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Command/Control Station--MSI X99S Build w/6850K, Samsung 960EVO NVMe, Corsair and CoolerMaster Parts

by Major-G8tor



Date Published

Feb. 9, 2015

Date Built

March 14, 2015

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

33.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

70.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate



2017 Updates: Swapped out the 5280K with a 6850K to build my nephew a good PC. Also gave him one of the 970GTXs and I went to a single 1080GTX. The Intel 600p NVMe SSD seemed to have some latency issues so I replaced it with the Samsung 960EVO and it runs great. I'm still rocking the MSI X99S SLI-Plus which was one of the first X99 motherboards and it is rock solid!

Sept 2016 Update: Added the M.2 NVMe Intel 600p 512Gb stick since the price after initial release was reasonable. Install was easy into the M.2 slot on the motherboard. I discovered a need to hotfix my OS with the native Microsoft NVMe driver to copy it over as a boot drive. After cloning my OS drive it has been working well and boot-up is a bit snappier. After a year or so one of the ADATA DIMMs went bad so I replaced all with Corsair DDR4 RAM. This bumped up the RAM speed to 3200 MHz XMP with a 4.2 GHz overclock.

May 2015 Update: Recently added a second MSI GTX970 and an Nvidia bridge to make it SLI . Also added red power extension cables to make it a bit more color coordinated. Since all PCIEx16 slots are covered now I'll have to use the M.2 expansion port for a future NVMe SSD. New ones are coming soon for the general public. Next project is finishing my little boy's PC--as you can see he's tired of sharing his sister's.

Future Addition: The Intel 750 series PCIE 3.0 SSD will be a nice speed boost for the system drive.
http://techreport.com/review/28050/intel-750-series-solid-state-drive-reviewed Prices are ~$1/Gb now so I'll wait for the other new NVMe-protocol drive versions to come out and hopefully compete to drive prices down. The NVMe version of the Samsung SM941 is another option.

Update: Added in the final part--MSI's GTX970 and took a few more photos. Running smooth and had no hardware/software errors since start-up.

Been assembling these parts for a new X99 system over the past several months. My current PC is a Z77 Intel board with the 3570K Ivy Bridge and some of the listed parts will transfer over. This MSI board has a low-end basic Realtek audio chip so I added in the SoundBlaster Zx card and glad to say the Creative software drivers have improved. I have it all together except the MSI-GTX970 card and I'm just waiting to see if Nvidia will do another promo/free game like the "pick your path" selection over the holidays or maybe a price drop soon.

I've fired it up and tested it out with an older ATI video card. Pleased to say no problems arose and the BIOS is fairly easy to use except the UEFI boot sequence selector is a bit different than I'm used to. This is my first MSI board and I'm really impressed with the build quality especially for it being a lower-priced X99 board. The DDR4 ADATA memory all registered on first boot and the BIOS switched to the XMP 2400 speed with an easy button on main screen. It did need a BIOS update since it came with version 1.3 and current one is 1.8. MSI's Live Update utility makes it easy. Ran a few benchmarks with the Intel XTU utility and it's getting over 1600 marks with temps staying well below 70C with a 4.1Ghz overclock. All I did was over-ride voltage, set it at 1.25 and typed in the 41 multiplier. Everything else on auto. Others folks on forums say above 4.3 the temps start to spike and it gets unstable.

So far I'm very pleased with how the system is coming together. As soon as I finish it with the GTX970 I'll post more pics. It's looking good with all-black mobo and red add-in components. Being a military member I like the OD green Corsair case. Later, Major G8tor

Comments Sorted by:

ewhite0603 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

Looks really good man!

Major-G8tor submitter 1 Build 2 points 31 months ago

Thanks, I recently ordered the last part (MSI's GTX 970 video card) since it had a $20 dollar price drop and rebate. When it arrives I'll update this post with better photos.

Thalassoma 1 point 30 months ago

This looks like a great build! I'm designing something pretty similar myself. I'm toying with the idea of buying a sound card. Do you think the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Zx is worth the money?

Major-G8tor submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Hey thanks for viewing and kind comments. This particular MSI motherboard has a very basic Realtek audio chip so yes I would recommend an add-in sound card if you enjoy better digital audio control. I've been using Soundblaster in previous builds and I'm used to their software which has been tricky to setup with the older X-Fi series. This Zx series seemed to install much easier. Also ASUS has their Xonar series sound cards which get good reviews from users.

Dossium 1 Build 1 point 28 months ago

Looks awesome! I am building nearly the identical computer. Is the CPU stable at the 4.1Ghz? Also, have you run into any issues with the graphics card or motherboard?

Thanks in advance.

Major-G8tor submitter 1 Build 1 point 28 months ago

Hey, appreciate the feedback. So far it's been running great. I recently added a second GTX970 to make it SLI and bumped it up to 4.2GHz. Ran several instances of Intel XTU and PCMark8 benchmanrks without any problems and temperatures stay around 70C max. Final tweaks will be an NVMe SSD drive later when prices are more reasonable and maybe some power cables for the video cards that aren't so messy looking.