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MSi X99 Godlike Gaming / aka Swan Song

by om1kron

Description

The machine as it stands is primarily used for gaming, streaming, editing. Currently there is not a monitor that really suits my preferences based on reviews so I'm still using a 16:10 dell ips panel at 60hz (gross I know) for gaming.

I was inspired to build this pc after buying an msi 980ti for my previous system which was an intel i7 870 and realized it had reached the end of it's life cycle as far as upgradability goes.

I've started a build thread on overclock.net and have documented some issues I've had with putting together such a high end system which should also let you know what kind of challenges you could potentially deal with building a similar system.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1586181/swan-song-build-log-i7-5960k-32gb-msi-x99-godlike-m2-intel-750-dual-980ti/0_50

Part Reviews

CPU

You really cannot argue that if you're going to drop the coin for this, it's going to be worth every dollar you spend on it. I think I still could've accomplished the same overclocks and system setup with a 5930k at the end of the day. But yolo. It's been a dream overclocking this to a very conservative 4.2Ghz stable with no hassle at all. Even with an AIO watercooling solution the processor barely hovers at 40c under load and rarely even gets close to 70c being stressed. This thing is a tank!

CPU Cooler

If you're not going to go full ****** with a custom loop watercooling system this is going to be the best bang for the buck. Given all of the issues I had with the motherboard assigning pci lanes, I could only imagine the heartbreak I would've dealt with building a custom loop system and constantly having to tear it down to re-slot the cards.

The air cooling is sufficient enough on that front and the h80 I have on my other i7 has ran like a dream for the last few years with 0 issues. So I know I am investing in a quality product.

Motherboard

I'll get it right out of the way right now, until further notice this motherboard gets 3 stars. Buying a 40 lane processor and assuming you'll just get to go on your merry way plugging items into the motherboard and having those 40 lanes properly assigned. You'll be in for an expensively bad time.

I literally could've purchased a 5820k and achieved a similar speed setup. Also the motherboard depending on PCi device configuration can take a really long time to post because it's trying to figure out how to assign lanes to devices.

For the price point of this motherboard and all of the features it advertises, it falls seriously short in bios update support and pci lane assignments. I've extensively troubleshot this device to finally get it up and operational. I would think something so expensive and feature rich wouldn't need as much babying.

My main gripes aside the network features of the motherboard are great, the msi live update tool is cool minus it installing google toolbar and norton security without me catching it.

heads up, do not install the killer network suite and head over to the msi support forums and follow the instructions on how to install your network drivers for the motherboard. I'll save you a few hours of your life.

Otherwise the wireless is awesome I managed to game and stream rainbow 6 siege at 720p on a horrible internet connection while maintaining a 60ping throughout the session . Even my ethernet will bog me up to 70-80 compared to how efficient it ran on wi-fi, so color me impressed.

The onboard leds are cool but they can only be controlled if the msi gaming app is running at start up of windows, otherwise the board will default to a solid red color scheme. At this time the msi gaming app does not start itself minimized in the system tray. It will always pop up in the lower right hand corner of the monitor. It's fairly annoying and hopefully the next update for it allows it to start minimized.

Memory

Excellent, the timings are fairly close, nothing mainly ridiculous about this set. XMP'd overclock as advertised, approved for use with the motherboard. I'd definitely set your sights on this set of memory for your build. I wish there was an option to pick what color the heat sinks would've been.

Storage

This thing is awesome. It reads and writes slightly faster than the intel 750d, although the 750 handles 300mb/s more on the 4k r/w's. The random access speed, everything about this is amazingly stupid.

It's overkill for an OS drive, but some apps will be running off of it, I was more attracted to form factor than performance. I currently have no additional power or sata cables in my machine handling data.

Storage

This was a pricey piece of hardware, it will mostly be used for video game installs and photoshop/premiere work.

Video Card

Pretty much all of the MF 980ti's have their own spin on them. I actually bought this card before I bought my motherboard. I've had 0 problems with MSi equipment from a failure standpoint and I've always liked the design of the twin frozr cooling system as opposed to other brands. So this was a no brainer for me, card performs great at the clocks it's supplied at although the golden edition has a slightly higher clock locked in, I don't think it's worth the extra 5fps I may get stressing these cards to those clocks.

Case

very simple case, I really like the removable fan grill on the front for easy cleaning and the magnetic filter for the top fans and the bottom of the case as well. The really open area's are the back of the case where the i/o is. Nice finish, overall very spacious for a small package.

Power Supply

I honestly don't see the point in spending extra money on the AX1200i when the HX1200i does the same exact thing minus the modification of digital rail power output vs analog. In a consumer build like mine and not a power hungry server this will get'r done.

Operating System

Windows 10 isn't without it's faults, the constant issues with windows explorer needing to be randomly restarted. all the time has been a real pain, other than that it's run very stable.

Comments Sorted by:

delphi8000 1 Build 6 points 39 months ago

Awesome machine, above mine and I'm already jealous.

Get an Acer Predator X34 - it might suits your preferences - and you'll have one of the best setups on pcpartpicker.

Happy gaming XD

om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

It's never in stock, and apparently a recall was issued on it (hence why you can't find it or it's little brother z35) in stock anywhere.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Monitors/comments/3rsmp4/acer_predator_x34_is_being_recalled/

TechyinAZ 14 Builds 4 points 39 months ago

That's one beasty for sure. :D

That motherboard is soo beautiful, but of course it has to have a dumb name like "Godlike".

om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

LOL True, but a lot of these motherboard names have been getting out of hand. It's better than the X99 Gamking ACK 7 3.1 v.3 Carbon. Luckily you can simply cover the name plate with an exhaust fan in your case.

Boorigie 1 point 26 months ago

Haha the guys building the Mobo's out at MSI probably arn't being payed for their naming skills, thats for sure...

526christian 3 points 39 months ago

It's... So overpriced and maybe overkill.

But I love it so much.

Bantha-cain 3 points 39 months ago

Agreed on pricey! But, shootz, damn fine! Sweet build.

DS4130 3 Builds 3 points 39 months ago

I like you storage selection very much :)

om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Anything else needed will go in my old computer as it will now become a NAS/Streaming pc.

dragoon20005 4 Builds 3 points 39 months ago

wow

not sure why you are unlucky with your board

i seen 2 other builds using the same mobo but nothing but praises

http://pcpartpicker.com/b/dNCypg

http://pcpartpicker.com/b/kvyfrH

weird the BIOS can be that wonky

Asus uses the dip switch to control the PCI-E lanes

om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Neither of those builds is utilizing m2 storage or an intel pcie nvme as a secondary drive.

I imagine if I just ran physical ssd's myself as well I wouldn't of had any problems.

dragoon20005 4 Builds 2 points 39 months ago

that will be a bummer :(

IIRC the Skylake Z170 chipset has a separate PCI-E lanes just for NVME to run

so the CPU provides the 16 lanes while the extra 4 lanes comes from the chipset just for the Intel 750 PCI-E SSD

om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

very versatile entry level cpu, that's for sure.

dragoon20005 4 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

MSI are known for their slightly wonky BIOS

My dad's MSI H97 board has a funny behavior when using the integrated display. If you set it to 512MB or 256MB for video RAM. The PC will refuse to start or shut down. It will only work with 128MB.

om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

All onboard solutions imo are pretty wonky, especially when they have a chip paired to them they don't really like. I made sure mostly everything I bought was tested on this motherboard one way or another.

49ers 2 points 39 months ago

A lot of high end parts. It's expensive but it's also very nice.

Inferno331 2 points 38 months ago

That SLI bridge!

om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

I sent it back, was actually causing some problems due to the way the motherboard was handling pci lane assignments. I'm pretty bummed about it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89_jBv9MAJk

Gooberdad 10 Builds 2 points 38 months ago

Wow what an awesome setup. Hope you get the pci issues worked out. Thanks for posting. +1

om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

thanks for the props man, for the time being it seems to be working itself out.

TBNRfrast 2 points 29 months ago

Nice setup

om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

thank you!

Harrison1264 1 point 39 months ago

Going down list like omg haha nice thank for pics

om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Sadly I had to ditch the SLI Bridge. Hopefully MSI plans on making one that is height adjustable or will go on without a slot gap requirement.

fn230 9 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Superbly overkill for gaming. At first I thought you were being pretentious with the name; then I saw the motherboard.

om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

It's also nice that it only takes a few minutes to render videos in premiere and I never really have to bother with previews with the ram and speed of everything. It's pretty marvelous actually!

Faizan 1 point 39 months ago

About your rant on the motherboard, no offence but that's sort of the buyer's fault. That's why you take the time to look at the motherboard's manual before purchase. It tells you anything and everything you would want to know for your motherboard.

When I was choosing one, I had like 40 different manuals pulled up at once, then I would go through each and say "Ooh, I want this feature... but not this one," then move on to the next, and so on until I found the perfect one!

For example, if you don't want an M.2 drive feeding off of your PCIe lanes, then the manual tells you that.

om1kron submitter 2 Builds 2 points 39 months ago

The manual also does not explain a lot of things, but it's also trying to pack in as much information as possible in 5 different languages.

As far as your remark about the m2 drive or me not doing the research, you can simply look up the manual yourself or reference my linked post here.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1511496/official-msi-x99s-a-motherboard-owners-club/2100_50#post_24852349

The manual clearly states as bright as day.

In a 2 way sli setup with a 40 lane cpu. I should be able to have my graphics cards both running at x16 and and the m2 running at x4.

If anything is plugged in anywhere else it causes lane errors for the motherboard, it does not tell you that is a behavior or that it's not possible to run other configurations.

Either way at the end of the day the board is up and running, I just wish their manual was better drafted in that regard.

Thanks for your input.

Faizan 1 point 39 months ago

I am honestly too lazy to look through it at the time of replying to you, so I'll go with what you're saying. By no means does that comment mean that I'm too lazy to prove myself right, as I very well may be wrong; I'm just too lazy to even look at all.

Thanks for the reply, glad you're taking all thoughts into consideration.

om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

LOL I can respect that, trust me. I build computers for a living so even I had a big WTF going on while troubleshooting. These instructions were also drafted during the motherboards original bios 1.0 and they're currently on MP 1.2 which is what I flashed the board to.

Faizan 1 point 39 months ago

That's true.

EsxPaul 3 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Great build mate.

I've been following your PCIe lane issues closely on the Overclock forum and I'm glad to see you are managing to troubleshoot your way through them.

om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Thanks man, it's a bummer I can't use that sweet sli bridge, but that's life I guess lol.

Jmeyer7575 1 point 39 months ago

ill trade you a 750 ti for it

om1kron submitter 2 Builds 2 points 39 months ago

utah gimme two.

deltawar567 1 point 39 months ago

So what do you do for a living?

om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

I am a computer technician #bigsurprise

deltawar567 1 point 39 months ago

http://ttpremium.com/product/core-wp100-super-chassis-series/ so i will be using this case when it is released. http://pcpartpicker.com/user/deltawar567/saved/ykyYcf this is my build, I am not sure what fittings to get exactly for my radiators because there are so many factors that are involved like hooking up fittings and piping over hardware.

doncandraa 1 point 24 months ago

what the case fan on the pic no 2?

JinNyght 0 points 39 months ago

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/KrGRQ7 plz let me know what u think

om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

I couldn't give you that much of an honest opinion. Last AMD machine I built had an athlon X2 4200 in it, and the last ATI card I bought was a 7970.

It looks like it's going to produce a LOT of heat, that fan controller also looks pretty dank, a lot of better options out there for the same amt of money. But I guess the other folks who commented are right, this is probably better asked on the forums.

Good luck on the build buddy!

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I_dunno 2 points 39 months ago

Well said sir!!

JinNyght 1 point 39 months ago

I did lol right after I posted that sorry

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om1kron submitter 2 Builds 2 points 39 months ago

The pci lane assignment issue is because I am shoving in another pci device so technically the board is trying to be pro-active making sure everything has enough lanes to run fast. It's really unavoidable with this board. It thinks I'm doing 3-way sli, so it's not technically a flaw, that's how it was designed.

The boot time issue was randomly fixed, I cannot explain how that started working again. Having the gpu's slotted in 1 and 3 and putting the pci nvme card in pcie5 was the only time the board was having 90 second start ups. Now it's lightning fast. I put the cards back in 1 and 4 which would mean 16x across the board but I put the intel 750 in between them instead of pci5 so the m.2 stays x4 otherwise we're back to 90 second boots and the processor trying to direct pci traffic.

Either way I've just come to grips with it until msi puts out an update bios for the motherboard.

The name is from a quantic dream video game that came out in 1999 called omikron featuring david bowie.

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om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

You're more than free to recommend some other hard drive testing software for me to benchmark and I'll post the scores.

They're pretty neck n neck, the 750 reads/writes about 300 more mb per second for 4k writes, iops roughly the same for both and the 950 is 200mb r/w faster for normal operation than the 750.

However, the 400 and the 1.2TB models are also slightly faster than the 800gig for some reason. Blame Obama.

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om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

Damn him! haha

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om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

The only gripe I have with it is this NZXT Kraken X41 106.1 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler

I would get one with a bigger radiator if you plan on overclocking, if keeping it stock then that should be enough. Everyone just has a hard on for overclocking things.

Also it should already have thermal paste applied to the heat sink, I wouldn't remove it and use another brand. It seriously makes no difference.

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om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Those look pretty cool but I'll pass. I don't have any pics with the NZXT Hue+ installed but I will upload some as soon as I have time.

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om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

The only place to get them in the US is Performance PC man, anything corsair is out of stock for full kits, I spoke with a customer rep when I did my RMA since I ordered the wrong ones somehow. They do a HUGE order at a time so don't expect to see what you want in stock for a month or two.

Hope this helps.

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om1kron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Just waiting to see what Q2 brings to the table this year before jumping the gun.

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om1kron submitter 2 Builds 2 points 39 months ago

barely