Autodesk/ Gaming Rig: First attempt, is GPU bad? Please Read

Hi, I'm a mechanical engineering college student building a computer, I love to game but the real purpose of the build is to use Autodesk Inventor and Solidworks. The builds are for amateur product development/ 3-D printing and are relatively minor, usually assemblies under 20 components. I like to run the high end games like Skyrim, Borderlands 2, Bioshock Infinite, etc. they don't have to be at max settings but I hate lag. I intend to run 2 monitors, but I'm not particularly pick when it comes to which ones. I intend to mid-level overclocking, and prefer to stick with intel for reasons of efficiency.

I will be in school for the next 6+ years until I get my doctorate and would like this build to last me most of, if not all of that time. I have done a fair amount of research [[ using mostly Scott Mueller's Upgrading and Repairing PCs and Tom's]] and feel fairly confident in my choices but have a nagging feeling that I'm not getting the biggest bang-for-my-buck with my $1750 budget. Should I rebuild around a workstation graphics card for build longevity? The price-point for the 660 seemed ideal but the benchmarks for Solidworks seems pathetic...
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Any input or alternative builds would be greatly appreciated. I have component specific questions and comments posted below with the corresponding component. Again thank you for your time and input, I really appreciate it.


CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)

{{ I figure I'll be able to save some money with this processor after Haswell comes out freeing up money for other components. I've heard that its possible to overclock to 4.5Ghz, is this true???}}

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Outlet PC)

Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO/THUNDERBOLT ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($189.98 @ SuperBiiz) {{ I love Asus's overclocking interface and would prefer to stay with an Asus board if at all possible}}

Memory: Kingston XMP Blu Red Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($100.00 @ Newegg)
{{I would like to have the option of upgrading to 32GB if my CAD work gets more involved}}

Raid 0:
Storage: {{For Boot drive + Major Programs Only}} Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($195.50 @ Newegg)

Storage: {{ I mostly store music, office documents, as well as game and CAD data, no videos}} Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($127.99 @ NCIX US)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Microcenter)

{{ This is my biggest area of uncertainty. My budget isn't really big enough to make a true workstation card an option, but should I go with a low end workstation card anyway? And would this make gaming impossible?}}

Case: Cooler Master HAF X ATX Full Tower Case ($160.00 @ Newegg) {{ love the space and high airflow design}}

Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro M2 1000W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($145.04 @ NCIX US)

Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.96 @ Outlet PC) {{Have no interest in Blu-Ray or anything fancier than this}}

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Full (32/64-bit) ($264.28 @ Amazon) {{For future compatibility with 32GB RAM setup}}

Total: $1662.71

Again, thank you.
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  1. That PSU is way overkill. You do not need 1000W to power that system. 650W is already more than enough. And get a PSU manufactured by either Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, or XFX. As for Windows 7, get a 64-bit OEM version. A lot cheaper. Besides, do you really want a 32-bit version?
  2. An oversight on my part yes I meant to select the 64bit version of windows 7.

    Is the PSU the only problem as far as you can see? What are your views on getting a different GPU?
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