Description

This is a gaming build primarily for my wife who really enjoys the Razer-themed matte black and green LED look. All the parts were chosen specifically to match the theme while providing a great gaming experience as well. I'm upgrading her from my old Phenom II 940 (Quad 3.0 GHz) and GTX 660 which has been refurbed and handed down to my nephew who is in his first year of college. My wife is a big Skyrim enthusiast and highly ranked with Diablo III. The new Tomb Raider games she really enjoys as well. The old system was good for its day but it was time for an upgrade and this system came together very nicely. It's probably one of the easiest builds I've ever done and one of the nicest looking as well in my opinion! The important thing is she loves it and the games have never looked better.

Part Reviews

CPU

Originally I chose a 6700 but it was out of stock for so long I just went with the 6700-K for an extra $40. Not able to really overclock (much) with this motherboard, but 4.2 GHz on 8 threads is nice. The temp maxes out at 66 C while running OCCT CPU stress test for 15 minutes. Typically it is in the 50's for gaming and barely over room temperature at idle.

CPU Cooler

I love the aesthetic of this cooler and it was super easy to install. It is comparable to the CM 212 EVO or a Corsair H60 liquid cooler but it looks nicer than the EVO and there are fewer potential failure points than any liquid cooler. I used Arctic Silver-5 instead of the included thermal compound, but it is worth noting that they do include a generous tube of Cryorig branded thermal material. Pros: Quiet, looks cool, matches the other black parts, easy to install Cons: None really for the price

Thermal Compound

I've used Arctic Silver-5 forever and still recommend it. I use the "line" method to apply it and can verify that it works better than the "credit card" method every time!

Motherboard

This is an Intel B150 motherboard so overclocking and super fast memory is pretty much out of the question. It has amazing onboard audio though, and I'm coming from a Creative Soundblaster-Z in the old system which exaggerated the bass unnecessarily and overwhelmed the rest of the sound. This is crystal clear and wonderful at any volume, with headphones or big speakers. The green LED lighting is exactly what I was looking for. Gigabyte offers some software for "breathing" animation with the LED lights and such which I might play with at some point.

Memory

Nice black heat spreaders on black PCBs. Kingston is a great brand and I've trusted them for years. They didn't let me down. Maybe could be faster but DDR-4 RAM speed doesn't seem to make any difference with gaming from what I've read.

Storage

I was initially going with the 500 GB EVO but needed the extra space. The price has come down so much that this was really a smart move and did a lot to accelerate the system. Going from a WD Blue 1TB to this 1TB 850 EVO is as night and day difference. After the BIOS POST, Windows loads in a matter of seconds. Plenty of room for Steam and Battle.net as well. The 850 EVO series is touted as one of the most reliable SSDs out there as well, top sellers for a reason. Highly recommended!

Video Card

Black and Green, MSI build quality is excellent, fans don't spin when idle and they are very quiet when running Skyrim at Ultra or Diablo III at max settings. Haven't tried the DSR option, since my screen is 1080p and this card should be overkill for everything we can throw at it it might be fun to try rendering games at 4K and putting them on a 1080p screen. Only coil whine I heard was during the Windows SAT Assessment tool. I have not heard any other noise from it during regular use or benchmarking so either I'm lucky or the reports of coil whine are greatly exaggerated.

Case

This case arrived exactly as expected, matte black and tinted gray acrylic window with green LED lighting on the bottom and an illuminated Razer logo on the front. There is a switch in the back to toggle the lights (and the fans by default). I removed the 2 120mm fans and replaced them with a CM Sickleflow 120 and 3 Bitfenix 140mm green LED fans. With some patience you could power the fans from the motherboard and the lights all through the switch in the back, but I don't mind having them on all the time. My fans are powered through the motherboard and the lights on the bottom and the front are controlled by the switch. The tinted window subdues a lot of the light and it looks really nice and not as gaudy as I was thinking it would be. I'm very pleased with this case.

Power Supply

I was concerned initially about the four x 20A 12V rail design, but there is little to no sag under load and it is whisper quiet. I put the video card on rails 2 and 3, the CPU on rail 1 and peripherals on rail 4. I would recommend to anyone running a single GPU and not a lot of overclocking. The cables are blacked out and sleeved with a loose mesh, the Gold rating is nice, the fan is quiet and there is a 5 year warranty. I did some research and this G1 is actually a rebranded FSP PSU. I was happy to learn this as I have trusted their products for years.

Monitor

Very nice image quality. Nearly 180 degree viewing angle and a flicker-free backlight make this monitor very easy on the eyes. This monitor uses a VA panel, which I had not heard of before. Great for people prone to eye strain and headaches from fatigue. I'm running it on Scenery mode with the Vivid setting all the way down to avoid over-sharpening the pixels. I was worried at first about the 5ms GTG response time, but it turned out to be a non-issue. It is a 1080p monitor which might be too low for some people looking for a 28 inch screen, but I found it to be a perfect balance.

Comments

  • 46 months ago
  • 4 points

I used Arctic Silver-5 instead of the included thermal compound

https://i.imgur.com/TnQRX6v.gifv

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  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

Looks amazing! I love green and black together, and I'd would go with it any day if more parts were green!

+1

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! It would be great to try this build with a Z170 version of the Gigabyte Sniper board.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Heard anything about when they are going to release it because I haven't seen it for sale yet?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Its already available but not in the US. SOmeone was selling it on ebay but very expensive.

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  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Agreed. Wish they had the 980/TI in the same green and I'd be sold.

Great looking build. +1

  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

Similar to my build! Looks good!

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Your build looks great! I love the green sleeved cables. I have seen some sleeved extension kits with mostly black and some green and gray thrown in. I might get those as an upgrade at some point later on.

  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

Best CPU with a good cooler- Current Tech - got the DDR4 and 16 for future-proofing again!!!! GPU - Rocks with a 970 and a slot for a 2nd if you want That is one good monitor for less than 200 also - good choice ----------- 1 Good setup +1

Yep I hear that ROG2000-------Triskelion... HAIL HYDRA!!!

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I had my eyes on a Haswell Refresh system for this upgrade but I'm glad I went with Skylake. I realized that the extra money I spend on the processor I'm not spending on trying to get a decent motherboard as all the Z97 boards are going out of stock and it's slim pickings out there already. Plus "future-proof" like you said. I'm actually surprised how refined the motherboard turned out to be for tech I would consider to be still within the "early adopter" realm where reliability can suffer at least for a few more BIOS revisions. I upgraded to BIOS rev.F5c which was updated in January and the system has been rock solid.

The monitor was a good find and better than advertised. Stick "gaming" on a monitor box and you double the price instantly.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Triskelion... HAIL HYDRA!!!

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

The Razer logo is actually a version of a Celtic Triskelion symbol. (nerd alert --- I know!)

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah lol I assumed you were talking about the destroyed SHIELD Triskelion. Actually, that's a bit more geek but nonetheless, lol.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice. Sleeved cables would make this a winner :)

+1

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Is there a better case you can have with this build?

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

I hope your build becomes the next featured one. Looks sick!

+1 for those matching greens...especially that special edition GTX 970

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Solid build. Yay for black & green. My first build was the scheme and it holds a special place. Black and red is overrated. So pretty...

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build!

I'm planning a build with the same mobo and GPU and just wanted to ask... Does the GPU interfere with the second PCIe x1 slot that is under the x16 slot? I just want to know how many PCIe slots I'll have access to.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Great question! Both PCIe x1 slots are available if your GPU is a standard two slot configuration like the MSI GTX970 100ME. Be careful though because a PCIe x1 card may block some of the airflow as it will be really close to the GPU. It might be better to go with a reference GTX970 with a blower-style fan if you plan to use that slot.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Dude nice PC build. I just have a question, does this motherboard have WiFi installed, or do I need to buy a separate WiFi adapter? madkatomega ?

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

The motherboard does not have wifi installed, but it does have the holes in the backplate to add antennas and an m.2 slot that can take a wifi card. You would need to buy a separate adapter.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

OK. Also, should I get a sound card?

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

A sound card is probably not going to be much better than the built-in sound the motherboard provides, which is excellent in my opinion. If sound quality is critical the only upgrade I would consider is a USB-powered external DAC like the Mayflower Objective2 ODAC using the special filtered AMP-UP USB port this motherboard provides.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

thanks man. you da man.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

what size of a SSD should I get

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

I would say at least 250GB, but it all depends on budget. I prefer to stick to Samsung or Intel because they last longer than most of the other brands out there. I was originally going to use a 500GB in this one, but needed the extra space and went for the 1TB. No regrets though, boot up is so fast.

I have my eyes on the Samsung 950 Pro m.2 nvme SSD which would be amazing in this build if there is budget for it.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

ok. Thanks man

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you have any trouble getting the motherboard to line up with the standoffs? Im building my computer and the styrofoam on the back of the io panel is preventing me from getting it lined up. How did you get around it?

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Just patience and care, once the backplate is firmly locked in place, lower the board down and then slide it back. Everything should line up so the center standoff in this case pushes through the center mounting hole. As you can see in the photo, the foam does cause the backplate to bulge a little at first, but over time it flattens out.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Monitor good for gaming?

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Better than expected although the response time is borderline at 5 ms which is just enough to be noticeable especially with FPS games. In the same price range you can get a 60Hz TN panel with 1 ms response which is better for gaming but the tradeoff is the richness of color and the improved backlighting this VA panel offers.

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  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

Very true.... but a 6600k will never be an i7 ;)

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