System Builder Marathon Q1 2016: $662 Budget PC

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turkey3_scratch

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I love this build! I used to recommend the Redbone U3 case a lot. Rosewill cases are great, and one of the greatest features is that they come with plenty fans. My cheap $29 Rosewill case came with 2 fans, and the case itself is very durable steel. I think that was a great case choice. As for the overclocking troubles, do you think it was more CPU or motherboard related? I would argue motherboard related. I am a huge fan of the I7-5820K and the X99 platform, and one of the arguments many people make in support of the I7-6700K is that the motherboards are far cheaper, so it brings down the cost of the I7-6700K a lot. But this is a perfect example of the downfalls of overclocking on cheap boards, even if it is Z170. Too limited. At least if I go X99 and have to pay $150 for a board, I know the board is going to be well up for overclocking with a powerful VRM.
 

kunstderfugue

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That overclock story is such a bummer. I'd love to see a roundup of Z170 boards for BCLK overclocking, provided it's going to be doable without some microcode update built into windows disabling it.
 

AlistairAB

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May 21, 2014
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I think this is a great build for Americans ;)

Here in Canada, that motherboard is crazy expensive, and the i3 alone is over $170 after shipping. Since AMD's new 870K with the quiet cooler is just $110 CAD, AMD still wins for me outside the U.S.

Come on Intel, stop gouging us with your i3 prices :)
 

RedJaron

Splendid
I'm almost positive the overclock limitations were from the board. Even at 4.225 GHz, the CPU didn't break a sweat. I still had plenty of thermal headroom and was only using a 1.32V VCore. No, I think it had more to give, the board just wouldn't let it get there. I saw the same thing last year with the H81 and B85 roundup. None of the boards could stably hold 4.3 GHz or higher. Putting the same chip in even a cheap Z97 board got me 4.4 GHz easy. Now that was probably more about VRM capacity and power flow, which I don't think was the case this time. But in my other mboard reviews, you see some that can just hit the higher BCLK marks.
 
Very interesting. I'll need to reread again when I'm awake again tomorrow, but it looks like you've provided some good data once more.

The only change I might suggest would be one of Seagate's SSHDs. Either the 1TB or 2TB model is frequently discounted.
 

RedJaron

Splendid
That's not a bad idea for a real-world build. I just don't know that a hybrid drive will show any benefit in the SBM test suite. You typically have to use those drives for at least a few days before the caching algorithm knows what to store and keep in the cache. That would speed up some tests, but not others, and I don't know how you would control the ones that get the speed.

If it was me and I had to stay around $650 total, I'd probably drop the GPU to the 750 Ti and get a 120 GB SSD. That would also let you save on the PSU since you wouldn't need the PCIe lead. Of course that also limits your future GPU upgrades, so pick your poison.
 
Looks like your overclock was limited by the low-end RAM. It's a shame because there are 2666 and 3000MT/s kits going for cheap right now.

Personally, I used the same high end DDR3 that I already had, and I think that was to my advantage as I had many more RAM dividers to drop down to while raising the base clock.

Maybe you can make another attempt at this again later and give us an update.
 

RedJaron

Splendid
I don't think it was the RAM. If it was, I should have had problems with it at the faster speeds regardless of the BCLK. However I got it fully stable at DDR4-2700 with a 102 BCLK, but I couldn't even get DDR4-2400 when the BCLK was above 105. I don't think it was the cache multiplier either because 2666 was rock steady with a 3.7 GHz cache.

I'm sure we'll see a lot more i3 tinkering in the days to come, and this is hardly an exhaustive study. On your personal i3 overclock, have you seen any memory problems? How do you stress yours to test it?
 


lol...if you only knew how many times I re-installed Windows on my bench drive due to corrupted file system while overclocking my i3... The first week was really rough. I've still not got my DDR3 as far as I got it with Kaveri (2400CL9), but even still it is showing better bandwidth and latency at like ~DDR3-2300CL9 than my 860K could do. I'm capped at 1.65v in my Z170 BIOS though, whereas I could push literally as far as I wanted on my FM2+ motherboard.

But now I'm more comfortable, fully stabilized a 24/7 overclock and still chipping away at stabilizing 4.7GHz.

For stressing I obviously can't use the typical AVX workloads, so I'm experimenting several other synthetics and real work loads such as loops of 3dmark physics, CPU-Z stability test, Kombustor CPU stability test, AIDA 64 Extreme stability test, ASUS Realbench CPU stability test, and of course just normal gaming and work loads. Some of these tests indicate very high temperatures in AIDA when I crank the voltage (nearing 80C), and others are lower temps like 50C. I've pushed voltage as high as 1.5 already though it did no good, so maybe I'm hitting my cache limit.
 

Mac266

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Just for the archives, I offer a similar build here in Aus. Counting all the costs, Including my charge, the cheapest you can pick it up is $1050 AUD. Crazy stuff.
 

jtd871

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You might want to swap out the HDD for a SSD and see whether the cost increase would have increased your overall system performance/price ratio. Same for the GPU 750ti/950. It won't count for this SBM, but you'll get better data points for next time.
 
Ok, I've had more time to think about this build. First of all, I like it, including agreeing that it might be worth dropping down to a 750Ti in order to add a SSD, but that alone won't be enough, since there is now only about $30 difference between the two cards.
Otherwise, it would meet my needs (and those of most 1080p gamers who don't require UltraMaxOhWOW settings). Furthermore, it is expandable, with an i5 or i7, and a GTX960 without replacing the PSU. Particularly if it is partitioned (which just makes it easier), you could add a SSD later and clone C: onto it.
 

mitcoes16

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I also do not understand that it is an affordable PC you do not put GNU/Linux on it, and make it a $558 PC,

Manjaro, Fedora Suse Mint or Ubuntu would be all great choices.

Steam and Steam on playonlinux (wine) or battle.net will work.

And LibreOffice is far better than MS Office and as affordable as free.

It also can be used as console if you buy a Steam Controller ($50)
 

turkey3_scratch

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Their testing software is all for Windows, and most Steam games are only supported by Windows. There is too much Windows-only stuff to use Linux for these. Windows is the norm. And I think MS Office is better.
 

DouglasThurman

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I have two 860Ks and overclock the hell out of them with a 120mm water coolers I found for $60 on Amazon. All cores run at 4.3GHz without a hiccup and paired with GTX970s play any game so far at high to ultra resolution on 1440p. <<mod edit>>. Not to mention I can't stand Windows 10 which will be a required software component to Intel's skylake money pits...
 

RedJaron

Splendid
You do not want to get into an argument with me on the 860K vs i3. Go back and read last quarter's SBM bonus article. An 860K against a Skylake i3 would have no chance.

As for an FX-8320, well it's also more expensive than an i3. It also uses much older and slower architecture than Skylake. Core count is important, but eight slow cores often lose to four fast cores.
 

g-unit1111

Titan
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I really like this build and I've been very badly wanting to dip my toe into getting a Skylake build going even if it's on the low end right now. I want to set up a build for CCTV recording, would this handle the basics?
 


I wholeheartedly agree.

860K was my last year'd build. It was ok, but it didn't seem to have the awesome value that my 760K had the prior year. My i3-6100 quite literally blows them out of the water, and I'm sure it would crush even the FX-9590 in any game. Where the AMD chokes and FPS drops into the 20s or 30s, the Skylake keeps on churning out 60FPS (See post 2779 in the 860K club at OCN).

As far as DDR4, no one is making you get DDR4 with your Skylake. I would if I were building from scratch though as density is more important than performance to me when it comes to RAM,. I feel like I had the same argument with DDR2 vs DDR3 for Phenom II. Even still, my i3-6100 utilizes DDR3 better than any AMD platform out there (see the AIDA64 database at TPU).
 

RedJaron

Splendid

And if you convert that to USD, you'd find those are the same prices we pay ( $130 and $85 ) As I already showed last quarter, yes, the i3 is more expensive, but it offers better performance / dollar than the 860K. And it costs more money than it is worth to get an 860K to match the i3 in performance.

I truly hope that Zen is a big step forward. Saying Intel chips both outperform AMD chips right now and offer better performance value isn't "fanboy-ism", it's the truth. The FX-6300 was a compelling chip around $100, but with the advances in Skylake, I don't know if I would even bother with one of those now.
 
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