Update: Changed the name from Red Skylake Machine to Red Cyclone.

I built this $900 gaming rig to replace my aging Core 2 Quad machine. I really like how this turned out. I used a Core i5-6500 and H170A motherboard so I can upgrade this for years as Skylake-compatible parts become cheap. This is my desktop PC for the long haul, so no overclocking.

This inherits my old PC's two monitors, an amazing ASUS VN247 and an old Vizio VW32L. For sound, I have an old set of Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers and my faithful Turtle Beach X12 headset that also works for Xbox 360 voice chat. This also uses my old Logitech G5 mouse, which is getting replaced. I bought a Das Keyboard Ultimate S, the one with no labels on the keys. I also moved my video capture setup into this rig, which includes an Aver HD DVR card and a Hauppauge WinTV card. I needed to borrow a SATA cable from my previous PC to connect all three of my drives at once, so I'll buy three red SATA cables for this rig.

Part Reviews


I don't need to overclock, so having an H170A motherboard isn't aproblem for me. It's a bummer that the RAM's clock speed is limited to 2133MHz. 2400MHz RAM was cheaper so I got that anyway. The motherboard's frontside audio connector is on the bottom corner completely opposite where the ports are on the case, so there's a wire running awkwardly across the bottom of the motherboard to connect it.


My friends convinced me to get a Samsung 850 Evo SSD, and it's great. I've never had an SSD before and Windows performance is incredible. It's only a 250GB, but I added a 1TB HDD that handles gaming just fine.

Video Card

I haven't found anything that can really push this video card to its limits, but it runs all my games great. I can stream with OBS in 720p at 1600kbps without dropping a lot of frames. My only complaint is that it doesn't push a true 1366x768 signal to my second monitor, a Vizio VW32L TV. My TV always interprets the video card's signal as 1080p, which the TV is not. So that monitor's image is upscaled to 1080p by the video card then scaled back down to 1366x768 by the TV itself. My old computer's various Nvidia cards all had no problem giving this TV an acceptable 1366x768 signal.


This Enermax Ostrog GT case made this build come together easy and look great. There's plenty of room for all the components, and even a good inch of space behind the motherboard to route all the wiring. This case comes with a quiet fan in the back and the two big fans in the front with awesome red LEDs. I could add more fans to the top and bottom of the case, but my motherboard lacks connections for them. The rest of the red/black color scheme came together nicely, but a tinted side window makes it hard to see inside, and the power LED is a very bright blue light that projects a blue spot on the ceiling.

Power Supply

The SeaSonic 850W PSU was easy to install and hasn't missed a beat. It's a shame nobody can see this tidy modular wiring through my case's tinted side window.

Optical Drive

The LG DVD burner is solid for the money and rips CDs perfectly in Exact Audio Copy.


  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

you should slide me some of that spare change you have there......Lol XD

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks great!

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

what games do you play on this GPU, I had the gtx 960 but I think im gonna switch to r9 380. What do you think I should do?

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Street Fighter V and Grand Theft Auto V run great on this at 1080p and high settings. I haven't tried anything more intensive than those games. It's probably an improvement but not by much.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

cool thanks

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