Description

College Refund Well Spent! I have no access to spell check right now so be gentle grammar nazis! More pictures will be uploaded when I have the time to do so (I have finals coming up so no promises).
Half of this build was purchased back in Q1 2014 so that is why some of the part choices may seem a bit odd. Built on: 01/30/2014 Updated with the 970s and 1000w PSU: 10/27/2014 Also, howdy from LinusTechTips!

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770k. I went with this CPU back in Q1 2014 since it was the best i7 I could get at the time for the Z87 motherboards.

Pros: It's a quad-core with hyperthreading and it's CPU clock out of the box is 3.5 GHz.

Cons: Gets hotter than the surface of the sun with even slight overclocking/overvolting. The farthest I could get was 4.2 GHz and even then it was pushing 80c in some applications under load (which I wasn't comfortable with). I set it back to it's default clock after I got a BSOD over and over again :(

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14. This cooler was the best air cooler I could get back in January so I picked it up. I don't trust water coolers ever since a friend of mine had his h100i leak all over his Sabertooth and 780.

Pros: It's a great cooler considering that it's air and not water, it keeps my CPU under 70c while under load and is much more queit than all the other fans in my system.

Cons: It's big and makes changing the ram a lot more difficult.

Motherboard: MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming. This mobo is amazing with its oc genie feature and go-to BIOS buttons. I couldn't say much about all of the other features since I wouldn't know what half of them are or what they do.

Pros: It costs a lot less than ASUS ROG mobos and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference either way.

Cons: I haven't found any after 1 year of use.

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600. This is WAY more memory than I will ever need for gaming, but I bought it just to be the guy that says "I've got 16 gigs in my system."

Pros: I haven't oced it yet, but I'm sure that it does well.

Cons: It's hard to install with the giant air cooler in my way.

Storage: Samsung 840 EVO (120GB) and Seagate Barracuda (1TB). Went with an SSD/HDD combo since it's what everyone's doing for gaming builds nowadays.

Pros: My PC boots up incredibly fast and I have enough storage (for now) to store all of my games and save files without worrying.

Cons: The Barracuda drive makes this really annoying chirping sound and I had to install a software called CrystalDiskInfo in order to force the drive to stop the noise (it was the APM thing that the drive has).

Video Card(s): 2 x Gigabyte GTX 970 G1 Gaming. This is where my college refund went.

Pros: I can run all games at 1080p Ultra without worrying about temps going through the roof. They are relatively quiet at 100% load even with six extra fans running at full speed. The backplate is awesome and they come with cherry picked chips that perform very well at stock speeds. Haven't bothered overclocking them yet since I'm sure the temps would go crazy.

Cons: One of the cards has coil whine that's audible only if you put your ear right next to the card while it's under load.

EDIT: Just overclocked both to 1430MHz and they are running just fine :)

Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window. The best case for my needs.

Pros: It has a window and it has a fan controller that I currently have set to 12v for the best cooling with my 970s. It is also silent.

Cons: Uhm...the front dust filter is a bit hard to get to?

PSU: EVGA 1000W. Just got and installed this about a month back and its been working great so far.

Pros: Fully-modular and 80+ Gold rated (as long as its 80+ whatever it doesn't really matter).

Cons: ...its a power supply...I can't really complain unless it explodes.

Optical Drive: ASUS thing. It's a disk drive.

Pros: Cheap.

Cons: It's a disk drive.

OS: Windows 7 64-bit. I HATE Windows 8.

Pros: It's not Windows 8.

Cons: It costs $100 and support for it will end soon :(

Monitor: Acer H236HL. A great monitor that I got from Newegg and I plan on getting another 2 for NV-Surround in the near future.

Pros: IPS and it doesn't cost that much.

Cons: It's not a 4k monitor.

Keyboard and Mouse: Corsair K70 and Logitech G500. The keyboard is amazing and I love Cherry MX Browns for typing and gaming. The mouse is at my home back in Shawano so I'm using a Logitech M100 right now in its place.

Pros: Mechanical and it has Blue LEDs to match the Windforce logos on my 970s. As for the mouse it is great for gaming. The keyboard also has a volume wheel that I use constantly now.

Cons: Non so far.

And that is where my college refund went and I can say that I am very pleased with the performance of this machine. I used to have a 780 in it but then I heard that Nvidia's new Maxwell cards had arrived and I said "Sign me up!" A future upgrade could be either an AIO water cooler or a custom loop so that changing out the ram isn't such an arduous process. I don't have access to spell check right now so please excuse any spelling errors that I have made in this description :)

Comments

  • 57 months ago
  • 5 points

Nice build 1 plus from me

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :)

This is the first computer that I've built and I will probably be posting the builds that I did for my friends as well.

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah post the build if it is possible

  • 57 months ago
  • 3 points

I just got it to say I got 16GB in my system

I got 4GB's getting all the ladies.

+1

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

LOL

  • 57 months ago
  • 3 points

Looks nice, hopefully Applejack does't get sucked in.

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Great job on build, parts, and pricing. Also enjoyed reading your story. I thought the Pro's/Con's of the ODD was hilarious.

I bet that D14 was a beast to install!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

The D14 was a bit of a pain. It made cable management a little more difficult, but the biggest pain in the *** was the memory installation.

I had 8GB installed when it was first built back in January and when I decided to go for 8 more then I had to open up the case and redo ALL of the cables :(

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

oh, that's brutal! Would taking off the fans first help facilitate the reinstall or did the fans need to be on beforehand?

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I pretty much had to remove both fans in order to install the extra memory. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to reach the screws holding the cooler in place.

Then I decided that I should just get a new PSU since all of my prior cable management on the left side of the case was ruined from removing those two tiny fan cables (I had a lot of zip ties that needed to be cut).

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

You should take more shots of your cable management job!

Full modular psu's are pretty convenient. Easy to swap out for custom cables too!

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

If you want to OC better, you could always delid. It really helps.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I've heard that deliding is the only way to get these chips to cool down. But isn't it somewhat dangerous?

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

It definitely has some inherent risk to it. Despite that, it isn't likely that anything should go wrong as long as you're careful. I've done it in the past and have watched others do it as well. It's not as bad as people might have you believe.

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

More pics!

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Soon, Unicorn, very soon.

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Question:is mountain dew really that yummy?

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Yup, I love it. Even though I probably shouldn't.

Concentrated diabetes comes to mind...

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

good build man +1

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

/|

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

|\

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build but you didn't need that much power for it you could have gone with a 750W PSU at the least and used the money saved on more SSD storage.

Also go with the custom loop it would probably be a lot cooler than an AIO.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I know, I went total overkill with the PSU. But it was pretty cheap for a 1000w fully-modular 80+ PSU.

I've been looking at custom loop water cooling for some time now, I just have to find the time and money to spend on it.

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

I would like to go with a custom loop myself for my first build, but sadly I don't have the money, so I'm going with the Corsair h100i though I would like to use the h110 but the case I chose won't fit it.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

The AiO water coolers perform pretty well and give much more price/performance than the custom loop coolers. I would go for a custom loop solely for the aesthetics.

What case did you choose?

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

The fractal design r4 blackout with window, but I haven't bought it yet because I am hoping that an r5 version of this case comes out by Christmas so that I can get the h110, but if not then I'm going with the r4 and h100i

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Awesome! You got all high quality parts (: I love the dual 970 setup! I'm planning on doing that with mine soon (got the MSI 970 Golden edition)

How much better is that D14 than something like either a 212 EVO or even a H50 water cooler? All I know is Noctua is one of the best brands o: i'm considering using them for when I overclock my 4690k and need a new cooler

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

The D14 cools a lot better than stock (well anything is better than stock) and I would estimate quite a bit better than the 212 EVO and H50. I don't have the temps for those coolers though so this is just estimating.

I would recommend the new D15 cooler if you are looking at air cooling for your 4690k since it is a newer model.

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Alright, will do! Thanks for replying! (:

Epic tower of mountain dew cans! The beverage of gamers everywhere

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

NP

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build... Just... The pony throws it for me.. I'll never understand bronies...

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

That's alright, I won't begrudge anyone their opinion. For some reason the show helped me out when I was depressed and I've stuck with it ever since.

You can blame my friend Chris for introducing me to it though :)

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah...same here...it cheered me up whenever I am feeling down for making stupid decisions...like when I bought a Cooler Master 212 and someone else bought a water cooler for the same price.

Why Applejack and not Rainbow Dash? Rainbow Dash keeps you PC 20% cooler!

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Apple Jack and Rainbow Dash both don't come close to the coolness of Pinkie Pie! :D

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Uhoh let's not start a war here guys :)

My friend has both Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie while the other has Rarity and Flutters. He spent ~$120 on Pinkie and other accessories. That place just eats up money.

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow...that's...the equivalent to my R9 270...I want Flutters since she's best pony but the most I've spent is $0 on my RD Plushie because AMD gave me a voucher :D Thanks AMD!

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

You care about the pony...I'm scared if the shelf will break and the GTXs will die.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I've stood on that shelf before so I trust it.

Besides, it's the only way I can have my PC in full view :)

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

I don't know...A Noctua cooler and two GTX 970 seems really heavy...well you've stood on that shelf so it's okay I guess. Anyways what's the shelf name? I kinda need a new desk...

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

It's just some desk that the University gave me. Its solid and has enough drawers for my needs (I mostly store old wires and parts in the ones to the right of the chair). The drawer above the center is a bit flimsy so I have to be careful with it. Overall, it's a great desk; shame I don't know the name of it :(

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

I think a 1000 watt PSU is a little overkill. 750 watts would have been more than enough.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, but I got a pretty good deal on the PSU. EVGA has won me over once again. First it was my 780 SC and now it's this PSU.

I had a Corsair RM650 in my system until I decided to upgrade.

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

The more I see GTX 970s...the more I hug my Rainbow Dash plushie while sobbing because my PC I've just build seems tiny :(

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

:( I'm sorry.

But your PC is fine, at least you had the sense to not go super overkill with the parts!

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

I've seen so many dual GTX 970s here that now it seems as if it's not an overkill...

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice Build! Though with those 2 970s i'd push for 1440p, but that's just me...

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I'm going to go for 5760x1080 when I get NV-Surround next year. I'm going to buy two more of the same monitor.

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Great build! A few questions though: 1. why not 256GB SSD? It is the sweet spot of the ssd 2. why not a more updated version of the g.skill ripjaws series optimized for z87? 3. Cooler Master Hyper Evo 212 air cooler? Half the price and better performance based on the benchmarks i've seen. 4. Why that extra case fan? looks like a waste of $10 with that $40 you just saved you could have upgraded your RAM or SSD but +1 for the "i want to tell everyone i got 16GB of RAM" OVERALL: Phenomenal Build +1 +1 +1 +1 +1

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Most of the build was bought back in January and that's when I was just getting into PC building. So that's why some of the part choices are a bit odd.

If I were to rebuild the entire thing from scratch I would change a lot of things.

Thank you for the +1 :)

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Two 970's for 1080p??? Don't you think that's a bit overkill?

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah it is, but I'm planning on getting NV-Surround with three of the same monitors. No kill like overkill.

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Well in that case it's an amazing build..Shouldn't have to upgrade for another couple years

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm hoping to see something amazing from the new AMD 300 series in February, but I won't be upgrading until NVidia's new architecture comes out (probably 1100 series) which will probably follow the same pattern of upgrading every two years.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

What was the refund for?Im from Europe btw no idea about Us laws and policies

[comment deleted]
  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I didn't really have the budget for two more monitors for NV-Surround at that moment. I will update the build later to include three monitors instead of one.

I had a single 780 in this build previously so a single 1080p monitor was enough for me back then.