Kaby Lake System Build


I haven’t read it all, but that might provide more information.


Yeah, that’s what I had read… I interpreted it as, faster RAM? at hard drive cost? I dunno.

Sort of… There’s since been a third party DX10 Fixer software patch that allows the GPU to take over many previously CPU bound tasks, like autogen, significantly boosting performance. Still a hog, though.


Think of it as L1 or L2 cache for a SSD; I am kinda skeptical this will work out, just like hybrid (mechanical with small SSD cache) hard drives haven’t really been that great.


That’s odd. The two intake fans on the front had white LCD lighting on mine. Looking at the pictures on Amazon, it looks like the silver and white cases have lighting but perhaps not the black?

Mine is the silver which is a nice gun-metal gray.

Co-opting the thread for a related question: I am considering a new case for my media room / Vive PC. The current case is a Fractal Design mini-ITX, but the lack of upgrade room is pretty limiting and I don’t feel like the airflow is great for heavy-duty components like the 1080 (which barely fit).

I’d like something that will look reasonable on the top shelf of my media component stack, but is roomier and has more upgrade potential than a mini-ITX. I am just not seeing anything browsing through Amazon. I will probably swap out the mobo at the same time (I want another PCI-e slot for a dedicated USB controller), so there’s no limitations there.

Edit: Nevermind. I didn’t realize that the 540 had a little brother. This looks ever-so-perfect.



Well I ordered my i7-7700k and I confirmed the Asus Z170-A supports it as of the October 2016 BIOS update, which I already have. So in theory, plug and play…


i7700K, Strix Z270, Corsair liquid cooler, 32GB Corsair DDR4 ordered. Since my case has a window I spent an extra $10 on RAM that has LED lights. That’s my middle-age crazy, instead of buying a convertible.

Wumpus, are you going from an i6700K? That will be an… incremental improvement. :)


I just upgrade shit because I am bored these days, not because I actually need to. Even SSDs have peaked in performance after the M.2 (PCI) switch.

I don’t have any expensive hobbies like cars or boats or planes, so I indulge myself on the PC side.


Looked over some performance benchmarks on a site that had tests on processors going all the way back to the 3770K I’m currently using. (Which is a LOT more useful than just testing vs. Skylake, tech writer people.) With a mix of synthetic benchmarks and real-world stuff like Handbrake encoding, it looks like the non-overclocked 7700K will offer a performance boost ranging from 18-30%, averaging about 25%, over my over-4.5-year-old i7-3770K system.

25% over nearly five years. Moore’s law is dead and buried on the CPU front, kids.


The tech behind it is actually pretty incredible and has the potential to be transformative for how systems are architected. I don’t know about the implementation Intel is currently pursuing, but having basically a RAM drive that doesn’t disappear when you reboot and can be 100s of GB in size has enormous implications.

It doesn’t have to be packaged like an SSD or in an M2 slot. They can put it in DIMMs. So imagine a system where you move main memory to a fixed amount of HBM2 on the CPU package backed up by 512GB of this Optane Memory. You get RAM that is TB/s class and storage that is only a little slower than RAM is today.


Show me the benchmarks, man. Show me the benchmarks. Hybrid hard drives were supposed to be really great, except non-hybrid SSDs just blew them away every time, and the price difference wasn’t really enough.


Well the i7-7700k arrived today from newegg. It was a simple drop in replacement for the i7-6700k since my Asus Z-170 BIOS was up to date.

Asus automatic AI overclocker did not like this chip, so I’ll need to manually bump it.

(I do kinda wish I had two m.2 sockets on the mobo … oh well)


I couldn’t find the 7700k on newegg when I checked earlier in the week, do you have a link?

Newegg calling me a liar now… Found it…

So how does everyone feel about this combo deal?

I might add on another 16 gig of ram too.


@lordkosc, not a bad deal, but…

  1. I’d go Asus over Gigabyte. I’ve owned both, and one of the three desktops on our house is currently running a Gigabyte board. But I’m staying with Asus going forward. Better software, better update support in the latter part of a board’s life, and generally more flexible BIOS features for overclocking, etc.

  2. If you go 32GB, you really want to do it in two DIMM slots, not by filling all four. Because Optane is coming down the road, and while it may not pan out into anything interesting, it might, and it’s going to come in both m.2 and DIMM form factors, so why not leave the slots open just in case? Plus if you do plan to overclock right now, you can generally get faster on two DIMMs than four.

I ended up going:

  • Core i7-7700K
  • Asus Strix E270
  • 32 GB Corsair DDR4 2666 (2 DIMMs)
  • Corsair Hydro 110 cooler
  • Crucial MX300 1TB M.2 SSD (an M.2 PCI-e X4 SSD would be faster, but the cost is twice as much, and this will be plenty fast.)


I splurged and bought a 1080 for my getting-long-in-the-tooth 2600K system (originally based mostly on @wumpus old system build blog post in 2011).

My original thinking was that I’d just ride on the old system and overclock the CPU (which I had never gotten around to after I realized reading up on it would take a while). Well my first attempt at overclocking was not successful. I probably did it incorrectly but it could be an unlucky CPU.

Now I’m trying to decide whether to either 1) Spend yet more time trying to overclock the 2600K and possibly buying faster memory, or 2) buying new CPU+mobo+memory and passing my old system down to my daughter for schoolwork.


My Kaby lake build is waiting for ASUS ROG Maximus IX Apex.


Always #2! 💪 You have the same system I do then, I haven’t changed my case or power supply since 2011. Simply drop in;

  • Asus Z270-A mobo
  • Kaby Lake i7-7770k
  • 32GB (or 64GB if you are feeling feisty) DDR4
  • Samsung 950/960 Pro M.2 boot drive
  • Tower cooler of your choice (Arctic Cooling is a nice inexpensive choice)

The auto-overclock (AI tuner) in the BIOS works fine and will give you 4.7Ghz no problem.


That’s an interesting looking board…that’s the one with the m.2 slots on the daughtercard, yes? You plan to use a memory cooler? If not, I’m curious what drew you to that particular board.


Yes, that is one of the things that drew me to the board.

The m.2 drives get pretty hot and yet looking at the Z270 boards, a lot of them place them right under the video card(s) and/or only have a token slot for a second drive stuck on somewhere at random. For a technology that is becoming so popular now, this is extremely disappointing to me. I really want some form of cooling or heatsink on my m.2s.

I probably don’t need 64 gb of ram, so i was tempted to go with slightly faster 32gb.

I don’t believe the board is out yet, so i’ll be waiting for reviews and/or better boards which might change my mind, but i’m liking what i am seeing at the moment.


So buy an aftermarket heatsink for the m.2 drives? Or rig a fan near them.

I’d go with this first


My Strix Z270 board has a 3D printed fan holder design available for the M.2 slots. :)

I considered the 950/960 Pro M.2 drive, but went for a Crucial MX300 1TB M.2 drive instead because it was less than half the price ($269 vs $672 for the 960 Pro, $479 for the 960 Evo) and real-world performance (rather than read-write benchmarks) for the kind of usage I’ll have on this rig (loading games and applications) shows almost zero difference in performance between the two.

Not denying there are applications where the extra speed of the 960 Pro will more than pay for itself. But for my own usage–games and applications load from SSDs, photos and videos I’m editing stay on a 4TB spinning drive–the PCI-E M.2 drives cost more than twice as much and don’t offer a performance boost. I’d rather have a bigger SSD than a faster SSD.