Description

Since 7 years, I used a Asus G50V notebook... It was time for change so I decided to take my wallet out.

This computer is mostly for gaming but also for work. So these are the reasons of my choices :

  • CPU: I wanted a CPU good for gaming but also for work. That means : multithreading AND Turbo boost so Intel I7. I hesitated with the I7-4790K because it's better than the I7-6700K in terms of performance but as it is an "old" technologie I choose the I7-6700K. With this one I will be safe for more years.

  • Motherboard : As I choose an I7-6700K, so LGA1151 and overclocking, I went for a Z170 Chipset. I hesitated between Asus and MSI. But I had bad suprises with my ASUS G50V notebook. So I decided to go for MSI. My budget was 200€, and for this price, the best choice (according to reviews) was the MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon. I didn't choose this motherboard for the RGB Led, but this features is really cool :). BE CAREFUL : I needed to sent back my motherboard for RMA, I had big problems with the DRAM (at boot, one out of 3 times, boot procedure hung with the DRAM debug LED ON). On the MSI forum, I read that there is a lot of problem with this serie. I received a new motherboard and now it seems to work.

  • CPU Cooler : I choose BeQuiet, because they are really quiet. And the best product is the Dark Rock 3. The "pro" version is really to big. BE CAREFUL : The Dark Rock 3 is not compatible with the MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon (I asked BeQuiet and they confirmed me it). The 4 pins from the 2 capacitors near the DIMM socket are too long for the Dark Rock backplate. Once the CPU Cooler is mounted, these pins are under pressure (the backplate is isolated, so there is no short-circuit). See pictures. To resolve this problem, I simply cut a little the 4 pins of the capacitors.

  • Memory : I wanted 16 GB of Corsair DDR4. As the CPU cooler is imposing, I choose low profile series. So I went for Corsair Vengeance LPX serie. I wanted DDR4-2400 MHz but my reseller didn't have it in stock so I choose DDR4-3000 MHz 2 x 8GB. As I had problem with DRAM I didn't test XMP neither overclocking. So my DDR is running at 2133MHz. But when I will be sure that my DDR problem is totally resolved, I will turn on the XMP :).

  • Graphic Card : I wanted MSI GTX 980, but it was really to expensive for me so I choose the MSI GTX 970 and the Gaming 4G version for the better GPU frequencies capabilities.

  • Storage : I choose a Samsung 850 EVO 250 GB for OS and applications. For data storage, I choose a Western Digital Red 2 TB. I didn't choose a black edition because I didn't want performance but fiability.

  • Case: I, again, choose BeQuiet (because they are quiet :) ). I choose the 600 serie because 800 is too big and, as I choose a motherboard with RGB led, I took the window version (orange is my prefered color :) ).

  • Power supply: Again, BeQuiet. It's not a Pure Power L8 700W but a Pure Power L8 730W CM. Cables are not very convenient. They are not very flexible. In addition, SATA connectors have cable on the side. Maybe I will bought replacements.

  • Monitor : I wanted a 24" Gaming monitor. So I went for a BenQ RL2455HM. It's a really good monitor, but screen settings must be set carrefully to have a good image. I passed 1-2 hours to find the best settings.

If you have some questions ...

EDIT 1 : I've enabled XMP in bios settings. Now my DDR is running at 3000MHz @1.35V

EDIT 2: I've overclocked my CPU to 4.4GHz. CPU Core voltage is set to "AUTO" and raise 1.288V at 4.4GHz. Max CPU temperature measured was 60°C with CPU Cooler fan at 50%

GPU is overclocked at 1368 MHz. Max GPU temperature measured was 70°C with GPU Fan at 50%

EDIT 3: I've changed the power cables (Mainboard, PCIe and Sata), see last pictures :). I've also had a second front fan (Bequiet Pure Wing 140mm)

EDIT 4: My new MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon restart to have problem... Please run away from this motherboard !!!

Comments

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Is the monitor good for PC? I am thinking about buying it and I want to use it for both PC and console.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes it's really good. But you will need to fine tune it to get the best image.

There is a lot of configuration on the web for this monitor

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build :-) i like the orange theme as its not done that often

Do you know if you can turn off the red static lights around the audio pcb on the mobo?

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks.

Of course we can.

It's possible to manage all the LED independently : - RED LED line near audio components - RGB LED near motherboard power supply connector - MSI Graphic card Logo

We also can change the behavior of these leds (always on, breathing, flashing, etc) and independently (RGB flashing, MSI Logo breathing and led line always on, for example).

Everything is manageable.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

great build! this is almost identical to the one i am planing on building this summer! ...but the i saw the troubles you had with your MOBO i started to reconsider. however I cant find any other Z170 MOBOs that are in my budget and fit my needs as well.

so I thought I would ask, from all the troubles you've had (including the one with the dark rock 3 because I had my heart set on that one) would you say that this motherboard is worth the trouble??? (i will also be a first time builder)

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello,

Thanks for your comment.

The Dark Rock 3 is a very great CPU cooler. Very efficiency and very silent. But I will not recommend it with overclocking more than 4.4GHz for the I7-6700K because the temperature raise rapidly (by the way, I didn't take time to adjust CPU core voltage to the minimum, so temperature is not optimised and the CPU fan cooler don't turn at 100% speed but only 80%, for silent). In association with the Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon, it works very well but you will need (and I really recommend it) to cut a little (0.5mm is sufficient) the 4 pins of the 2 capacitors beetween the CPU and DDR DIMM slot.

About my DRAM issues, yes the problem come from the motherboard. I had contact with MSI support level 2 and when I told them that my problem occur again with a new motherboard, they told me "Yes, it happens, you can RMA it a second time"... Take the conclusions you want :). I think I will change the motherboard and take an MSI Z170A Gaming M5. This motherboard is more mature (last bios version is really stable) and it's one class above the Gaming Pro Carbon. And it's only 20€ more than the Gaming Pro Carbon and the really good features is the 2 7 segments display, in case of problem they will give you a lot of information, really important with overclocking

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

ok, thanks for the reply!
i will probely consider buying it but still keep my eyes open for other MOBOs thanks for the helpfull feed back and good luck with your build :)

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

You're welcome :).

If you are not attached to MSI, the ASUS Maximus VIII Hero is a really good one :)

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

ha ha! I was just watching a youtube review of that MOBO when u commented :D it does seem like a very good choice tho, hope i can find a open box one from ncix because it is a little expensive :(

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

What about the gigabyte z170x-gaming 7?

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  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

It looks fine, yes :). But it's only marketing. I don't know the thermal conductivity of the carbon but I think it's less than metals. So, technically, the thermal dissipators will be less performing. But the look is great

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  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :)