Hello! I have been building computers for about 15 years, as a hobby and for friends / family, and recently completed my latest rebuild. I was running into issues with my i7 920 and XFX 5870 and decided it was time to upgrade. Skylake had recently come out and I felt it was a perfect time to upgrade. I was also recovering from surgery and would have plenty of free time to look for parts as well as buy and build. My friends and family helped me by either giving me money or buying the parts directly. I couldn’t have done this without their help or my dog’s since she was there helping me build.
The main theme for this build was overkill so that the system would be quiet under normal circumstances. I am currently playing at 1080p but my next purchase will be a freesync 1440p monitor, something like 24 or maybe 27” so this build should be able to play at that resolution.
CPU: I5-6500 I went with the i5-6500 mostly because I don't plan on overclocking for a long time. I know that people will criticize this cpu choice but by the time I need to overclock, I can look towards something bigger (6/8 core K series in a year or two?). As for now, since I am only using 1080p monitors, this processor will likely be massive overkill for pretty much everything.
CPU Cooler: Swiftech H320 X2 Prestige I saw the announcement for the Swiftech H320 X2 Prestige and knew that I had to have it. Complete overkill for a non-OC build but it should allow my system to be whisper quiet. It also looks pretty sweet so that is another plus. I didn’t have any issues with installation, except for getting the fan controller to stick to the back of my motherboard base plate. The included 3M tape was fine except that I didn’t have a lot of flat surfaces to work with.
Motherboard: MSI Z170-A Pro LGA 1151 I wanted to find a motherboard that was the Z170 chipset so that I could overclock eventually if I wanted to but didn’t want to break the bank. I really like this motherboard although it does feel a little “flimsy” when installing. I was a little worried when attaching the power cables especially that I was going to snap it in half. Luckily, I didn’t. Installing the water block and back plate was pretty simple and I actually didn’t have any problems with it. I really enjoy the MSI software that is included and with the “fast boot” enabled, the computer is up and ready to play within 10 seconds. I had no issues getting windows 10 installed and overall really enjoy the mobo. The software updater could use a little polishing but it works.
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Honestly I was just looking for a 16gb (2x8gb) set that was on sale on newegg at the time of purchase. The ram is DDR4-2666 and should overclock if / when I need it. No issues with installing them and I didn’t have to worry about CPU cooler clearance since mine is a water cooling block.
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive and Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive I recently built a computer for my brother and put in a 850 Evo 250gb SSD for him so I was able to see the speed in person. When I saw the 500 gb version go on sale, I didn’t hesitate to buy it. I also had an older 1tb mechanical drive laying around so I reused it for this build. I don’t have sensitive data on my computer and rely on dropbox for most of my backups anyway so reliability on this drive isn’t a major concern.
Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 390 8GB Double Dissipation Video Card I spent the most time debating which video card to get and ended up with the XFX R9 390. One of the main reasons was that I wanted the 8gb ram for when I scale up to 1440p. I am aware that the GTX 970 performs similarly but this model was also on sale for 275 after rebates so I couldn’t pass it up. One future upgrade will be getting a water block and including it in my current loop. Since I won’t be overclocking for a while, adding a video card to the loop shouldn’t overtax the system. The radiator I am using is also pretty large for the processor I am using so it should keep things cool.
Case: Cooler Master HAF X ATX Full Tower Case Absolutely love this case. I bought it a few years ago and have been using it for a while. I was tempted to replace the USB 3.0 headers on the top plate but decided it wasn’t worth the money. I had Coolermaster send me the long USB cables so I can route them through to the back (ugly but good enough since I don’t use all of the ports anyway).
Power Supply: Rosewill 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply I looked at reviews of power supplies and wanted to make sure that I could get one that was full modular. This model was from a respectable company and seemed like it would be enough if I were to add another video card down the line. A 5 year warranty helps and the price was 60 after rebates so I can’t complain. Overall very impressed with it but did need to have a cable extender for the CPU power cable because of the way I wanted it to route through the back of my case.
Keyboard: Logitech G15 Keyboard I have had this keyboard for a long time and love it. I don’t really use the G keys anymore but I love the LCD display (mostly for the clock when gaming).
Mouse: Razer Naga Hex Wired Laser Mouse My brother bought this mouse for me for my bday and I really love it actually. I was using a Logitech G500 before with just the back and forward buttons so I wasn’t sure how I would like this one. I have to say that for games like Dota 2 it works amazingly. I have been playing Tree of Savior lately and it also works amazingly. The ability to push 1-6 on my mouse while holding shift or control really makes moving around a lot easier since I don’t have to worry about WASD while hitting buttons on that same hand. Definitely helps hand fatigue since I am doing less with my left hand now.
Headphones: Logitech G930 7.1 Channel Headset and LUXA2 HO-HDP-ALE1BK-00 E-One Aluminum Headphone Stand My dog accidentally broke my last headset when she got tangled in the cords and it fell to the ground next to her. Obviously it was time for a wireless headset. I wanted one that didn’t have batteries because that would just end up in a significant pain later on. These headphones are great, very comfortable, and the wireless range around my apartment is superb. From what I can tell, the microphone quality is fine as well. Battery life is great and it has a little USB charger that you can plug in while wearing them (without the cable rubbing on your neck or anything). I also purchased a headset stand and absolutely love it. I had been looking for something for a while and this stand is perfect. It has a little weight to it so I don’t worry that my headset will knock it over because of their weight. One minor / major issue is with the Logitech software. It really just … sucks. I had to find a fix on the forums because my headset just kept turning off. Apparently there was some kind of “idle time” setting that would force the headset to turn off after a short period of time. I also can’t get the battery level for the headset to display on the G15 LCD, which seems like it should be pretty simple considering the one software suite covers both parts.
Feel free to leave comments or ask questions about the build. It only took a few hours to put together and I haven’t had any issues since I finished!