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Build

The Liberator

by KrumpetPirate

21
54 Comments

Details

Date Published

June 18, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

3.2GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.51GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

8GHz

Description

Welcome to the completed build for The Liberator!

This build was done for a friend of mine who wanted a great gaming build that he could upgrade in the future. He uses his computer almost exclusively to play games so that was the main focus here. In the past he's bought most of his computers from Alienware so I wanted to do this right.

I decided to go with a i5-6500 since he won't be overclocking and the boost clock is only marginally slower than an i5-6600. I originally paired this with a MSI B150I motherboard but the one that was shipped to me had a bad DIMM slot so I switched him to the Gigabyte H170N-WIFI board instead.

I originally went with a Cryorig m9i CPU cooler but the capacitors around the CPU bracket prevented me from mounting the cooler correctly. I switched to the Cryorig C7 because I had it sitting around for my little brother's build. It run's pretty cool and quiet for what it is and looks pretty good.

Originally we had some GIEL LUCE RAM but I was having an issue installing Windows with it. As a last ditch effort to figure out what was going on I ran to Best Buy and picked up whatever RAM they had. We chose just to keep what was working and thus we ended up with this overpriced kit of PNY Anarchy RAM.

Storage was pretty easy. He only had one 7200 RPM terabyte drive in his old system. The upgrade to a M.2 SSD and a 2 terabyte HDD should satisfy his storage needs.

Since we were going to ship the computer across the country I wanted a relatively small case, but one that could accommodate full size components. At his price range the Thermaltake V1 was a great option and he wanted a white/black build so we went with the white version. See my review for more info.

The EVGA SuperNova GS is a great little unit, would recommend it to anyone.

The crown jewel of this build though is the 1070. Amazing performance from this card. Picked it up on launch day from Newegg thanks to NowInStock. Yeah it's the founder's edition and no that won't boost clock as well as other cards in the series, but in an ITX case the blower style cooler works great and this card absolutely destroys my rig. Very tempting to pick one up for myself!

The build didn't go too well. First I noticed that only one of his DIMM slots was registering RAM which meant an RMA for the motherboard. Then after driving down to my local MicroCenter for a new motherboard I discovered after hours of trying to install Windows that the kit of RAM that I originally picked up was faulty and was causing an error during install. Cable management was pretty easy except for that USB 3.0 cable. Overall not too bad, could have been a lot worse.

Sadly I only got a few benchmarks before I sent the machine off. You can see them in the attached pictures. CAM picture was CPU temp under prime95 load.

Total cost with shipping and tax came out to be a little over $1200. All in all I think this is a great gaming rig now and a great platform to upgrade in the future!

Part Reviews

CPU

This CPU runs games great but isn't overkill. A good buy overall.

CPU Cooler

Runs quiet and cool. Mounts okay and doesn't interfere with anything on the motherboard. Good stock replacement if the price is right.

Motherboard

No frills motherboard. M.2 slot on the back of the board and built in wifi. Not my first choice (would rather have an ASUS mobo...) but get's the job done. USB 3.0 placment (between the CPU cooler and the GPU) makes routing more difficult than it needs to be. BIOS is okay.

Memory

I got this RAM to replace a bad kit quick. It looks okay and the performance was on par with what I had before. Overpaid to debug the build, but decided to hold onto it since it was working.

Storage

This M.2 SSD is enough to hold his OS and other applications. Works well and performs on par with other SSD brands since he isn't going to be doing any editing or anything else like that. Placed on the back of the MOBO you can't (shouldn't) see it which is okay.

Storage

I know a lot of people say Seagate Barracude drives are not as reliable. The orignal report saying this was testing the drives in a data-storage environment which is not what these drives were designed for. For gaming this drive is great and works well for game storage.

Video Card

The reason behind this build. The GTX 970 was a great card for 1080p gaming. This card seems to be it's eqivalent for 1440p gaming. Ran everything I benchmarked very very well and I think he's going to like it a lot. Yeah the FE is paying a premium to get the card quicker but hey, he wanted his computer and I was able to find it on launch day. The blower style cooler works well in his case as well.

Case

The Snow edition looks good but there are a few things I didn't like about this case. First, the thumb screws that hold the panels and drive cages are complete crap. They are plastic around a silver screw and feel flimsy. Get a set of black steel thumbscrews for your build. Second the drive cages are a little flimsy and are slightly awkward to work with. The two 80mm rear exahust fans are a little strange as well. Would have prefered a 120mm fan mount. The build in the case went well and I am a fan of cube style cases. It's a little large for an ITX case but overall it's not a bad product.

Power Supply

Good powersupply which is a little smaller than most. Picked this up just in case he wanted to switch to a different case in the future. This should fit well in any case that supports ATX style PSUs. Fully modular and gold rated this is a top-tier part.

Comments Sorted by:

texasmayne 4 Builds 3 points 23 months ago

looks awesome man. What are you thinking for exhaust fans?

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

I don't think he needs them really. Temps were cool and the front fan was only running at 40%. If temps ever become a problem then I will tell him to get some more fans but for now he should be fine.

mvnjpy 2 points 23 months ago

I'm just curious how much all this weighs. How much does it weigh roughly and how much did it cost to ship?

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

It weighed a little over 20 pounds and cost roughly $96 to ship it half way across the country with ample packing and insurance.

Robotfood 1 Build 1 point 23 months ago

Looks good, I was having the same issue with the m9i, but for mine the supports cleared the capacitor by about 1-2mm it was pretty tight. Just kinda looked sketchy while I was installing haha. I like the white v1 as well, looks really nice with that c7.

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

I would have preferred the tower cooler to help with front to back air flow but overall I think it turned out pretty well. Keeps the CPU cool and quiet.

Robotfood 1 Build 1 point 23 months ago

The big 200mm should be able to keep things moving in there.

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

and it is quiet too, really quality fan

joshzpants 3 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

what are temps like with the C7? It looks really nice paired with that case

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

I was seeing about 65 degrees under prime 95 load. Didn't do in depth testing before I sent it off to my buddy

1nf3ctedmushr00m 1 point 23 months ago

Nice build! about do the same but have a $750-800 budget. With that being said what can be changed to complement the budget in your opinion?

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 3 points 23 months ago

Well you could always go with something like this: PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor $197.99 @ SuperBiiz
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-H170N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard $113.99 @ Amazon
Memory G.Skill NT Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $29.98 @ Newegg
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $47.49 @ OutletPC
Case Thermaltake Core V1 Snow Edition Mini ITX Tower Case $49.99 @ SuperBiiz
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA GS 550W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $67.49 @ Amazon
Other RX 480 (4 GB) $199.00
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $705.93
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-06-19 19:07 EDT-0400

Same CPU/MOBO/PSU but drop the RAM to a single stick for 8GB, no solid state drive, and the upcoming RX 480. This would be a good platform to upgrade in the future and would play games pretty well at 1080p, or at least it should. Still need to see benchmarks on the 480.

1nf3ctedmushr00m 1 point 23 months ago

This Im assuming would handle most titles max settings 1080p ? Im not trying to go crazy with overclocking or ultra settings etc.

Just looking for a build I can invest in that would last a few years before needing to upgrade.

Thanks alot for the feedback really appreciate it.

Selicos 2 points 23 months ago

The RX480 appears to be a beast of a budget card. It may be close to the 1070 in price/performance but, yeah, benchmarks incoming...

A GTX 960 can max most games at 1080p and the comparable R9 380 can do similar. I had a 960 and the biggest issues were Witcher 3 at high settings because, well, Witcher 3. Once the 480 drops the early adoption tax on the 1070 may come down especially if AMD can match that $/performance curve at about half the actual cost. 8gb 480 might be my card...

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Yes and it's very upgradable as well.

Matnoob12 1 Build 1 point 23 months ago

How difficult was it for you to install that CPU cooler? I just installed mine today on the same motherboard as you and it took me about an hour because I couldn't get the nuts on the back bracket. I finally did and you can see the bracket bent a bit but hey it's on.

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

It was pretty simple actually. The backplate is directional, did you have the INTEL side facing up?

Matnoob12 1 Build 1 point 23 months ago

The directions said to have it facing down.

Matnoob12 1 Build 1 point 23 months ago

I only tried putting the actual cooler part on one way. Maybe if I would have rotated it I would have found more leniency.

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Well... I might have put it on backwards, but it worked! Really good tension without issues with mounting in that direction.

I dunno, try it?

Kreuzer 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Nice, I got the same case wrapped in carbon fiber vinyl and leds!

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

I thought about doing the same if there was any extra room in the budget, but after all the issues and shipping it just wasn't there. Would have been sick to get his logo on the front.

Halo_ 1 point 23 months ago

Love how you took a lot of detailed pictures, I think you've inspired me to build the same one. Thank you!

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Yeah it's a great case to build in. Very easy to route and plenty of room for full sized components.

BeastFeast 1 point 23 months ago

How big is that gpu?

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 23 months ago
BeastFeast 1 point 23 months ago

Okay thnx, i got the case and i needed to see what options I had gpu wise.

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

I wouldn't get anything longer than 10.5" also avoid three slot fan coolers like you see on some of the 300 series cards and 980TIs and whatnot. The Polaris and Pascal generations seem to be fine thus far.

BeastFeast 1 point 23 months ago

I'm getting an 8-inch card,the Zotac GTX 960 AMP! Edition.

BeastFeast 1 point 23 months ago

But i may wait for the new Radeon 480 cards if tgey can fit.

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

I would consider the new 480 as well. Likely will destroy the 960 in gaming performance at around the same price point and TDP draw. I would be warry buying Maxwell generation cards since NVIDIA has a history of ignoring driver updates for previous generations. Also DX12 games (which there should be more and more of) don't run as well on Maxwell cards compared to even last gen AMD cards or the new Pascal cards. Just food for thought.

Khaosix 19 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

I Always enjoy a nice tidy ITX build.

+1 for a super clean build with awesome performance.

Nice ESD strap NERD! Lol

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Hey man, don't judge my safe usage of ESD straps.

Khaosix 19 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Always better to be safe than sorry. I will probably pick one up once I move back to the US and get a proper work area.

jmurtha80 1 point 23 months ago

What software is being used to measure CPU temps in the photos???

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

CAM, it is primarily used to control NZXT Kraken, Hue, or Grid products but it can be used to test temps and monitor as well. Seems like a pretty good software suite.

mvnjpy 1 point 23 months ago

Would the stock cpu fans not be sufficient?

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Yeah would have been fine, but my buddy didn't want that. I did see lower temps with the aftermarket cooler which isn't all that surprising.

PumpkinPc 1 point 23 months ago

I heard m.2 is faster than traditional ssds, is that ssd faster, or as you said, just on par?

abathingape 1 point 23 months ago

What kind of screws are the case chassis screws, since you recommend replacing these? I looked through the manual and did not find anything. Thanks.

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Just regular old thumb screws. Mine came in a kit I got on Amazon.

hellfire1984 2 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

Great build, too bad you had some hardware issues. But troubleshooting them is part of the hobbie. How was the m2 ssd? Any bandwidth issues with the 1070?

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

m.2 SSD worked fine on the Gigabyte board, but didn't work on the original MSI B150M board that I had purchased. Works for his OS drive and is a major upgrade over not having an SSD at all. I didn't notice any bandwidth issues with the 1070 and my buddy says it runs amazing. Have you had issues with the 1070?

hellfire1984 2 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

No issues at all over here, I was referring to when those drives are connected to a PCI lots, the video card will drop to 8x if the CPU only supports 16 lanes. But after some research, I found that there is no performance drop on a video card when going from 16x to 8x. Cheers!

alcoloz 1 Build 1 point 22 months ago

Nice build! Am building a similar one. Wanted an asus one also just like you but only gigabyte had the spdif and usb c. And pictures are very well taken too.

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

Thank you sir. He is really enjoying the build and loves the performance it provides.

dagonas 1 point 19 months ago

Hi

Does this motherboard have a XMP BIOS option?

Thanks

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 2 points 19 months ago

The product page doesn't say anything about it and I don't have the computer anymore. Sorry can't help you.

dagonas 1 point 19 months ago

Thanks anyway

Payton_vella 1 point 11 months ago

where did you buy the card from cant find it any where?

KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 1 point 11 months ago

You can blame crypto-currency miners for the current shortage. Good luck finding RX 570/580 or GTX 1060/1070 cards right now.

[comment deleted]
KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

Does it have 2080000 CUDA Cores?!

[comment deleted]
KrumpetPirate submitter 3 Builds 5 points 23 months ago

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG