Date: 25 September 20, 00:44 AM
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Bill


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I truly hope your description of a "clearer picture" was tongue in cheek.  I have watched that video 3 times and aside from having the most annoying voice I've ever heard, the only thing that is clear, to me, is that M.2 is available in several sizes and the B-M is the most common.  I have to assume that the M.2 SSD  is faster than the PCIe becauses it uses 2 PCIe "channels".  I am not at all sure the presenter actually said that.
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Bill


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Thank you , yes it did.
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Bill


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That is amazing, 512 g in a 22/80 mm form factor.  Looks like it's going to be awhile before they're available at retail though.
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scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

The article estimates 2 months for availability. I probably won't have enough saved until summer, so maybe I'll have more options then. I'll look forward to reviews on the product.

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Bill


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I think this one has great features and would be easier to build.  The previous one considered listed comments below about flat cables for the PSU because that is all that fits.  One of the things that caught my eye was the 140mm case fans.  I checked newegg and they sell replacement Be Quiet case fans in that size for $26, a little pricey IMO.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

Unfortunately the be quiet! case won't work unless I buy a new desk. The case is large, standing 559mm (22") tall. The most my desk can reasonably accommodate is 19" in height. Even the Corsair 100R is a bit large compared to what I currently have (15" tall). I looked at the specs and it's either 471mm (18.5") or 430mm (16.9") tall. The specs fail to clarify which is height/depth. I'm thinking (hoping) the height is the 16.9" spec.

The Corsair 100R seems to be more than enough to accept everything I plan on throwing at it. From reading the manufacturer's site, it should be large enough to accept performance parts with plenty of room. Referring to the 100R, this blurb is from TechPowerUp:

Quote
And with up to five fan mounting locations (two fans included), tool-free support for four 3.5" drives and four 2.5" SSDs, and support for long graphics cards, the cases easily support high-end GPUs, liquid coolers, massive storage, and PSUs.

I'll wait to see what reviewers have to say once the case is available.

Bill


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You must have drawer space under the desk top.  I just measured my desk, no drawers, and its 25 1/4 floor to bottom of desk top.  That means the be quiet case would work for me, if I were building.........
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

My desk is designed with a wide keyboard tray that overlaps the computer placement. As such, it loses a few inches.

Even if I had more room, I'm not entirely sure I'd want the larger case. I had a large Antec before, and I was quite happy to downsize. I'm thinking the Corsair will be sufficiently large for my needs. I'm sure as heck not going to upgrade my desk.  ;D

Bill


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The price is certainly attractive.  My Solo II measures 17" high with plenty of headroom.  But I don't think I would buy another polished black finish.
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scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

I don't blame you on the polished finish. I had once considered an Antec "piano black" finish some 10 years ago. I loved the case, except for the finish. It was distracting enough that I decided on something different.

scuzzy


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I probably need to start thinking about what I'm going to build. I'm thinking by end of August I'll start ordering parts.

Scuzzy; it's more fun spending somebody else's money.

scuzzy


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So this is where I'm currently leaning:

Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Mid-tower case ($110.00)
ASUS Z97-PRO(Wi-Fi ac) LGA 1150 Intel Z97 wireless motherboard ($215)
or
ASUS Z87-PRO(Wi-Fi ac) LGA 1150 Intel Z87 wireless motherboard ($120)
Intel Core i7-4790K Haswell Quad-Core 4.0GHz LGA 1150 CPU ($340)
G.SKILL Trident X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 RAM ($135)
SAMSUNG 840 Evo Series MZ-7TE120BW 2.5" 120GB SATA III 3-D Vertical SSD ($130)
be quiet! BN635 Straight Power 600W PSU ($143)

As for a graphics card, I'll likely spring for either a GTX 960 or a GTX 970. I need to spend some time doing some research.

Nothing is certain on the motherboard, either. There's plenty to consider, so I'll need to dedicate some time on determine what's best for me. I like the idea of built-in wireless, but I may be excessively limiting my choices by doing so.

I'll likely begin building by late August. I'm hoping to build 2 systems, so I'll try and keep them at under $1250 each. Then there's the monitors and keyboards. Sigh.

Bill


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Maybe I missed it, but I don't see any reference to the m.2 or PCi connection for the plugin SSD.  Are you going to pass on that?
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

I'm not entirely sure on PCIe. It seems that it is currently only for OEM and enthusiasts. Setting up a PCIe SSD as a boot drive is not a simple plug and play. From what I've been reading, it can be quite challenging.

Another issue with PCIe is that the drive gets throttled considerably after a couple minutes of running full blast. This is not a problem for booting the drive and launching programs, but it can be problematic when doing intense video editing, etc. This is not an area I'm well versed in, so I don't know how much is fact and how much is fiction.

M.2 is not out of the question, but I still need to research further as to what my options are, bang for the buck, performance, etc. For now I'm listing a standard vertical SSD, which will ultimately be used for storage.

scuzzy


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I'm glad you mentioned the M.2 option. In my zeal I failed to notice that the Z87 board does not support M.2, so that board is out of the running for now.

Scuzzy;  I wish I knew what I was doing for my wish list.

Bill


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I'm inclined to think there won't be a practical, noticeable difference between the M.2 and PCI type connections unless you are doing something very demanding like video editing or such.  SATA 6 is a pretty quick connection.
A quick look at the Asus boards (which would be my choice) shows only a limited number that support M.2 at the moment.  Maybe by the time you're ready offerings will change.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

Regardless of brand, most of the Z97 and Z99 boards support M.2. By the way, the only other board I'm seriously considering is Gigabyte. I have been doing some more research here and there, but work has limited my spare time.

As soon as I get a chance I'll do some updates here. But I have decided to go with an M.2 SSD vs. a vertical drive.

scuzzy


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Here's a very timely review for the Samsung SM951-NVMe (256GB) PCIe SSD.

The article addresses thermal throttling, which apparently will not make a difference for most users, to include power users. It was also good to know that the drive will boot with most 9-series motherboards, including the ASUS Z97 Deluxe.

The technology is relatively new so it's far from perfect, but it looks like an overall good choice. I'll just have to wait a little while to see what its availability and pricing are. Hopefully I'll have an answer soon, as I'm itching to start a build.

Scuzzy; itching that scratch.

scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

This is where I currently am, if I were buying today:

Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Mid-tower case (currently on sale for $75.00)
ASUS Z97-PRO(Wi-Fi ac)/USB 3.1 LGA 1150 wireless motherboard ($215 - currently out of stock)
- or -
ASUS Z97-A/USB 3.1 LGA 1150 motherboard ($149)
Intel Core i7-4790K Haswell Quad-Core 4.0GHz LGA 1150 CPU ($340)
Noctua NH-U9S Premium CPU Cooler ($58)
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1866 RAM ($109)
SAMSUNG 850 Evo Series M.2 250GB SATA III SSD ($120)
be quiet! BN635 Straight Power 600W PSU ($143)
EVGA GTX 960 Superclocked 2GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 Graphics Card (currently on sale for $200)

With current pricing that puts the build in the $1,194 to $1,260 range, so it remains more or less within my goal of $1,250 or less per build. Of course, an eventual new 4K monitor and keyboard will blow that out of the water by some $500~.

The more I researched RAM for this build, it seems no more than 16GB of DDR3 1866 is an ideal match for the i7-4790K CPU. There's a lot to consider with frequency vs. price vs. voltage, but 1866 seems to be the sweet spot. Higher frequencies need more voltage and only make a difference in benchmarks. I probably don't need more than 8GB total, but the price for 16GB is doable.

I'm currently leaning toward the ASUS Z97-A mobo for $149, although it does not include wireless. I suppose I could add that myself later.

The case is currently on sale and I'll probably order it after poasting this. Last time I looked it was $110 + $15 shipping. Today it's $75 with free shipping. It's available in a window version for $5 less, but that's not a feature I really care for.

I don't have a firm decision on the graphics card. I'd prefer a GTX 970, but the GTX 960 is no slouch and it's well over $100 cheaper. Current GTX 970 cards are starting at $330, making the GTX 960 a bargain at $200.

As for the storage, the M.2 drive is not PCIe. But the price is right and the performance should not disappoint. I also like the fact that it's a plug and play solution, as compared to PCIe, which is not entirely without its issues. I'll almost certainly go for an external storage solution, such as this Samsung 500GB USB 3.0, currently selling for $216.

I probably won't immediately need a graphics card. Earlier today my son-in-law gave me a GTX 465 card, so that can easily hold me over for awhile if needed.

This build is going to happen, so any advice, comments, thoughts are certainly welcome.


EDIT: I just ordered the Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 case.

Bill


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I read the reviews of the less expensive of the 2 ASUS boards.  One of the reviews commented on some confusion regarding which version of M.2 is supported.  In his opinion the SATA M.2 is not supported and the PCIE M.2 is supported.  He may be confused, or I may be but I thought I'd mention it.  However the reviewer said he purchased the wrong SSD and had to reorder.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

I read through the reviews and saw that remark. To be honest, I have no idea what he's talking about. That a mainstream board would be designed specifically for M.2 PCIe *only* seems out of par, as the M.2 PCIe form factor is still pretty limited due to its new technology.

It does bear a little research on my part just to be sure.

scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

I think I will go with a Gigabyte motherboard, once again. I have to admit that I'm partial to Gigabyte since I've had such good luck with them, but an ASUS annoyance is probably what pushed me over.

I recall over the years of often having problems with ASUS's support website, such as for downloading drivers, manuals, etc. It seems that I always hit the support site when it's not responding for some reason or another. A couple days ago I tried to get some info on one of the ASUS mobos, just to be met with the usual "sorry but the site is down tough luck my friend try again some other time" crap. So I started looking at Gigabyte. I know, not the best reason, but....

I'm specifically looking at the Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK (Black edition), currently going for $179. It's the same board as the $175 Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H, with the following additions:

1. It's blacked out (I really don't care)
2. It has an extended 168-hour durability test period
3. It's warranted for 5 years vs. 3 years

The board has all the features I want/need, except for WiFi. I'm thinking it's worth the extra $4 for the warranty alone.

While nothing is firm (with the exception of the case), here's where I am so far:

Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Mid-tower case (purchased on sale for $75.00)
Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK motherboard ($179)
Intel Core i7-4790K Haswell Quad-Core 4.0GHz LGA 1150 CPU ($340)
Noctua NH-U9S Premium CPU Cooler ($58)
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1866 RAM ($109)
SAMSUNG 850 Evo Series M.2 250GB SATA III SSD ($120)
be quiet! BN635 Straight Power 600W PSU ($143)
EVGA GTX 960 Superclocked 2GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 Graphics Card (currently on sale for $200)

Estimated damage: $1,224.

On the plus side, my son-in-law gave me a used GTX 465 a couple days ago. It's a pretty beefy card and will probably hold me over for quite a while. So I may forgo a new card, at least for now.

Bill


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The specs on the Gigabyte M/B look sweet.  I used a Gigabyte board in my last build, the one you are using now.  The exact same experience pushed me to ASUS.  I found the U.S. Gigabyte help/support site slow and annoying. Questions took 2-3 days for an answer and the response always was from a tech for whom English was a second or third language.
Hopefully that has changed.

The rest of your selections look great too.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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We'll see, Bill. ASUS is not entirely out of the running, I just got irritated. You know how that goes. The Gigabyte board seems to have everything I need in a nice package.

I'll likely omit a graphics card all together, at least initially. I'm gonna see how the on board graphics works out before I make that decision final.

scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

Darn it. The case went back to its regular price of $110+$15 ($125), which is $50 more than the sale price. I was hoping it would stay on sale until the case I ordered arrived. I just checked FedEx and the new case arrives tomorrow. My plan was to give the case a quick evaluation and then order a second case if I like it enough.

Scuzzy; kostenlos would be nice.

Bill


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If I were you, I'd order another if I liked it and wait for another component to go on sale.  Maybe you can make up the difference that way.

Always fun spending other people's money!

Edit: You have already reduced the system price, at least temporarily, by dropping the graphics card.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

I'll be putting together a 2nd system, but there's no hurry. It will likely follow the first build by a couple months or so. Ideally they'll be identical, but it's not firm. Obviously it will depend a lot on how well the first build works out.

I considered buying 2 cases at once, but I got cold feet as I wanted to be sure that I'll like the case before buying 2.

Scuzzy; every 1's a winner.

scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

I got brave and decided to check ASUS's support site to download the manual for their Z97-A/USB 3.1 board, which I previously mentioned. Looking through the manual for the M.2 specs, it clearly states the M.2 only supports PCIe SSDs.

I find it odd, considering how ASUS brags that this board is "backward compatible." Except for that, apparently.

I won't go as far as to say the board is completely out of the running, but it does give me pause.

Scuzzy; and heartburn, too.

Bill


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Interesting, out of the 6 reviews on Newegg, only one mentioned that fact.  The PCIe M2 ssd  may  be the reason there are only 6 reviews.

Also this morning I spent almost 10 minutes on the Gigabyte. us site looking for your selected M/B.  After I found it I think it sounds very impressive including the 4K Intel video supporting your decision to skip a video card.  You can always change your mind.......
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

I took advantage of the 4th of July sale for the G-SKILL Ripjaws (2 sets of 16GB), but I passed on the Samsung SSDs. Here's where I stand so far:

Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Mid-tower case (purchased on sale for $75.00)
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) RAM (purchased on sale for $90 per set)

Items to follow:
Intel Core i7-4790K Haswell Quad-Core 4.0GHz LGA 1150 CPU ($340)
Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK motherboard ($179)
SAMSUNG 850 Evo Series M.2 250GB SATA III SSD ($120)
be quiet! BN635 Straight Power 600W PSU ($143)
Noctua NH-U9S Premium CPU Cooler ($58)

I'm taking the graphics card out of the running for now. I'll wait until my system is together before making that decision. As it stands, I'm at $1,005 for the first system.

I'm still waiting on the case, which was due today. Newegg sent it out on time, but FedEx is dropping the ball. For some reason it's been hanging out in various locations in Kansas for the last 2 days.

Bill


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The SSD you passed on was the vertical one, not the M.2 version, also half the size.   But I assume you realised that.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

Yes, I knew it was the vertical. I hope to use M.2 for the OS, and to use the standard SATA III connectors for SSD storage. My plan is to use the Plextor SSDs from my current systems (128GB each), so no real need to buy something new at this time. Having said that, I don't want to overly restrict myself on a certain form factor. I'll continue to study the options as I go.

On another note, I carefully read this Techspot Intel Core i3 vs. i5 vs. i7 article (along with other similar articles). It gives me pause on whether I really need to go with an i7. The Intel i5-4690K Haswell Quad-Core 3.5GHz LGA 1150 CPU ($240) could very well be sufficient for my needs, and it will save $100 per build. No decisions yet, but for now I'll keep aiming for the i7.

I'm still up in the air with the motherboard. ASUS is back in the running after reading multiple reviews on ASUS vs. Gigabyte. For the boards I'm considering, the ASUS Z97-A is looking better and better. Basic reasons include the board's layout, features, and BIOS. The M.2 PCIe limitation is not such a concern for me anymore, and is something I can work with. I found this Tech Report ASUS Z97-A motherboard review helpful.

BTW: My case arrived while I was writing this. I took a quick look and overall it seems quite decent for what I paid ($75). I'm not entirely sure that it is worth the original price tag of $115, but we'll see when I put it all together. The instructions are very minimalist (less than 2-1/2 pages of a small booklet), and the first 1/2 page is to brag about how great the case is and to congratulate the buyer on how smart they are. Not that I need instructions for a case, but I can see how a beginner might need a little more hand-holding than what is provided. Regardless, my initial impression is mostly positive. It looks like it will provide for a nice build.

Bill


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I read the Tech Report on the ASUS Z97 board and my overall impression was the reviewer was impressed with overclocking options more than anything else.

Personally I liked the Gigabyte board better, maybe because I could understand more of what was being talked about!  My limitation, not yours.

I do like the ASUS handling of the front panel connectors with the removable block that plugs into the board as a unit, I don't remember what they called it.  It is present on my current board as well and was a whole lot easier to use.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

Like anything else, it's all in the details.

There are settings to get the most out of the RAM, activation of the M.2 socket, mobo features, etc. From what I'm gathering, ASUS boards are more polished in this area, especially when dealing with the BIOS. Which reminds me, ASUS has a BIOS start feature. Modern systems boot so fast that getting into the BIOS can be challenging. ASUS boards have a hardwire connector that can connect to the case's reset button, which allows the user easy access into the EUFI BIOS settings. Other things are good fan header layouts, the connector blocks you mentioned, and RAM XMP implementation are easier on the ASUS.

The Gigabyte, like the ASUS, is loaded with overclocking features. But that doesn't do much for me on either board. I've never bothered with overclocking and it's not something I'm really interested in.

The same site has a review of the Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H motherboard.

You know, it's not like I know what I'm doing. I have more questions than I do answers, and at times I feel like I'm just crashing around in the dark.

Scuzzy; still learning.

scuzzy


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I may consider this Samsung SM951 (AHCI) M.2 256GB PCIe SSD ($230) with an ASUS motherboard. Hopefully the newer NVMe version of this SSD will show up within the next couple weeks or so, but only assuming ASUS supports NVMe SSDs in its firmware updates.

I found this Tom's Hardware Samsung SM951-NVMe Versus AHCI Versus SATA 850 Pro article very informative.

Bill


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If I read all that Techno-speak correctly the samsung sm951, as it stands today, will not boot the system without additional firmware,and it sounds like that is anticipated shortly.
The NVMe ssd also requires newly written BIOS on the board.  No?

I just finished the review of the Gigabyte board and I think you're right about the ASUS being the better deal.  The fan header placement alone, compared to the Gigabyte headers along the bottom of the board, would make for a much cleaner and easier build.  Ditto on the connector block.

Hopefully when and if I decide to build another system all of this will be worked out.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

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You are correct that the PCIe NVMe SSD requires updated firmware and BIOS that supports it. I don't know where ASUS is on NVMe support, but it does support the PCIe AHCI drive (2 lanes only), which is no slouch in itself. The more I look at this, the more I like the idea of the much faster M.2 PCIe interface. Plus, this configuration does not disable any of the SATA III connectors.

My only concern about ASUS is the tons of complaints of their horrific customer service. It's great when the product works, but when it fails customer service is everything.

I will probably get the remaining parts toward the end of this month. Maybe by then I'll know what I'm doing.

Scuzzy; or maybe not.

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The AHCI is right up there in terms of performance  compared to the 850 Pro and maybe the safest way to go today, but in a month,who knows.
But isn't that always the problem........
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

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I've been studying the ASRock Z97 Extreme6 motherboard ($160). A newly released USB 3.1 version ($192) is also available. While it's not perfect, it looks like an overall decent board. I like that it has separate Ultra M.2 PCIe (4 lanes vs. 2) and M.2 SATA connectors. While the board has some quirks, I'm not seeing any showstoppers considering its many positive attributes. Regardless, here's a couple tech reviews:

Tom's Hardware: ASRock Z97 Extreme6 Motherboard (2014 Smart Buy Award)

The Tech Report: ASRock's Z97 Extreme6 motherboard reviewed

One more I'm looking at is this ASRock Z97 OC Formula motherboard ($200). The single M.2 interface supports either SATA3 or PCIe 2nd Gen (2 lanes). The board is loaded with features and comes with a 5-year warranty. (Newegg says 3-year; ASRock site says 5-year.) The only setback I see is that it has a single HDMI option for onboard video, so no dual monitors without a graphics card. Here's the ASRock link: Z97 OC Formula

While these boards go on about overclocking, I'm more interested in durability and other features. I've never used ASRock in a build (only MSI/ASUS/Gigabyte), but they seem to fare no better or worse than the other manufacturers. But looking through customer reviews, ASRock seems to suffer from poor customer service as well.  ::) FWIW: I did find their support site simple and intuitive. I also like their clearly listed supported M.2 SSD drives.

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I looked through the reviews and the section for the Extreme6 lane sharing is beyond me after the 2nd reading.  If it were me I'd skip the Extreme6.
The OC formula seems less confusing but I wouldn't give up dual monitors so a video card would be required.  The other issue, for me, is lack of accommodation for the gen 3 SSDs using 4 lanes.  Doesn't seem quite optimal.  But hey, I'm new at this........
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

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If I can eat my cake and have it too, I'd prefer PCIe Gen 3 (4 lanes) as well. But even a 2-lane PCIe is a massive upgrade from my current builds.

I realize that splitting the PCIe lanes 3 ways on the Extreme6 (even if only 2 PCIe options are used) is not ideal. But since I'll use a single GPU card at most, matched with a very fast CPU, I doubt it will matter all that much. I could always use the 3rd PCIe for a dedicated sound card. I also like the idea of having separate M.2 PCIe and M.2 SATA connectors on the same board. I'd be nice to set up the M.2 PCIe with a 3rd Gen SSD boot drive, and the M.2 SATA with an SSD storage drive. That would provide for a very neat setup, along with a very speedy system.

I agree on the OC Formula's native video setup being weak. If I go with this board I'll surely install a GPU card. I need something that supports at least a single 4K monitor, or dual 1080p monitors.

Both boards have their strengths and weaknesses, and there are still other choices to consider. But its looking like the Gigabyte will be out of the picture, at least for now. If I decide on ASRock, I'll have to determine what features are most important to me. I'm not entirely sure on the ASUS Z97-A, but at least it remains on the radar.

You confused me a little. You said you'd skip the Extreme6, but your complaints were of the OC Formula. Does that mean neither board appeals to you?

Scuzzy; eating cake.

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Sorry, yes my complaints or objections to the OC Formula strike that one for me.  But my comments about the Extreme6 were really more about the complexity of the channel/lane/socket sharing that would demand, from me, a great deal more time to understand and ultimately get an optimal set of choices.  Because of that issue alone I'd skip it, not because the rest of the board is less desirable.   You may find it less complex or easier to work with.  Generally, these days, if "best choices" aren't obvious, I do something else.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

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Okay, I get it now.

It seems every board on the market will have some amount of give and take. I guess that's true with everything. As for the complexity of the lane sharing, that is done automatically by the motherboard regardless of brand. The reviewers just like to point out how each board handles the sharing.

M.2 sockets, whether PCIe or SATA, will borrow from other connectors regardless of brand. It's a limitation of the form factor and chipsets. For example, if you use the M.2 SATA connector on the Gigabyte, the board automatically disables 2 standard SATA connectors. If you use an M.2 PCIe connector on other brands, it will borrow the appropriate amount of lanes (2 or 4) from the other PCIe connectors. No matter how you look at it, there are only so many lanes to go around and each manufacturer has to determine how to best handle the sharing.

Although the Extreme6 lane sharing seems complex, it's done automatically anyway with no input from the user. Again, it's just the reviewer wanting the reader base to know how the sharing is accomplished. For advanced tech heads and gamers, I suppose those things matter. For the average Joe, they won't really care as long as it works. At worst, the user only needs to activate the M.2 connector in the BIOS settings.

BTW: 4-lane M.2 PCIe connectors are not prevalent on motherboards. The technology is still new and is far from mainstream. ASRock seems to hold the current lead in this area.

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Amazon has the WiFi version of the ASRock Extreme6/ac, currently selling for $180. The more I look at this board, the more it calls out my name.

Scuzzy; as long as it doesn't curse at me.

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