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December 25, 2011 8:29:38 PM

Hello all,

New poster, long time read of Toms Hardware. I am going to be purchasing parts for a new build in the next week or so. I would like opinions, comments, and any ideas you may have. I am very inexperienced at this so anything would be helpful. Thanks.


Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP. Max 1 week out.

Budget Range: Around $2000, give or take.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, all other stuff will be done on my Apple Laptop.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I prefer Amazon because I have a Prime membership so I get free 2 day shipping.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel and Nvidia

Overclocking: Yes, hopefully to at least 4.4

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe?

Monitor Resolution: Not sure

Additional Comments: I would like a clean looking PC with good air flow and cooling. I don't need any fancy lights and whatnot.

Here is the following what I have picked out:

CASE:Corsair CC600TWM-WHT Special Edition Graphite Series 600T
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004O0PAKW/ref=ox_sc_a...

POWER: Corsair Professional Series Gold 850-Watt 80 Plus Gold Certified
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003PJ6QW4/ref=ox_sc_a...

DVD / BR:
Samsung Blu-Ray Combo Internal 12XReadable and DVD-Writable Drive with Lightscribe SH-B123L/BSBP
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XIM3QK/ref=ox_sc_a...

COOLING: Corsair Hydro Series H80
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0051U7HMI/ref=ox_sc_a...

VIDEO: EVGA GeForce GTX 580 3072 MB GDDR5
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YJVUBG/ref=ox_sc_a...

HARD DRIVE: Crucial 256 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT256M4SSD2
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W2JL2A/ref=ox_sc_a...

RAM: Corsair Memory Vengeance 16 Quad Channel Kit DDR3
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004E0ZKLQ/ref=ox_sc_a...

MOTHERBOARD: ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 LGA 1155 SATA
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004K330KK/ref=ox_sc_a...

PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-2600K Processor
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004EBUXSA/ref=ox_sc_a...


These are simply my ideas and like I said I am not well educated in this area. This build on Amazon runs me $2008 and change. Lemme know what ya think. Thanks!




More about : build

December 25, 2011 8:36:51 PM

Looks pretty good to me. If you want to save some money you could grab the 2500k instead. Also not sure about the MB but make sure it supports quad channel memory.
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December 25, 2011 9:18:17 PM

Quote:
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I prefer Amazon because I have a Prime membership so I get free 2 day shipping.

I love Prime, but Newegg generally has lower prices than Amazon. Amazon is usually the best place to get a case though.

Quote:
CASE:Corsair CC600TWM-WHT Special Edition Graphite Series 600T
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004O0PAKW/ref=ox_sc_a...

Corsair's cases have always been a bit pricey for my taste since there are many full towers that are the same price as Corsair's.

Quote:
POWER: Corsair Professional Series Gold 850-Watt 80 Plus Gold Certified
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003PJ6QW4/ref=ox_sc_a...

The AX series is one of the best. You pay good money for it, but it'll last. Plus you get a 7 year warranty.

Quote:
DVD / BR:
Samsung Blu-Ray Combo Internal 12XReadable and DVD-Writable Drive with Lightscribe SH-B123L/BSBP
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XIM3QK/ref=ox_sc_a...

If you intend to use Blu-rays, keep in mind you'll need some sort of playback software as Blu-ray support isn't built into Windows. If you don't plan on watching movies or using BD Data discs, why buy a BD drive?

Quote:
COOLING: Corsair Hydro Series H80
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0051U7HMI/ref=ox_sc_a...

There are a lot of higher end air coolers that beat the Hydro coolers for less. They're really hindered by the single radiator, and most air coolers are actually very quiet.

Quote:
VIDEO: EVGA GeForce GTX 580 3072 MB GDDR5
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YJVUBG/ref=ox_sc_a...

No reason to get the 3GB model unless you're running multiple monitors off of one card (specifically 3 monitors in Nvidia surround). Extra VRAM does not equal higher framerates on a single display. You could save here and go with the 1.5GB model, or wait a little bit and go for the AMD 7970 (I'm an Nvidia guy, but just laying down the options).

Quote:
HARD DRIVE: Crucial 256 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT256M4SSD2
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W2JL2A/ref=ox_sc_a...

Best SSD choice right now on the market.

Quote:
RAM: Corsair Memory Vengeance 16 Quad Channel Kit DDR3
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004E0ZKLQ/ref=ox_sc_a...

There's really no reason to get more than 8GB RAM. Games generally use 4-6GB, but currently do not surpass 8GB. You'd just be wasting 8 GB there, and paying a good amount for them.

Quote:
MOTHERBOARD: ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 LGA 1155 SATA
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004K330KK/ref=ox_sc_a...

PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-2600K Processor
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004EBUXSA/ref=ox_sc_a...

There are some cheaper boards out that also use the Z68 chipset. I'd recommend a mid-range Gigabyte/Asus board around $150. There just aren't a ton of extra features worth the extra $50.

For a gaming computer, the i5-2500K is the CPU of choice. The i7 doesn't benefit you at all other than the stock 3.4 GHz speeds (vs. the 2500K 3.3 GHz), since the hyperthreading doesn't improve gaming performance. For a gaming-only computer, you're throwing away $100.
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December 25, 2011 9:23:09 PM

Quote:
CASE:Corsair CC600TWM-WHT Special Edition Graphite Series 600T
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B [...] PDKIKX0DER


I have the 600T and it's a great case but it's huge and heavy. I wouldn't recommend getting this case if you're going to be transporting your PC anywhere. :lol: 

The slimmer Carbide 500R would probably be a safer bet if you're going to move your PC anywhere.

Quote:
HARD DRIVE: Crucial 256 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT256M4SSD2
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B [...] PDKIKX0DER


I don't know what your storage needs are but 256GB SSDs are incredibly expensive - you could drop this to a 120GB and then get a 1TB Samsung Spinpoint for $149 just to be on the safe side. It's never a good idea to overload your SSD.

Quote:
MOTHERBOARD: ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 LGA 1155 SATA
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B [...] PDKIKX0DER


Not really a big fan of the Sabertooth with those massive heat sinks blocking everything - upgrading those isn't the best. Go with a Z68 board - this would be a better choice for the money: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I prefer Amazon because I have a Prime membership so I get free 2 day shipping.


Amazon doesn't sell PC parts directly - they outsource that to other resellers (you have to look closely) and they usually don't honor returns from outside resellers if something goes wrong. Do a bit of research on this before you buy. The reason I like Newegg is that they have the best RMA and support department I've ever dealt with - it's worth the difference in the long run especially if you plan on spending $2K on a PC.

Quote:

If you intend to use Blu-rays, keep in mind you'll need some sort of playback software as Blu-ray support isn't built into Windows. If you don't plan on watching movies or using BD Data discs, why buy a BD drive?


With an OEM drive you'll have to buy both burning and playback software. The playback software is ridiculously overpriced (although I like Total Media Theater 5 over Cyberlink...).

Quote:
For a gaming computer, the i5-2500K is the CPU of choice. The i7 doesn't benefit you at all other than the stock 3.4 GHz speeds (vs. the 2500K 3.3 GHz), since the hyperthreading doesn't improve gaming performance. For a gaming-only computer, you're throwing away $100.


I totally agree here.

Quote:
No reason to get the 3GB model unless you're running multiple monitors off of one card (specifically 3 monitors in Nvidia surround). Extra VRAM does not equal higher framerates on a single display. You could save here and go with the 1.5GB model, or wait a little bit and go for the AMD 7970 (I'm an Nvidia guy, but just laying down the options).


The 7970 is going to be an insane card, but it's going to be on the pricey side. The 1.5GB model 580 will be perfectly suitable for now.
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December 25, 2011 10:33:32 PM

Couple suggestions.

I'd agree with boiler, wait about 2 weeks for the 7970. It'll be the same price as the card you want to buy for much more performance. The MSRP on the 7970 is $549 and its production is heard to be very good so the price shouldn't deviate to much. But check out the performance numbers, the improvements from the 6970 are pretty solid.
Review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-benc...
The overclocking is promising to, power consumption+temps are a bonus.

I'd drop down the board, Sabertooth is a marketing scheme (meaning the tact vest) it's not very large of an improvement but prices are raised. A suggestion.
Asrock Extreme4 Gen3 P67
http://www.amazon.com/ASRock-MB-P67E4G3-Intel-P67-Mothe...
If you're not worried about Z68, I wouldn't be since Quick Sync isn't that important and SSD caching is unnecessary.

The cooler I'd go Hyper 612, performance is close to the H80 for half the price.
http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/Cool...

Throwing it out there, you could save a bit on PSU, Silverstone makes some solid units and this especially.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Also gold rated and 850w, cheaper. Warranty isn't bad either running 3 years.

As stated, 2500K is defiantly a better buy for the buck. Specially since you're only gaming on this PC.
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December 25, 2011 10:55:37 PM

Quote:
Throwing it out there, you could save a bit on PSU, Silverstone makes some solid units and this especially.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817256067
Also gold rated and 850w, cheaper. Warranty isn't bad either running 3 years.


That's not a bad choice but for the price this one certainly can't be beat: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

950W, Silver Rated, 7 year warranty and the support dept. is top notch (they're owned by OCZ but an independent manufacturer I think).

Quote:
The cooler I'd go Hyper 612, performance is close to the H80 for half the price.
http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/ [...] per/5.html


I'd also check out EVGA's Supercooler and the Noctua NH-U9B.
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December 25, 2011 11:01:15 PM

I'd heartily support that PCP&C Silencer - also a great PSU and OEMed by Seasonic (best there is).
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Best solution

December 25, 2011 11:43:34 PM

If ya like the corsair's, I'd do the 500R as it's more case than is need for a single card or even twin GFX card setup

AX850 is a great PSU.....and for $190 it oughta be but the HX850 ($150) and CP850 ($115) get the same 10.0 jonnyguru performance rating as the AX does. The CP only fits in the Antec 1200 v3 and DF-85 (and I refer both those over the Corsair from a builder's standpoint) but if ya like the look, well then ya like the look. If ya not an extreme overclocker, then a 9.5 rated XFX Core Edition is the wise but at $90.

For the BR, I can't say one is better than the other but when I don't have a reason to pick one brand over another, for simplicity's sake in dealing with TS, I try and match the brand of other components I have. I have actually "been there, done that" when mobo tech rep said it was my vid card or or optical dive causing the problem .... answer was well the both from your company to...... :)  I won't sacrifice performance for uniformity but if all other things equal, it comes in handy now and then.

DVD Writer w/ BR - $ 58 - Asus Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I can't see the H series worthy of consideration.....too much noise. Here's some test results on the better air coolers....note the noise comments on the H series.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Quote:
It's almost ironic that coolers like this are becoming available just as processors transition to designs that may ultimately render them unnecessary; even overclocked to 5GHz, an Intel Sandy Bridge 2600K doesn't need anywhere near this level of cooling.


The 580's a great card but I got two issues....1) your MoBo will take a 2nd card but your PSU can't handle the addition and 2) I'm not seeing a good ROI (return on investment) here. For just about $100 less than that 580 ..... you can outperform that 580 by 40% in fps (Guru3D Game Test Suite)......spend $460 on two 900Mhz 560's and you get 862 fps to the 580's 616. Yes you could upgrade that PSU to an AX1200 (+$110) and the 2nd 580 (+550) for another $660 ..... but that $1380 investment only gets ya 10 % more fps (953) than the twin $560 Ti's ($460 + $170) @ $630

The 256 M4 is about the same speed as the, Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120 GB, OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 120 GB, Patriot WildFire 120 GB and Samsung 830 SSD 128 GB

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-price-ssd,3070...

The 240 GB versions of those SSD's are about 21% faster according to the above link. I can't see losing two tiers of performance.

Unless ya have any apps that use hyperthreading, I'd drop to the 2500k and 8GB. In either case, lose the tall, toothy heat sinks which serve no other purpose on DDR3 other than to make CPU cooler installation somewhere between a PITA and impossible.

$50 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$42 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for the MoBo, the Sabertooth is one sweet board. It's 5 year warranty sure makes it stand out against Asrock boards where even a standard 3 year warranty isn't available. If ya don't think ya need Z68, and I don't think ya do, take a good read here:

http://www.ukgamingcomputers.co.uk/difference-between-h...

Other boards to consider.....

$225 Asus WS Revolution (P8P67 based board NF 200 gives x16 x16 GFX)....only 2-3 % improvement in most games, sometimes 0%, sometimes 10% (i.e. STALKER).....kicks competitions but on performance, power and efficiency
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3795/asus_p8p67_ws_rev...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$150 Asus P8P67 Pro Solid well priced product
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$210 Asus p8Z68-V Pro/GEN3 - Z68 version of above
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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December 26, 2011 12:08:34 AM

boiler1990 said:
I'd heartily support that PCP&C Silencer - also a great PSU and OEMed by Seasonic (best there is).


Most of the mentioned PSU's in this thread are made by Seasonic :)  ......a very good manufacturer ...Seasonic, Delta, Enhance make most "top of the line" units for various manufacturers.

XFX Core Edition is made by Seasonic
Corair AX850 is made by Seasonic but their flagship model (AX1200) is made by Flextronics
Silverstone Strider 850 is made by Enhance
$90 XFX Core Edition 860 is also made by Seasonic

Delta Makes ....

-Antec's CP and SG series (both 10.0 jonnyguru rated) as well as the HCP, part of the HCG (750 & 900) and the better know EA (650 and 750) lines

Seasonic makes.....

-Antec's Neo Power, TruePower, HCG and Earthwatts Lines
-Corsair's AX780, 850, HX 450 - 650, VX 450 , CX400 and TX650
-EverythinG XFX sells

Channelwell makes ......

-Antec's lower end / low power stuff
-Corsair's HX750 - 1000, TX750 - 950, rest of CX and VX lines
-OCZ's 400w Modstream and StealthStream
-Half of Thermaltake's stuff

Foxtron makes Antec's Basiq series.
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December 26, 2011 1:17:53 AM

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the great responses. I am really glad I posted here before I Purchased $2k worth of parts.

Ok so what I am getting here is that I should definitely wait for the Radeon 7970 video card which should be released very soon. Im also seeing that 16 gigs of ram is excessive and can be backed down to 8 gigs. Also I see some mixed reviews on the Sabertooth motherboard.

As far as the SSD goes I only had wanted a single 256Gig drive because this is strictly for gaming. All of my music, videos, yadda yadda will be housed on my Apple computers. Is this sufficient for a few games and my operating system? Should I have two separate drives, one for my OS and one for games? Maybe two 120Gig drives? I don't know.

Also my idea behind purchasing one single powerful card versus purchasing two good cards and run SLI is stricly for future upgrading. I had figured if I put one expensive card in now I could easily toss a second in a few years down the road if it was needed. This would be in contrast to purchasing two cards now and having to replace both (Or I guess if it is set up correctly I could run 3 cards). Also what are the PSU requirements for say 2x Crossfire Radeon 7970s? I would rather buy the parts now so I don't have to upgrade several things in the future.

Anyone care to put up a list of how you think my system should look? Thanks a lot guys. Great responses.
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December 26, 2011 1:41:31 AM

1 256 SSD is fine, don't get 2 seperate ones, it's hassle and trim support (i believe, not sure) is not there in RAID 0.

As for the power requirement, I'd have to say no less than 850w, a good one at that. The power requirements are a little above the 6970's but below the 580's so.... Yeah around 850w should do.

The Sabertooth, I'd still say don't go for it. Specially at the price. Save 50 and go with this.
http://www.amazon.com/ASRock-MB-P67E4G3-Intel-P67-Mothe...
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December 26, 2011 3:27:35 AM

Quote:
Thanks for all the great responses. I am really glad I posted here before I Purchased $2k worth of parts.


You definitely don't want to purchase a computer system on a whim - especially one that's $2K. This is definitely a great site.

Quote:
Ok so what I am getting here is that I should definitely wait for the Radeon 7970 video card which should be released very soon. Im also seeing that 16 gigs of ram is excessive and can be backed down to 8 gigs. Also I see some mixed reviews on the Sabertooth motherboard.


Not necessarily. The 580 is an excellent card in its' own right - and it's doubtful that the NVIDIA 6XX will be released before Summer 2012.

Quote:
As far as the SSD goes I only had wanted a single 256Gig drive because this is strictly for gaming. All of my music, videos, yadda yadda will be housed on my Apple computers. Is this sufficient for a few games and my operating system? Should I have two separate drives, one for my OS and one for games? Maybe two 120Gig drives? I don't know.


The general rule of thumb when buying an SSD is this - first you don't do a full format of an SSD, only quick formats. The second is that an SSD has a much more limited lifespan than traditional mechanical drives do. It can only perform a certain number of read / write cycles in the course of the drives' lifespan. The thing is I generally like to play it safe with my builds - I never OC (don't have the money to replace if something goes wrong), I never buy experimental hardware, and I never take any real chances. So if I go with an SSD for my build, I only load OS and a few main programs on it. I use my secondary drive for all the games, main data, and everything else. The other rule is that you never load your SSD beyond 80% capacity due to the limited read / write cycle span.

Quote:

The Sabertooth, I'd still say don't go for it. Specially at the price. Save 50 and go with this.
http://www.amazon.com/ASRock-MB-P6 [...] 288&sr=1-2


Not sure I'd recommend that board either - I'd go with a different Asus (like the P8Z68 Pro), Gigabyte, or even Intel over picking an Asrock.

Quote:
Most of the mentioned PSU's in this thread are made by Seasonic :)  ......a very good manufacturer ...Seasonic, Delta, Enhance make most "top of the line" units for various manufacturers.


Really? I didn't know that. Interesting.
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December 26, 2011 3:32:43 AM

^ Uhhh what? The 7970 is releasing in 2 weeks and performs better than the 580 in almost every way.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-benc...

That Asrock board is fine the way it is and for the money it's solid. Many of the reviews for the Asrock boards show that for the money they can perform and they have pretty good features for the buck.

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December 26, 2011 3:36:23 AM

Quote:
^ Uhhh what? The 7970 is releasing in 2 weeks and performs better than the 580 in almost every way.
http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] ,3104.html


I'd be concerned with the cost more than the performance - on a $2K build a $700 card is almost 50% of your budget which doesn't give you a lot of room for purchasing other performance parts. You definitely couldn't get the 256GB SSD with a $700 card in your build.

Quote:
That Asrock board is fine the way it is and for the money it's solid. Many of the reviews for the Asrock boards show that for the money they can perform and they have pretty good features for the buck.


I've heard mixed things about Asrock - either their boards are really good or they're not - it seems there's no in between.
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December 26, 2011 3:40:59 AM

The MSRP on the 7970 is $549, not $700. That's the price of the 580 he's using in his build however the 7970 bests the 580 in almost every single benchmark. Tesselation is a thing of the past with the 7970's improvement compared to the 6970, it seems AMD has worked passed the Tessellation fail of prior cards.
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December 26, 2011 4:13:21 AM

aznshinobi said:
The MSRP on the 7970 is $549, not $700. That's the price of the 580 he's using in his build however the 7970 bests the 580 in almost every single benchmark. Tesselation is a thing of the past with the 7970's improvement compared to the 6970, it seems AMD has worked passed the Tessellation fail of prior cards.


Oh OK - if it's not that much of a difference definitely go for the 7970.
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December 26, 2011 4:37:28 PM

Ok so here is the build I am now thinking of based on all of your recommendations.

PSU:

Corsair Prof. Series Gold 850W AX

MOTHERBOARD:

ASUS P8Z68-V

VIDEO:

Radeon HD 7970 (When Available in January)

RAM:

Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8 GB PC3-12800 1600mhz 240-Pin DDR3

DVD / CD:

Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive IHAS424-98

CPU COOLING:

Corsair Air Series A70 Performance CPU Cooler CAFA70

PROCESSOR:

Intel Core i5 2500

CASE:

Corsair 600T White Special Edition

HARD DRIVE:

Crucial SSD 256GIG m4


So I have changed ALOT with this build based on comments and suggestions from everyone. The motherboard has been changed to the ASUS based on a lot of comments and research. I kept the PSU the same as I just prefer to keep like branded products together. I downgraded the CPU from the 2600k as everyone mentioned there is no performance gains if the only thing I do is gaming on this computer. I also took off the H20 cooling based on comments and articles which stated that it isn't necessary. I went with the well reviewed Corsair product.

I have done some reading on SSD's and their capabilities but am still a bit confused. If I simply run my entire machine off the SSD what is the life expectancy of the drive? Everything I have read suggests the drive will last far longer than your computer being obsolete. Any comments?

Again thanks.





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December 26, 2011 4:38:02 PM

Best answer selected by kmr1631.
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