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Build

SunkissedSnow

by afledder

14
15 Comments

Details

Date Published

Dec. 26, 2016

Date Built

Dec. 22, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

3.2 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

34.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

68.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.531 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

8.008 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

36.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

70.0° C

Description

My first build, got the idea in November and took a couple months to get everything together and do my homework. The machine is only used for gaming, my daily driver needs to be a laptop. I'm primarily going to be setting up a heavily modded Skyrim run, but also some city building and RTS action. Almost all the games I want to play (with maybe the exception of modded Skyrim?) are usually going to be a bit older (Civ v, AoE:2, Homeworld) or not super heavy on the rig (Cities:Skylines, Kentucky Route 0), so tried to hit a sweet spot that will let me stay quick while not taking on any overclocking for my first build. Gotta save something for the next one right?

Started life as a PC gamer (Apogee FTW), but shifted to consoles around the time of GTA3 (PS2 era). Was finishing up Fallout 4 on the PS4 and realized I needed a change, so decided right then and there to invest in a rig I could use for the next few years.

Initially came across this case in a build write up on some other site for a budget build, but ended up deciding to upgrade the components that were in the original guide. Liked the case enough to plan the other pieces around the form factor. This will be sitting on a small platform under my desk and connected to an Asus 32in that shares duty with the laptop.

**Not including an old WD 1TB drive I salvaged from a USB2 external enclosure in the inventory. It's an old SATA2 model, I'll probably swap it out with a 4TB/7200rpm once those get even cheaper than they are now.

Part Reviews

CPU

Very happy with this processor, since overclocking was not in the plan, based on some homework this is the most bang for your buck. Ran it through Prime95 twice: once for 4 hours, another for 6, no errors.

Motherboard

Great mobo for my mITX build. Wanted something with USB-C since my laptop has it and I'm sure I'll end up getting something that needs it at some point. Really like the built in orange LEDs underneath it, keeps everything clean while adding some pizzazz. All the drivers installed straight from the disks, no problems. Not using it yet but love the extra M.2 NVME SSD slot, and that using it doesn't disable any of the other eSATA connections. Built in Bluetooth is great, and the WiFi is AC, to match my router speeds. Worth the extra cost over the H170 mobos I found, since no overclocking is planned. Also supports two case fans (in addition to CPU fan),has HDMI and DVI built in (not needed because of the GPU but still) and lots of USB options (including a USB 3.1 Type A in addition to the Type C)

Memory

Was hoping to get some white RAM for the build, but prices skyrocketed in November and December '16 for some reason, so just went with something dependable and black. Tested them with MemTest86 overnight with no errors.

Storage

The gold standard in my opinion. I had bought an external SSD from MyDigital and the damn thing couldn't stop overheating, so I decided then that I would rather pay a bit more for rock solid quality and reviews than save a few bucks. Still, managed to get it for pretty cheap and sold the game it came with, so a good deal too.

Video Card

This card was pretty new when I did my build, so not a whole lot of deals on it, but so far, it's been awesome. The fan is pretty quiet, it doesn't go above 70 C torturing it with FurMark for an hour, fits the case, matches the components, and should buy me a few years. Hopefully.

Case

Great case, no complaints, it's a small case so cable management can be a bit of a pain, but that's pretty obvious just looking at it. The big fan in the front is awesome, the window on top is great. My only complaint is that (and I read this from some other review so I knew it ahead of time and bought my own) the thumbscrews it comes with are silver with black plastic rings. Kinda cheap, so I just bought a bag of 100 black thumbscrews for $10ish and problem solved. Still though, the case is really quite nice.

Power Supply

From a reliability perspective I have had no problems in the last few days since the build. The 2 stars knocked off are for the amount of cable management that I had to do with the cables I needed. Even if it was fully modular, the same problem would persists. Specifically that the SATA power cables have multiple connectors on them, but they are not spaced far enough apart for my two drives. So I had to use two individual SATA power cables, each with 4 connectors on them, which made them that much harder to fold on themselves. Also the PCIe cables have two connectors on them, so I had to fold on back on itself. These are not negatives for everyone, but I would have preferred 3 cables, with one connector on the end of each as an option. Some people may call that a feature, it was a bug for me.

Operating System

It's fine, it's Windows, it plays games, it just needs to stay out of my way.

Case Fan

I wasn't sure if I needed these or not, but I picked up two to just add that little extra hot air removal. Initially had them sucking air in, but with the big fan in front of the case, it made a lot more sense to have them push out. They're sturdy, seem well made, and are as quiet as an 80mm fan can be, which is to say not super quiet when on load. Still though, they are good fans.

Other

A bit unique it seems to my small mobo is support for two case fans. One is already taken at the front, but I've got a spot for two 80mm on the back, so needed a splitter. It's cheap, and it's wrapped.

Other

This keyboard sucks, but it is super cheap, so until I can find a Cherry MX Red at less than $40, I'll just keep using this thing. No problems with it at this time, it's just cheaply made and I don't expect it to last long and typing on it is out of the question.

Other

Bought these to replace the cheap thumbscrews the case came with, happy I did.

Other

Didn't want to deal with zipties, these match the color theme and are easy to adjust and hold tight.

Comments Sorted by:

BladeRunner531 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago

lol i just built my system today with that exact power supply. noice build by the way, love the white case witht eh black on the inside and the orange LEDs. Reminds me of Overwatch kinda.

afledder submitter 1 Build 2 points 25 months ago

Thanks man! Yeah, the PSU is alright, just didn't like all the extra connectors in my case.

marland66 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago

Nice Clean Build! Great Job!

afledder submitter 1 Build 2 points 25 months ago

Thanks!

Mattwolfson 1 point 25 months ago

I've read mixed reviews that the B150N Phoenix Motherboard supports PWM/software-based fan control. Are the Noctuas running at full speed or are you able to control them using the system fan headers on the motherboard? Would love to avoid having to plug exhaust fans straight into the PSU on this build.

afledder submitter 1 Build 2 points 24 months ago

Sorry for the late reply, from what I can tell they are not running at full speed all the time, I can hear them spin up and down depending on the load. Sometimes, with it being winter right now, upon first turning on the computer they will spin for a second, then turn off, and then turn back on 15-20 second later. Other times when the room is warmer, they just stay on running at lower speeds.

Short answer: I am almost 100% sure they are variable speed but of course they both run at the same speed since there is only one connector. I can run Prime95 later tonight and check the RPMs on HWMonitor. I'm not an expert (this was my first build) but would that validate they are PWM? Or is there something I can check that would tell me?

Mattwolfson 1 point 24 months ago

No worries - sorry for my late reply as well! Very helpful information. No need to run Prime95. I'm not really sure how to validate if it is PWM or not... I assume if you have software like Speedfan or something similar and it can read the fan speed (in RPMs) and let you adjust it, they are PWM...

afledder submitter 1 Build 2 points 24 months ago

Just got into the BIOS and I honestly can't say, but I did try installing Speedfan and none of the fans are registering as PWM, same with HWMonitor. So maybe none of them are and they are all voltage controlled? Under the BIOS there is the option to change CPU, 1st and 2nd fans to Normal, Silent, Full Speed and Manual, where Manual is just some sort of a percentage of full.

Sorry if that's not of much help.

Mattwolfson 1 point 24 months ago

It's very helpful. I imagine those 4 settings are all based off of voltage, which is still adjustable to an extent (just not as precise as PWM). Thank you! I will wait and see if the new 2xx boards change any of this (I doubt it), since by the time I am ready to buy I will be chasing a 7xxx or RyZen CPU.

OsoAlgo 1 Build 1 point 24 months ago

Hey if it's not too much trouble, is there any way you could confirm that the USB Type-C port and the red Type-A port are 3.1 gen 2? Many re-sellers say so, but the official documentation from Gigabyte doesn't specify.

afledder submitter 1 Build 2 points 24 months ago

Best I can tell, the driver that is running for 3.1 is this guy http://www.asmedia.com.tw/eng/e_show_products.php?item=155&cate_index=154 Which states supports up to 10Gbps, and according to this page https://www.msi.com/blog/usb-3-1-gen1-gen2-explained That means it's USB 3.1 Gen 2. That being said I don't have anything that I can actually use to test that to be sure.

OsoAlgo 1 Build 1 point 24 months ago

Thanks a lot! It certainly seems like it, I just thought it was stupid of Gigabyte not to specify that in the official manual.

By the way, is there any way to turn off the LEDs on the motherboard?

afledder submitter 1 Build 2 points 24 months ago

Yep! You can set the LEDs to off, steady on, fade in/out on and pulse the beat of whatever sound is piping through the mobo. I've done this through the BIOS but it also comes with an app for Windows that may do it on the fly, not sure.

liamaustin24 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

Nice build! I have the same case, Mobo and GPU! Are you still using the stock cooler? I have an i7-6700 and i'm tempted to upgrade, but i'm not sure what would fit this case.

afledder submitter 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

I totally thought about updating the build page, but I indeed did upgrade the cooler (mainly for looks), and am now using a Cryorig M9 (http://www.cryorig.com/m9_us.php) which fits perfectly in this case. It's much quieter than the stock cooler, and I saw a drop of 10 degrees at load. It also matches the air intake from the front, pushing to the back, and then getting sucked out the back with the two 80mm.

The perfect cooler for this case I think!