TechX Builds a new Z170 Test Bench

The time has come for a much-needed system upgrade of our testing system.  Thanks to some key relationships, a little sponsorship, and some outright purchases, we have amassed a sweet group of components for this build.  Let’s see what is going to make up this new test system:


Cougar touts the Panzer Max as their ultimate gaming case, with an attractive yet professional appearance.  It is compatible with motherboard form factors as small as mini ITX, and all the way up to E-ATX oversized motherboards. You can utilize up to 4 x 390mm graphics cards.  Your storage options with the Panzer Max are either up to 6 x 2.5″ SSD or HDD, or 4 x 2.5″ SSD or HDD and 2 x 3.5″ HDD.  Air cooling options are for either up to 8 x 120mm case fans, or 6 x 140mm and a single 120mm (rear exhaust) case fan.

Water cooling options include several mounting locations, and up to 360mm radiators can be used.  The Panzer Max also features its own fan speed control switch, which comes with splitters to accept up to three case fans per channel. Check out pricing for Cougar’s Panzer Max chassis on Amazon.


Our motherboard is ASRock’s Z170M Extreme 4 mATX form factor. This board features 3 x PCIe Gen 3.0 x16 slots, and a single PCIe Gen 3.0 x1 slot. It also offers 6 x SATA 3 ports, and an Ultra M.2 slot with PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 (or SATA3).  Connectivity also includes a pair of USB 3.1 (up to 10Gb/s throughput) ports, one type-A and one type-C.  Also present are 6 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 on the front panel and 4 in the rear I/O area, as well as an Intel LAN port.

The Z170M Extreme 4 is compatible with either AMD quad-crossfire setups, or Intel/Nvidia quad SLI setups.  It supports dual channel DDR4 memory, and also features 7.1 channel HD audio and Purity Sound technology.  Check out pricing for ASRock’s Z170M Extreme 4 on Amazon.


Our CPU is Intel’s Core i5-6400 (Skylake) CPU, with integrated Intel HD Graphics 530.  This 6th-generation CPU is built on Intel’s 14nm lithography, and features a total of four cores and four threads.

Base operating frequency is 2.70GHz, with turbo boost frequency of 3.30 GHz.  It features a 6MB smart cache, and is rated for TDP of a mere 65w.  Check out pricing for Intel’s core i5-6400 CPU on Amazon.


The CPU will be cooled by Cooler Master’s Hyper 212 LED PWM heatsink and fan. The heatsink features a four direct-contact heatpipe design for efficient heat removal.  It comes with a single 120mm rifle-bearing PWM fan with a wide range of 600-1600 RPM, and is quiet at a range of only 9-31 dBA.

Brackets are included to add a second 120mm fan to create a push/pull airflow setup.  Brackets and hardware are included to make the Hyper 212 LED compatible with both AMD and Intel modern motherboards.  Check out pricing for Cooler Master’s Hyper 212 LED CPU cooler on Amazon.


The memory modules are from Corsair, and are 32GB (4 x 8GB) of Dominator Platinum 2800 with C16 timings. When these memory modules were released, Corsair advertised them as the world’s most advanced DDR4 memory modules, and they feature hand-selected ICs for superior quality and overclockability.  The top bar and light pipe are both configurable and upgradeable.

They feature Corsair’s patented Dominator DHX cooling technology, where the heatsink directly cools the PCB, and both the heatsink and the PCB are optimized for heat dissipation and transfer.  Check out pricing for Corsair’s Dominator Platinum 32GB (4 x 8GB) 2800 memory on Amazon.

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