I can't remember when the last time I fired up my PS3 was. Ever since I made this huge upgrade (July 2013 actually) it wasn't the same anymore. My PC was meant for a couch & home theater setup. My display is a 1080p/60Hz plasma screen. I believe getting a GTX 760 would've been sufficient for my build but it wasn't out yet by the time I ordered my 770. Still, I can just down clock the GTX770 to lower its temp and just keep it running for years. Plus games like Metro and Crysis can still be run @ that sweet 60fps threshold.
This unit didn't serve just for gaming but it's also a great media center that I hardly switch to TV now. For some reason, movies after this sound different over HDMI 1.4a which GTX700 supports AFAIK (hence my home theater amplifier supports HDMI 1.4 input). Now it's safe for me to upgrade to a 4k display for movies @ 24fps once they become cheaper.
Here are my thoughts about the parts:
CPU: This brave little warrior can handle itself with the GTX770. It does not bottleneck the GPU even when run at 110% capacity. And it works its magic at stock speed! I guess I’ll OC by the time games visuals becomes more extreme and force me to SLI.
CPU cooler: it allows for a space to fit an optical drive + it keeps my baby CPU cool and safe at 35 degrees while watching movies or using chrome. Noctua signature colors makes my build look ugly but I didn't choose these parts for a side panel ATX tower so no complains about this.
Motherboard: Nothing much to say other than "decent". Worth the price. Best mATX at its price point z87 with 2-way-SLI support, intel HD graphics support (can be useful temporarily if the GPU fails), and USD 3.0 headers.
Memory: I plan to move the parts in the future when games become more demanding to a mATX tower and OC+SLI. This pair of modules is perfect for that plan with its low profile design and lack of these useless fins (that might block large CPU coolers). Works at the advertised clock speed and timing out of the box with the mobo I have.
SSD: First time I ever use an SSD. I know this model is kinda outdated with the EVO taking over but the upgrade to SSD by itself is something beatiful. I press the power button and withing 50 seconds I'm wandering around the villages of Skyrim.
HDD: I bought a WD Black in some later point and added it to the build. But this HDD is whisper quite in comparison. It's intended for business use so I guess that makes it more reliable (I hope). The funny thing is, I got this drive from Amazon by mistake when I was buying a $70 laptop 2.5 HDD. Mistakes can never be better.
GPU: I played Crysis 3 on my 1080p plasma screen @ 60fps with this adjusted to 100% capacity in EVGA Precession X. I still regret the cooler choice as the case does not allow for a lot of airflow. It idles at 39 degrees and peaks at 80. Even though these temps are supposed to be safe, I'm concerned with the life span of my GPU. Hopefully it'll endure the heat until I move the build to another case and then I think I'll get a Titan style cooler GTX770 to SLI.
Case: A fine piece to add to my home theater. I got to admit that my wife had an influence in choosing this part. Although it's painful during the building phase, I'm still happy with this choice. And the HDD hot swap drive bay is a sweetest thing about this case. I'm planning to get a barracuda 3TB to share my stuff without having to clean up my portable drives every once in a while. I advise anyone building with this case to pick a blower cooler video card.
PSU: Kinda pricey but it was the best choice for the limited PSU clearance this case offers. My build is expensive so I wanted something that protects my investment and hopefully this PSU is the right choice.
Windows 8 Pro: I got it from a website that sold license keys for a cheap price. It sure needed a lot of configuration to work properly with a TV screen. No start menu without installing 3rd party software. Still, worth all the trouble for its short boot time.
Keyboard: This keyboard is meant for multimedia and some web browsing that normal HTPC are built for. It's not your ideal choice for gaming unless your used to play games with such uncomfortable input methods. Usually I just use it to launch games then switch to the joypad and forget about it until I quit the game. It has a decent wireless signal when using the extender that comes with it. It still suffers some sort of signal interference while placing it on my lap in a certain way (placing it's center on my knee causes no trouble while using it). Sometimes it interferes with the joypad's signal and I switch it off then go back to gaming. I used it several times to play Age of Mythology without major issues but I guess that's possible for my standard since I'm used to playing that game on my laptop (Actually RTS games are horrible on TV panels - these games are better played with more apropriate types of monitors).
|CPU||Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core||$258.32||TigerDirect Canada|
|CPU Cooler||Noctua NH-L9i 57.5 CFM||$47.30 USD|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte GA-Z87MX-D3H Micro ATX LGA1150|
|Memory||Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600||$69.99 USD|
|Storage||Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" SSD||$98.63 USD|
|Seagate SV35.5 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM||$69.95||DirectCanada|
|Video Card||EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB ACX||$399.99 USD|
|Case||Silverstone GD06B HTPC||$114.99||Canada Computers|
|Power Supply||Silverstone 550W ATX12V / EPS12V||$145.99||Newegg Canada|
|Optical Drive||LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8 Professional (OEM) (64-bit)||$38.00 USD|
|Keyboard||Logitech K400 w/Touchpad||$35.50||Vuugo|
|Total (United States):||$653.91 USD|
|Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor|
|CPU Clock Rate||3.4GHz|
|CPU Temperature While Idle||35.0° C|
|CPU Temperature Under Load||60.0° C|