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Birthday Present for my Girlfriend

by jdwade94


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

Nov. 6, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

4.2 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.632 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

10.01 GHz


As the title suggest this was a build for my girlfriend. She has never had a desktop computer and has been wanting one since I have got into building these computers. So for her birthday I decided to build one for her. The focus of this build was to give her something powerful and compact. As were both in college, I am OK with the size of my midTower computer but I figured I make something as small as possible for her move around with ease if needed.

This is why I went with the node 202. It was basic black so I just painted the top portion of the case white to have a two tone color scheme going on for some flare but nothing crazy. The thing about this case is that it was so compact and putting a 1080 and a 7700k in it, meant that I needed to make sure temperatures were under control. I delidded the 7700k and still get kinda hot temps after an hour of torture test with prime 95, usually around 85 degrees. Either way I got the "K" version just in case I want to under-clock this CPU but it does not seem to be necessary right now. Im not surprised of these temperatures because of the size of the heat sink and little space inside the case but this will do as the temperatures while using the computer are very good and she is a very light gamer but will use this mostly for school work and her future job. Meaning she will rarely if ever have this CPU under full load.

Also the cable management was an absolute B**** to do in this case. I do not have small hands and this easily was where the most time was taken of this whole build. Just getting all the cables neatly routed and zipped down is almost a necessity for this case and not easy to do with the limited space made available. Not only is it just good for aesthetic reasons but also for cooling and just fitting all your components inside the case and also for easy upgrading at a later date.

The blower style GPU I think was a good choice. It does get hot on furmark after an hour but never throttles. There is a lot of heat it dumps outside of the computer than blowing it inside the computer. If I had a non-blower style GPU I would believe the CPU would eventually thermal throttle under heavy gaming loads because of all the heat that would have been blown around the case. I dont know if I should have went with such a high refresh rate monitor for this GPU though. I doubt the 1080 would ever reach the monitors full potential in most games and I haven't noticed to much of a difference from a 60hz to the 144hz refresh rate when testing it on my computer which has a 1080ti. Either way I think I prefer my 3440 x1440 display compared to the 2450x1440 displays, its just more immersive.

Lastly the computer is pretty quite. Under a heavy load with all the fans at 100% it can become noticeable but that only under torture test. When using for daily use and gaming the computer isn't even noticeable. Having an extra fan pushing air into the case over the heatsink was a good idea I picked up from another PCpartPicker builder and also putting two high static pressure intake fans in the GPU chamber also helps give the GPU cool air that keeps its temps low too.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Comments Sorted by:

maggotshero 10 Builds 9 points 15 months ago

I hope one day I love someone enough to justify spending 2600 bucks on a computer, or anything for that matter :P

RollingSushi 1 Build 4 points 15 months ago

It was actually closer to $3500

jdwade94 submitter 4 Builds 3 points 15 months ago

what do you mean?

IronThumbs9841 3 points 15 months ago

I think they mean because the cost of the memory is excluded from the total. This wouldn't push the price to $3500, but it would add $300~400 to the total.

jdwade94 submitter 4 Builds 3 points 15 months ago

ahh I see

RollingSushi 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

The gpu was excluded from the canadian total. So instead of 2600 cad it would be around 3500 cad with gpu and memory/peripherals.

Bran_Flakes 1 Build 6 points 15 months ago

Does your girlfriend treat you right? Encourage you, be there for you?

I'm not a girl, but I'll treat you right. Has nothing to do with my birthday coming up, promise ;-)

Anyways, I like the white painted top. Subtle and easy change, but makes it pop imo. Good build fren.

Ninjadudewhat 2 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

Same except no birthday coming up

DOGALD 1 Build 2 points 15 months ago

you are too nice

Wolfemane 7 Builds 2 points 15 months ago

Excellent Node 202 build. +1

jdwade94 submitter 4 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

Thank you, was first time doing such a small build. Interesting how compact I can make it and still powerful.

Toarias 2 points 15 months ago

Very good choice on the node 202, I used to go to a military boarding high school and a friend of mine is still there so they don't allow PC's, only consoles (its really dumb) but he wanted one. I put together this so he could have one and works great. Great build overall though!!!

jdwade94 submitter 4 Builds 2 points 15 months ago

Thank you. Yea my friends have basically said it is the size of an xbox so I can see how he gets away with that and still is more powerful than an xbox x.

ssaulsbu 2 points 15 months ago

Excellent build! My only suggestion would be to rotate the Noctua L9i by 90 degrees so the heatsink fins don't point to the RAM.

jdwade94 submitter 4 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

Thank you. I didn't even think of this. I've only strictly built with AIO's and custom water blocks since I started building so this the first time I've a heat sink. Much appreciated!

Phantomlegacy3 2 points 15 months ago

+1 for the great 202 build, you can never go wrong with black and white.

Mr_Argon 2 points 15 months ago

I've heard that if you stand the case upright you get better thermals. Nice build, +1

jdwade94 submitter 4 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

Yes this is true, but the difference isn't great. Only about 4-5 degrees decrease. For her uses, it isn't that big of deal, but yea it makes a difference, since my GPU fans are intakes and will fight with the low clearance between the bottom of the case and the surface.

loader963 2 Builds 2 points 15 months ago

Love the 202 builds on this site. Nice work and a wonderful gift.

ReaganBoals 2 points 14 months ago

My GOD she really must be a keeper!

Registermeplz 1 point 15 months ago

You better get a refund when she breaks up with you for being too nice.

oɔᴉN 1 point 15 months ago

insert negative grumble about money

You not noticing any difference between 60hz and 120+? Did you check display adapter properties and making sure your refresh rate is set to higher than 60?(and that you have your stuff plugged in via display port or dvi-d?)

I used to play on a 60hz 1366x768 tv and recently got a 144hz 1080p and was almost blown away by the difference

Other than that nice build. Cable management is a nightmare for people with bighands(silverstone ml08b)

jdwade94 submitter 4 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

Yea I don't know if I had the correct settings. I had little time to play around with the monitor before I gave it to her and now its out of my apartment so I may not play with it again with a gpu that can take advantage of that refresh rate at 1440p. But I will mess around with her settings to make sure I get it right on hers. I dont have G-sync on my monitor so this is my first time messing with it. But I still think after just gaming on her monitor, I would still go with the 3440x1440 with a 60hz over a 2450x1440 with a higher refresh rate just because of the immersion into the game of the widescreen.

Stuart_Munto 2 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

Can I be your girl friend too?

SneakierEmperor 3 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

This is awesome! I built a rig for my girlfriend a while back, but haven't gotten around to taking pictures and posting it. It's not this nice either. May I ask how you painted the case? Like did you use paint or plasti-dip?

jdwade94 submitter 4 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

I just used a rattle-can. Used three coats of primer. 4 Coats of paint and 2 coats of a matte finish paint. I also sanded after every coat and let dry for a couple of hours. Took about 3 days to finish the paint job completely. But I felt it was necessary so the paint not only looked good but was easily marked up as I my girlfriend can sometimes be a bit messy and clumsy so I figured this my get bumped here and there and needed a good amount of paint to keep from getting easily scratched. r/pcmods is a good place to find information on how to effectively paint your case.

SneakierEmperor 3 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

Awesome. Thanks for explaining all that. It looks great! Perfection takes time.

Budgetbrahim 1 point 15 months ago

Damn, you like your girlfriend. Shoot! Forget I said that. It sounded better in my head.

xxvolwarexx 3 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

Did you get to play with the machine before delidding? If so, what were the temps?

jdwade94 submitter 4 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

Did not play games just ran stress test in prime 95 and it thermal throttled about 50 minutes on only one core. Was disappointed but not to surprised. No overclock either. So yea thermals are a big deal in this case but, when just gaming and daily task I assumed it will be perfectly fine.

xxvolwarexx 3 Builds 2 points 15 months ago

Awesome! Thanks for the reply!

jdwade94 submitter 4 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

No Problem!

getdeleted247 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

nice build.

iMoonTiger 1 point 14 months ago

$2850 gift for a girlfriend? lol *** dat

shadowking1711 1 Build 1 point 10 months ago

How did you mount the fan on side if the case like that? Is it just the noc fans that do that?

jdwade94 submitter 4 Builds 1 point 10 months ago

I assume your talking about the fan that is attached to the top of the case. The Noctua fans come with these rubber dampening mounts that are longer than the usual fan screws and also made of rubber so they stretch. I just simply poked them through the vent holes and let the stoppers on the end of the dampeners let the fan stay in place without falling through. So don't think you could get away with it with any other normal fan screws. Sorry ;(. Worth a try though.

MTHD 1 point 9 months ago

+1 for that desktop soundbar, got that saved in my amazon wishlist for a long time now haven't pulled the trigger

Velocitron2000 1 point 6 months ago

Lucky girl.

[comment deleted by staff]
jdwade94 submitter 4 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

Thank you for the comment. I don't think she'll ever use the full potential of the 7700k either but i figured why not. She continues to get more and more into AAA games so it cant hurt. This is also why I bought the 1080. The 1440p monitor with 144hz refresh rate that can be OC to 165Hz needs a lot of juice to get their so I figured the 1080 would be the GPU that would make sense without going crazy and getting her a 1080ti for someone who isn't a heavy gamer an yes future proofing this build was the key for her. AS she just had a Macbook for the past 6 years I knew that since she is going with a windows laptop next she will probably want a desktop that can get her another 4 to 5 before she needs to start making upgrades.