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My cats wanted boxes...so I bought parts

by CalyZoo


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

May 26, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

3.3 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

28.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

59.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.176 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

5.4 GHz


This is my first build and I'm pretty new to all of this but this site definitely helped me out a lot! I was pretty torn as to what I wanted to build. For a while I was planning on building a main rig in the office and something smaller in the living room. Then I talked myself out of building anything at all but the cats got their hopes up of a bunch of boxes to sit in and I didn't want to let them down so I finally settled on one machine, an HTPC to replace my raspberry pi and PS3. Please note that this was not intended to be a gaming rig, I just wanted something that would give me the option to play games at enjoyable settings while maintaining a low TDP. I'm currently using XBMC for media and Steam's Big Picture is great for the console experience I'm used to. I apologize for the lack of parts pictures...you probably don't want to look at boxes, but I got carried away and put it all together before I pulled the camera out.

CPU: Being new to computer building I went in expecting to go with an i5 or i7 but then I found this beauty! With all the back ups of blu rays I've been doing this was an awesome choice over the i5. Encoding movies through handbrake takes no time at all!

Cooler: I was running the stock intel cooler for a couple days and temperatures were reaching 79 degrees C while encoding. I'm sure I could have just reapplied thermal paste and gotten better numbers but I decided to go with something quieter as well and the noctua is dead silent.

Mobo: No need to overclock and I've never had issues with Asus products. The reviews also seemed to be pretty good and so far no complaints except when I first put it together I couldn't get to rig to boot up. I tried everything and finally took the mobo battery out, popped it back in, and voila!

Memory: 8 GB is plenty plus it has super duper awesome fins that are so useful because they...ummm...limit cooler options? oh well...

Storage: I have a Dell XPS 12 and with the boot speeds in that thing I decided an SSD was a must! The 6TB is for all my media and games which continues to grow...

GPU: Got an awesome deal on this guy and for the odd gaming I do it works great. Also helps keep temps and power usage down big time.

Case: The Node 605 is gorgeous! Unfortunately it forced me to get a slim blu ray and with that, no full size ATX mobo. But it's quiet and sexy

PSU: Probably could have saved a bit with this one but I decided to go gold and semi modular. Plus it's small, giving me more room for cables. Also, 450W is plenty since I don't plan on upgrading anything.

Optical Drive: I needed a blu ray reader for backing up my extensive blu ray collection. Options were pretty limited for slim drives and I decided to go with slot loading. I found this guy on ebay and I think $80 is a pretty good deal.

Other: The K400 serves it's purpose and I've never gotten into the keyboard/mouse for gaming so I decided to get an XBOX controller.

Overall I'm very happy with my parts selection and prices and have to say I'm already addicted after just one build! I'd appreciate any comments and opinions!

Comments Sorted by:

Killer_68 1 Build 21 points 57 months ago

+1 for the build, and another if i could for the cats

Norm101 3 Builds 10 points 57 months ago

One of the best titles on PCPP. +1

JheyoDELperu 1 point 40 months ago

LIKE A BOSS's title ;) hahah

RyneSmith 7 Builds 6 points 57 months ago

Props for the xeon! How is the 750 Ti working for you?

CalyZoo submitter 1 Build 4 points 57 months ago

So far it's awesome! I haven't actually monitored the performance yet but it seems to be a step up from the PS3

RyneSmith 7 Builds 2 points 57 months ago

I definitely think it would be... nice man love the build

Glistening 1 Build 6 points 43 months ago


How far does your CAT overclock to?

sammy496 4 points 39 months ago

1,000,000,000 GHz

nighteyes 2 Builds 6 points 34 months ago

don't you mean GPz? (gigapurrz)

Cr1ms0n 2 points 27 months ago

nah that cat is running at 2 zetapurrz. now all you need is liquid cooling, although make sure not to get any of it onto your cat.

nighteyes 2 Builds 3 points 27 months ago

ha! turn the cat into a closed loop cooler......I'm sure PETA would be intrigued hahaha

cooperred 2 Builds 5 points 57 months ago

Great reason for buying parts! +!

xMrArnoldx 5 Builds 4 points 57 months ago

odd choice on the xeon seeing as it is a server process, not a bad choice, just odd.

xBlood_Monkey 10 Builds 4 points 57 months ago

It makes perfect sense if you're not overclocking and are using a discrete GPU.

xMrArnoldx 5 Builds 1 point 57 months ago

like i said, not a bad choice, its odd as in the fact its rarely ever done. though it limits you since you cant overclock or use CF or SLI

CalyZoo submitter 1 Build 3 points 57 months ago

I considered a 4670k but I decided I didnt want to overclock. Hyperthreading was what really appealed to me and the Xeon was much cheaper than a 4770

xBlood_Monkey 10 Builds 2 points 57 months ago

Actually, you can use CF/SLI just fine with a Xeon processor. What's limiting that is the motherboard choice.

BlastXin 0 points 56 months ago

no. Xeon E3 uses the same LGA1155/1550 sockets, so you could use any Ivy Bridge/Haswell motherboard for Xeon E3.

xBlood_Monkey 10 Builds 2 points 56 months ago

Yes, I'm aware of that, but it's the motherboard choice that determines whether or not CF/SLI can be used.

nada190 3 Builds 4 points 57 months ago

So what's gonna happen next time your cats want boxes?

BlastXin 4 points 56 months ago

buy a new case and they can use the box and the old case :)

ImYourChrist 1 point 52 months ago


ib10xs4u2 3 points 57 months ago

Two paws up for the pics and story. +1

sprinter461 8 Builds 2 points 57 months ago

Damn it. Now I want to do an HTPC build! +1

FrankPCPP 2 Builds 2 points 56 months ago

Great choice of CPU and GPU. Those are precisely what I plan to use to upgrade my HTPC. I'll need the LGA1155 version of the Xeon and the low profile version of Geforce GTX 750 TI (Galaxy brand) to fit in my case.

I was surprised to find someone who had the same ideas as me for a gaming HTPC.

This is what I have now: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/b/bXBmP6

CalyZoo submitter 1 Build 2 points 56 months ago

Thanks! You definitely won't regret the Xeon it's amazing! And the 750 ti is working out really well! I actually almost went with your case but I was having problems finding a low profile GPU and I wanted the extra room for hard drives

ITneto 1 point 57 months ago

Excellent part choices! Beautiful case!

therfman 1 Build 1 point 57 months ago

Looks good. Just out of curiosity, why the Noctua CPU cooler if you're not overclocking? Is the Xeon stock cooler that noisy?

epicnerdgreg 1 Build 1 point 57 months ago

read the description

therfman 1 Build 1 point 57 months ago

I did read it, and under full CPU load, 79C isn't really abnormal or harmful. But I understand why you would want to get them lower, especially if you room temp can get high..

CalyZoo submitter 1 Build 3 points 57 months ago

With all the encoding I'm doing I didn't want to run the CPU at 79C all the time. I figured I'd play it safe and get the noctua, plus the noise factor is a bonus

gkubed 3 Builds 1 point 24 months ago

A little late here, but the Noctua cooler fits just fine?

aludka 1 Build 1 point 57 months ago

very cool build +1

salgio 7 Builds 1 point 57 months ago

well thought out build , nothing wrong with thinking outside the box although it makes perfect sense why you went Xeon cause you made it clear in the description and the comments,good job , enjoy!

MAXXHEW 4 Builds 1 point 57 months ago

Aren't the Intel xeons the same thing as the ixxxxk chips... just without the built in graphics? It always makes me wonder why people use the ixxxxk chips AND buy a graphics card, when they coulda just used the xeon... Now this is an Intel build that makes sense to me +1.

CalyZoo submitter 1 Build 1 point 57 months ago

exactly! I guess integrated graphics offers piece of mind in case there's issues with the gpu. The only other thing I'm really missing out on is the ability to overclock which I'm not interested in anyways. It's definitely a hidden gem that isn't appreciated enough!

MAXXHEW 4 Builds 1 point 57 months ago

Well in my opinion... overclocking is kinda overrated if we are using current hardware. Most of the stuff out now is very fast and any tiny amount of gain we get by overclocking is barely noticeable... unless we are like trying to brag to our friends about it. I overclocked a bit for a while... but I soon realized that it is more trouble than it is worth. Maybe if our hardware was old and causing bottlenecking or whatever... overclocking might be an advantage, but I don't even need it for what I do on my pc.

Pr3castDragon 1 point 57 months ago

Why a 750ti and Xeon? +1 only for cats :3

CalyZoo submitter 1 Build 2 points 57 months ago

Both offer low TDP's (less power=less heat=less noise for cooling). The xeon gives me the hyperthreading benefits of the i7 for almost the same price as an i5. I could have gotten a 4770 and used the integrated graphics but I wanted to replace my ps3 and since I don't game that often the 750ti is plenty

BlastXin 1 point 56 months ago

where can I buy the cats? lol. Cool build, my siblings have cats as well :)

ksy7254 1 point 56 months ago

Does it work okay with only 450W Power supply? By the way, nice build.

CalyZoo submitter 1 Build 1 point 56 months ago

Thanks! The PSU is working really well. Estimated wattage according to pcpp is 264 watts so I've got plenty of head room.

lemonademolotovz 1 point 56 months ago

your cats are sooooo cute

CalyZoo submitter 1 Build 1 point 56 months ago

Haha thanks! They're both lynx point siamese. The bigger one is the dad and the other is one of his daughters

deathsoap 1 point 56 months ago

How's the psu working out for you?? I'm thinking buying the psu.

CalyZoo submitter 1 Build 1 point 56 months ago

It's been great! I haven't had any problems. It's been really quiet and I rarely shut the machine down

SteakBarker 1 Build 1 point 54 months ago

At $1312.40 i would have spend more on a GPU. Either way its still a great GPU.

ninjustice 1 Build 1 point 54 months ago

best pet owner ever +1

shirokusan 1 point 52 months ago

damn. that's cat so cute

Zedzer 2 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Isn't it..."Cats come in boxes, so I wanted parts"??? Wish it was like that XD. I know I'm posting this late but ehhh I gonna give it a plus anyways.

gigapouch 1 Build 1 point 51 months ago

Just saying, this is a pretty top-notch PC, considering the case you chose. You may have some heat issues in the future with all those parts packed in there.

c4maniac 1 point 51 months ago

What part did you use to power the optical drive? Just wondering cause I ordered the exact same drive but it came with no adapter.

CalyZoo submitter 1 Build 1 point 51 months ago

I think I used a Silverstone cp10 slim-sata to sata

c4maniac 1 point 50 months ago

Found this on amazon worked like a charm.


Phillip.Phillip 1 point 47 months ago

+1 for the name

SeanEmm 1 point 43 months ago

Those are some pretty expensive boxes! In all seriousness though, this build is good. +1 ;)

UncleBunky 1 point 37 months ago

Love the title. +1

CheesecakePC 1 point 35 months ago

I have guinea pigs and cats who like eating and playing with boxes so this is great for me xD. I have a part list for my
$265 budget gaming PC. I think that that PC build will run very well. I hope your cats enjoyed those boxes xD.

DOGALD 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

for the cats!

roksupi 1 point 8 months ago

+rep checked this build just because of the title :D

mashukoria 0 points 46 months ago

You didn't need 6TB but still an awesome build.

Avodkado 0 points 39 months ago

2+ for the build, 1- for such large storage. You could save $114 and afford a better CPU (Like lets say, the Intel i7 6700k or 4790k).

kevinmattix 1 Build -2 points 52 months ago

Hell ya, build your own console haha!

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