New box 2015

With Win10 and Skylake here, it is time to replace my 4 year old i7-2600k. Now the initial rush is dying down and availability of parts is up, I finally managed to order the bits from suppliers I don’t hate for previous reasons at a competitive price.

Asus Maximus VIII Hero
G.Skill DDR4 3333MHz 4x4GB
Corsair Carbide Air 540 case
Corsair Hydro H110i GTX CPU cooler
Corsair HXi HX750i PSU
Samsung SM951 512GB M.2 SSD

This marks my return to watercooling, enabled in part by the case with it generous space. I’m hoping the new closed loop systems are zero maintenance compared to the home brew systems I tried in the past.

I’m not really into old school overclocking although this setup will provide some potential especially once it gets cooler. The ram was chosen specifically as past experience showed some crunching projects I’ve tried were bandwidth limited on Haswell (less so on Sandy Bridge). So I hope the 50%+ extra bandwidth compared to standard DDR4 will give it a boost there.

I’m gambling a bit on the Samsung M.2 SSD. It has high transfer rates but unremarkable IOPS. I was going to go for an Intel 750 PCIe SSD which does have much higher IOPS but I’m currently confused as to the overall compatibility here. I might still get it since the Samsung wont be enough storage by itself as this time around I want to put the OS and all programs on SSD. With my existing box the 240GB SSD is only enough for OS and selected programs, but I had to move games to a traditional drive. My Steam folder alone is 640GB! For bulk storage I’m undecided if I should physically move the drives over from my current system, or finally go networked storage.

I’ve already got thermal compound. No idea what’s hot or not nowadays and randomly picked Arctic MX-4. Also have a DVD drive for installing stuff.

Still need a new GPU to go with my new monitor. I already ordered and received an LG 34UC87 34" 21:9 ultra-wide running 3440x1440 and neither my R9 280X or GTX960 is able to maintain 60fps at high quality and full resolution. Normally I’d prefer nvidia over AMD, and the GTX980Ti would likely do the job nicely. But since I already went water cooling with the CPU, I thought it would only make sense to do the same on GPU too. I still need to shop around but the Fury X seems to come in watercooled as standard thus would be easier.

Oh, and I’ll need a copy of Win10 too. So far I’ve not managed to establish exactly the difference between home and pro, other than the corporate networking stuff I don’t care for anyway. Ram support of home is still far in excess of anything I can even fit onto the mobo.

Looks like a good set up. Haven’t had much time to read up on the new DDR4 RAM, so I would be interested to see how it performs.

As far as I understand DDR4 is just the usual enhancements. More bandwidth through higher clocks, latency works out about the same in actual time as opposed to clock cycles. Lower operating voltage. So stock DDR4 isn’t that much faster than stock DDR3 but at a bit lower power consumption. As I went higher end DDR4 I lose the possible power savings but do get significantly more bandwidth potential.

Been researching hard on the M.2 form factor SSDs. In short it turns out there are two main types: AHCI (as can be used by SATA but without the bandwidth limitation) and NVMe. The one I got is AHCI and in reviews the protocol itself starts to bottleneck IOPS. NVMe was built for this application, and the drives using it can support higher IOPS, but might lose a bit in max transfer rates. They also tend to be more expensive, which is a shame as they can be the same hardware with different firmware. All considered I’ll stick it out with the one I ordered as I don’t want to pay the premium for NVMe models. Being realistic, what I will have will be no worse than high end ordinary SATA anyway.

On that note, I still need to order a 1TB ordinary SATA SSD for bulk storage. Samsung Evo Pro seems to be the best performing but comes at a price premium. That leaves the value spots between the Evo non-pro and Crucial BX100/MX200, where I’m tempted by the latter since the Evo Pro has been hit by a firmware SNAFU earlier this year semi-bricking them. Hang on, isn’t my M.2 a Samsung also? :slight_smile: I think I might have to do a fw check/update on it when I get it, and to be safe never look at it again unless there is a critical bug.

Still debating on the GPU situation. There isn’t much choice in the Fury X availability at the moment so I’ll be delaying any judgement on that. I also still haven’t ordered an OS…

Gonna have a busy weekend putting this lot together. The depressingly small package in the front is a Samsung SM951 512GB M.2 SSD. New case not in shot. Still undecided on GPU choice so will reuse existing for now. The PSU is bigger than I thought it would be. The ram box is MUCH bigger than you’d expect for 4 dimms. Turns out it includes two clip on fan coolers for the ram but I’m not sure if I’ll use them. They are rather small fans rated at high speed so could be noisy.

Nice little project you have there Mackerel. Looks tasty. :slight_smile:

Box more or less assembled for now. I did pretty much everything in the wrong order and the GPU went in and out more times than you do the hokey cokey. It got there in the end. Started up ok 1st time and running a memtest for now since it’s too late to start an OS install.

Actually, I haven’t fitted the 2nd storage SSD, which I was going to add after I installed Win10 onto the main one. Before I do that, I haven’t fitted the DVD drive either.

I actually want more lights in it now… time to dig through my old parts bin tomorrow. I know I have some left over modding bits in there somewhere. As much as it pains me to say it, I also feel like replacing the stock fans with LED ones… why did I have to pick a case with a window? I even made the cable routing is neat and tidy, in the visible part at least. The back compartment is filled with the excess lengths. I’ll need more than a cable tie to keep that in check.

Pics in the morning… sleep now.

Installed Windows… went to stress test and found CPU temps were higher than they should be with a cooling system like this. They reached over 80C running prime95 and even with high end air I never got much above 60C. Manually pressing down on the waterblock got the temps down to 60C or so, releasing again it went back to the 80’s.

I suspected during install the contact wasn’t so good. I found the following user comment on the Corsair forums “There have been several problems on here with Asus boards being thinner than most.” Asus board? Yup. Now I have to run around and see if I have some plastic spacers or something I can use to move the back plate out slightly more.

Found some plastic nuts which happened to be about the right size to fit on the backplate as a spacer once I stripped its thread off. Put some washers between the standoffs and mobo, and temps are in the high 50’s C under prime95.

Debating which temperature to believe. I’m using Corsair link to monitor the system as well as the watercooling and PSU, which also talk to the Link software. The intel temps are the high ones, but I think the idle temps are too low around 28C. The room is probably not much lower than that. The mobo reported idle CPU temp looks more realistic around low 30’s, but under load this figure doesn’t make it much past the 40’s. The water loop temp pretty much sticks to low 30’s.

I had sim issue with my hydro cooler so added a few extra bit on to get a tight clamping

**Idle temp are probably right I do idle on a older chip at 4ghz about 3-4deg above the reported H100i temp

Intel are not flash soldering the ISH’s any more so temps do register higher than on older chips not sure i would de-lid a modern cpu but bigger cooling gains going old school direct to die but you don’t really get the same % cpu uplift like old days.

and the dies being smaller also give less surface area to wick away the heat.

I always take on board with pinch of salt the intel core temp reported in corsair link is not that bad seems to give a decent representation of the average temp of the intel chip package but individual core temps will differ on load there are other programs that can read the per core temp more accurately but if you accept the intel in link may 2deg higher… hopefully you can see my pic of corsair link attached

In the direct reporting per core I have temps from 32 to 38 but the average pretty much is in same ball park as the Intel Core temp reported in corsair link

Here’s mine so far… also some CPU-Z screenshots. Really not played about much with Corsair Link yet, presume from your screenshot you can add your own photo in there, so that’ll be on my todo list.

I’m not hardcore enough to de-lid a CPU. I don’t really overclock either. The i7-6700k seems to turbo to 4.2GHz without me doing anything which I’m not going to complain about, certainly not enough to start turning up voltage to try and squeeze a few more MHz out.

I love the power monitor too but forgot to screenshot that so far. Just did a heavy stress test. 4 threads of Prime95 stress, plus Furmark on the R9 280X. The power meter showed the system consuming around 450W at that point, but since I picked a higher efficiency PSU it was reporting from memory about 93% efficiency at that level, compared to 85% efficiency while idle on desktop. Right now running some more Prime95 since I did have errors earlier. I believe those were due to the incorrect cooling.

Gotta digest the Prime95 bench results now (stock DDR4 and at rated speed), comparing against previous runs on an i7-2600k and i5-4570S.

Not looking bad tbh

Yes just right click the picture in the corsair link and you can change it to your own :slight_smile:

I’ll get some more LEDs in it first before taking a photo :slight_smile:

Fun isn’t over yet. I moved the R9 280X over from my old setup, but now connected to the 3440x1440 monitor, it flickers occasionally when set to 50 or 60Hz refresh. It doesn’t do it at 30Hz. Maybe the DP cable I have is rubbish? Moved to HDMI. Same problem. So it isn’t the cable. Must be either card or monitor. Both were fine together in old system.

Gonna see if tieing the power rails together might make a difference. If not, then I’ll swap out to my GTX960 although it is a bit under powered for gaming at this resolution.

GTX960 installed. 50Hz over HDMI is ok. 30Hz over DP is glitching using a different cable than on the R9 280X. I can remember exactly which combos I’ve tried previously.

Tried different DP socket on the GPU, now working fine at 60 Hz. Fun…

It’s always a game of trial and error. Kept getting unexpected bios errors with a Gigabyte board, which I though was caused by the dual bios it has on board. Found it was the wrong type of RAM in the end. Was using 1866 type modules when I should have been using 1333. Trial and error was the only way to resolve this. With modern gear there are so many variants and it’s not always clear from the manufacturer what works best with a given component. Glad you got it sorted Mackerel.

This time round the exact ram I got was on the mobo’s compatibility list. I was tempted by newer ram but they’re not on the list (yet)… this older ram was designed for the old extreme processors which were cut down Xeons I believe.

This isn’t helping my decision on what GPU to buy any… the Fury X all look pretty identical and I understand they have to use the same reference design. Do they come from the same factory, or are they made independently to the same design? If the latter, there could still be differences on manufacturing quality? Or do I stick with a 980 Ti? If so, which? There’s too much choice. Every time I think I found the one for me, I find a review with a deal breaker. e.g. the Gigabyte G1 seems to do well in reviews, but I see reports of whine coming off them. I like the Asus Stryx, but it is supposed to be an unremarkable performer for its cooling capabilities. Or should I go even lower. A plain 980 would save the pennies and still be about double the performance of the 960 I’m currently using, but there is as much choice on 980 as 980 Ti models.

The FuryX is the type I had the issue with. Great RAM in the machine with the Gigabyte 990FX, but not the other one.


I’m talking about AMD Fury X GPU. In a bit of a search, are you talking about Kingston Fury HyperX ram?

Why can’t things be simple??? Installed the Fury X, and it’s really noisy! The card itself emits a high frequency whine which a free app on phone shows is about 8kHz. To make sure I can’t tolerate it, the fan on the rad also makes horrible noises at certain speeds. Not looking forward to sending this one back but think I’ll have to. Maybe I should have stuck to air cooled cards…