I built this computer in February 2016 for myself. I needed a video editing PC that would last and so I decided to choose the new Intel 6th generation processor (codenamed Skylake).
PC BUILD PARTS LIST:
Intel i7-6700 3.4 GHz processor
This was the most expensive component because it’s at the top end of the i series of processors, the Intel i7-6700 3.4 GHz processor. Unfortunately the Skylake i5 processors don’t support hyperthreading otherwise that would have been enough for my needs.
With 4 cores and 8 threads it’s an excellent choice for video editing but also future proofs my custom PC build. This efficient and low power CPU also includes the standard Intel heatsink (which I found is barely audible).
Had I been planning to overclock I would have brought the unlocked K version, the i7-6700K. The K versions do not include heatsinks and so I would have also required a separate CPU cooler.
I have been using this processor for several months now and am very pleased with its performance.
Gigabyte Z170 ATX DDR4 Motherboard (GA-Z170-HD3P)
Having chosen an LGA1151 socket processor I narrowed down my search to the same socket motherboard.
I needed a large board with lots of expansion slots and so chose the Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3P ATX motherboard with 6 expansion slots. I was looking for the latest high performing chipset for future proofing and this board uses the Z170 chipset.
I will be using multiple hard drives and so needed enough SATA ports along with RAID support. This board supports RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 and has 6 SATA III ports and 3 SATA Express ports. I aslo needed DDR4 memory support and this board has it.
Lastly I’ve found Gigabyte motherboards are solid and reliable and this board comes with quite a few extras like an M.2 socket for example.
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 Memory Kit - Black
16GB of RAM is enough for this build but I purchased double that because I will also be running virtual machines on this PC.
My chosen Gigabyte motherboard has 4 DIMM slots and supports up to 64GB of memory so I opted for two 16GB memory chips to run in dual channel mode. This means I can buy an identical RAM kit in the future if I what to get to the full 64GB of memory.
For this build go for 2x 8GB Corsair Dual Channel DDR4 memory running at 2133MHz, that’s the maximum memory clock speed the motherboard supports. It’s the Vengeance LPX series and is designed for high performance overclocking – not something that I was looking for but these were the best twin 8GB chips for the price.
EVGA GeForce GT 740 2GB GDDR5 128-Bit Graphics Card
Graphics cards are always a challenge when trying to balance price and performance. After careful consideration I picked the NVidia GeForce GT 740 SuperClocked card from EVGA with a GPU core clock speed of 1085 MHz.
It has 2GB of GDDR5 memory running at an effective memory clock speed of 5000 MHz. It also has 384 CUDA cores and a memory bitrate of 128 bits. I chose an NVidia card because its CUDA cores are optimized to use many video editing programs like Premiere Pro.
It’s a mid-range card in terms of gaming but for video editing it’s a high end card at a good price. One point to note is that it has a mini HDMI port and so you’ll need an adapter or cable to plug into a full size HDMI port.
SanDisk SSD Plus 240GB Drive
This is where I managed to save money for my build so that I could spend more on the CPU and RAM. I already had two 120 GB 2.5” SSD’s.
I used the motherboard’s RAID support to combine the SSD’s to create a 240 GB drive for the operating system.
If I was buying a new one, I would have brought the SanDisk SSD Plus 240GB drive, it’s a good balance between capacity and price.
Western Digital 1TB 7200 RPM Blue x2
I reused two identical 1TB 3.5” mechanical hard drives from my old server to create a 1TB mirror RAID for storage and backup.
If I needed to buy new ones, I would have opted for two 1TB WD Blue SATA III 7200 RPM mechanical hard drives.
Using mechanical drives in combination with solid state drives is a good way to save money while still getting SSD performance.
EVGA 500W Continuous Power 80+ White PSU
Another way I saved money was to reuse my 700W ATX power supply from an old build. It’s an 80 Plus White PSU with the more than enough power than I needed.
If I was buying a new one I would have brought the EVGA 500W power supply. It’s an 80 PLUS White continuous power PSU with more wattage than is needed but comes at a very reasonable price.
AeroCool Mid-Tower Gaming Case (Aero-800)
For the case I wanted something that I could fit under my desk with the front panel ports easily accessible. I like minimal design but didn’t want boring.
After looking around for a while Areocool cases were really coming out on top. Don’t get me wrong the likes of Corsair, Antec, Silverstone etc are great cases but for what I was looking for Areocool’s cases were on budget.
I really liked the orange Aerocool DS 200 but it was out of my price range and so I want for the Areocool Areo-800 mid tower case in grey.
It’s a solid, stylish and functional case able to fit my ATX motherboard with enough space for expansion and multiple hard drives. It has all the things I was looking for and is just the right size to sit underneath my desk.
This case looks great and is designed for gaming because it can house a water cooling system, a GPU up to 39cm and has an excellent airflow design.
It’s half the price of the more well-known brands but the quality is still there.
Windows 7 Pro OEM
For the operating system I recommend buying Windows 7 Pro. Why? You can install and activate it and then upgrade to Windows 10 for free or stick to Windows 7 if you don’t like Windows 10.
In either case it’s cheaper to do it this way round than buying Windows 10 outright.
I actually prefer Linux myself but installed Windows 10 back in February when I built my computer. At that time Linux support for Skylake builds was still a bit sketchy.
Extras you might need
If you watched the planning a custom build video in this series you will have learnt that it’s always a good idea to use an anti-static kit to avoid shorting any of your shiny new components.
Most people will have some screw drivers lying around but if you haven’t take a look at this cool computer toolkit.
There are always some extra cables that you might need like SATA cables for example. When I started putting together this build I realized that the 24 pin motherboard cable wasn’t long enough (luckily I had one lying around at home).
These things happen and you may want to order some extras and return them if you don’t need them.