Description

Some graphics cards had just arrived in and among them was a really nice looking white GTX 950 with blue accents. I wanted to build a PC using it but the only white motherboard I had was an Asus Z170 which was a bit overkill for the little graphics card so I set out to build a machine with great performance/price ratio that looks really nice :)

I've started a gameplay FPS test playlist for the build here = https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtxHocGsjK_PNAXipsj8E86F-8_7SceXe

UPDATE: I've just made a new version with the Asus H110m (nice mobo, almost identical to the previous -S2H version but blacker) and now using Asus Strix GTX 950 (slighty faster, quieter)

Part Reviews

CPU

The i5-6400 is great little performer, and future upgrade savvy as it hits the recommended specs for a VR ready system! (you'll need to upgrade the gpu to GTX970)

Motherboard

The motherboard I actually used is the GA-H110M-S2H = http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=5606#ov but I couldn't find that on the PCPartPicker so I used this one (looks the same TBH) - Anyways! Another great motherboard from Gigabyte, small and capable with features that match the slots available.

When installing this in the Z3 chassis I had to move up the two bottom stand-offs for fitting the board inside.

Once fitted I removed the rear fan and turned it clockwise before re-fitting to give me just enough cable length to reach the fan header and keep things super tidy.

Memory

Great ram, also available in white :)

HyperX HX421C14FBK2/8 is a kit of two 512M x 64-bit (4GB) DDR4-2133 CL14 SDRAM Synchronous DRAM) 1Rx8, memory module, based on eight 512M x 8-bit FBGA components per module. Each module kit supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profiles (Intel® XMP) 2.0. Total kit capacity is 8GB. Each module has been tested to run at DDR4-2133 at a low latency timing of 14-14-14 at 1.2V

OK, that last part is the interesting bit for me :)

Normally I would have gone with http://www.gskill.com/en/product/f4-2133c15d-8gvr in black for this (and everything, I'm a G.Skill fanboy) but the tested latency is 15-15-15-35-2N

My question is, does this mean the Kingston Fury Ram is slightly better?

Storage

My go-to storage drive in all builds, I can't recall a bad experience with one of these - exception value and performance from WD

Video Card

OK, so I couldn't find the white version of PCPartPicker so here's a link to the Asus site = https://www.asus.com/Graphics-Cards/GTX950-OC-2GD5/ - pretty right!

As I said above this graphics card was the whole reason for the build, as soon as I saw it I knew I had to build a PC using it - I'm a big fan of the GTX 950 performance / price ratio on any day but the Asus white version is such a beautiful looking card I'll happily keep using it for more white themed builds in the future :)

Asus say on there site it's a great match with the Z170 boards which I agree with (Z170-a and Z170-WS would look uber), but it also goes really well with cheaper black boards like the H110M-A - with the black PCB on top anyway if we used white Hyper X Fury and added some white braided PSU extension cables this build would look pretty stylish indeed!

Anyways, great card, great alterative to the STRIX design. I can't wait to try the new Echelon versions :P

Case

Exceptional value with 4 fans, a good layout and even a gpu support bracket if your building something with a large graphics card. Also available in black/blue - needs versions in black/red and white/green.

Power Supply

Again, not the exact part I used but close in brand/power.

The model I used was the ZALMAN ZM400-GVN 400W ATX PSU which is 20/50/100 Load 86/88/85% MEPS compliant. http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=PSUZAL1400

I've not seem a more efficient and resonantly priced PSU since the Cooler Master V-Series 450w was available = http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=PSUCLM5450 (if you can get that one it's a great choice as well)

Optical Drive

Unlike the picture the branding of this drive is actually black, which is far better looking! I know we are using these less and less but I think it's still good to have in systems for now.

Operating System

Not terrible, but seriously - why can't I turn off updates. Search is still a mess compared to windows 7 and I don't want to do a quick survey on why I am installing google chrome... and no, I also don't want to answer your questions later on about how likely I am to recommend google chrome to a friend... Microsoft, let us choose when to update, customise our login screens and use the programs we want please - you can still take automatic usage data from me - I'm totally cool with that!

Comments

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice build you got! I always love white builds as that's what I'm planning for myself very soon. That GPU is pretty sweet though. I have seen a number of GTX 950's as of late in builds on here. How's it holding up?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :) I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I've been testing the usual suspects (Fallout 4, DOTA 2, ESO, Blade and Soul etc) and it's perfect if those are the games your wanting to play - i'll make a playlist for the new youtube channel for my desktops soon but it's very similar to my GTX 950 tests on my old channel if you want to check things.

My old channel (GTX 950 test playlist) = https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNcbXQwkQlKftu7GqYMu37T6kmgGFAkMC

New Channel (Just laptops tests right now, will add desktops playlists :) = https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc87nj5wQB4EK-Ssa1S9Dhg

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

I currently I mainly play AION and Guild Wars 2 sparingly as time allows. I'm really just looking for a good card to play 1080p max settings until Pascal drops then I'll jump up to 1440p.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

The GTX 950 is a great choice for both those games :)

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok so the build I have planned currently has 3 stages to it. The first stage will take place in early Feb. with the second and third stages following from March-May.

Stage 1: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8XGyjX

Stage 2: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/47qGrH

Stage 3: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/9wnbBm

Thoughts?

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Stunning, and so well planned out. I've used that PSU before and you are going to love the way the cables look. I also like the way you've gone upto 750w allowing for a massive graphics card to be added anytime you want.

Cooler wise some will say why don't you get a 6600-K at the start so that the H105 later will make good use of the unlocked CPU.

HDD wise, I don't know much about Hitachi but recommend the WD10EZEX completely.

Outstanding mouse and keyboard, make sure you download powergrid for your phone asap :)

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Your airflow will be fine if you add 1 or 2 fans, no need for more! Also you can save that money for a R9 380 which is a much better card than the GTX 950 or 960 and only costs you a bit more

EDIT: DO NOT GET THE ISKU I HAVE IT AND THE DRIVERS ARE VERY FAULTY SAME WITH YOUR MOUSE

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

I can't find any professional review on that PSU. How do you even know what it's internal quality is like? Can you find any information on it? I'd just be cautious about purchasing somewhat unknown power supplies, you never know what their actual quality is like, and efficiency is usually the least important of any factors.

Otherwise, nice build. The case is gorgeous, I love the white design. Great job!

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks :) With PSU in NZ they have to either be tested to meet MEPS (minimum energy performance standards) or already have the Gold rating to be used in our a PC because of our Equipment Energy Efficiency Programme. It's a fairly recent thing for us but it cut out a lot of the rubbish really quick and gave us some unique little ones for sure. Here's a quick article on it = http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/archive/index.php/t-132227.html?s=f4418852125f74df19d9d72928fa9ea0

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah, okay. It's nice to know New Zealand does this stuff. In America, we have PSUs on the market that explode.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

The build is great. And that is one anti-sagging case you picked there. Have you consider adding a SSD ?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :) Yep I was tempted to add in an SSD for boot times and general loading of things, once i'm in game though I don't really notice the difference however so if you're on a budget you can leave this out :P

Also wireless! There is a slot for adding something cheap and cheerful like the excellent Gigabyte WB867D-I kits or TP-Links TL-WN881ND if you don't need the Bluetooth :)

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

It has nice colors in there. I like how it looks. For the budget I think it is a pretty reasonable build.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :)

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice card. I got the EVGA 950 FTW GPU with the ASUS Z170-A Mobo

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

That's one nice mobo :) What was the appeal for such a high end motherboard and mid range graphics card and also are you tempted to add a second (or larger) graphics card?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build, love the sticker on the stock cooler! Could I ask how you did it? :D

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks :) I just printed it on sticker paper and cut it out (3cm)

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Plan on using the motherboard you have in the build. Has it given you any troubles?

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

None at all :) Here's the gameplay FPS test playlist for the build = https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtxHocGsjK_PNAXipsj8E86F-8_7SceXe

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :)

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you have a build that you would recommend for League of Legends, Dying Light, Borderlands 2. I don't have a lot but would enjoy playing on the highest setting.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

The GTX 950 in Hero is a great option for League and Borderlands, you might want to check out Assassin for the more powerful GTX 960 though (for dying light) = https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtxHocGsjK_MTjvhq1OAzculGKhUEf6XQ

Here's Assassin = https://nz.pcpartpicker.com/b/xJKZxr

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

How did you het that white sticker oncyour cpu cooler

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

I printed a bunch on A4 sticker paper first (15mm circle if I remember right ) and cut them out. Once I was happy with the sizing of my GGPC logo I had several hundred printed by a local print place (around $1 NZ each)

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  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

I was pretty happy to see it as well! If you're in NZ it looks like PB Tech have this one in store already and I'm pretty sure Mighty Ape will have it up on their website soon as well seeing as they are the best Asus place down here :)

PB = http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=VGAAS66169&name=Asus-GTX950-OC-2GD5-GTX950-2GB-OC-PCI-E-3.0-Video-

MA = https://www.mightyape.co.nz/Brands/Asus

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  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Where are you from? In Finland it is on jimms.fi for 159€