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New PC Build Advice

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As some of you know, my old LAN PC died at #15 in the middle of a game of Grid. 


The Utter B*stard.


I need to build another and have so far thought about:

  • Motherboard - Gigabyte Z170 Gaming 7 (4 people have told me Gigabyte over other makers)
  • CPU - Intel i5 6600K (I know I could go for an i7 but I figure I can do that later funds permitting)
  • Cooler - Corsair Hydro h100i GTX
  • Case - Fractal Define S - I love the clean lines, water cooling options and the drive mounts behind the main board tray.

I already have:

  • PSU Corsair 650W modular PSU (bought trying to resurrect the old rig!)
  • Video - Nvida GTX970 that I am buying from a friend

I intend to buy a 256 M.2 drive to plug directly into the board as a Windows boot disk for quick start-up ... and the install for Train Simulator ;)  For the rest of the storage, 2 x 250gb SSD's mounted in the rear of the case, one for Steam apps, the other for Windows libraries (Pics, Music, Docs etc). The build will not have any mechanical storage (no HDD's or Optical Drives), as I've got 2 servers that can look after all of that. 


I need to look at RAM and would like some advice as to which suppliers you'd recommend?


I might meddle with overclocking but nothing serious. This system will be massively quicker than my old PC so I will not be looking to stress it; I would rather have a stable, working PC than a screamingly fast one. 


Am I on the right lines for building something half decent? 



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All sounds fine to me, Try to get around 16gb of RAM, I notices thats its DDR4, so if you can go for that too. That's optimal these days, depending on look or keeping it future upgradable, 2 stick of 8 ready to go to 32 if the time ever comes or 4 of 4. to fill out the mother board for aesthetics. The m.2 is a great shout, Ive been waiting for prices to drop as i could only fit in the very small size which you couldn't fit much on and were expensive .

Will 250g for steam be enough? TF2 takes up 40-60 odd these days. tbh I've not checked up train simulator. 

Will you be having a window or all metal sides? Because if you going to have this all pretty looking, (Loving the motherboard led options btw, I'm very jelly now ) Just pick the ram that matches your colour scheme, is is at the highest speed your motherboard can deal with and that your willing to afford. 

Stuff like

Would light up nicely and match the white.



or these

Any many people take the top bar off and spray it to any colour they like.





When it comes to cooling, and this all depends on if your going for athletics or not that this is my current fav and recommendation



Mainly for its semi-modular system, giving you the option to change the rad and tubes of the cooler to match a set up and allows you to cut them to fit inside your case better, preventing that horrible, tubes being bent at horrible and scary, ugly angles to fit. But with the case you getting that may not be a problem. It also allows you to put any colour dye you want to change the fluid colour.....it does how ever void the warranty if you do so, changing the tube colour dosnt. 


On a side note how ever....Why go full ATX? do you intend on putting more things in? you suggested that you wouldn't put any mechanical drives in. meaning you could still fit all your equipment into a smaller form factor making it easier to LAN with. 

Edited by Neon_Rabbit
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Thanks :)


I would like the Define S for a number of reasons.


1. It has plenty of room - I am not very good with small, enclosed spaces - so it should be easy to build in. It will only get moved for LANs twice a year and I don't have to worry about space in cars etc. 

2. The reviews I have read say it's good at keeping a system cool

3. The radiator can be mounted on the top, front or bottom. I like the idea of it being on the front but if it looks untidy, it can be mounted on top.

4. No drive bays, apart from the M.2 the other drives will be out of sight behind the main tray. The only moving parts in this should be the fans.

5. For the first time, I will be managing the cables properly and keeping them out of sight. Going to order some braided red SATA cables for the rear mounted SSD's to keep with the colour scheme of the board.

6. I will looking for RAM to match the red / white colour scheme of the board. I don't like red (rather it was blue!) but that's what most 'gaming' boards use. I like your idea of filling all 4 slots to make it look better.

7. After spending this much money, I want to be able to see it so want the side window.

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Just did the costing on OcUK. Came to £920.


CPU: i5 6600K - £200

Mobo: Gigabyte Gaming 7 - £176

Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX - £102

Case: Fractal Desgin Define S - £70


My changes:

M.2 SSD: https://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD-213-SA £132

  • NVMe support on the Mobo. Make sense to do this.


RAM: Crucial 16GB https://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY-178-CR £80

  • 2133MHz only supported on the mobo by the looks of it. Would like to find something else, but I'm only looking on OcUK here.


Storage: 2x 250GB Samsung 850 Evo https://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD-191-SA £78 each (£156 total)

  • Buying the single 500GB drive will save you £18 @ £138



RAM - mobo specs I am seeing are suggesting it only supports 2133MHz

Cooler - Does it fit this socket type? (LGA1151)

Mobo - Looks overkill for the build. You won't be using 2/3 of the things on it.


As you know, I have made the transition to the small form factor and will never use anything bigger again.

I would swap out the mobo for the Gigabyte Gaming 5 MATX one. It has all the features on it you will be using and is £40 cheaper.

Obviously I would also choose another case to match this.

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Fair enough reasons, I was just curious.

As far as I see you can get the motherboard to glow blue anyhow other than the stickers already on it. Let me know if you want help with some coloured cables of your design and choosing, i would be more than happy to help make some. 

Looking at some other images of the mobo, it looks like many of those white panels are covers and could easily be removed to be resprayed. Leaving just the remainder pci slots red and white,

I bought the armour tuf series board and sprayed the whole thing white. Could be wrong though. red ram isnt difficult to find, and though light bars i linked previously glow blue over many corsair domminator ram units. the avixer stuff is nice too, I have them in my personal build.

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On Saturday, during a visit to Scotland, I went to Ayr and the shop of everyones favourite Duncan Banatine impressionist, Graeme and his shop at Kustom PC's. He's been helping me plan the build and kindly agreed to do some of the build for me. I've built / upgraded machines before but as I was having a liquid cooler (and I HATE putting on coolers anyway), Graeme kindly agreed to do this for me. 


I've gone with (pretty much) the spec I had thought about in my original post. It was touch-and-go as to whether an i5 6600k would be available as they were in short supply last week but Graeme managed to get me one :) He had mounted the motherboard, DDR4 RAM, CPU, 256GB M.2 drive (straight onto the mobo) cooler and radiator into the case and started some of the cable management. Hopefully I helped re-pay Graeme as I spoke to a fellow father in the shop and explained that I had come up from Derbyshire to buy the PC. As the gent said "Well, that's a good advertisement for the shop, coming all this way!" he said.   


Last night I installed the PSU and installed Windows 8.1 to the M.2 drive from a USB stick. This was very quick taking less than 15 mins. I then installed the drivers for the network, sound card etc and downloaded the Windows 10 files. I tried to run the install but this failed with an error after the first reboot, thankfully dropping me back into 8.1. It might be a BIOS (fast boot?) setting that's causing the issue but I'll have another play with that tonight. I've still got the GPU to fit (Nvidia GTX 970 from a friend) before I can play games but for now, the onboard graphics via HDMI are fine for the build.


I'm on the lookout for a deal(s) on SSD's. There are 5 mounting points behind the motherboard tray for drives and I want this to be a SSD only machine; no noisy and slow mechanical drives! Not long now until I get my TF2 / Train Simulator / Track Mania fix again.

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It's almost done ...


The Corsair AIO cooler




Inside ...




Samsung 256gb M.2 SDD for the OS




The rear mess!




It's got 4 x SSD's and I won't be adding any HDD's - I have plenty of server storage so don't need terabytes in this machine. It's overclocked to 4.1Ghz and the cooler is doing a good job of keeping the CPU under 35 degrees. 


I can finally play Trackmania, Train Simulator and TF2 again!

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Guest Zenith

Looks great Elsie!  By pure chance I got one of those same PSUs earlier this year.

Sorry to ask the question, but how many £'s?

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Looks great Elsie!  By pure chance I got one of those same PSUs earlier this year.

Sorry to ask the question, but how many £'s?


For the whole build?


Erm don't tell SWMBO! 


The board (Gigabyte z170x), CPU (Intel Core i5 6600k), AIO Cooler (Corsair H100i GTX), RAM (16gb DDR4), SDDS (Samsung 256gb M.2) and Case inc build & configuration by Graeme at Kustom was £796.
The PSU (which I already had trying to rescue my old PC at LAN) was about £60. 
I already had one of the SSD's but have added the SanDisk 120gb for £27 and a Samsung 500gb for £91, both Amazon lightening special deals.
The GPU is an AMD 7980 (I think!) and cost me £40.
All in all, it's cost about a grand. I could have spent less but I didn't want to buy an older chipset; I wanted something that would be relevant for at least a year (I hope!).  When the time comes I can upgrade the CPU to an i7 and add more RAM, better video card etc. 
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I'd not consider upgrading the cpu and memory until long after you've bought a better graphics card. Then again that 7980 probably copes with your Midlands goat pR0n.... ;)

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