Deciding on a Skylake CPU--i5 vs i7, k vs. non-k, etc., also RAM


The 212EVO is still a perfectly decent cooler with solid performance and decent noise levels. That said, it’s not the gold standard anymore. When I was looking a few months ago, another solid contender was the Cryorig H7:

Thermal pasting isn’t that bad (fairly simple methods, like medium line down the center of the block, are pretty well proven to be just fine):

Installation isn’t that bad. . . if you haven’t already installed the CPU/mobo in your case. If you have, it’s not gonna be much fun doing anything but a stock cooler >.>

Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.


Thanks for that component list. Right now I’m sticking with the GTX 970 I bought last year - not top of the line I know. I’m happy with my 1080p monitor for now. My current plan is just to replace the motherboard, CPU and memory. I’ve got a couple SSD drives in there (Samsung 850 EVO and an Intel one), along with a couple non-SSD drives.


Thanks for that. I’d definitely be installing it out of the case. My case is pretty roomy (CoolerMaster 932 haf), so I don’t know if space is really an issue.


OK, there you go then.


In this case, it was less space than maneuvering ability. A lot of 3rd party coolers require you to use some kinda bracketing mechanism, and in mine’s case, that meant trying to push pins through holes on the base of the cooler on one side of the mobo and into four receptacles on the bracket on the other side, simultaneously, so that it would sit evenly. Easy to do with mobo out of case, very difficult to do if you’re basically hugging your gigantic ass case as part of the procedure ;)


And on your core question, 6-8 cores is wonderful and worth the money if you do a ton of video editing and rendering. Otherwise 4 cores is awesome for almost everything.


Actually, an i3 with two cores, four threads is plenty for gaming.


The i7 6700K is at it’s historical low at Amazon for $300. Anyone know if they usually put CPUs on sale for Black Friday or Cyber Monday? I’d hate to wait and then have the price go up.


First, thanks for the help here. I placed my order.
i7 6700K
ASUS Z170-A ATX DDR4 Motherboard
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4
Windows 10 Home

A little more than I was going to spend at $688 as I was hoping to be between $500-$600. I think that’s pretty much how it always goes though :-)


Looks awesome, rob! Would love to see how it all comes together :)


Hey @robc04 did you buy all that at Amazon? I’m thinking of much the same equipment (although I might just go with the non-k 6700 because it comes with a stock heatsink and I’m unlikely to overclock in any case).

My plan is to first build a “test bed” setup with the new hardware in an older case with a new SSD for Windows 10, and test the crap out of it with Prime95 and such before I commit to putting the new motherboard/CPU/RAM+SSD in my Fractal Design Define R5 case. I’m looking at doing it over the last week of the year during some time off.

BTW, what’s a good basic 500W PSU for said test bed?



From Amazon I bought:
i7 6700K
ASUS Z170-A ATX DDR4 Motherboard
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4

From NewEgg:
CRYORIG H7 (They ship from their warehouse so the wait wasn’t as long)

From BHPhoto:
Windows 10

I’ve been running with a CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply for over 6 years without issues, so I’d recommend one from that series. I’m sure others probably have good experiences with different ones too.


Well, all my parts came in and I got the system setup - so far so good. When I received the cooler I thought they must have a lot of packaging in there. I opened the thing up and was like, “holy shit, that’s a cooler!”. It was pretty intimidating. I got the beast installed and it seems to be working OK. I didn’t know if I kept the square base, well square enough that it was sitting on the CPU exactly as it should. It is idling between 25C and 30C. I ran the ASUS CPU stress test and I thing it stayed around 50-55C.

I’m installing some games now, so I’ll see how it performs. I was also worried about the memory I got because there is a huge thread saying that the memory doesn’t work well with the motherboard - something about the automatic memory profile used to get speeds about 2333, but I just said screw it and tried. It seems to be working fine.

Thanks for the help here!


Congrats on getting it put together! I still haven’t bought my parts.


Here’s to hoping it remains cooperative, Rob! You should show us some sexy build pics 😀


New PC built! Came up fine on the first try. :)

(Ok, it told me it couldn’t detect the CPU fan and it didn’t like that so I moved the fan power connectors around.)


Hooray :) My new machine came up first time too. I’m so proud. And the win 10 install was painless too. My god, when I think back to Win 95. I have a 1 TB SSD that I’m reinstalling old favourites on, just because I can now :)


Congrats to all on their successful new builds! I’d like to report that the new stuff I bought was delivered by Amazon (ASUS Z170-A mobo, 500GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, the same ram as robc04’s above), but without the i7-6700 CPU (which isn’t coming till mid-next week, grrr), I can’t build the test bed in my older case (I bought an extra PSU just for this purpose). I suppose I could put the other parts in and figure out how to install an unactivated Windows 10 on the new machine (which I’d later activate with my Windows 7 Ultimate key–pretty sure that still works).


I just did this build. Z-170-A, I-7 6700K, 32GB RAM.

I was delayed because I forgot to order a CPU cooler ! I ended up going with the Noctua NH-U12S and it was a sweet install. I like that you can orient the fins in two orientations, and the fan is mountable to either side, so it really gives you a lot of options.

Do make sure you register your account with microsoft - it makes an upgrade so much easier. I wasn’t nagged at all.

Overall really impressed with how clean this came up. The new EFI bios lets you choose any drive as the boot drive, so that was also nice. I didn’t install any of the utilities. I figure if I need them I can always go back & do them. Any of these Asus utilities worth having around?


Noctua is great hardware-- so thoughtfully designed, easy to install, and just great performance. I went with the admittedly way overkill NH-D15 myself. It’s as big as a child’s head.