[SOLVED] Z170 build advice

Robbom

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Recently acquired a Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3 from a friend as he is upgrading and I decided this would be a good opportunity to move to a newer platform (as I am currently still running on a 3rd gen xeon). While I realise that upgrading to a ryzen based system is probably more economical I see this as a chance to invest in some good ddr4 ram, Case, PSU and after market cooling to use on future builds/upgrades. I have around £400-£500 to spend. This is what I have so far:

CPU: Intel Core i7-7700K (Can find used at around £200, will delid for thermals and as I plan to overclock)

Cooler: Noctua dh15? Prefer air to water because of fear of leaks but open to suggestions

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard (Bios has been flashed to support kabylake)

Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory (Should I invest in a better speed/timing ram?)

Storage: Keep my sata 500gb SSD for the time being with the option to upgrade to m.2 in future

Video Card: Use existing 1060 6gb

Case: Something to suit the build, nothing too expensive

Power Supply: Need some advice on this, would 750w be appropriate? If so could do with reccomendations

So essentially looking for PSU, ram, processor, cooler and case options totalling the previously mentioned budget. Thanks in advance for any help or advice it is much appreciated!
 

Barty1884

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However having already bought the board and now a delidded 6700k for 160 I'm a little commited!
Fair enough.

Am I right to think that, bar the obvious change of motherboard and processor, a ryzen system in a few years time could use the rest of the parts I would buy for this system?
Depends when you upgrade. DDR5 is in the works, but it's not right around the corner. Rumours at one point suggested Intel were planning for DDR5 by 2021.... and AMD's roadmap for Epyc (their server grade processors) are still using DDR4 for their Q3 2020 planned releases. DDR5 will hit server grade implementations long before consumer.
So, with that, it's fairly safe to assume your DDR4 will be reusable through at least 2021-2022*

*However - Note with each Ryzen iteration, memory speeds/compatibility are improving. 1000 series was generally 2933MHz stable..... 2000 series was 3200MHz and now 3000 series has 3600-3733MHz as the 'goal'.
It wouldn't be too unrealistic to think that by ~2022, DDR4 could be common(ish) in the >4000MHz range.

Also the build posted still had the dh15 cooler in the list, is this the level of cooling I need to overclock the 6700k chip?
No, an NH-D15 is a great cooler, but it's not 'necessary'. As I mentioned, if you want Noctua, the U12S and U14S would be plenty capable (and improved compatibility was cases/RAM etc).
be Quiet!'s Dark Rock 4 or realistically, even something like a DeepCool GAMMAXX 400 or CoolerMaster 212 Evo would suffice for a delidded 6700K.
 
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Barty1884

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Needless to say, investing a whole lot into a slightly older platform doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Helps to get a baseline for what you could get if you went another route. So a couple of examples:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor (£180.78 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: MSI B450M PRO-VDH MAX Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard (£74.99 @ CCL Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z Neo 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory (£136.29 @ Alza)
Total: £392.06
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-10-16 16:11 BST+0100


PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 3.7 GHz 8-Core Processor (£169.98 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte B450 AORUS ELITE ATX AM4 Motherboard (£85.98 @ Aria PC)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory (£69.98 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £325.94
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-10-16 16:12 BST+0100



So, with that in mind, if you still want to use the Z170 board:
  • Don't forget to take a look at a 6700K too.... if you can find it cheaper, it's just as viable as a 7700K.
  • Even before delidding, an NH-D15 is probably overkill. They're great coolers, but a U12S or U14S would be more than sufficient, and give you less compatibility issues.
  • IF your goal is to end up upgrading to Ryzen eventually, then a balance of speed/timings would be best. 3200-3600MHz and CL16 or better, IMO. But if this build will last you a long time, Intel doesn't care as much in terms of speed. so 2666MHz and tight CL would probably be the best route to go.
  • A solid 550W unit would be more than sufficient for any configurations mentioned thus far. 650W would give you ample headroom incase things change. All the PSUs linked are great quality.
 
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PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i7-7700K 4.2 GHz Quad-Core Processor (£338.00 @ Amazon UK)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 82.5 CFM CPU Cooler (£78.26 @ CCL Computers)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory (£66.43 @ CCL Computers)
Case: Fractal Design Focus G ATX Mid Tower Case (£44.97 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: Corsair TXM Gold 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply (£69.99 @ PC World Business)
Total: £597.65
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-10-16 16:31 BST+0100


No need to get faster RAM, especially with Intel, and 3000 MHz is fine with Ryzen too. I agree with @Barty1884, investing in this platform today is not a wise thing to do, it's pretty much dead already with no easy upgrade path either. I get that you don't have the budget for a full system right now, but saving up for a full system is a better option than a system that's already obsolete.

Edit: Budget is exceeding because the 7700K here is new, so you can deduct about £138 from that cost since you can find one for 200.
 
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Robbom

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Thanks for your replies and advice, it is interesting to see how a ryzen build adds up and it is clear that it is the more economical option, my reasoning being not much more than wanting a big fan and a system that gets unnecessarily hot. However having already bought the board and now a delidded 6700k for 160 I'm a little commited!

Am I right to think that, bar the obvious change of motherboard and processor, a ryzen system in a few years time could use the rest of the parts I would buy for this system? Also the build posted still had the dh15 cooler in the list, is this the level of cooling I need to overclock the 6700k chip?

Thanks again for your advice even if I have chosen the unrecommended platform!
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
However having already bought the board and now a delidded 6700k for 160 I'm a little commited!
Fair enough.

Am I right to think that, bar the obvious change of motherboard and processor, a ryzen system in a few years time could use the rest of the parts I would buy for this system?
Depends when you upgrade. DDR5 is in the works, but it's not right around the corner. Rumours at one point suggested Intel were planning for DDR5 by 2021.... and AMD's roadmap for Epyc (their server grade processors) are still using DDR4 for their Q3 2020 planned releases. DDR5 will hit server grade implementations long before consumer.
So, with that, it's fairly safe to assume your DDR4 will be reusable through at least 2021-2022*

*However - Note with each Ryzen iteration, memory speeds/compatibility are improving. 1000 series was generally 2933MHz stable..... 2000 series was 3200MHz and now 3000 series has 3600-3733MHz as the 'goal'.
It wouldn't be too unrealistic to think that by ~2022, DDR4 could be common(ish) in the >4000MHz range.

Also the build posted still had the dh15 cooler in the list, is this the level of cooling I need to overclock the 6700k chip?
No, an NH-D15 is a great cooler, but it's not 'necessary'. As I mentioned, if you want Noctua, the U12S and U14S would be plenty capable (and improved compatibility was cases/RAM etc).
be Quiet!'s Dark Rock 4 or realistically, even something like a DeepCool GAMMAXX 400 or CoolerMaster 212 Evo would suffice for a delidded 6700K.
 
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Robbom

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Awesome thanks so much, great news on the cooling as I can save a lot of money and hassle with compatability like you said. Would it make sense to grab some higher clocked ram with the money saved on the cooling to future proof a bit, perhaps 3600mhz?
Cheers

Fair enough.



Depends when you upgrade. DDR5 is in the works, but it's not right around the corner. Rumours at one point suggested Intel were planning for DDR5 by 2021.... and AMD's roadmap for Epyc (their server grade processors) are still using DDR4 for their Q3 2020 planned releases. DDR5 will hit server grade implementations long before consumer.
So, with that, it's fairly safe to assume your DDR4 will be reusable through at least 2021-2022*

*However - Note with each Ryzen iteration, memory speeds/compatibility are improving. 1000 series was generally 2933MHz stable..... 2000 series was 3200MHz and now 3000 series has 3600-3733MHz as the 'goal'.
It wouldn't be too unrealistic to think that by ~2022, DDR4 could be common(ish) in the >4000MHz range.



No, an NH-D15 is a great cooler, but it's not 'necessary'. As I mentioned, if you want Noctua, the U12S and U14S would be plenty capable (and improved compatibility was cases/RAM etc).
be Quiet!'s Dark Rock 4 or realistically, even something like a DeepCool GAMMAXX 400 or CoolerMaster 212 Evo would suffice for a delidded 6700K.
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
For a few quid more, it's not going to hurt - but it's not going to net you much of a difference in most tasks, your board will probably limit what speeds you can achieve (or impact your CPU overclock), and may not matter for a future Ryzen upgrade anyway (if their memory spec continues to rise).

Looking at prices today, thelowest priced 3000Mhz 2x8GB (CL16) kit is £65
You can go down as far as CL14 for £137.
3600MHz (CL17) can be had for £75
And 3600MHz CL16 is £136

So, there's not going to be gains anywhere proportionate to the cost.
If I were in your shoes, I'd opt for a nice balance: 3000MHz @ CL15 for £68
 

Robbom

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Ah ok so the CL timing is a better investment, makes sense, thanks. Turns out the mate I got the motherboard from had a hyper 212 in that system that he's willing to sell me so this is actually turning out quite well! One final thing, does it make sense to wait for black Friday before buying the ram, PSU and case or will prices not really change on those kind of products?
Thanks again

For a few quid more, it's not going to hurt - but it's not going to net you much of a difference in most tasks, your board will probably limit what speeds you can achieve (or impact your CPU overclock), and may not matter for a future Ryzen upgrade anyway (if their memory spec continues to rise).

Looking at prices today, thelowest priced 3000Mhz 2x8GB (CL16) kit is £65
You can go down as far as CL14 for £137.
3600MHz (CL17) can be had for £75
And 3600MHz CL16 is £136

So, there's not going to be gains anywhere proportionate to the cost.
If I were in your shoes, I'd opt for a nice balance: 3000MHz @ CL15 for £68
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
Nice. Of course, it's going to depend on the price for the 212 EVO. Given 'new' prices for it, or the GAMMAXX 400 (~£30), I wouldn't look to spend more than maybe £15.

It's impossible to say.
Typically, BF/CM tend to be used to clear old stock - not so much on the modern/relevant stuff.

Not sure if/how tariffs are impacting UK prices - I wouldn't expect so, but if they are, then PSUs specifically may continue to go up. Regardless, any good quality PSU isn't likely to see much of a sale.

RAM.... maybe. You might not get exactly the kit you're looking for, but with certain parameters (X Speed, Y timings), you might save a little bit.... wouldn't expect more than a couple of quid though.
 

Robbom

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Yeah so overall probably not worth waiting, might as well get on with it and order parts within the next few days. Alright will keep that cooler price in mind, pretty sure he won't charge me much for it at all though. Really appreciate the help with the build and hopefully all will go as planned!

Nice. Of course, it's going to depend on the price for the 212 EVO. Given 'new' prices for it, or the GAMMAXX 400 (~£30), I wouldn't look to spend more than maybe £15.

It's impossible to say.
Typically, BF/CM tend to be used to clear old stock - not so much on the modern/relevant stuff.

Not sure if/how tariffs are impacting UK prices - I wouldn't expect so, but if they are, then PSUs specifically may continue to go up. Regardless, any good quality PSU isn't likely to see much of a sale.

RAM.... maybe. You might not get exactly the kit you're looking for, but with certain parameters (X Speed, Y timings), you might save a little bit.... wouldn't expect more than a couple of quid though.
 

Robbom

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Oh one thing I've forgotten to mention, should I buy some exhaust fans for the top and rear of the case, as it doesn't come with any or is that not necessary
 
Oh one thing I've forgotten to mention, should I buy some exhaust fans for the top and rear of the case, as it doesn't come with any or is that not necessary
You do need case fans, without that the PC wouldn't get fresh air from the outside and the hot air will be mostly trapped inside the case, defeating the whole purpose of buying a good cooler. You should have at least two good case fans, one for exhaust and one for intake, and add more if required. Pre-installed fans can also be reconfigured, so if the case comes with two intakes, you can remove one intake and install it on the back as exhaust, if its size is compatible with the space of course.
 

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