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This website has been running for ~2 years now, and I have had a lot of fun testing and writing reviews of various components with expectations of the same to continue in 2017. However, I have been using my personal build components for the x99 test rig- especially for coolers- and I simply can’t go on doing so. I had to create a dedicated test rig if I was to continue doing this, and my day job separately on different PCs. I am good to go as far as cooling, PSUs and peripherals go, and I even have an old AMD HD 7850 as far as a graphics input to the monitor goes which meant I had to do something about the core components- CPU, motherboard, RAM and storage. This rig would be existing simultaneously with the other testing rig that has the i7 4770k for LGA 115x testing, and I use a Gigabyte z87 board there more often than not. So it was perhaps fitting then that Gigabyte approached me this past summer about doing an overview of their then newly released x99 Phoenix SLI motherboard. It happened elsewhere, but I wanted to cover it here as part of this article to express my gratitude again. I then approached Corsair who also were gracious enough to spare a kit of DDR4 RAM and SSD storage of my choosing. So thanks a lot to Gigabyte and Corsair for helping out.

These are the products I requested/received:

  1. Gigabyte GA-X99-Phoenix SLI
  2. Corsair Vengeance LED 32GB (4 x 8GB) 3200 MHz C16 kit
  3. Corsair Force Series LE 480GB x 2 SSD

Why these particular components? The motherboard was specified by Gigabyte of course, but initial reviews were quite promising to begin with anyway. For the memory kit, I knew I wanted a 2666 or 3200 MHz kit based on my experiences with the i7 5960x and a 100 MHz base clock and 32 gigabytes would allow for future proofing. It just so happened that Corsair had a new LED RAM kit they wanted to show off anyway. As far as storage goes, stability was my main goal so I was going to go with a RAID 1 setup hence the two 480GB SSDs which gave me ample space while not breaking the sponsor’s bank. I am left with a CPU then, and this is why this article is going to be more of a detailed overview. I want to test these components with the final CPU for this test setup, and as much as I would like to continue using the same i7 5960x so I can have a bank of data for comparison already, I simply can’t afford another without external support and Intel is never really in the giving mood for smaller operations such as this. So unless readers would like to chip in, I will probably save up for a used i7 5820k and have to start fresh with new components compared against each other only, and not the older ones before.

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