email me.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

That looks like a nice build. Good parts and very clean cable management. I like the sleeved cables and the LED fans. It has a beautiful look.

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you very much for the kind words and checking out my build.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

I likes it...I likes it a LOT! +1

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

I have a few questions. I just bought the M7 and when I tried to put the screws it to secure it in my 760T none of the Corsair screws worked. What kinds of screws did you use?

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

I used the screws that came with the 760t. Are you saying that the screws won't screw into the standoffs or they don't fit through the M7?

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Actually, disregard my previous comment. I found the right bag of screws a while after posting that. The motherboard is secured now.

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

Very good, Glad it worked out for you.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

One othrt thing. Do you know where the LED wires included with the case plug into the motherboard?

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

Are you speaking of the front panel wires? If those are the ones you speak of, they hook up to the Front Panel Header on the mother board. On the M7 its the header just to the left of the 2 USB 2.0 headers. Your manual has a diagram of the pin assignment, its the standard Intel pin assignment. I hope this helps.

  • 51 months ago
  • 0 points

Hey I got the same speakers as you! Sick build!~

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for checking it out. The speakers I have had for a couple of years and never really used them till this build, man with this Sound Blaster card in 5.1....WOW!

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  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much and coming from you means a lot, I mean, just look at your build, it is a piece of art! VERY nice.

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  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, its going to be a big expensive step but I agree, I think it will be worth it. Now just gotta save again for a few months.........where does this hobby end?....lol

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  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

True..true..true