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Author Topic: Z170A XPower Gaming Titanium Edition  (Read 1025 times)

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xmadTopic starter

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Well there are allot of outrageous builds/mods and reviews here on the forums so I thought I would do a step by step build / review article for a more standard albeit high end gaming computer. This computer is going to be built in large part by my son. It will be his first and will be quite allot of fun. I hope that some of you new builders may learn something in the upcoming posts. Even though this is a relatively standard build, I will include links etc to help you newbies.

First I will start with a parts list and plan.
The Mainboard:
MSI Z170A Xpower Gaming Titanium Edition : https://us.msi.com/Motherboard/Z170A-XPOWER-GAMING-TITANIUM-EDITION.html#hero-overview
The CPU:
Intel I7-6700k: http://ark.intel.com/products/88195/Intel-Core-i7-6700K-Processor-8M-Cache-up-to-4_20-GHz
Cooler:
Corsair H110i V2
Memory:
Corsair 2x8GB Vengence Cl: 18 3600mhz w/ cooler: http://www.corsair.com/en-us/vengeance-lpx-16gb-2x8gb-ddr4-dram-3600mhz-c18-memory-kit-black-cmk16gx4m2b3600c18
PSU: Corsair AX860 : http://www.corsair.com/en-us/ax860-atx-power-supply-860-watt-80-plus-platinum-certified-fully-modular-psu
SSD:
Raid 0 - Samsung 950 Pro Series 256GB:http://www.samsung.com/us/computer/memory-storage/MZ-V5P256BW
VGA:
MSI GTX 1070 Gaming x 8G: https://www.msi.com/Graphics-card/GEFORCE-GTX-1070-GAMING-X-8G.html#hero-overview
OS: Windows 10 Pro
Case:
Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus

Now that these parts have been ordered, the first step is that I have had my son download and begin looking over the manual for the main board. You can find the manual on the mainboard's web page. I have also downloaded all of the drivers and the latest bios and placed them on a USB stick. Looking over the manual is something even old hands should do every single time, as many features change or are new. (The M2 slot Raid will be new for me in this case)

In the next post we will begin unboxing and assembly, hopefully in the next few days.
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Mainboard: X79A-GD65 (8D)
CPU: I7-3930K
Setting: 4.5Ghz enhanced turbo w/ speed step functioning.
Memory: Corsair Dominator 2133 CL:9  1.5v 4x4gb
Setting: 2400 CL:10
VGA: 2 x GTX 780Ti Gaming 3G (SLI)
No Overclock other than default
PSU: Corsair AX1200i 12v: 100.1 Amps
SSD: Corsair GS 256GB
Corsair Link
Cooling: Corsair H100I

xmadTopic starter

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Re: Z170A XPower Gaming Titanium Edition
« Reply #1 on: 25-July-16, 09:23:20 »

Alright, all of the part arrived and we assembled and tested the computer over the week-end.

The first step was to look the mainboard over for damage. Then seeing none, we installed all of the non-obtrusive parts outside of the case. We installed the cpu, the back-plate for the cooler and the M2 SSD's.




The next thing was to prepare the case for installation. So what we did here was install the stand-off's and moving all of the front panel wiring out of the way.


After installing the main board, we installed the PSU and all of the front panel wiring. One of the tricks to installing the mainboard, is to look for the standoffs that are a little different than the rest. There are usually one or two that will fit INTO the hole on the mainboard. This will hold the board in place until you get the screws installed. I usually put these stand-offs on the top right and bottom right.



The final components were the cooler and the RAM. In order to install the H120, the case needed to be drilled. This case didn't end up being optimal for this cooler. It ended up working well.
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Mainboard: X79A-GD65 (8D)
CPU: I7-3930K
Setting: 4.5Ghz enhanced turbo w/ speed step functioning.
Memory: Corsair Dominator 2133 CL:9  1.5v 4x4gb
Setting: 2400 CL:10
VGA: 2 x GTX 780Ti Gaming 3G (SLI)
No Overclock other than default
PSU: Corsair AX1200i 12v: 100.1 Amps
SSD: Corsair GS 256GB
Corsair Link
Cooling: Corsair H100I

xmadTopic starter

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Re: Z170A XPower Gaming Titanium Edition
« Reply #2 on: 25-July-16, 09:33:33 »

The next thing we did was update the bios.

We did this by placing the latest bios version on a usb stick and booting to bios then using M-FLASH.

After flashing the bios, we performed a full cmos clear using the clear button on the back panel.

Next we had to set up the raid array. Since we are doing this in a windows 10 environment. The raid rom UI is build into the UEFI bios.
So we entered bios> Settings > Integrated Peripherals
Sata Mode: Raid
M2 Pcie Remapping> enabled

Hit f10 save exit and the system will re-load bios. It will automatically take you to create teh raid array at this point. (Only if you are using the M2 re-mapping feature)

Before saving and exit i then went and made the following changes:

Settings > Windows Configuration
Win 10 support > enabled
Win 7 > Disabled

Made sure all fast boot options were disabled for now.

Save and exit.

Now we went to the windows installation. This is where you will need the drivers you placed on a usb stick before the build. (The Intel RST driver needs to be unzipped) After choosing an advanced installation, you wont see any drivers! So you need to browse to the usb stick and install the drivers. Then you will be able to install windows.

Once windows finished installing, updating and all drivers were installed, i went back into bios and enabled MSI fast boot, secure boot (You need to enroll factory key provisions)

Then I was ready to do some light overclocking tests using onboard vga.
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Mainboard: X79A-GD65 (8D)
CPU: I7-3930K
Setting: 4.5Ghz enhanced turbo w/ speed step functioning.
Memory: Corsair Dominator 2133 CL:9  1.5v 4x4gb
Setting: 2400 CL:10
VGA: 2 x GTX 780Ti Gaming 3G (SLI)
No Overclock other than default
PSU: Corsair AX1200i 12v: 100.1 Amps
SSD: Corsair GS 256GB
Corsair Link
Cooling: Corsair H100I

xmadTopic starter

  • MSI HQ Red Rockets Team Member
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  • Salisbury MD
Re: Z170A XPower Gaming Titanium Edition
« Reply #3 on: 25-July-16, 09:37:49 »

I didn't do all that much testing w/o vga i just wanted to play around a little.

so the first thing i did was enable XMP.

This set the ram to run 3600, i need to raise the dramv to 1.4 to get this to work. The system was stable, but with the IGD, i had screen tearing issues as would be expected.

I also tried the auto overclock feature, it seems to basically raise the turbo multiplier but doesn't adjust power restrictions etc. This feature is garbage. That being said I did manage to get it to overclock to 4.6 ghz with the ram at 2133mhz.  There were a few weird stability issues so i ended up reverting to stock and installing the VGA.

Seems the bottom line is that overclocking with an IGD doesn't work very well. As this is a good cpu sample as I will prove later.
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Make sure to select a "best" answer once your issue has been resolved!
Mainboard: X79A-GD65 (8D)
CPU: I7-3930K
Setting: 4.5Ghz enhanced turbo w/ speed step functioning.
Memory: Corsair Dominator 2133 CL:9  1.5v 4x4gb
Setting: 2400 CL:10
VGA: 2 x GTX 780Ti Gaming 3G (SLI)
No Overclock other than default
PSU: Corsair AX1200i 12v: 100.1 Amps
SSD: Corsair GS 256GB
Corsair Link
Cooling: Corsair H100I
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