Graphics Card, Power Supply And Case
Graphics Card: Zotac AMP! Superclocked GeForce GTX 770
The GeForce GTX 970 launched last week wasn't available (or even public information) back when we ordered the pieces for this build. So, I needed something cheaper than the Radeon R9 290 that wouldn't sacrifice gaming performance. Under $300, the best option was Nvidia's GeForce GTX 770.
I went with Zotac's factory-overclocked model due to its low price, respectable clock rates rated for 1150 base and a typical 1202 MHz GPU Boost frequency, plus 1800 MHz memory, and the hope for additional headroom.
Read Customer Reviews of Zotac's AMP! Superclocked GeForce GTX 770 (opens in new tab)
Selling for $280, Zotac's card serves up impressive frame rates at its price, even though GK104 gets humbled by the GeForce GTX 970 overshadowing it today. Still, Nvidia's Kepler architecture remains quite capable, and I expect this implementation to power through our benchmark suite. At least until I start running the three-screen resolutions, that is.
Power Supply: In Win GreenMe 650 W
Read Customer Reviews of InWin's GreenMe 650 W (opens in new tab)
In Win combines solid power delivery with attractive value, enabled by manufacturing its own products. I've seen recommendations to try the GreenMe 650 W and, given the need to fit more output into my budget this quarter, I decided to try my luck with a $60 supply.
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM
Read Customer Reviews of Cooler Master's HAF XM (opens in new tab)
Cooler Master's HAF series is synonymous with airflow, making it an ideal choice for my overclocking-oriented build. I've worked previously with the excellent HAF X. But that monstrous case costs almost $200 and I needed something more budget-friendly.
With that in mind, I decided to give the smaller HAF XM a try to see what compromises are made in shrinking this lauded line-up down to the $120 range.