PC 2016 Build Log

I decided to build a new PC. It’s been over five years since I did my water-cooled rig and technology has made some serious leaps. After weeks of research, the goal is to build a high-end gaming rig in a compact form factor. This rig will be built around having the option to Crossfire or SLI. This will be a combo CLC and air-cooled rig. The CPU will be on a CLC and the video card will be Air Cooled (as of now).

Here are the parts:

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K 4.00 GHz LGA1151 $415
CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H100i GTX $105
Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus VIII GENE Intel Z170 (Skylake) mATX $230
Graphics Card: Asus AMD Radeon R9 NANO 4GB HBM $510
RAM: 32GB (2x16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2400 (PCA 19200) $240
Storage: Samsung 950 PRO Series 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD $330
PSU: Corsair AX1200 (The only part I am reusing from my last build!)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series Air 240 mATX $90
Case Fans: 4x Corsair Air Series SP120 PWM $70
OS: Windows 10 Professional $120

Total cost: $2110

It’s crazy that this build won’t be using a single SATA device! With new PCIe SSD technology, I can finally have the same SSD performance I have been getting on my Mac Pro but now on a PC! Apple was way ahead of the game when it came to PCIe storage technology. Typical SSDs get 500 read / 500 write performance. These PCIe M.2 sticks get 2500 read / 1500 write!

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 6.26.18 PM

Another big leap in tech I wanted to take advantage of was in graphics cards. I picked the ASUS Radeon R9 NANO because it is the first video card to have it’s RAM on die, called HBM (High Bandwidth Memory), so bandwidth is increased between the RAM and the GPU. And because the RAM is on die, this allows the card to be half the size of it’s equivalent card without HBM!

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 6.27.46 PM

Keep following my blog these next few days to keep up with my build out!

PC Water Cooling Maintenance

I replaced the water and tubing in my water cooled PC. It was a good time to look things over and do a little cleaning as well. I also decided to do some rerouting of the tubes to prevent kinking in the lines.



I was lazy and didn’t want to bring my rig to the garage. I did the maintenance in place and just made sure I had a TON of microfiber cloths with me!

I had to remove one of the video cards to get access to one of the motherboard fittings…

Changed tube color…

Tested for leaks, bled, and sealed up!

This is the only and probably the last time I do this on this rig! Next time I have to go through this it will likely be on a new computer. By that time, this rig will be well over 3 years old. I’m sure the blocks will be showing some corrosion, but more importantly, all of the technology will be outdated.


I bought all kinds of lighting not knowing what color scheme I wanted to go with. I bought blue, red, and white CCFLs along with blue and red LED clusters.

After testing all the lamps, I ended up using the white CCFLs for ambient lighting and using the red LED cluster for accent lighting. I can turn off the ambient lighting and the red really looks nice in the dark. My motherboard along with the GPUs sport a red, black, and white theme. All of the sleeved cables are black. So I think it made sense to stick with white and red lights.

Too bad I’m horrible at taking pictures. It tells you something when my iPhone is taking better pictures than my Canon 40D. I am sux.

Next mods? Corsair Dominator GT RAM sticks, Corsair Airflow2 Cooler, and if I’m really, really, really bored, possibly a new Corsair 1200W PSU.

3.07GHz OC’d to 4.2GHz like it was nothing!

I didn’t think I could hit 4.2GHz so easily! (The Core i7-950 stock clock is 3.07GHz). Waterblocks definitely took heat dump problems out of the equation! At 4.2Ghz core temps didn’t get past 72C under load! Amazing! I’m sure with some tweaking I could get to 4.6GHz but I am very happy with the results so far!

My official validation: http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=1593664

Round 2: SheryAnne’s PC

I built SheryAnne’s PC around the Sabertooth X58 board I already had. Her build is very similar to what I started with for my PC build.

Here are the specs to her new computer:

Inter Core i7-950 3.07 GHz Processor
Asus Sabertooth X58 Motherboard
6GB Corsair XMS3 1600 RAM
Diamond Radeon HD6870 1GB Eyefinity Video Card
Crucial C300 64GB SATA III 6.0 SSD
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM SATA II 3.0 HDD
Thermaltake Toughpower XT 675W Power Supply
Thermaltake Element G Mid Tower Case

I have a little cable management to do before I start snapping pictures of the build 🙂