Cumulative updates post
I'll be putting my updates in new posts, but also adding them to this post so it's easier for anyone wanting to catch up!Some component shots!
The Node 304, in all it's naked beauty - it looks so roomy without anything installed and with the drive cages removed!
The Silverstone SX600-G, with the mess of cables that'll be coming out of it.
A bunch of component boxes, not much else to say!
The Gigabyte GA-Z170N-WIFI motherboard! It took a while to get here, but I'm sure glad I waited for it. I love
the black color scheme, and massive props to Gigabyte for including a black IO-shield and two black SATA cables.
The Gigabyte R9 390. It looks super slick. I'm still surprised how large and hefty it is. Not sure why Gigabyte decided to include a white sticker on the back... Probably take that off eventually. Photos of the build
Some nice shots overview pics.
I router the front fans to the fan controller through one of the case beams. I didn't even need to tape them in or anything, they stay in place on their own!
I router the 24-pin cable under the PSU, and the 4-pin cable under the motherboard.
The SSD currently sits on top of the PSU, and there is just enough room to route the SATA data and power cables behind the PSU and under the front fans.
And here's the non-existent clearance between the H90's radiator and the Gigabyte R9 390's backplate.GPU overclocking results!
I ended up using MSI Afterburner for setting my overclock, with Unigine Heaven looping in the background to check for stability.
My final settings were:
- Core Voltage: +0mV (the Gigabyte R9 390 is voltage locked)
- Power Limit: +50%
- Core Clock: 1,100 MHz (up from a stock clock of 1025MHz)
- Memory Clock: 1,600MHz (up from a stock clock of 1500MHz)
Pushing the Core Clock to 1,110 MHz was almost stable, but a few artifacts appeared near the end of the benchmark so I dialed it back to 1,100 MHz. Same for the Memory Clock, pushing it to 1,650 causes major glitches.
This gave me the following results in Unigine Heaven
(1080p, 8xAA, Windowed, Ultra Quality, Extreme Tesselation):
- Stock: 1405 (25.9min, 55.8avg, 111.8max FPS) Screenshot
- OC: 1480 (30.7min, 58.7avg, 117.9max FPS) Screenshot
And the following scores in 3DMark Fire Strike (comparison here
I think I'm satisfied with these results. It seems like I was able to squeeze out a 5-7% performance increase
!2015/11/17 - Fixing the CPU throttling problem...
What's a build log if there are no problems, right? Right?
With the i7-6700K at stock settings (no overclock) and the Gigabyte GA-Z170N-WIFI motherboard, after a couple minutes of running x264 or Prime95, the CPU would start to throttle from 4GHz to 800Mhz. This is obviously far from ideal.
After some digging, I found a tool called ThrottleStop that has the option to disable "BD PROCHOT" (Bi-Directional Processor Hot). This is a feature that allows the motherboard to tell the CPU to throttle.
After disabling BD PROCHOT, the processor would no longer throttle - instead, the PC would turn off (no blue screen, nothing) after a couple minutes of Prime95 Small FFTs.
My theory is that, because the VRMs on the Gigabyte motherboard do no have heatsinks, they overheat and the motherboard tells the CPU to throttle to reduce the load on the VRMs. When I disabled BD PROCHOT, the motherboard was no longer able to tell the CPU to throttle, and thus the VRMs would continue to heat up, eventually hitting their thermal cut off and simply shutting down.
After 2 weeks of back and forth with Gigabyte's eSupport*
, they were unable to resolve my issue and ended the conversation by simply saying I should RMA it...
I suppose it is possible I got a defective unit, but I did not want my computer to be out of commission for another 2 weeks while I ship the motherboard back to NewEgg, wait for them to process it, and then wait for the new board. Instead, I ordered a new board which arrived the same day I shipped out the Gigabyte board. When I get my replacement unit from NewEgg, I plan on selling it BNIB to cut my losses.
The new board I got is an ASUS Z170i Pro Gaming
. The main negatives I have with this board is the color scheme - I have never liked the black-and-red, look-at-me-I'm-a-gamer look. I plan on painting over the motherboard heatsinks in grey eventually.
In any case, I installed the new motherboard last night, and the first thing I did was run some stress test to see if I had fixed the throttling issue. I'm glad to report that it did! The CPU no longer throttles
, even when running Prime95 small FFTs.* God was that process painfully slow. They'd reply to my ticket at, say, 2pm. I'd reply back at 2:05pm. They would not reply until the next day at 2pm. Almost like they go through their list of support tickets once a day, and that's all you get.TL;DR: The Gigabyte motherbard was throttling the CPU when under load. The ASUS motherboard doesn't.Next up: CPU benchmarking and overclocking
I have never done any CPU overclocking. Hopefully it's not much more complicated than GPU overclocking, despite needing to play around in the BIOS!