Building Our Latest Z170 Test Bench – Skylake & 64GB of DDR4 Memory!


To add to our Z170 system, we complimented the OC Formula and Intel i5-6600K with Crucial’s entry-level DDR4 memory, but at a 64GB capacity. In fact, we recommend prior to building your Z170 system to search the internet for CPU and memory problems prior to commencing your build. We have a couple of theories behind why we believe this may be occurring. The first being that with that Z170 systems are very particular when it comes to overclocked memory. We found that the system runs incredibly smooth when it is clocked in at 2133 MHz. Any clock speed above this is found to be flaky, for lack of a better of term. This may stem from XMP settings and timings that originated from X99 and earlier days that are not as solid when it comes to the current Z170 systems.

We also found that the i5-6600K wasn’t able to handle 32GB of DDR4-3000 memory, unless we over-volted it far beyond manufacturer specifications. Even still, it was prone to BSOD’s and system freezes.

Z170 Test Bench Photo 14

Once we got our hands on this Crucial kit, we were away to the races! Our system went from being an unstable mess, which took over 100 hours to diagnose, to being solid as a rock. We are putting more of an emphasis on the memory than we normally would, but this is due to the fact that clearly an i5-6600K can’t handle a 32GB kit of DDR4-3000 memory. We are currently working with memory manufacturers to highlight this point and we will be returning with the goal to find out how far we can push the i5 6600K to accept a higher frequency.

Z170 Test Bench Photo 6

Now, to get back to Crucial’s DDR4 memory. This 64GB kit is the first of its kind here on Technology X. We will be honest, this is a fair bit excessive as most gaming rigs are fine with 32GB. However, it is still nice to let the system have some breathing room for usable memory. This DDR4 memory has the capabilities of being twice the speed and capacity of DDR3 memory and is also 40% more energy-efficient.

Z170 Test Bench Photo 15

Just looking at the memory you will see that it is basic, no heat sinks, no lights and no bells or whistles. Just your plain and ordinary DDR4 memory, with timings of 15-15-15-36-2T at 1.2V. You can pick up this memory on Amazon for $465.86, or for about half of that if you are looking to go with a 32GB kit.


This is by far one of the better graphics cards that we have tested to date. We won’t go into extreme detail highlighting the components of this graphics card, as we dedicated an article by itself to its performance found here.


In short, this graphics card features 4GB of DDR5 memory, has a default GPU clock speed of 1165 Mhz that can be boosted to 1266 Mhz and supports 3 x DisplayPort 1.2 (4K @ 60Hz), HDMI 2.0 (4K @60 Hz) and DL-DVI (2560×1600). Oh, and this card overclocks very well thanks to Zotac’s triple cooling design.


Going back to Amazon, we see that pricing for this card comes in at $489.99, which based upon the performance of this card, is a very fair and competitive price.


be quiet!’s Dark Power Pro 11 is a semi-modular power supply rated with 80PLUS Platinum certification and up to 94% conversion efficiency.

Z170 Test Bench Photo 1

It is equipped with their Silent Wings 135mm, which is virtually inaudible! It is comes with an overclocking key that switches the quadruple independent 12V-rail mode to a single-rail operation for higher performance.

Z170 Test Bench Photo 13

You can pick up the be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 850W on amazon for $265.20, a very reasonable price for an efficient power supply.


While this is an older CPU cooler, it is still efficient and is compatible with the new LGA 1151 Intel mounting bracket. This all-in-one CPU cooler features a 240mm radiator that allows for dual 120mm fans.

Z170 Test Bench Photo 7

As this is an older CPU it is a little bit cheaper than most current AIO CPU coolers, coming in at $76 on Amazon. As you will see in our testing that follows, this older CPU cooler does an efficient job as we achieve a half decent overclock with our i5 6600K.

One comment

  1. What is the “hardware reserved” memory with this 64GB RAM setup under Windows 10?

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