Description

This build was upgraded from an AMD FX 8320@4.2GHz with 8GB of DDR3 @ 1.600MHz. I use it mostly to play iRacing and Assetto Corsa and performance wasn't what I would like it to be. After a lot of research trying to decide if I'd get a better VGA than a GTX 970, I decided to let go of AMD and get the i5 6600K, since prices for Z170 motherboards and 1151 CPUs are now similar to Z97 options.

The improvement average in FPS from my testing was 36.46%! I was impressed and satisfied with the results :)

You can check my tests here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LdOMYp9J1z58MmItcT8astmpLBRhA5MVGO5PMbP6Rww/edit?usp=sharing

I'm running the 6600K @ 4.4GHz now with the 212 EVO and temps range from 58c to 62c depending on the game.

Next steps will be a new case with better airflow and cable management, and after that a closed loop AIO water cooler to run the CPU in lower temperatures. As soon as GTX 1070's from Nvidia partners start selling I'll probably get one of those. Looking forward to what MSI and Gigabyte have to offer.

Edit: Got the Gigabyte G1 Gaming 1070. Great improvement against the OCed 970. Check my 970 vs 1070 tests here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wMHaaETlNPlagXDqW6nhJwQcIlILNpe9a3kOo9-5ihg/edit?usp=sharing

Edit 2: Oculus Rift for sim racing --> AWESOME

Part Reviews

CPU

Upgraded from a FX 8320 and the improvement was massive. Running it at 4.4GHz stable with a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO.

CPU Cooler

Cost-benefit of this cooler is incredible. My 6600K@4.4GHz runs at 30c idle and around 58-62c under load.

Motherboard

Love the looks of this board and its simple overclocking capabilities.

Video Card

Excellent 1070 card. Runs relatively quiet when fan is not above 50% (reason it's not 5 stars). Overclocked it to 2038MHz core and 9200MHz memory. I was hoping for a better core clock but I guess I didn't win the lottery. So far it's been perfect for sim racing games with 3 monitors (5760x1080) and with the Oculus Rift.

Some people complain about the plastic shroud and other flimsy components. I don't care and I think the card looks awesome. Couldn't care less about the RGB stuff though.

Power Supply

I have this power supply since May 2012. Completed 4 years now and it is running strong with a 6600K @ 4.4GHz and GTX 970 with a small OC.

Headphones

Not the best headset. I hear a continuous buzzing sound since day one. Tried different equalizer settings, even bought a new motherboad with a different sound card and the problem continues. Had also problems with the USB sound card and Logitech support sent me another headset. Support is awesome but I wish the product was better. As soon as I have the money I'll get a better 7.1 surround sound headset. Probably not from Logitech.

Comments

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build. Instead of waiting for the 1070, I'm waiting for the AMD RX 480. Seems like a good build.

+1

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

The RX 480 seems like a nice option too. Especially for games with good Crossfire support. Let's wait and see what happens in the next couple months.

  • 39 months ago
  • 3 points

Personally I'm going for the 1070 to replace my old gtx 670. But the rx 480 could be a very good option if works as advised.

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, if reliability is good, you could have two RX480's with 8gb of VRAM each for around 500 bucks, and beat the 1080. Just a thing of preference, or if it comes to it, reliability and power draw.

  • 39 months ago
  • 3 points

The Rx 480 is a very promising graphics card. If it actually delivers, a crossfire setup could be a great option for many gamers.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

I ended up getting the Gigabyte G1 Gaming 1070 for $429. Average improvement of +50% in iRacing and +60% in Assetto Corsa, comparing it with the 970.

I think I made the right choice because even with a 1070 I'm having to lower some settings while sim racing with the Oculus Rift. This thing is sucking everything out of the graphics card!

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, I was thinking about the 1070 or a 390x, but when I saw the announcement of the 480 I had to wait.

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

Dont put components on the outside of anti static bags. only the inside is insulated and the outside actually attracts static. just a heads up.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Always did that and never had any problems. But thanks for the heads up.

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

usually nobody does, but I have heard of it happening, better safe than sorry anyways :P

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah maybe if this were a Gigabyte board I would be worried. That could be because I'm bitter that my board shorted out and it took them a few months to approve the RMA.

I didn't know this either. I was going to do a build this week. I also usually put the MB on the box with the bag under it to test it out (didn't do that for the shorted board). I will just use the box this time around.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I'll make sure to not use it next time. Never heard of this until now lol

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

how did you get blackwidow for 58 dollars?

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

50% promo discount a few months back + bought a refurbished one :)

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

I have a FX-8320 and have been wanting to go triple screens for a while. I need a new video card anyway, but couldn't decide if I should just upgrade that or do a whole new build. This is the first time I've seen iRacing benchmarks for this situation, so this is pretty helpful for me :D Guess I'm going to go ahead with a new i5 system.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

iRacing is the one I race the most and the improvement was very noticeable. I enjoyed the low cost of the FX build but performance wise this upgrade was exactly what I needed.

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

Needs more pics. But still, +1

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Case is really dusty :(

I'll clean it soon and post more pics. Thanks for the +1!

  • 33 months ago
  • 2 points

more pics plz!

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

I updated a few other things including case and water cooler, so I'll create a new build with new pictures.

Thanks for asking!

  • 33 months ago
  • 2 points

get some good snaps of the guts!

  • 39 months ago
  • 0 points

Great improvement results, can't knock the performance of a newer chip. For someone possibly building from scratch...the z170/i5 combo cost around 190% more than the M5A97/FX8320 combo for an average of 40% performance gain based on your benchmarks. When you look at it that way... it's not that great ;D

But hey, it's your money and you can spend it as you like and personally I would have sought cheaper intel options without sacrificing those performance gains.

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

Bear in mind that the average increase of 40% was with 5760x1080 in sim racing games. I tested The Division with 1920x1080 and in some cases the increase was more than 80%.

The 40% average increase was enough to stop some stuttering issues I had in sim racing games, specially during starts with 30+ visible cars. If you saw what happened here you'd agree with me that the upgrade was well worth the money.

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

I agree, the gaming experience improvement was worth the upgrade