Description

I decided it's about time to build a gaming and video editing rig. This build has exceeded my expectations for performance benchmarks so far, and has not yet been overclocked. I wanted to go with a black/red interior components, and the final decision of the H440 glossy white case completed this sexy beast. The name EVA-SKYLER is based on the GPU brand (EVGA) and Intel's CPU codename ("Skylake", 6th gen).

Initial target was US$1300, but I upgraded to slightly better components after scoping out deals on Amazon and Newegg (M5 -> M7 motherboard, switched to AIO CPU cooler, and I also bought the SSD at an inconvenient time when it was not the cheapest).

MSI has a neat feature for easy overclocking (a literal overclocking knob that goes to 11). I haven't had a chance to overclock the machine yet. XMP profile is disabled by default, setting the RAM speed to 2133. It appears so far that I can achieve approx. 4.6 GHz CPU overclock with XMP enabled at full DDR4-3000 (MSI Overclock #8), though again I have not tested stability.

Update 4-Dec-16: Added internal RGB LED strips (as per /r/pcmasterrace compliance) and a 34" LG ultrawide monitor (see last picture).

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

Slick AIO cooler with easy install. Though there were other reviews about clearance issues due to the radiator size, I did not have any trouble with my MSI Z170A Gaming M7 motherboard inside of the NZXT H440 case (it almost interfered with the CPU power connector cable and the case's rear fan).

Video Card

A beautiful card with great specs. Able to run pretty much every recent game as of this writing on max settings, easily exceeding 1080p 60Hz.

Update 11/1/16. Word of caution: EVGA has identified a hardware issue with many of its GTX 1070 and 1080 cards. Please see http://www.evga.com/thermalmod/

Case

Gorgeous glossy white finish to complement the black/red interior of my build. H440 is a bit on the large end of mid-towers, but this just means plenty of room for hardware and ventilation. One of my front case fans shipped desoldered, which was an easy fix. In addition, one USB 3.0 front panel port does not function properly. Lastly, the plastic window is very easily scratched, and seems to carry some sort of static buildup from the interior, leading to dust streaks.

Comments

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

That EVGA logo blends very nicely with the NZXT shroud. Great build! +1

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Are you getting a new monitor? The monitor you have seem to be too small

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I think thats just preference

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I have a 23" IPS, thinking of getting a 29" 21:9 monitor for gaming and editing :)

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Good build. Some more pictures of the inside would be nice but a good choice of parts (aside from the cheap wifi device hehehe)!

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

haha last minute wifi card just to get connected to the internet. now i've got ethernet hooked up :D

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Excellent build, I'm doing a very similar build. Had a few quick questions for you. Thanks for your time in answering if you can.

  1. Did you have any trouble installing the H105 with the Z170A M7 board, I've been reading about clearance issues and haven't found substantial info.

  2. I'm assuming you are using the SSD as a dedicated OS drive? Do you use it for anything else and what OS are you running?

  3. Did you have any boot issues with the 3000MHz RAM? It looks like your model of mem is supported, however if you check MSI compatibility, it looks like you can't upgrade with 2 more sticks of the same if you ever wanted to go 32GB. https://us.msi.com/Motherboard/support/Z170A-GAMING-M7.html#support-mem

Thanks again, Cheers!

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for your interest in my build! My answers:

  1. I had no trouble installing the H105 with the M7 board inside the H440 (top mounted exhaust). However, I would consider the H440 on the large end of mid-towers, and even still the radiator + fans came really close to interfering with the CPU power connector and also the H440's rear case fan. Plugging cables into the CPU fan connector on the board was a bit difficult afterwards, too. If you go with a smaller case, perhaps you could front-mount the cooler as a push-pull setup (H105 manual recommends this).

  2. Yep the SSD is storing my OS, running Windows 10 Enterprise. The 1TB HDD is my storage drive, and I also scrapped my old external HDD (also 1TB) and integrated that, too. I'm probably not adhering to best practice and instead just putting all my games/programs on the SSD as well since I have 256 GB of space.

  3. The motherboard boots in a "safe" RAM mode, at 2133 MHz (and no CPU overclocking). I have had zero issues so far with stability in any of my components. Honestly, it was a bit of my own oversight to not check DIMM compatibility of my RAM with the board (I purchased it as a deal pair with the H105), and I have not yet tested CPU overclocking or setting RAM XMP profile for stability. If it means anything, the board will not POST with default CPU settings and XMP profile enabled (3000 MHz), but setting the MSI Overclock dial to 8 (4.6 GHz CPU, 3000 MHz RAM) does load to the BIOS.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Excellent info, thanks for the quick reply. I think I might end up going with the h115i although I will definitely look into the H440. I'm probably getting the Corsair C70 case and my research said most everything will fit, just the h105 was a little tight and needed finesse. I'm gonna do the OS on separate SSD and have 2 separate HDDs @7200 for Data and games. (Although I might put a game or two on the SSD, gotta love those quick loads and quick textures. ;) As for the memory, I'm gonna go with g.skill 2400MHz 16gb. I figure performance difference is negligible and when we'll need 32gb in the future just for games, I'll probably look to do a new build anyway. Thanks again, cheers!

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

You could also look into M.2 for even faster SSD speeds for your rig. Good luck with your build!

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

can u connect all the 4 fans to the motherboard?!

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

The H440 comes with a 8-port fan hub (port 1 is designated PWM), so I followed this post's configuration to connect the 4 case fans into the hub, then the CPU cooler fans pass-through this hub and are connected to the board's CPU fan header. This way, all case fans are controlled uniformly via the motherboard.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

thanks a lot

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Where did you get that desk and how big is it?

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

I built it with table top (Linnmon) and leg parts (Olov) from IKEA for around $50. I think the width is around 48", but an upgrade to wider desks would not be too much, just need to rebuy the table top.

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Appreciate it. Great setup you have there as well.