Description

A relatively simple Skylake gaming build, intended to replace my aging gaming laptop. It has exceeded my expectations on almost all counts, to the point that I'm really wondering whether I should have gone with a more modest system.

Parts were purchased in late December 2015 and early January 2016. I bought almost everything on sale or cheaply on eBay, which served to cut around $300 off the core build.

I chose several parts (the motherboard, RAM, CPU cooler, and case) with aesthetics in mind. The case's window is very dark, so the internals aren't as visible as I had hoped. This is perhaps a good thing, although I'm considering using an Arduino and some RGB LED strips to rig up DIY case lighting.

The CPU overclocked quite well, currently stable at 4.5GHz with a +190mV VCORE. It peaks around 56C under an x264 16T stress test, and at 61C while gaming. The RAM is using its 2666MHz XMP profile with no other modifications. I haven't seen any instability with these settings, and I'm considering seeing how high I can push the CPU while staying within safe voltages.

The monitor is overclocked to 75Hz, which makes games noticeably smoother. I'll probably try overclocking the GPU at some point, but as it's running slightly hotter than I'd prefer I'm going to put this off until it seems absolutely necessary.

I am not very good at cable management.

Part Reviews

CPU

It's a fast unlocked CPU. It runs quite cool at stock and has some nice features. What else is there to say?

CPU Cooler

It's quite, keeps my CPU cool, and looks pretty good.

Motherboard

A good motherboard with reasonable connectivity. Not the cheapest, but I'm okay with paying a bit of a premium for aesthetics.

Memory

It's RAM. It does what it says it will do and isn't too expensive.

Video Card

Great performance for the price, but runs a bit hot. No coil whine or other issues.

Case

It looks great and is easy to build in. It's not quite completely toolless, but a lot of it is. Interchangeable colors for the power LED is a really nice feature.

Monitor

Good image quality, okay price, easily overclocks to 75Hz. The built-in USB hub is a nice feature.

Comments

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

how does one manage to oc a monitor?

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Using the Nvidia Control Panel I created a custom resolution with a higher refresh rate and then applied it. This review mentioned that the P2416D was stable with no framedropping at 75Hz, along with the method.

I don't actually have the equipment to verify that there's no framedropping, but it seems a bit smoother than at 60Hz.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

damn that is pretty cool. Nice

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

I'm not sure how you manage 15hz higher and no black screen. Neat.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

It is neat, yep!

Part of why I chose this monitor was a review which reported that it could go up to 75Hz without dropping frames. While I don't have the equipment to verify that it's not dropping frames, it seems a bit smoother than at 60Hz.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

That's cool

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

What voltage is your i5 running at?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

+190mV using offset mode. HWMonitor reports a peak voltage of 1.296 while gaming and 1.280 under stress tests, which seems to map pretty well with what I had to use to keep the system stable when I was manually setting the voltage.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

so 1.28-1.3?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep. Anything lower either crashes under load or while booting, but this seems to be perfectly stable.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok, thanks

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

LOL that mouse haha

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Uni-Ball!

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you even mouse bro?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey I'm curious how you're liking your ASROCK mobo? I'm planning a build of my own sometime in the next couple of weeks and this one really checks all the boxes for me. I was totally set on purchasing it until I saw on Newegg that it had a few reviews that weren't great. What are your impressions after using it for the past few months?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

It's working well! Thanks for asking.

The only problem I've run into is that one of the temperature sensors (AUXTIN1, which I don't think is even installed) occasionally claims to be on fire and makes all of the fans ramp up to the highest possible speed. Not a big issue, but it is noisy. Putting the computer to sleep for a few moments always fixes it.

Other than that everything works, my overclock is stable, and it has all of the connectivity I want. I don't regret buying it at all.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, one question! I got the very same case and mobo, how did you set up the fan controller? my fans are always full speed even at very low temps. I would really appreciate some tips :)

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

My case-fans are attached to the fan hub behind the motherboard tray, which is in turn attached to one of the 4-pin fan controllers on the motherboard (I think it's CHA_FAN2 in the manual).

The two CPU fans are attached to the single CPU fan connector (CPU_FAN1) using a y-splitter which came with the CPU cooler.

Beyond that, I've set the BIOS to use the normal fan profile instead of the extreme one (which is much more aggressive). I would be using the silent profile, but I'm more comfortable keeping temperatures down.

I'm not sure what could be going wrong with your system. You have attached the fan controller to the motherboard, right? IIRC it can also take power from a SATA power connector, and while I'm not sure what it would do if only that were attached it doesn't seem implausible that it would just run the fans at peak speed.

Sorry for the slow response! Hopefully this helps despite that.

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

Don't worry I solved. I also plugged the case fans to the controller and the controller to the CHA_FAN2 and it works. Standard profile is just very noisy to me and every time I change cpu setting from the BIOS it resets to standard or aggressive settings.

If you are interested, I created my own custom profile for both cpu and case fan which keeps low speed till 40 C and then starts to ramp quickly after that. With this profile I usually get temps in idle around 26-30 C (ambient temperature here) and around 75 in torture tests using a Cryorig H5, which I assume being a tad less performant than your cooler. You can give it a try if you do not trust the factory silent profile. This is dead silent on idle.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Is that case any good? I mean, buttons on the side!? . I am getting the ATX version.