Edit 3/3/2018: Purchased a second EVGA GTX 770 SC 2GB GPU for $110 on EBAY used. Thought I could reflash the bios to resell for Mac Pro use and pool the money for a GTX 1070 once prices came back down. It was a little more complicated than the old GTX 680. Instead I set it up in this PC in SLI. Wow what a difference. I did have to clean and reapply thermal paste on the GPU to get the "new to me" GTX 770 temp down into the lower 60 C's. Once I got the setup correct in BIOS, the components moved, PCIe PSU cable installed, drivers updated, EVGA Precision XOC working, Nvidia control panel setup, and the SLI cable on correctly because it has a direction to my surprise, this dual 770 SC combo kicks butt. Went from an overclocked GPU Heaven benchmark max everything at full screen 1080p of 1043 to a score of 1835 at stock settings. but got a score of 1985 with overclock Heck yeah!
LOL this benchmark doesn't use SLI but it still did really well.
"UserBenchmarks: Game 64%, Desk 92%, Work 67% CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K - 98.3% GPU: Nvidia GTX 770 - 60% SSD: Crucial MX100 512GB - 89.2% HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 1TB - 111.1% RAM: Crucial BLT8G3D1608ET3LX0. 2x8GB - 61% MBD: Asus Z87-PRO"
Edit 1/11/2018: Received a GPU support bracket in the mail (purchased on Amazon) today. I repositioned the card and installed the support. So easy and takes some of the load off of the motherboard. No more redneck lift devices needed to fight the sag. (I took finally threw away the piece of CD I had wedged between SATA ports for support before.)
Edit 1/6/2018: Messing around with World of Warcraft today, I noticed my trusty old gtx 770 was sitting at 80 to 81 Celcius while questing. I turned the fan profile to aggressive, full fans and even took the side panel off the case and dusted the heatsink fins. No change. This thing is warm and really loud. Once out of the pc and the heatsink removed I found the old thermal paste looked to be spent. It was like puddy on the edges and like oil and gum on the die and heatsink. I applied the scary thermal paste (Coolaboratory liquid ultra[that metal stuff]) to the GPU and heatsink and reassembled it. Success! Now I get 58 to 60 Celcius playing WOW in the same areas. That's a huge difference in temperature and sound. The fans aren't running like a leaf blower anymore. I wad so impressed I tried my hand at overclocking again. I got it to 1300 on the GPU and 7908 on the memory before it freaked out, and it never got above 64 Celcius at those settings. I lowered it back to 1267 GPU and 7310 on the memory. After that fun I messed around with the CPU and RAM overclocks again. Set the 1600 ram to 2133 at 1.5 volts with the timings at 10,9,10,24 and N1 with success. I also lowered the CPU to 4.5 GHz to see if its temp would get under 80 C. Yep now CPU at 78 C max woohoo. Bumped it back to 4.6 on the first two cores then 4.4 on the 3 and 4 cores. Still right below 80 and 79, but teeters back and forth, so probably really 80 C. This is only on synthetic loading. Gaming still at 57 C at 4.7 Ghz. I think the CPU runs cooler than when I applied the paste last time. I'm a huge CooLaboratory Ultra fan now.
Edit 6/10/2017: I no longer recommend using Artic Silver Ceramique 2. This thermal paste cannot withstand overclock stress testing and breaks down after a few weeks beyond testing. My pc temps exceeded 90C while playing World of Warcraft. I removed the CPU; delidded it with the Rockit88 kit; cleaned out the destroyed liquified in some spots and discolored in others, Ceramique 2; installed Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra thermal paste on the die and heatsink. This not only stabilized my World of Warcraft temps at 65C, but my max Prime 95 temp came down to 83C. I'm fortunate the old i7 4770K still functions. I've found my new goto thermal paste. Watch out this stuff is metal and can short out exposed circuits. Use with caution and use sparingly with the included brush. While apart I removed the red neck CD holding the GPU cover up from sagging. I took the GPU apart, cleaned it and reapplied thermal paste. I found the issue with the GPU cover and tightened it up. No more sag or separation! I am considering redoing it one more time with the Coollaboratory Ultra......
I bought a Rockit88 delid kit and popped the top on the i7 4770K. Cleaned out the gum from intel and polished the IHS on the inside and out. I used the Artic Silver Ceramique 2 I have and now am comfortably at 4.7Ghz. A prime95 small FFTs torture test got me 88C, but stable and now that I've tested it, I'm never going to see that again. What a difference changing the thermal grease under the heat spreader makes.
BTW she loves the little college pc this big pink and purple beastie now belongs to Gooberdad!
Originalish post description: My daughter and son had iMacs until this year. Both have been converted to PC's. My son wanted a gaming rig, so we built that first. My daughter wanted one that could handle graphic art, some rendering, 2d and some 3d, photo and some video editing, Adobe CS5 creative suite and stuff like that. She told me she wanted to play some games as well. She also said she wanted to see if I could make it lavender and purple. This is what we came up with.
I fell in love with the MICRO CENTER in Dallas, Texas when getting several of the pieces. Wish they had a store in Memphis. Got some great combo deals and discounts.
Ok its definitely girly and sparkly. It has Diamond Dust and clear on the top coat of paint. I added one fan porthole to the bottom blowing right up onto where the old hp-nvidia gtx 260 1.8gb video card is. I had the old gpu, from an older hp elite, my old g510 keyboard, used the external dvd, a copy of win7 pro, her old mouse, a 21.5 Samsung 5ms 1080p hd tv from Costco that was on sale, and her Epson V33 scanner. I let her have my Intous5 tablet and pen set (as long as I can borrow it sometime) I added two portholes on the left with Lexan to allow a view of the interior. I had to move the cosair H80 over all the way to the left at the top front, and then cut away a 1" long by 1/3" deep section out of the bottom fan to get it to fit in the case. This even with the low profile ram.
I stepped back after it was done and thought, "Man, the 80's puked up a My Little Pony PC." It runs great and the old GPU works good 55-96 fps in wow on "good" settings.( yeah its an older GPU) I chose the components either on availability, proximity, brand reliability, or just plain "It come in a pack of 3 pinkish red led fans". Yeah some of the stuff could have been cheaper, but its hers, she is overjoyed, and its built.
I hope this is "Future Proofed" for a while. I can change the GPU or SLI two when she gets the money together. I want to convince this one needs a Blueray player/dvd burner, but I haven't figured out one that includes software, is a decent price, and is reliable. Oh and that will add to her total. She is good with the old parts and an external dvd when she needs one, for now.
Got the Lexan on the two portholes and sealed them up. Moved one fan to the side and found out why you should never touch the intake side of a full throttle case fan.(took a chunk out of my finger LOL)
BTW my daughter came to me when her iMac crashed, handed me $560, and asked when we could get started. I am covering what I covered for her brother...... the ram, the case and incidentals, and the monitor.
I ran another prime 95. The temps got up to 81 for a second and it freaked me out. I cleaned and reapplied thermal paste.I lowered her overclock to 4.3. Now, with a good long prime 95 run The highest I got was 63. I am very relieved.
I took out all the red led fans because they were red and loud, and replaced then with quieter ones. I installed a NXZT Hue so she would have purple inside the case and can change it or turn it off at her whimsy. I installed her GTX 770 with the added back plate and a small support to help the card resist sagging. Now she is finally done. No SLI or anything else. The next one will be mine!!!! BTW She is thrilled with the purple color and the fans are so quiet now.
(Cable routing is a pain in the ***. Even though my daughter loves the look of her computer now, I think it looks sloppy still with the random bits of wiring here and there. I tip my hat to all those people who can hide there cables, or route them in such a way that makes the overall build look like art. Makes me want to take one more stab at the routing and placement in this case. One day I will have a build with my cable management top notch.)
Edited 12/26/16: I have replaced the 120GB SSD with a 512GB SSD, cleaned and reapplied thermal paste onto the CPU and the GPU, replaced three noisey fans ( I'm especially talking about you, damn noisey H80 fans ) and cleaned up the cables some more. Still one of my weirder builds with too many fans, but the funky paint is holding up well. Ellie hasn't used this one since I built the little college pc, so I moved it to my bedroom. That's why those fans had to go. Sounded like an electric leaf blower when booting and gaming. Thinking of upgrading that GTX 770 2GB, but holding off because it isn't used much by anyone right now. I've just got that itch.........
Great little cooler, but the stock fans are loud. 4 stars.
Best thermal paste I've used. I believe it is gallium based and therefore will disintegrate aluminum. Works great on copper and nickel. Best CPU and GPU thermal and TIM thermal paste replacement I've used.
Fantastic low profile RAM. Easily overclocked to 1866.
New model with 525GB sells for under $130. Has held up great for years and still boots in under 40 seconds. It's no Samsung Pro SSD, but still a great product.
By itself 2GB of mediocre performance, but SLI'd and it becomes a GTX 1060 6GB add kicker at 1080p
Moves air in a column, but this restricts flow by design. Very quiet, but the max rpm and airflow air limited. Great for blowing air onto something at a distance in the pc case. Beeter fans available for airflow at low decibels where the fan can be either closer or only needed to move air. 4 stars.
Super quiet with great airflow. This PWM fan is my current goto for price, sound, and airflow.
Good old keyboard. Keys feel cheap, but it has lasted 8 years as of 3/5/18
Great mouse. No weights needed to be added. Good fit for my hand. Just enough buttons. It has lasted me 8 years as of 3/5/18.