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Need advice for <$600 build for nephew...

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February 10, 2012 3:03:31 PM

Hey fellow Techies,

I have been commandeered to build a PC for my (soon to be) nephew. His folks are prepared to spend roughly $600 on it for his B-day in April(?). I'm going to be getting the parts and putting it together. This is what they asked for...

"Also, I'm thinking that when we get our taxes back in Feb/Mar. we might have enough to get (nephew) a computer, so if possible, could (me) check into what we'd need to build something. He wants to be able to play spore, minecraft, flash games from sites like armorgames.com, addictinggames.com, gamegecko.com, notdoppler, and magika. (Nephew's dad) knows a lot about computers and stuff, but not specifically for gaming. I think (nephew) would really like to help build it too."

and...

"I guess Terreria is another game. It's a 2D game, but I don't know much about it. I think having it be able to do WoW would be good just in case.We will need a mouse, keyboard and monitor too. We can for sure do $600, but if there's a chance it will lag, or not be able to play any newer games, we'd be willing to put a little more into it. (Nephew's dad) says whatever we do the keyboard and mouse can't be all clicky. It drives him NUTS."

and finally...

"(Nephew's dad) also mentioned that it would be good to not skimp on the motherboard so when new games come out we can upgrade stuff like graphics cards instead of buying a new PC."

So...I think this probably all boils down to best bang for the buck with a spending limit of $600 (or not too much more if really needed) and minimum being able to play WoW (I'm assuming WoW would be the most demanding of the games mentioned) while maintaining at least a little bit of upgradablility.

I have an Antec 300 Illusion or Antec 600 I got on sale that I can use for the tower. I have no idea what a non-clicky mouse and keyboard would be.

I see I could get a CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply for $39.49 after MIR and promo (until 2/13)...should I jump on this? I'm open to anything as long as it meets the aforementioned criteria.

Let the ideas/advice flow!

Thanks,
-TG

Parts List...I'll try to keep updated as prices/parts/budget is selected...currently $35.60 left out of a $750 budget.

CPU+DVD burner-i3-2120+Sony Optiarc AD-7280S-0B DVD burner for $138.98

PSU-CORSAIR CX600 V2 for $39.49

Case-Antec 600 $40

MOBO-MSI H67A-G43 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $59.99

GPU-SAPPHIRE 100328L Radeon HD 6770 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card $79.99

HDD-Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB 3.5IN 16MB Cache SATA3 Internal Hard Disk Drive HDD $75.99


Memory-Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model KHX1333C9D3B1K2/8G 34.99

Heatsink-Not sure if a heatsink fan is needed in this build...won't be overclocking

OS-Windows 7 64 bit-$89.99 w/promo code, thanks Pacioli

Monitor-ASUS VH236H 23 Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor - Black $129.99

Keyboard+Mouse-Logitech Wireless Desktop MK320 Keyboard $24.99

If you only include the parts used in the system builder's marathons (not the monitor, keyboard, mouse, or OS which total $244.97), we have a final price after discounts of $469.43 which would have given us another $130.57 to play with while still being able to keep it under $600. That's usually what I mean when I tell people I can build them an awesome PC for under $600.
February 10, 2012 3:13:35 PM

Non-clicky keyboard is a keyboard that doesn't use mechanical keys.
Can't help about the mouse.

For a starter build these Corsair Builder Series is more than enough!
Any mid-tower case shall be enough too!
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Related resources
February 10, 2012 5:11:51 PM

ASUS VH202T-P Glossy black 20" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ HDCP Support 300 cd/m2 ASCR 20000:1 Built in Speakers w/ Aspect Control 99.99+8.99 shipping http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD A4-3400 Llano 2.7GHz Socket FM1 65W Dual-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6410D AD3400OJGXBOX
bundled with:
1x GIGABYTE GA-A75M-D2H FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) SATA ...$144.98-$10 MIR http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory with heatshield Model PSD38G1600KH $41.99 free shipping http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill REDBONE Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$5 off w/ promo code EMCNHNC45, limited offer $39.99 free shipping http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM $99.99 free shipping http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $89.99+$7.28 shipping http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model SH-222AB - OEM $18.99+0.99 shipping http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Combo savings with media, ends 2/29

TOTAL: $552.92
Rebate: $ 10.00
$542.92
Quite a challenge getting that all in for under $600. Reason for 8GB DDR1600 RAM is I hear the integrated graphics perform better on the AMD w/ faster RAM.You should be able to play those games using the integrated graphics on the CPU. You can always add a video card.
That leaves $57 for a keyboard and mouse. I suggest going to a local store with keyboard displays and find something which suits your non-clicking fancy.
Cheers!


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February 10, 2012 5:16:54 PM

Rockdpm. $162 for a mouse and keyboard on a $600 build which needs a monitor and OS???
I use a 30 year old AST kbd. and a $30 wireless mouse and have no 'quality' problems...
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February 10, 2012 5:26:24 PM

vitornob said:
Non-clicky keyboard is a keyboard that doesn't use mechanical keys.

That is wrong. Cherry MX Brown switches are nonclicky and fully mechanical.
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February 10, 2012 6:12:41 PM

Rosewill REDBONE Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - 39.99 ($5 off)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 (CMPSU-430CXV2) 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 44.99 (15% off ends 2/16 and $20 MIR)

Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor bundled with SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner - 135.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

ASRock H61M-VS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - 54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory - 22.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX HD-667X-ZHF3 Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - 83.99 (15.00 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - 69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - 99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS VH202T-P Glossy black 20" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ HDCP Support 300 cd/m2 ASCR 20000:1 Built in Speakers w/ Aspect Control - 99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL = 652.90 - 5.00 off case at time of order - 35.00 (MIR) = 612.90

This will give him a great starting point with the 2120 processor. Consistantly rated one of the best budget processors out there and will perform tasks very quickly and efficiently.

I went with a lower end video card because it was not specified as to what resolution you want the games to be, most of the games you listed (outside of WoW) are not very Graphic challenging, and that card should get him very good framerates in WoW on high settings (granted its not ultra but hey its better than none.) You can always upgrade the Graphics Card later and the power supply will accommodate for any newer graphics cards that require power.

It was a huge challenge trying to get all that in for 600 and still give him a reliable system that will more than provide for what you are wanting.

You may still have to spend like another $15.00 on a cheap USB Keyboard and Mouse from anywhere that sells them.

:hello: 

EDIT: I forgot to take off the 15% on the power supply at time of order.

NEW TOTAL = 652.90 - 5.00 off case at time of order - 6.75 (15% off Power Supply) - 35.00 (MIR) = 606.15
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February 10, 2012 6:21:49 PM

I do gotta give Delroy credit for the monitor and case, I borrowed them from his list :) 
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February 10, 2012 6:35:36 PM

Decent deal, but with still having to buy a monitor and windows 7 will put it about $115 over budget. As well as the possibility of that board needing a bios update to work with the FX processors.

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February 10, 2012 6:48:44 PM

I just wanted to remind that I already have a case for this build...either an antec 300 illusion or antec 600...so just consider that as $50 removed from the budget, leaving us $550 to spend.

Also, which is the better deal (including being able to power a better graphics card or xfire/sli in the future) between the CORSAIR CX430 V2 for $20.23 or the CORSAIR CX600 V2 for $39.99?

I'd also like to go with a Sandy or Ivy bridge CPU if possible too.

I'm going to edit the original post to keep better track of what we're thinking so far. Thanks for a good starting point so far guys!
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February 10, 2012 6:51:46 PM

although i am a pro (seling,configure,upgrade pc's for living) when some is asking me about a pc for his kid,nephew...etc ....i awlays reccomend ...dont laugh....a bike!
let the children go out and play with others having fun!
believe me my friend no matter how much money your budged is, there will be always a better vga,mobo, cpu in such a short time after you bought it, and kids will ALWAYS want have the newesst game with this awesome graphics..e.t.c!

just immagine !!
greetings from a pro and a father of two!
Gab:) 
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February 10, 2012 6:57:39 PM

TopGun, Do you have a Micro Center nearby? if so they have a special this month where if you buy a processor there you can get $50 - $60 off a motherboard.

For example an i3 2125 with an GA-Z68AP-D3 LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard will run just under $170 at Micro Center

8 Gb of G.Skill DDR3 1333 Mhz ~ $37
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hitachi 500Gb $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That 430W Corsair Builder PSU for $20

~$20 for any DVD Burner

$90 for Win 7 64 bit Home Premium with this discount code at newegg- EMCNHNA24

$100 for the Monitor in Pezcores build

$20 for Logitech mouse keyboard..
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Radeon 6770 $80 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $622

For $30 more you upgrade to a i5 2400


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February 10, 2012 7:04:20 PM

TopGun said:
I just wanted to remind that I already have a case for this build...either an antec 300 illusion or antec 600...so just consider that as $50 removed from the budget, leaving us $550 to spend.

Also, which is the better deal (including being able to power a better graphics card or xfire/sli in the future) between the CORSAIR CX430 V2 for $20.23 or the CORSAIR CX600 V2 for $39.99?

I'd also like to go with a Sandy or Ivy bridge CPU if possible too.

I'm going to edit the original post to keep better track of what we're thinking so far. Thanks for a good starting point so far guys!


The IVY Bridge CPU's wont be out until around April. The i3-2120 is a Sandy Bridge Based processor.

For the i3-2120 build I posted you will not need more than the 430w Corsair.

If you have the case and we are spending $600 on the rest of the parts, lets upgrade some things.

Change the Motherboard to:

GIGABYTE GA-H61M-S2H LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - 69.99 (10.00 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Hard Drive to:

Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - 84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and the Video Card to:

SAPPHIRE 100328L Radeon HD 6770 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - 99.99 (20.00 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The new Motherboard has better bios support, the new HD will store a lot more and has a bigger cache, and the vid card it a lot better with faster memory and more stream processing units.

If we are just minusing the case and can only spend $550, then just update the Motherboard in the original Build I gave you.
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February 10, 2012 7:05:36 PM

pacioli said:
TopGun, Do you have a Micro Center nearby? if so they have a special this month where if you buy a processor there you can get $50 - $60 off a motherboard.


This only applies to the "K" series processors. The i3 processors do not qualify.
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February 10, 2012 7:17:23 PM

pacioli said:
Check page 27 of the ad

you can get http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
for $50 with the proc saving another $20 off my build

I'll have to check that when I get home. When I go to check it online, it does not take off the discount like it does with the "k" series procesors. I believe that the bundle for the i3's expired in january, but I could be wrong.
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February 10, 2012 7:20:48 PM

After looking at your budget again I recommend the original Pezcore RAM and the 160 Gb WD Blue.
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February 10, 2012 7:22:30 PM

Pezcore27 said:
I'll have to check that when I get home. When I go to check it online, it does not take off the discount like it does with the "k" series procesors. I believe that the bundle for the i3's expired in january, but I could be wrong.


This is the ad that came out for Feb 2012. The Jan 2012 ad had a similiar deal. I know 'cause I was there last Saturday and got the Asus P8Z68 V LX and an i5 2400.
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February 10, 2012 7:28:03 PM

pacioli said:
This is the ad that came out for Feb 2012. The Jan 2012 ad had a similiar deal. I know 'cause I was there last Saturday and got the Asus P8Z68 V LX and an i5 2400.

They werent supposed to give you that deal. It clearly states right under the headding: "A Z68 or P67 motherboard must be purchased with an i7-2600k or i5-2500k for savings"

That is the little *note that accompanies all the motherboards.

EDIT: I circled it.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/819/circled.jpg/

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February 10, 2012 7:29:27 PM

Pezcore27 said:
They werent supposed to give you that deal. It clearly states right under the headding: "A Z68 or P67 motherboard must be purchased with an i7-2600k or i5-2500k for savings"

That is the little *note that accompanies all the motherboards.


You are right the discount only applies if I put a K series in the cart... sweet! I lucked out!
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February 10, 2012 9:14:00 PM

I am not opposed to Microcenter. It's 3 1/2 hours away, but my buddy's dad lives near there and comes across state to visit. He picked something up from there for me before. It looks like even without the extra $50 off it's the cheapest place to get a CPU and Mobo.
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Best solution

February 10, 2012 9:45:24 PM

Yes it is. They have great prices on some things. Others it was cheaper online because the taxes at microcenter here are ridiculous.

For a decent sli, z68 mono you are going to be around $100 for the mono alone.
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February 10, 2012 10:10:19 PM

Hmmm...not looking like we're gonna get there with what I have highlighted so far.

Will I actually "NEED" a separate GPU, or will the integrated graphics work fine for WoW type games? Would I need a certain Mobo or Sandy Bridge CPU?

I'm thinking this would be the best "bang for the buck" with an upgrade path of just adding a discrete GPU. I'd also be more inclined to go with the 430 PSU vs. the 600 PSU if it doesn't need to run a GPU too (although still worried about a more powerful GPU or xfire/sli upgrade).
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February 10, 2012 10:34:52 PM

For a 600 budget including monitor and OS, its going to be hard to upgrade much from what I gave you.

The onboard graphics can probably run WoW on minimal settings, but still has a good chance to be really laggy in some areas.
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February 10, 2012 11:09:09 PM

Z68 can also use Sandy Bridge graphics. There's a bunch more but thats one difference. SSD Caching, I think Z68 also has more PCI-E lanes, 40 maybe? allowing x16/x16/x8 graphics or something like that.
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February 10, 2012 11:46:14 PM

i3 -2120 $120
ASRock H61M-VS $60
HANNspree By Hanns-G HF225DPB $120
Corsair Vengence 4GB RAM $30
XFX ProSeries 450W $39
Any $15 DVD drive
WD Cavier Green 1TB $100
Mouse/Keyboard ~$30
Windows 7 $90
Case $50

Total $654

This is a quality build but you can't get a lower price with your expectation. This build will allow you to upgrade to an actually graphic card in the future. You can maybe find a sale on motherboard and cpu at a local micro center but this is the lowest you can go if you want a HD monitor and these quality components.
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February 11, 2012 1:36:20 AM

I got the OK to add another $100-$150 for the monitor. They are also willing to try a ~$20ish keyboard/mouse combo and take their chances on the "clickiness".

Just double-checking here...an H67 Mobo is able to use a dedicated GPU right? It doesn't have to use integrated graphics?
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February 11, 2012 2:25:55 AM

Any compatable motherboard can use a dedicated GPU over the onboard graphics.

So what is the current state of the budget and anything you would like to upgrade? If you have additional money to the budget, there can be several upgrades such as the processor, motherboard, ram, and graphics
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February 11, 2012 12:42:43 PM

I updated budget. There is currently $139.6 left for a Monitor (and heatsink if needed).

I don't think there's a lot of upgrades I want to do from what I have listed...unless you see something glaringly wrong.

I do have some things I'm not sure about though...

1. Not sure if I could/should go down to a cheaper SB CPU like an...

Intel Pentium G850 Sandy Bridge 2.9GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623G850

...I'm not sure what the difference is (besides 2.9GHz vs. 3.3GHz) and price (w/DVD drive combo $94.98 vs. $137.98)...could potentially free up another $43

2. Which of these DVD drives is the best (and why)...(Samsung SH-222AB, Sony AD-7280S-OB, or iHAS124-04)...currently leaning towards the iHAS because of the total number of reviews + 5-egg ratings vs. the other 2

3. I'm not sure if a 430W PSU can handle 2 GPU cards (when upgraded to xfire/sli in future)...600W seems safer for $20 more...although I'm not sure that would be enough either...gonna try to find an article/post where it details what is needed

4. I can't really find anything wrong with that MSI MOBO I have listed...am I missing something?

5. I found out for sure cousin is NOT donating his GPU card (was only a 9800gt anyway), so I think this 6770 is a good deal right? Should be pretty power efficient and cheap to add another later?

6. HDD-starting to look into this...would it be worth it to look into a refurbished one, or should I stick to new? I'd like to get at least a 500GB one. I think 160 is too small. Would a internal notebook HDD work in a desktop? I found this HITACHI 0Y30055 500GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive for $59.99

7. RAM-I was under the impression that SB needed to use 1.5v and 1600 speed...is that correct, or could you go with like 1.65v and 1333 (or 1.5v and 1333 speed) for example? This could possibly free up a few more dollars.

8. I still don't know if a heatsink is needed or not (vs. just using the intel one)...I'm guessing no as we won't be overclocking?

9. Monitor-I'm gonna need some help here...there's a ton between $100-$150 that have good ratings, but I have no idea where to start as far as what all the differences are or if one is missing something we'd really not want to miss. I'll list a few I'm looking at for reference...feel free to comment on these or add a different one.

HANNspree By Hanns-G HF225DPB Black 21.5" 5ms Full HD WideScreen LCD Monitor w/Speakers 250 cd/m2 X-Contrast 30,000:1 (1000:1) for $128.98

Acer S211HLbd 21.5'' 5ms LED-Backlight LCD Monitor Slim Design 250 cd/m2 12,000,000:1 (ACM) for $129.99

Acer G245HQABD 23.6" LCD Monitor Black 5ms Full HD Widescreen 300 cd/m2 ACM 80,000:1 (1,000:1) for $139.99

ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms Full HD Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ Speakers 300 cd/m2 20000 :1 (ASCR) for $158.98

So far, leaning towards the Acer 23.6" for $139.99...seems like the best value. The Acer 21.5" has LED backlight though. The Acer for $158.98 would be at the very top of the budget range.
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February 11, 2012 9:07:32 PM

Thank you everyone who helped. Hopefully no one was offended if I didn't use their suggested parts. :) 

Oh, also...I haven't pulled the trigger on these parts yet (probably in the next day or 2, gonna check and make sure this looks ok with everyone first), so please let me know if there are any glaring mistakes being made or if you can suggest either something cheaper or better quality for the same price.
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February 20, 2012 11:58:17 AM

Best answer selected by TopGun.
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February 20, 2012 2:43:15 PM

Ya, that would have been pretty good. Unfortunately I already purchased the monitor in the 1st post. Where were you a week ago!?!?!? :p 
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