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Build

1st Build: What I learned, and 10 things you should know

by TikantiXD

4
12 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

Date Published

Jan. 4, 2017

Date Built

Aug. 18, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

4 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

26.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.582 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

8.008 GHz

Description

Introduction: Unlike some others, I am not here to brag about an awesome build I completed. I am here to tell of my experience, and what I advise toward or against. My build, while successful, had no goal in mind besides trying to get everything for a good price. There were plenty of items I could have cut and saved a bit of money, but I didn't, and I regret that now. A few months after completing this build, though, Intel released new processors, which was a bad on my part.

If I could do it again, there are a plethora of pieces I would have changed.

My main reason for choosing these parts were not the preferences of myself, but that of my girlfriend. She wanted an i7, liquid cooling, a full tower, and at least a GTX 1060.

If you want my full breakdown of the part list, keep scrolling until you hit part reviews, but here are the highlights telling you what you should know.


What you should takeaway:

1) An i7-6700K is more power than you probably need. Save some money and get an i5-6500 or above.

2) The Deepcool Captain 240 is probably not your best option. Go for Corsair (function) or NZXT (fashion) AIOs or Cryorig/be quiet! air coolers.

3) Go for Mushkin, Kingston, or Corsair. Shoot for a balance between low latency, speed, and price. Unless you need 32GB + of RAM, go for 4GB sticks. Looking at two empty DIMM slots is disappointing, and 8GB is pretty much all you need.

4) Look up the failure rates of your hard drive companies before buying. You'll be surprised.

5) GTX 1060 does best at or under 1440p, and try to get one with a backing plate.

6) I love Phanteks cases, but full towers are overdoing it unless you are doing multi-gpu setups.

7) Fully-modular is unnecessary as semi-modular will offer just the same and will save you money.

8) Go for larger case fans as they can move more air at slower speeds.

9) Membrane keyboards will do just fine, and unless you want each tap of the keyboard ringing through your mind, don't get brown mechanical switches.

10) Let it be known that Logitech mice are known for the cords pinching. I would go with a mouse that has a replaceable cable, like the Steelseries Rival 700, or that is wireless.


What I would change:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor $189.88 @ OutletPC
CPU Cooler CRYORIG H7 49.0 CFM CPU Cooler $34.99 @ Newegg Marketplace
Motherboard MSI Z170A KRAIT GAMING 3X ATX LGA1151 Motherboard $122.99 @ SuperBiiz
Memory Kingston 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2133 Memory $109.99 @ Directron
Storage Western Digital Blue 1TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive $0.00
Storage Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $54.00
Video Card Asus GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Video Card $424.99 @ Newegg
Case Phanteks Enthoo Pro M Acrylic ATX Mid Tower Case $89.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply EVGA BQ 850W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $69.99 @ Best Buy
Keyboard Logitech G213 PRODIGY Wired Gaming Keyboard $69.99 @ Newegg
Mouse SteelSeries Rival 700 Wired Optical Mouse $81.99 @ Best Buy
Other Generic Optical Drive $0.00
Other Asus USB-BT400US $4.75
Other Generic USB 2.0 Wifi Module $0.00
Other Razer XXL Mouse Pad $8.00
Other Win 10 Boot $0.00
Other Insignia TV @ 1360 x 768 $0.00
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $1261.55
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-01-05 12:03 EST-0500

Part Reviews

CPU

This piece has astounded me at every turn and the installation was easy. At $313.49, it was a mere $15 above the price of the i7-6700 at the time.

Q: Why choose an unlocked processor and not overclock it? A: I wanted a beefy processor but didn't want to risk the higher clock speeds for an even shorter lifespan.

Q: Would I recommend this part? A: Yes, but only after offering a more reasonable substitute.

Pros:

  • Powerful

  • Unlocked

Cons:

  • No stock cooler

  • Expensive

  • Newer processors have replaced this one

Substitutes:

  • Cheaper alternatives include the i7-6700, i5-6600K, and i5-6500

  • Newer processors such as the i7-7700K or i5-7600K

CPU Cooler

Bought the 240mm for $73.49 as I was unsure if a 360mm would fit my case. It would have.

Q: Why choose liquid cooling over the much more reliable fan coolers? A: My decision was influenced by my girlfriend.

Q: Would you recommend this part? A: Yes, I would, but not religiously. There are tons of other options out there, but getting this product is not a terrible idea.

Pros:

  • Fans provide a large amount of airflow

  • Came with a fan hub

  • Cheaper than Corsair

  • Breathing red light on the pump

  • Fans have rubber corners

  • Sticker included

  • Thermal paste included

Cons:

  • Tubes feel really delicate and seem to be made of cheap plastic

  • Fans are really loud

  • Bulky water block/pump

  • Difficult to install (as a whole)

  • Breathing red light is uncontrollable

  • Sticker included is oversized

Substitutes:

  • The Deepcool Captain 360 if your case supports it

  • All-In-Ones by Corsair and NZXT are much more aesthetically pleasing

  • Air coolers such as the Cryorig H5 or be quiet! Dark Rock Pro

Motherboard

I bought this motherboard as an open box for $127.99, and it came with misc pieces of the Asus Maximus motherboard including the manual, an extra SLI connector, extra cable labels, and stickers. :)

Pros:

  • Easy BIOS navigation

  • Tons of fan headers

  • USB Type-C

  • Lights are good for easily identifying if the board has power

Cons:

  • Difficult to install

  • Red lights on the motherboard are undesirable

Substitutes:

  • For the price, I know of none, though I will go with a Micro-ATX next time. The new AURA edition may be worth a try for $25 more

  • MSI and Gigabyte are also real the competitors here. I wouldn't buy an ASRock or Biostar

  • If not overclocking or not using a dual GPU setup, try a cheaper H or B-series

Memory

I have had nothing but trouble with this RAM, but not for reasons you might think. For the first few months, the computer would turn up BSoD's with codes like "Bad Pool Header". After wiping and reinstalling Windows, we thought we had it down. We were wrong, and ended up running MemTest86+ from a boot drive. To our alarm, we received a stick of RAM with 9846 errors. I had to send both sticks back (even the one that worked) as per GEIL's RMA Rules. The customer service was extremely difficult to get in touch with and their website was far out of date. Customer service was based in China, which meant my 12am emails were responded to quite quickly (it being 2pm there) once I found the correct email address.

I bought this memory on sale on Newegg for about $22.00 less than normal price, which might explain the defective stick.

Pros:

  • 16GB for the price of some 8GBs

  • DDR4-3000 with CAS of 15

  • Heat-spreader

Cons:

  • First piece was defective

  • Below-par customer service

Substitutes:

  • For the price, it depends on the market. I see a Team Dark 16GB for about $65 at the time of this review

  • Kingston, Mushkin, or Corsair, and I would honestly do 4GB sticks next time

Storage

I had one of these left over from a pervious build I disassembled, so I cleaned it and formatted it as my Media drive.

Pros:

  • Works fine

Cons:

  • High rates of failure (already had one go out in three years)

  • High cost per GB

Substitutes:

  • After having bad experiences with Western Digital and Seagate, I only buy HGST/Hitachi

Storage

Some may cringe at the thought of buying a possibly refurbished hard drive, yet I revel in it. The low cost per gigabyte and the low failure rates make these hard drives my ideal choice.

Pros:

  • Low cost/GB (You can get a 2TB for the price of a 1TB)

  • Low failure rates

Cons:

  • Slower speeds (but not enough for me to notice)

  • Possibly refurbished/used

  • Not always in stock

Video Card

This card runs great on lower resolutions, and is VR Capable. Unfortunately, I cannot attest for it at any resolution higher than 1360 x 768 (a little over 720p), but it plays everything on Ultra at this resolution. The GTX 1060 is scores equivalent to the GTX 980 and it succeeds the GTX 970.

Pros:

  • Masters 1440p and under

  • One HDMI port, three Display Ports, and one DVI-D port

  • Better than the RX 480

  • LED is controllable with Gigabyte's free software download

  • Black backing plate

Cons:

  • Has trouble with anything over 1440p on Ultra

  • Unattractive orange design (but is always facing downward)

  • LED control software is not included in the package

Substitutes:

  • Cheaper: Radeon's RX 480 or NVIDIA's GTX 1050Ti

  • More Expensive: GTX 980 Ti or GTX 1070

Case

At $89.99, this was the cheapest full-tower available. After much debate between Thermaltake and Phanteks, I chose Phanteks, and was not disappointed. Their case is extremely easy to work with, has a black, minimalistic design, and even included a ton of extra screws and an integrated fan hub.

Q: Why buy a full-tower and not use it to it's fullest extent? A: I believe this case will prove a worthy companion for many more builds to come.

Q: Would you recommend this case? A: Yes, I think Phanteks has me hooked with their cases. Cost wise, this is the best full-tower I can think of.

Q: Would you buy this case again? A: Yes, but only if my other two options are exhausted; I'd like to try a Phanteks mid-tower and the more expensive Phanteks Enthoo Luxe first though.

Pros:

  • Attractive design

  • Made of strong metal and plastic

  • Power button is pleasing

  • 200mm intake fan in the front, and a 140mm in the rear

  • Three easily-accessible fan filters

  • Front and top covers pop off for easy access to install fans or a radiator

  • Cable management is nice, and comes with reusable Velcro ties already integrated in the case

  • You can hide or show off your power supply

Cons:

  • Window is easily scratched and smudged

  • Reset button is right next to the headphone jack, meaning that feeling your way in the dark could result in a reset computer

  • Heavy/Huge, but what can I expect?

Substitutes:

  • Brand wise, there is Deepcool, NZXT, Thermaltake, and Fractal Design

  • For a Full-Tower with a greater budget, try the Enthoo Luxe or Primo

  • For a Mid-Tower, try Enthoo Pro M Acryllic, Enthoo EVOLV, or the ECLIPSE Series

Power Supply

Bought it for $99.99 but had a $20 Mail-In Rebate.

Pros:

  • Gold Efficiency

  • Fully Modular

  • Powerful, tons of headroom

  • Includes tons of black cables and cable bags

Cons:

  • Expensive

Substitutes:

  • For most aesthetically pleasing, an RGB NZXT PSU

  • EVGA and SeaSonic make good power supplies as well

  • Semi-Modular will save you cash and still do just the same

Case Fan

Bought them as slot fillers for my full tower. They displace a crazy amount of air, but mostly due to their high fan speeds. This causes them to be extremely loud, similar to that of a window unit A/C.

Pros:

  • Cheap

  • High Airflow

  • Black

Cons:

  • Cord is multicolored, not black

  • Loud

  • Not available with LEDs

Keyboard

Bought it as an Open Box on Newegg for $93.99, but unfortunately came with Brown Switches. Keyboard is attractive and has RGB LEDs.

Pros:

  • Mechanical switches

  • Controllable RGB LEDs

  • Attractive design

  • Removable wrist rest

  • USB, Headphone, and Mic pass-through

Cons:

  • Brown Switches are very, very "clacky"

  • LED control software is not included in the package

  • No key remover is included

  • Not washable like Corsair keyboards (not that I would ever...)

Substitutes:

  • Corsair's are highly desired, but come with a greater price tag

  • I'll go with a Logitech G213, G810, or G910 next time

Mouse

Bought on Newegg for $29.99.

Pros:

  • Plenty of buttons to customize

  • RGB Lighting

  • Laser sensor up to 16400 dpi (excessive)

  • Cheap

Cons:

  • Logo is too bright

  • Software is difficult to navigate

  • Would not buy for full-price

Substitutes:

  • Logitech is always an option, but the cords do tend to mess up

  • I would go with anything with a removable cable or that is wireless

  • Personally, I am going to try the SteelSeries Rival 700 next

Comments Sorted by:

uberlizard 1 Build 1 point 27 months ago

dang thats a long description

TikantiXD submitter 2 Builds 1 point 27 months ago

:D

uberlizard 1 Build 1 point 27 months ago

its good, but tbh a tl;dr would be really, really, useful.

FcoEnriquePerez 1 point 27 months ago

And you still gotta work that cable management. Also OC that CPU and better mave that cooler to the VRMs instead of the RAM

TikantiXD submitter 2 Builds 1 point 27 months ago

Cable management = terrible. Will find a way to fix it. Somehow.

Voltage Regulator Modules? I understand their importance but I do not understand how I would put it on it.

TikantiXD submitter 2 Builds 2 points 27 months ago

Spent a few hours redoing the cables. Will update tomorrow.

Looks better, but now I am unable to use the optical drive due to lack of SATA power cables coming from the PSU. I will either need to find or buy more cables.

I read 4.5GHz is achieveable by nearly all I7-6700K's. I will start there for my overclocking goal.

Romaniankid10 1 point 27 months ago

Here is what I learned. Look at one picture max, and just look at the list. Becuase if you risk it and look at cable management, you might get a heart attack.

anthony7421 3 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

the case is a behemoth! i have the same one, howcome you didnt just put the cover on the power supply? would really clean up those wires or at least hide them :)

skyrise 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

The 5400 RPM WD Blue line is actually the successor to WD Green. So it's lower quality than the actual WD Blue line - the 7200 RPM models. If you had gotten the standard 1TB 7200 RPM WD Blue you wouldn't have had any problems.

Hitachis is stable, certainly better than Seagate, but both Hitachi and Seagate are noisier than WD, even at idle.

Cheers.

TikantiXD submitter 2 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

The WD Blue was pulled from another computer, so I didn't have a choice in that, but I hear good things about Seagate FireCuda and Ironwolf.

And you are correct, very loud.

skyrise 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

Honestly, in Eastern Europe it's very hard to find a 1-2TB Hitachi hard drive. Almost all are 3TB+ in size. 30db at idle. 32-37db at load...

1TB Seagate and below is utter trash, literally the worst drive possible. The FireCuda is an SSHD and it sucks - better have a separate SSD if you really need more speed. The Ironwolf is marketed as a NAS drive, but it's not that good.

The 2TB Seagate Barracuda Compute ST2000DM006 is very good and I recommend it, probably the most successful drive currently and it is ridiculosly cheap. 30db at idle. 32-37db at load...

I would really recommend Western Digital Gold 2TB WD2005FBYZ. Awesome, awesome, awesome! 25db at idle, 28db at load! Highest Enterprise class.

And lastly, if you're seriously into more hard disk space - Western Digital Red Pro 10TB WD101KFBX is the king. 20db at idle, 29 at load! Highest NAS class.

TikantiXD submitter 2 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

Thanks for the input.

I'd only do the FireCuda SSHD for a laptop, and I'm not too terribly worried about sound, but the vibrations were terrible. I guess it's almost synonymous, but I'm sure I could have padded it somehow.

I'll keep those in mind, too.