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!

Home theater equipment prep

I spent last night removing all of my existing home theater equipment, re-terminating all of the speaker wire, and re-locatiing the equipment to it’s new home, underneath the plasma screen. This is in preparation for the Onkyo receiver I should be receiving today. I have everything prepped to the point where I can simply plug in the receiver!

I ran new speaker cable. If you notice in the pictures I literally had bare speaker wire coming out of a hole directly to the reciever. I replaced this with a banana-plug faceplate that accepts 7.1 speakers along with an RCA style subwoofer preamp. I had to do a bit of soldering to get a copper strand converted to RCA for the subwoofer preamp, but it wasn’t all that hard. I cut new cable and finished them off with banana plugs. I even labeled the cables with special cable tags! I needed to since these cables will be hard to distinguish after being run.

I also had to install a network switch since both the TiVo and Bluray player need them. So I also ran CAT5 to the area – and the switch allows for 5 additional devices.

I removed all the component cable because I will be 100% HDMI. I don’t know what the big deal is with HDMI. It’s not all that convenient. Sure, it’s one plug – but the cable is so damn thick! It’s just as hard to run as coaxial stuff. Oh well.

So here are some iPhone pics of the damage so far. This room is a disaster area right now 🙂

Here is my spec:

Samsung PN50A550 50″ Plasma
Onkyo TX-SR606 A/V Receiver
Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player
TiVo Series3 HD
Western Digital 500GB eSATA TiVo My DVR Expander
D-Link 5-port 10/100/1000 switch

Back to work!

It’s been a pretty rough return to work. The first day was fine, but today we had a botnet infection on our network. Our email server was blacklisted and I had to figure out where the infection came from. My boss refuses to give me an answer on a decision that needs to be made – and someone is waiting on me to get the answer…office politics at its best 🙂

To make me feel better, I am continuing on my home theater upgrades. I just ordered a new Onkyo receiver and HDMI cables. I also picked up a Samsung Bluray player. So by next week, everything should be complete.

My current addictions:

Facebook/iPhone Zynga Poker
The Office (streamed off Netflix thru my TiVo)
Crystal Light Lemonade
Electronics shopping on the Internet
Costco red bag peanuts
TWIT Podcasts with Leo Laporte

Finally caught up with the rest of the world.

I picked up a Samsung 50″ plasma TV and stand this morning! It’s about time I upgraded my system from a 1080i projector to a 1080p plasma! Thanks for all the help picking up all the stuff, moving, installing, and cabling Ray! It was such a PITA to measure and verify that everything I was buying would fit – and it’s a good thing I precisely measured everything. You will see in my crappy pic that there was very little tolerance in getting a 50″ diagonal screen in my media niche. It was scary cutting through my sheet rock to run some CAT6 cables for the TiVo.

And as far as Netflix streaming? OMG it is fantastic to watch full HD TV shows streamed directly throught TiVo! I recommend it if you have the $$$ to burn 🙂 I have been watching The Office day and night!

More pictures, reviews, and details to come! I’m so busy catching up on lots of things: Facebook, configuring all the new home theater equipment, cleaning, and preparing to return to work this week.

I’m so happy to have reconnected with lots of old friends 🙂 I’ve been kind of a hermit this past decade because of all the arthritis problems. It’s been 10-15 years since I’ve spoken to lots of people I am finding on Facebook.