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Fatal1ty Z170 Professional Gaming Build Advice

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Riggz View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 May 2016 at 2:50pm
I am going to build a PC in the next couple of weeks and have put together a list of components I'd like to use. I've marked the components that I'll be transferring from my old system.

Plus 3 Older Hard Drives for storage

I am posting this here because I want to hear from you ASRock builders, from those who have worked with these boards, and know their ins and outs.

Do you folks have any tips for doing the build? I have built a number of systems over the years, and I always try to be very careful and methodical when assembling the parts. Things like watching out for static electricity, using a stable work place that has plenty of room, common sense things like that.

But there are a few new twists to this build, like the SSD, which I plan on using as the boot drive, and the new DDR4 RAM.
What I'd like to know, from people who have already built similar systems, is what kind of things did you run into when doing your builds? What are some of the things I need to watch out for? 

I will definitely update the BIOS, but I'm coming from an older AMD 1100T/ Asus M4A89TD Pro system, and thing have likely changed a good bit since I built that one. I just don't know what.

I have never installed Windows 10 on a SSD, and while I won't be OC'ing until I've got the system all set up and running for a bit, some tips on that would be mighty appreciated.

I do plan on gaming with this system. My present games are a pretty heavily modded Skyrim, Witcher 2 and 3, Grim Dawn, Dragon Age Inq, Mass Effect 3, and Crysis 2 and 3.

Once I am done the build, I'll be saving up for a new Graphics Card, hopefully one of the new ones coming out later this year, probably an Nvidia card, but that's all a ways away.

I really appreciate any help you could give me. I cringe every time I check the reviews for the various boards on NewEgg, and while I know many of them are written by people who may have been the main contributor to the issues they had, and that many builders who have no problems just don't do reviews, I still worry.

Thank you very much for your help.


Edited by Riggz - 15 Jun 2016 at 5:30pm
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Xaltar View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2016 at 4:04pm
Is this the board you are looking at getting?

As for the build itself it shouldn't be much different to your previous builds, while there is some new tech involved the connections remain mostly the same.

Overclocking is another matter, the settings on various models can differ from one to the next. The board I linked will likely have a few more options than say a Z170A-X1 for example. I would focus on getting the system built and stable before even thinking about overclocking.

Newegg reviews can be hideously misleading sometimes. You really have to read through the comments carefully and rule out "idiot user" problems. Many newbie builders will pick out a bunch of parts, purchase them and just expect them to work. Naturally when they hook it all up and it does not post they give it a bad review claiming it's DOA..... The reality is that the RAM they selected was not supported or the CPU needed a BIOS update to be compatible etc. Generally I ignore "DOA" reviews as 99% of the time the user was simply ignorant. I always pay attention to the nature of the problems listed. If it is common place and many people complain about the same issue I then use google to search the particular problem. This helps determine if it is particular to that board or effects other models/manufacturers too.  With some careful reading and research you can usually glean the few grains of truth from the likes of newegg reviews, it just takes a bit of effort.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Riggz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2016 at 3:21am
Thank you for the reply Xaltar. Yes that is the board, I edited my post to put in links to the parts.

As to the Newegg reviews, I do tend to take them with a grain of salt, it is just that all of the major board builders seem to have much lower 4 and 5 star reviews than when I built my last rig. I was worried that the quality control had gone way down for some reason, or that the Z170 chip was just buggy.

I tried to research the board on the Net, but almost all of the reviews were either "previews" that came out when the board was first announced, or ones that were done just after it first came out.
The one at Tom's Hardware didn't really slam it, but seemed to be slanted towards not recommending it.
That one is here 

The connectivity did not bother me because I already knew that using one or more M.2 slots would cut off the use of the various other Sata connections, especially the PCI Express lanes, which I would not use anyways.

I guess I am just trying to minimize the chance that, having all the parts together, I'll do something stupid, and have to wait on RMA parts to get it done.

The installation of the CPU, and the bending of the motherboard pins also seemed to be a problem with the Skylake boards. That's got me a little worried too.

I don't want to sound like I'm not confident in my skills, it's just that so much seems to have changed since my last build, and I want to do it right.

Also, as I get older, asking for help is not the blow to my pride it once seemed to be : )
 


Edited by Riggz - 22 May 2016 at 5:51am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2016 at 5:11am
The Skylake platform represents a more major generational jump and as such has been plagued by quite a few bugs but for the most part they have been ironed out now. I was a relatively early adopter of the platform and ran into very few issues, I guess I either got lucky or my typical usage environment was not prone to triggering the more common place issues. 

Installing the CPU is pretty simple:

1. Unlatch the retention bracket and open it all the way.
2. Orient the CPU so the gold triangle on the CPU lines up with the markings on the motherboard.
3. Gently lower the CPU into the socket as evenly as possible, avoid sliding it into place.
4. Close the retention bracket then latch it down.
5. Attach your CPU cooler.

Intel has used the "pinless" CPU design for quite some time now and nothing has changed really when it comes to installation. Coming from AMD it can be a little daunting but so long as you do not orient the CPU wrong in the socket the likelihood of bending any pins is minimal. Just relax and take your time installing the CPU, check and double check orientation then slow and steady lower it into the socket. Do that and you will have no problems with bent pins.

There is no shame in asking for help, in fact, knowing when to ask for help should be a point of pride, asking for help = learning and we can never have too much knowledge Wink

If you have any more specific queries please let us know, we are always happy to help.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Riggz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2016 at 5:26am
Thank you Xaltar, that makes me feel much better. Now it's just a case of waiting for the price on the motherboard and SSD to go down.

Newegg had $40 off, and then a $20 rebate on the MB, and $20 off on the SSD for quite a while, but recently dropped both down to $5, so I'm waiting for that to change.

If anything comes up with the install, I'll surely seek help here, as long as it is motherboard related.


Edited by Riggz - 22 May 2016 at 5:52am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2016 at 7:12am
We are happy to help with general build advice too, even if it is not motherboard related, so long as the motherboard is ASRock Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Riggz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2016 at 7:18am
Excellent! That is great Xaltar.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2016 at 11:30am
Since your last build is so different than this one, quite a step forward by the way, I strongly suggest reading the manual for your board. Download the pdf version on another PC to refer to as a convenience. I cannot emphasize enough the need for you to use the board's manual, only noobs don't read the manual. Wink  I'm serious about that.  Geek

Regarding installing Windows 10 on a SSD, nothing to worry about on the Windows side of things. The usual suggestion to ONLY have the target OS drive connected to the board (or really connected to the PSU) during the Windows installation still applies for Win 10. Otherwise, a few things to know about using SSDs with your board.

Since you are using an M.2 SSD, and will be using video cards, the M.2 slot to choose matters. M.2 SSDs tend to run warmer than standard 2.5" SSDs, so some air flow over M.2 drives is important. If you use the upper M.2 slots, the video card will cover it and its heat will cause it to be even warmer. Use the lowest M.2 slot for your M.2 EVO for this reason. Otherwise the M.2 slot you choose makes no difference using the SSD as an OS drive. Your board's M.2 slots all provide the same performance, which is not true for some other boards.

If you get any 2.5" SSDs in the future, be sure to use an Intel SATA III port for your SSD. Your board has four extra "SATA III" ports provided by the additional ASMedia SATA chipsets. The manual will identify the two types, the Intel SATA III ports are labeled on the board as SATA3_0 through SATA3_5.

The Intel SATA III ports will provide the best performance possible for a SSD. The ASMedia SATA ports will not provide the same level of performance as the Intel SATA ports with SSDs. Without going into detail, trust me on this, I have years of experience using SSDs, and the Intel SATA III ports are superior to any others.

All of this does NOT apply to the M.2 slots, they are connected to the Intel storage interface only, and there is no need to select a Drive Type with the M.2 slots.

In the UEFI/BIOS, in the Advanced, Storage Configuration screen is where all the settings and options are related to storage drives. Most of the default option settings are optimal, but I'll review what is important.

The default SATA Mode for the Intel SATA ports is AHCI. If you plan on using RAID arrays, change it to RAID. There is no IDE mode entry, which is not needed, don't worry about that at all! Using IDE mode cripples the performance of SSDs, and is only needed by the oldest HDDs.

Each SATA drive connected to the board will have an entry in the Storage Configuration screen. The location of these entries will verify the SATA port the drive is connected to. Clicking on an entry will reveal more options. Look for the Drive Type option, and set it to SSD/Solid State Drive for the SSD. A SSD will work with the default setting (Hard Disk Drive), but the SSD setting is preferred. Again, this does not apply to SSDs in the M.2 slots.

It is NOT true that the M.2 slots on a Z170 board use the PCIe 3.0 lanes from the CPU. They only use resources from the Z170 chipset. This is one of the advantages of the Skylake platform, the M.2 slots do not use resources shared with the video cards.

Your memory is included in your board's Memory Support List, so should not be a problem. Be sure to use (as the manual states) the A2 and B2 slots for your memory, the optimal slots to use when using two DIMMs.

By default, your memory will not operate at its highest rated speed, which is normal. The default speed will be 2133. You'll need to enable the XMP profile to run it at 2666. Don't do that right away, use the default, basic speed at first and during the Windows installation, during driver installation, and in use for a while until you feel all is working fine.

That also goes for updating the UEFI/BIOS. Wait until the PC is running fine for a while before doing that. Fewer variables to deal with on a new system makes debugging much easier.

Keep the build simple at first, use just one video card, or use the Intel integrated graphics at first.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Riggz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2016 at 5:40am
Hi Parsec!
Thank you for the very informative reply. I am sorry that I did not reply immediately, but I didn't receive a heads up, via email, that I'd gotten another reply.

I am getting really excited about this build. I ordered the parts on Tuesday (May 17th), and have gotten the case and the SSD so far. The rest will arrive on Monday, so that's the big day : )

Today I transferred the PSU to the new case, and put a Corsair in my AMD PC so I can still have an active one to use. I also put in 3 extra fans (Two exhaust in the top, for a total of 3 up there, and intake on the bottom of the case, beside the PSU.

I am really liking this Phanteks case! The inside parts (drive bays, PSU cover, etc) are held together with screws (many of which are thumb screws) not the usual rivets. This allows me to move things around if I need to, not that I have thus far, which is good.

Way off topic, but on the Phanteks Luxe page on Newegg, in the Image Gallery section, they have a video about the case and it is pretty amazing. For the price, I've never seen a case that offers so many well thought out features. The music is cool too.

Thank you for the info about the SSD's. That is one area that I am sorely lacking experience in, but one for which the learning curve looks to be pretty straight forward.

I appreciate the advice about starting the system up with minimal components. I was generally planning on doing that, but knowing myself, and having all the parts right there, I would tend to want to get it all together. But patience and a methodical approach is what is called for here.

I had planned on updating the BIOS the very first thing though. You say that it can cause problems doing it that way? Not to disagree with you, but from the reviews that I have read, it seems that updating the BIOS smoothed things out in many cases. Maybe that was just for the early adopters.

Well I've gone on long enough. Thank you very much for your very helpful replies Xaltar and Parsec, you have allayed many of my initial fears, and brought the excitement back into the build for me. I really appreciate your efforts.
Cheers!
Todd



Edited by Riggz - 22 May 2016 at 5:53am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Riggz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2016 at 2:07am
Hello
The parts have all arrived! I have the motherboard all set up with the CPU and heatsink, RAM and one graphics card, and it's in the case.
The CPU went in fine, as did the SSD.
But I have run into a little snag. For the case front panel plugs, that connect the power, reset, HD LED to the motherboard, I can't tell which is the positive wire and which is the negative.
The wires coming from the case are all black, and although on the plug itself I see a little triangle one of the connections, I do not know if that is supposed to be the positive or the ground.
I did some searching online, and so far most people say that the triangle one is the positive one, but I wanted to run it past you people just in case.
Neither the Case nor the MB  manual goes into this.
Thank you for your help : )
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