Thomas wrote:According to a couple of reviews on the Asus Z170-A, it feels cheap and flimsey. That dont sounds promising for using a Tower cooler, like Ninja?
What feels flimsy? the heatsinks? the PCIe slots? the memory, i find dificult to categorize a board as filmsy, its not like a case, but there are other options from Asus like their Maximus
, but at the expense of more $$$$, weather its worth it.... really depends on the user.
And about the Ninja, i doubt the mobo has any impact, the holes are standard, so it shouldn't feel different nor less secure than another motherboard, personally i think the Z170A looks like a good balance of price and offerings, but you are the only one that will have to live with your choice and its your money, so chose what you think would be best for your build.
Thomas wrote:I think I read once around here, that OC and undervolting works fine in combination. Can that be done directly in the BIOS now a days, or is it still needed with a utility of some kind?
Most manufactuers offer software based overclocking, its not the best imo, most of the time it overvolts more than it should, as they have to cover almost any CPU binning, that said is not so bad either, just not what i would do. That said, my days of overclocking are over, personally i value more less heat and noise than a marginal performance boost, today CPUs are very capable, and probably more than what the average user needs, but at the same time there are poeple like you that do use them for heavy task like editing, where you might use more than the average user, still here i would recommend you check if you benefit from hyperthreading, as the i7 6700K is a beast, with its 4.0ghz base clock and hyperthreading should be a very capable CPU, if not also keep open to something like X99 + i7 5820K, another really good combo for editing, the only downside is no iGPU so you will need to get a dedicated GPU, weather its worth it or not depends on your budget and power needs.
Thomas wrote:MSI boards, do they have good PWM fan control without using software like speedfan?
MSI bios fan control is very good, specially on the CPU_FAN1 and CPU_FAN2, two independent PWM headers (you need 4pin PWM fans), the lowest allowed is 12.5% and in increments of 12.5%, meaning 12.5%, 25%, 37.5%, 50%, 62.5%, 75%, 87.5%, 100%. Fans like Noctua PWM have very good range of operation on PWM, usually the go extremly low, as low as the MSI can go, and ends up with 200rpms or less, where in most cases is not needed to go that low, but its nice to know that you can. But be carefull not all PWM fans are equal, as with 3pin, all fans have different range of controls, some go lower than others, for example while i like a lot Noiseblocker M12-S1, i dislike their M12-P, their lowest PWM is around 650rpms (if i remember correctly), and this is at 0% PWM, the MSI can only go to 12.5%, thus ending with like 850rpms idle, something that to me its not needed. Overall for people looking PWM fans i recommend Noctua, and Thermalright is also very good with their TY147A, Scythe is also a very good option.
But to do this you will need to change all your fans to PWM, and second to grab a PWM fan splitter (two suggestions Swiftech
), that could end up very expensive depending on the fans you chose, but also its very steady, easy to manage and is not OS dependent as you all are doing via the bios, and best of all, its minimalist, no resources spend on extra software or that might conflict with another driver/software.
That said, Asus not only has the best software control with FanXpert, but they seem to be doing a lot of bios upgrades, toward giving more control to the users that don't like software based, all their headers seems to be switchable on the bios (voltage controlled or PWM, in the past was only the CPU_FAN header that could this), this alone gives you a lot of flexibility into using whatever fans you like and own. How good, i cant say, i only seen some reviews where it looks very promising, but i haven't tested my self.
My recommendation is to go with Asus, specially since you are planning on reusing your P180, not sure if you are planning to re use the fans, but certainly with the Asus mobo you dont need to, weather the fans are good to continue its up to you. But there are better 120mm 3pin voltage controlled fans tonally speaking than pwm, fans that i recommend is Scythe Gentle Typhoons (any RPM with asus fanXpert should drop very low), Noiseblocker M12-S1 one of SPCR favorites, it drops around 400rpms with fanXpert, and even at 600-700 is still very quiet, at 850rpms (their max) they are still quiet but noticeable, and last one of SPCR user favorites Nexus 120mm, their latest Nexus Basic seems to be a very good fan overall, probably not as good as the other two, but their price is half, you can read much more about them in SPCR Fan Roundup #6: Scythe, Noiseblocker, Antec, Nexus, Thermalright