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My First Build - Skylake & GTX 970

by 15mcdonaldt


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

March 30, 2017

Date Built

July 15, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

3.2 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

27.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

47.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.405 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

8 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

76.0° C


I built this computer back in August for 820 dollars. When I first built my computer I was using a TV for monitor and a cheap keyboard/mouse combo. Over the months I realized there was certain things I did not like about my computer and upgrade to this point. My only regret is not buying the things I added originally. The first thing upgrade was the case and case lighting. I originally was using a cheap DIYPC case (last picture), I bought because I was try to keep the cost down as much as possible. After a few months I made some more money and decided to buy something more premium, so I got the NZXT H440 and HUE+. My next upgrade was the SSD I was tired of slow boot times and wanted to be able to clone my HDD directly to my SSD so I went with a 500 GB Samsung drive. After a scare with my graphics card crashing I realized I did not have the minimum PSU requirement, cutting corners again, so I went ahead and bought a 750 Watt power supply, a little bit overkill but it was on sale so why not future-proof. I bought some fans and a cheap cpu cooler to replace the stock cpu cooler mostly a cosmetic thing but I did improve my load temperatures from 60 degrees to 45 degrees. The most recent upgrade was after getting my tax return, I figured it was time to get a real monitor and peripherals. Gaming on a 1440p monitor is great, with this upgrade I have unlocked my computer's true potential no longer limited by the 60 hz cap.

The original parts list: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/xgGfCy

Userbenchmark Performance: http://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/5360688

Part Reviews


A great CPU for someone not looking to overclock. Will play any game with out any problems.

CPU Cooler

A cheap, quiet CPU cooler. Keeps my i5-6500 cool at 45 degrees Celcius under load.


A great motherboard after the first DOA. The replacement works flawlessly. This motherboard has non K overclocking which may prove helpful with my i5-6500 down the road.


RAM is RAM, gets the job done and looks good doing it.


Fast drive, cloned my HDD over using Samsung's software without any problems. PC boots in 11 seconds.


Cheap, reliable 1 TB drive. Fairly quick used as a boot drive too.

Video Card

A great graphics card for what I payed for it. Not the best overclocking capabilities being a blower style card. I got a stable 1448 MHz core clock with 7600 MHz memory clock. Plays Battlefield 1 at 1440p on High with an average of 85 FPS. Rocket League at 1440p on Max with an average of 135 fps.


A great high quality case. Feels and looks premium. A breeze to build, plenty of tie down points, SSD mounting points on the PSU shroud to show off drives. plenty of storage options. Sound damping materials is good at keeping PC as quiet as possible. Only thing that would make this case better would be tempered glass.

Case Fan

Really quiet fan for a fairly cheap price. Moves a lot of air at low RPMs.

Case Accessory

Personally believe this the best way to do RGB. Great control using software, a lot of people complain about the CAM software but I have never had any issues with it.


Great 1440p IPS monitor and with a refresh rate of 144 Hz it will be a really long time before I change monitors. AMD freesync is a nice bonus but I have a GTX 970 so I cannot speak on how that performs. Some people complain about dead pixels but my unit arrived in perfect condition.

Comments Sorted by:

EpikMark0123 1 Build 1 point 24 months ago

Old parts still kickass


SlickShoes17 4 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Love the monitor and graphics card. What else do you play on this? Looks like it performs really well.

15mcdonaldt submitter 3 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Thanks, recently all have been playing is those two games but Assassin's creed Syndicate and Rise of Tomb Raider both play at 60 fps at medium to high settings.

Damjan25 1 point 21 months ago

Did you get the thermal paste with the cpu cooler ?

15mcdonaldt submitter 3 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

Yes, it came pre-applied.

Catarino. 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

How hard was it installing the cooler, I hear those push pins are finicky and break easy

15mcdonaldt submitter 3 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

I was kind of annoying getting it installed but no broken pins!

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Z3R0-1NT3LL1G3NTS 1 Build 1 point 24 months ago

^ I can't stop laughing! ^ Also, cool build build. +1