Skylake gaming build

Erithan13

Senior member
Oct 25, 2015
218
79
66
I'm about to do my first system build since 2008 - have so far managed to drag a C2D E8500, 4GB of DDR2 and a GTX260 well past the point I wanted to replace them but money has been tight until now. Looking for something decent to last at least 3 years, possibly 5 but hopefully not any longer.

Planning this hasn't been easy as the UK pricing on Skylake has been all over the place. 6700 is ~£250 at time of writing, while the 6700k has jumped up to the £360 region, while the 5820k holds steady at £300. The 5820k is immensely tempting as I imagine I'll be doing more and more video editing in the coming years but it pushes the budget a little too much.

Onto the usual:

1) Gaming at 1900x1200, some light photo and video work, likely more video in the future
2) £900, could stretch to £1000 if there was a substantially better deal there
3) UK
4) Scan.co.uk
5) Would prefer an AMD GPU but not much of a fanboy for anything
6) Have a 4TB HDD for bulk storage to transfer across
7) No
8) 1900x1200 60hz, would be looking to upgrade to 120hz freesync next year but waiting on the 16nm GPUs before making any decisions
9) Immediately
10) Will be buying Windows 7 OEM for upgrade to 10

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CPU: i7 6700 (£245)

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/inte...z-40ghz-turbo-8mb-cache-1150mhz-gpu-34x-ratio

Cooler: Arctic Freezer 11i (£19)

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/arct...m-fan-for-intel-115x-2011-cpu-up-to-150-watts

Mobo: Asus Z170K (£100)

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus...-pcie-30-2-way-crossfire-vga-dvi-hdmi-atx-mot

RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance 3000mhz DDR4 (£108)

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/16gb...-(3000)-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-15-15-15-36-xm

GPU: Sapphire Nitro R9 380 4GB (£175)

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/4gb-...pcie-30-5800mhz-gddr5-1010mhz-gpu-1792-stream

Storage: 250GB Samsung Evo 950 (£73)

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/250g...nd-512mb-cache-read-540mb-s-write-520mb-s-97k

PSU: EVGA Supernova G2 550W (£65)

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/550w...y-modular-80plus-gold-atx-sli-crossfire-ready

Case: NZXT Source 220 (£35)

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/nzxt...nd-2x120mm-quiet-clear-blue-led-fans-w-o-psu-

Other: Windows 7 OEM, couple of extra case fans, DVD drive, thermal compound (£100)

Total: £930

Note: I drafted this post last night with a BX100 SSD, since then that has apparently been declared end of life / no longer available on Scan, so I've substituted the Samsung in. Also the CPU has gone from low stock to pre order, assume it will either come back in stock soon or I can get it elsewhere for about the same price.

Comments / Questions:

I could knock £90 off by going for the i5 6600 instead, however it reminds me a little of choosing dual over quad back in 2008, right now the i5 is usefully cheaper and appears to be 'good enough' for gaming, but the combined benefit of slightly higher clocks, larger cache and hyperthreading on the i7 make it seem worth the extra and better value in the longer term.

The stock Intel cooler from what I've read is barely adequate for the task (some things never change) so the 11i looks like a good replacement for the price.

Since I won't be OCing I was looking at the H170 chipset but it seems the memory speed is maxed at 2133mhz? Do I definitely need Z170 to for the 3000mhz RAM? On that subject is 3000mhz overkill or not given that Skylake seems very sensitive to slower RAM? (The price difference between 2600/2800- and 3000 is ~ £15, absolutely minimal in the larger scheme of things)

I've been managing with a 60GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD since January 2011 (I must have gotten the one Sandforce drive that works fine and doesn't brick itself) so 250GB seems positively luxurious. I've been trying to get up to date with the NVMe drives but it seems for my sort of relatively light I/O loads it's not really worth it yet.

I think that covers everything. Really hoping that 6700 comes back in stock sooner rather than later.

Thanks!
 

Ken g6

Programming Moderator, Elite Member
Moderator
Dec 11, 1999
16,250
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As a rule of thumb, I suggest that, in gaming systems, you should pay more for your CPU than for your mobo, and more for your GPU than for your CPU. I'd suggest you knock the £90 off the CPU and put it toward the GPU.

The next question is, do you plan to increase your resolution when you go to 120Hz? If so, an R9 390 looks good. If not, the GTX 970 is probably a little better. If you want to save money to spend on a 16nm GPU, you might look for a used R9 290.
 

Erithan13

Senior member
Oct 25, 2015
218
79
66
I'd suggest you knock the £90 off the CPU and put it toward the GPU.

Yeah that's the difficult decision of this build. I've seen enough benchmarks of the i7 vs i5 to make me think I'd rather be GPU limited and turn down some settings than be hamstrung with an i5 for the next several years. Especially those benchmarks with the minimum framerates compared.

The next question is, do you plan to increase your resolution when you go to 120Hz? If so, an R9 390 looks good. If not, the GTX 970 is probably a little better. If you want to save money to spend on a 16nm GPU, you might look for a used R9 290.
The plan is that with the i7 and 380 I can get decent enough gaming performance right now and then see what 16nm brings before deciding on anything else. I don't really want to spend £250 on a 390 that's likely to be surpassed by the new GPUs this time next year while the i7 will still be perfectly fine. I suppose the i5 this time next year would also be just fine but I spend enough time doing photo and video work for me to crave that extra cpu performance. It was a bit deceptive to call this a pure gaming build now that I think about it :hmm:

I have spied a used 290 (Sapphire Tri-x OC) going for £190 on ebay, I normally don't consider 2nd hand stuff that much but this looks mighty tempting. Will probably pull the trigger on that and make sure I get it, definitely useful upgrade over the 380.