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Old Techie needing a little advice on a new build

craftbrewmaster

Junior Member
Feb 4, 2017
2
0
1
Hi,

I used to work in tech, but it's been nearly 10 years and I'm bit out of practice and was hoping I could find a little guidance on this new build I am making.

I am planning on getting the Intel i7-7700K which allows overclocking. I'm still researching the exact motherboard I will be using, but I have two questions about memory and SSD storage compatibility with this CPU.

The i7-7700K says that it works with DDR4-2400 max for RAM. But there are many MoBos (Z270) that support sticks faster than that, say up to 3200. If I have a mobo that allows overclocking of the CPU & the memory, would I be able to pair this CPU with DDR4-3200 memory? I don't want to spend the money and then find out that my hardware doesn't work together.

My other question has to do with his new M.2 connection for SSDs. I don't want to bottleneck my SSD on SATA. The plan is to dual boot Windows and Linux, and I want to run both systems off SSD rather than HDD. I can't find the exact right now, but I recall reading that some M.2 slots where behind the PCH, and so were limited in speed. Also, looking at a mobo like the ASUS Maximus IX Formula, it has two M.2 slots, but they have slightly different specs. Amazon lists: 1 x 22110 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA) 1 x 2280 (PCIe 3.0 x4). Those are both PCIe 3.0 x4, but I'm not sure what the 22110 and 2280 mean. Is one going to be faster than the other? Are there other limitations/form factor/whatever considerations I need to be aware of?

I'm just trying to get the maximum performance I can out of this CPU. I probably will be using the onboard GPU, at least initially. I'm not a gamer, but I do a lot of photo and a little bit of video editing. So I think that the CPU's onboard graphics will probably be sufficient for me.

I plan on using liquid cooling, mainly trying to get this case as silent as possible. I have an old (2011ish) Lian Li case with sound insulation. I know that there are AIO liquid coolers for the i7-7700K, but in order to keep this case as quiet as possible, I'm considering getting blocks for the memory and SSDs as well. But I still have a lot of research to do in that area.

My main questions are about pairing that memory with this CPU, and that M.2 connector. I can open a separate thread in another subforum for the M.2 stuff if that is more appropriate. This is my first post here, so I apologize if I've posted too many questions in one thread or in the wrong place.

Thanks in advance for any guidance.

Cheers,
craftbrewmaster
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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It's good that you asked. 6th Gen Core CPUs, also known as Skylake, support a stock DDR4 speed of 2133. 7th Gen Core, also known as Kaby Lake, support a stock DDR4 speed of 2400. Both of them, in Z-series boards, can overclock the RAM speed (but not necessarily the actual RAM very much, depending on tolerances.)

When you see RAM advertised as "supports XMP memory profiles", that means that it's overclocking RAM, and requires a Z-series board to utilize the maximum speed (Rather than just the JEDEC standard 2133 or 2400 speeds, of SKL and KBL respectively).

A "22110" M.2 slot, I had not heard of before. Mostly, the biggest consumer M.2 SSDs are "2280" form-factor, which means 22 x 80 mm size. (width x length). Some are shorter, such as "2260" and "2242". Most ATX motherboards support 2280 through 2242, via various mounting posts. You might have to move a mounting post screw to accomidate.

The reason that they list the first slot as "SATA & PCI-E", and the second slot as "PCI-E", is because the second slot is wired only for a PCI-E type M.2 SSD, and not a SATA-type M.2 SSD. Those are the two primary types. (Edit: There are some nuances beyond that - "single-sided" versus "double-sided" SATA M.2 SSDs, and PCI-E AHCI versus PCI-E NVMe M.2 SSDs. But those you largely don't have to worry much about, unless you are shopping for an SSD for a modern laptop.)
 
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escrow4

Diamond Member
Feb 4, 2013
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Elixer

Lifer
May 7, 2002
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If you can, I would wait for AMD's Ryzen to come out in early March.
It should lower the prices of intel's CPUs, or give you more bang for the buck.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,428
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TBH, escrow4, I don't see what the advantage is of an H270 over a B250 board. Sure, it adds SATA RAID support, but even many B250 boards are including dual Ultra M.2 slots, with claimed support for Optane NVMe.

If you don't need SATA RAID, I wouldn't spend the extra money.

I wish Intel would allow RAM overclocking on the H270 boards; then it would be a slam-dunk to get those, for budget locked CPUs, so you could use DDR4-3000/3200+ with them.
 
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Dasa2

Senior member
Nov 22, 2014
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even if you do want sata raid your probably better of using windows software raid or getting a proper hardware raid controller
in my experience raid on intel mb performs terribly by comparison

biggest advantage to h270 i see is a few more usb ports

but since escrow4 said h250 im guessing he meant b250

craftbrewmaster
as far as low noise goes a big hsf like nh-d15 will be quieter than any aio
it may be possible to get a custom loop quieter with a high oc but you dont need to cool anything with it other than cpu\gpu cores the rest is best left to air and the only advantage to sticking anything else on water is bling
 

craftbrewmaster

Junior Member
Feb 4, 2017
2
0
1
escrow4: Thank you for that arstech link, very informative and what I've been searching for.

I appreciate everyone's replies. I know that for my tasks, strictly speaking, overclocking is overkill. But I'm trying to get back into tech a bit, depending on how this current restaurant/brewpub goes, I may be reverse switching my careers back into tech. So the overclocking is for fun/education. The liquid cooling is also a bit of fun too, but if it's going to actually be detrimental in the sound performance, then I'm not going to water cool the memory or SSD. Just the CPU.

Dasa2: Good tips on the cooling for reduced noise. My case has sound insulation, so I'll just research some quiet fans for the rest of the components. The case does have 6 bays for drives, but not sure I'll be using them all on this build. They were on the last build, but I want to go with M.2 SSDs for the system drives, then I'll probably slide a couple HDDs into those slots as mirrors of the system drives. For actual data storage, I'm using a Drobo 5c, currently with 4 of the 5 bays filled with two 8 TBs and two 4 TBs.

I'm trying to keep my PCI slots as free as possible, as I want to do some SDR (Software Defined Radio) with this box in fairly near future. Put a few antennae up in the attic, drop cable down between the walls, and then have that plug into a card in my computer, which might end up being USB, but not sure yet.

I am also building a second box, a media PC for the living room. On that guy I plan on sticking with stock timings, etc. SSD for the OS, but as big a HDD as I can get, probably a few, for video storage. Important videos get stored in two places, and I'm a fairly diligent person about at least a 3-2-1 backup scheme. I am still "the tech guy" for a lot of my friends and family, but not having done it professionally for several years now, there have been some advances and a little slippage in my game. I appreciate all the replies to help me out here.

Elixer: I know about the Ryzen, but I don't really have the time to wait. I am currently have just one working computer and it's starting to flake out a little. I usually like to have a bare minimum of two working machines, if not more, should something break. Also, by March, I'll hopefully be brewing almost every day, and this little lull in the buildout of the brewpub will be gone. I gotta get my machines put together and working while I've got the time. Maybe the media PC can wait, but my office/desk computer needs to be done now. Our "media PC" right now is my lady's old laptop that is literally hanging on by a thread, we don't dare touch the screen.

I've got an old Hauppauge capture card, but again I'm sure there have been advances since 2011ish, so I need to research that for the media PC, but these are all separate threads I may have to come back here for in a few weeks.

Thank you all for explaining the M.2 and overclocking questions I had.
 

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