Mid Range Linux Box – Intel Skylake & Z170 Mobo

Background:  I have lived with the Ubuntu 14.04 system that I had installed on the Gigabyte GA990F – and lived to really enjoy programming the Arduino on that system more than working with a Mac or Windows machine.  While I have not tuned up the IDE toolchain like I have with a Mac system, using Textmate, I have gotten pretty proficient at using Linux.  However, I noticed that the way the SSDs were partitioned over time, that the Ubuntu partition only has 3 GB left, and that is too close for comfort… so in the spirit of learning and continuous improvement, I built a new system.  Also, adding fuel to the fire was that the Gigabyte Mobo was over 4 years old.

Components:  This is a mid range to mid range plus system (not quite gaming, but fairly fast) that relies on new components and CPU.  Here are the components (and cost, circa May 15, 2016):

  • Intel Core i5-6500 3.2 GHZ H4 LGA-1151, 6 MB Cache ($200)
  • Asus Z170 A, Using intel Z170 Controller, onboard HDMI, DDR4 ($160)
  • Samsung 850 EVO 250 GB SSD ($90)
  • Corsair DDR4 3000 MHz 2×8 GB Memory sticks ($80)

The total cost was $530 since I already had a power supply and built the system on a thin piece of wood.  Below is a snapshot of the component cables:

Asus Motherboard
Asus Z170 Intel Motherboard w/HDMI

Results:  After installing Ubuntu 16.06 LTS (I evaluated Ubuntu Mate, but did not really like the UI) I’m exceedingly happy with the performance.  I plan to do some benchmarks versus the GA990F system running Ubuntu 14.04.

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