New build for browsing TR forums ;)

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Moderator: JustAnEngineer

New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2008 10:19 pm

I am turning around the usual order here to ask you folks to comment on and criticize a build that I am planning. I intend to order these parts by mid-week.

I am building this new PC to browse the TR forums, play games, edit photos, etc. I currently enjoy Guild Wars, Supreme Commander, Civilization IV: Warlords, Valve's Orange Box and many older titles. I look forward to the release of Spore this fall. I believe that the hardware that I have selected is more than capable of handling whatever I may throw at it. The timing of this build has been moved up because I intend to hand down my old system to repair a family member's PC in a few weeks.

My budget is flexible. I have plenty of money available for this build, but I'm cheap enough to not enjoy spending all of it. If you can convince me that something is a good value, I will spend more for it. If you convince me that something is overpriced, I will go with a less expensive suggestion. I intend to purchase new parts from http://www.Newegg.com , http://www.ZipZoomFly.com and http://www.SVC.com for shipment to the U.S. Gulf Coast by UPS or FedEx. I will consider other vendors if pricing and availability are better, as long as http://www.resellerratings.com gives them an outstanding rating.


$285 Intel C2Q Q9300 Yorkfield 2.5GHz quad-core processor, retail
I probably do not need a quad core CPU for most of my current applications, but here's to more creamy smoothness and more parallelism in the future. The 45nm chip should run cool and may even overclock a bit. I would consider the 65nm Q6700 if it is much easier to overclock.
-$20 Newegg combination discount with OS

$175 Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS4 P35 LGA-775 motherboard
I am selecting an Intel chipset because NVidia's chipsets have too much of a reputation for bugginess and heat problems. I choose P35 here because DDR3 is still too expensive, and I do not believe that the incremental gains for X38 and X48 motherboards justify their extremely high cost. I want the good disk performance of the ICH9R southbridge. If I don't use the second PCIe X16 slot (at X4 speed) for Crossfire, I might eventually stick a disk controller in there. I like the excellent passive cooler that Gigabyte has included for cooling the important components on this motherboard. Passive cooling is both quieter and more reliable than the dinky little 40mm fans that you see on most motherboard southbridge coolers.

$ 44 Thermalright Ultima-90 heatsink
I have had great success with Thermalright coolers over the years. The Ultra-120 eXtreme performs slightly better than the Ultima-90, but it will not fit on the motherboard that I selected.

$ 28 2x Scythe S-FLEX SFF21F 120mm fans
I will use one of these fans on the Ultima-90. The other one will be a case fan for this system or for one of the others that I am working on.

$168 2x 2x2 GiB Mushkin PC2-6400 DDR2-800 5-4-4-12 memory
With DDR2-800 RAM as cheap as it is, why not get 8 GiB?

$ 0 Sapphire Radeon HD3870 X2 1 GiB
I will transfer this graphics card from my existing PC to the new one. It is adequate for my current gaming uses. The Radeon X1950Pro will go with my old PC, and the living room PC will use an old Radeon X800XL or integrated RS482 graphics.

$460 4x 640 GB Western Digital Caviar SE16
I am currently planning to put these in a RAID 1+0 configuration using the Intel southbridge. The storage alternative that I might choose would be to get a single 300 GB Velociraptor for the OS and continue using my existing 750 GB Caviar SE16 drive for storage, but the new Velociraptor is not yet available. :( Both of my existing 36 GB Raptors will go with my old system, but I'll be reconfiguring them into RAID1 instead of RAID0.

$ 34 Samsung SH-S203N DVD burner, SATA
$0 Pioneer DVD-106S DVD reader, EIDE
I will continue to use my old slot-load Pioneer 106S drive. I could just use my external LG GSA-E40L burner, or I could hang onto my existing EIDE burner, but I figure it's time to pick up a SATA drive. I am not selecting a Blu-ray player because I already have a PlayStation3 for watching Blu-ray movies.

$ 0 Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer
I will move this from my existing PC to the new system and let the living room PC use integrated audio. I will miss the front-panel controls of the Audigy2 ZS Platinum.

$140 Antec P182 case
Antec cases are well built. The case alternative that I might choose would be to use my existing Antec P160 case for the new PC and give my spare Rosewill R6AR6 case to my family.

$ 60 -25MIR Antec earthwatts EA430
I will move this PSU along to my family and keep my existing SeaSonic S12-600 for the new build. The earthwatts isn't a fancy PSU, but it is efficient and should work fine. I did consider the Corsair 520HX.

$180 Microsoft Windows Vista 64-bit Ultimate w/ SP1, OEM
Windows Vista 64-bit is inevitable. I'm already running home premium on my living room PC. My Windows XP Pro license will go with my old PC.

$110 Microsoft Office 2007 Home & Student (3-PC license)
I will let my Office 2000 SBE license go with my old PC.

$ 0 Dell UltraSharp 3007WFP monitor
I am happy with my existing display. The 2560x1600 resolution requires a beefy graphics card for smooth game play.

$ 0 Logitech Z-540 speakers
These are okay for gaming. I use headphones for serious music listening.

$ 0 CVT Avant Prime keyboard
I am happy with my existing ALPS-switch keyboard.

$ 0 Logitech G7 mouse
The G7 fits my hand comfortably. I also have an MX Revolution that doesn't get much use.

$ 41 shipping from Newegg
$ 9 shipping from SVC

=====
$1680 - $25 MIR


So, tell me where I'm going wrong and what better choices I could make. :)
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2008 10:25 pm

No comments really. Well thought out system. :wink: Well, you're spending a bit more on HDD's then I would.
C2Q Q9300 @ 400 FSB | P5Q Deluxe | 8GB's DDR2 800 | Radeon HD 6870 1GB | PCIe RevoDrive 120, 2TB Black, 2TB Green | Dell SP2309W + 2007FP | Pioneer BDR-205 | x64 Vista
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2008 10:31 pm

Looks great. The only thing I could "criticize" is the OS. Wouldn't Vista Home Premium be the better deal, or is there something in Ultimate that makes it worthwhile?
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2008 10:33 pm

You forgot one thing http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... Tpk=Z-5500 You will love them the neighbors will hate them :wink:
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2008 10:33 pm

I'm only going to question your software choices.

Do a quick check on the vista features to see if you need the features of ultimate. Home Premium and Business is normally enough. The egg has home premium 64bit for $90 i.e. half the price of ultimate.

I'd also question the need for MS office for a home PC. Unless your doing work from home or really need the software I'd say that Open Office covers everything you need with the benefit of being free. Most people buy office out of habit with a new PC.

Going to Home Premium and Open Office would save you $200.
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2008 10:59 pm

Can I suggest something like this ? (for noise reduction).
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2008 10:59 pm

Mobo seems expensive.

Vista ultimate seems unnecessary.

That's a lot of hard drives.

Quad core won't be noticeable for your usage scenario. Only useful if you do a lot of media encoding.
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2008 11:01 pm

mongoosesRawesome wrote:Mobo seems expensive.

Vista ultimate seems unnecessary.

That's a lot of hard drives.

Quad core won't be noticeable for your usage scenario. Only useful if you do a lot of media encoding.


Assume at that coming games are going to start taking advantage of more cores better.
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2008 11:10 pm

The only thing I can possibly criticize is the OS... everything else looks very well thought out and parts that I would order my self on that budget. Though the OEM version is cheaper, there are potential headaches when you do future upgrades on the system... as you will have to re-activate the license on the new system configuration and you have to argue with the service reps that you haven't just installed an additional copy to another system. Thank god I only have to do this once so far when I added a hard drive... lol.

If no upgrades are planned... you made the perfect choice.

The only other thing is your PSU choice. With the high-end 3870x2 video card, 4 hard drives, a 4-core proc, 8GB ram... seems like the system can easily have a max sustained power consumption under full load of about 350watts.... and can peak over 400W especially if it's over clocked. Wouldn't know for sure W/O a power analyzer if it will reach that high but I personally wouldn't feel comfortable with only 2 12V rails rated at only 17A each and a max combined 12V load of 360 watts... But I'm sure you know what you are doing :-) as you are the engineer and I'm just a cancer biologist.

mongoosesRawesome wrote:Vista ultimate seems unnecessary.

Ultimate has some features that makes it almost mandatory for some people.
Such as commercial grade encryption and windows MUI which allows your GUI to be in a different language which is useful if you can read and write in more than 1 language. Of course for most people those 2 neat features are useless. But maybe he needs to keep certain things encrypted and he's multi-lingual... you never know... :o
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2008 11:59 pm

Thanks for the comments so far.

Hard-drive performance has often been a bottleneck, so I am looking at some more expensive options to get more performance there.

Vista Home Premium probably is the better deal. The addition of Microsoft's image backup utility might have less usefulness than the Remote Desktop Connection. We are actually phasing out remote desktop at work (for access from home) in favor of a web application, but we do still use it inside the plant.

The OEM version of the OS is much much less expensive than the retail version. I don't mind calling the nice young man in Bangalore once every year or two for that large a savings.

I have been using OpenOffice on my Windows Vista machine for over a year and a half. It works great for most things, but when I do bring work home, I am accustomed to using MS-Excel's advanced charting and data analysis features. Open office is capable of doing many of these things, but the interface is just a bit different. The spreadsheet is still the killer app. for the PC. I have stopped working on databases at home, so I don't need to renew my Access license.

My existing speakers are okay for gaming. I can use headphones if I need louder or cleaner sound.

I actually have a pack of sticky-backed noise absorbing foam in my box of spare parts. That stuff is surprisingly heavy, so I never did install it in my P160.

I expect the SeaSonic S12-600 PSU to have plenty of capacity for this new build. Do I really need a kilowatt power supply for a home PC?
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 12:00 am

CB5000 wrote:The only other thing is your PSU choice....

I think he said:
JustAnEngineer wrote:...keep my existing SeaSonic S12-600 for the new build.

But I had to read it 3 times first myself.

oops... :wink:
C2Q Q9300 @ 400 FSB | P5Q Deluxe | 8GB's DDR2 800 | Radeon HD 6870 1GB | PCIe RevoDrive 120, 2TB Black, 2TB Green | Dell SP2309W + 2007FP | Pioneer BDR-205 | x64 Vista
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 12:09 am

Seeing you're a power user and somewhat of an early adopter of new hardware I would grab one of those Velociraptors for your OS and apps drive.
Quad core is definitely the way to go as you are building for the future of software not the past.
Best of luck with the build.
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 12:31 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:I expect the SeaSonic S12-600 PSU to have plenty of capacity for this new build. Do I really need a kilowatt power supply for a home PC?

No, I thought you meant you were going to use the earth watts on the new comp ^_^;
DrDillyBar wrote:
CB5000 wrote:The only other thing is your PSU choice....

I think he said:
JustAnEngineer wrote:...keep my existing SeaSonic S12-600 for the new build.

But I had to read it 3 times first myself.
oops... :wink:

I fail at reading comprehension :( :oops:
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 4:54 am

Can't really change much on a JAE-build, but here are a few doubts and alternates... You might have your reasons for most/all of these already.

JustAnEngineer wrote:$175 Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS4 P35 LGA-775 motherboard

Is there any big difference between this motherboard and the DS3P at $150? The NewEgg comparison shows both to be very similar, like PCI-e x16 and PCI-e x4, ICH9R etc.

JustAnEngineer wrote:$140 Antec P182 case

ChiefValue has the same with free shipping (Reseller rating - 9.38)

JustAnEngineer wrote:$168 2x 2x2GiB Mushkin PC2-6400 DDR2-800 5-4-4-12 memory

Any idea about GeIL? 5-4-4-12 at 2.0V - 2.2V for $71 (after $15 MIR), 4-4-4-12 at 1.9V - 2.3V at $86 (after $25 MIR) (all for 4 GB)

JustAnEngineer wrote:$460 4x 640GB Western Digital Caviar SE16

$100 at Directron.com (Reseller rating - 8.67)
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 8:04 am

What about this X-38 mobo? It's only $15 more.

Since you have 3870X2, adding a single GPU 3870 could be a nice boost for you. The X38 would allow for that.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productco ... 6813128087
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 9:00 am

InTeGeR13 wrote:Is there any big difference between the $175 Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS4 motherboard and the DS3P at $150?
As near as I can tell, the difference is that the EP35-DS4's heatpipe cooler covers more components than the heatsinks on the EP35-DS3P do.
david00214 wrote:What about this Gigabyte GA-EX38-DS4 X-38 mobo? It's only $25 more.
That's true. It seems to have similar cooling to the EP35-DS3P. I will consider this one again, along with the similar ASUS models.

InTeGeR13 wrote: ChiefValue has the same $140 Antec P182 case with free shipping (Reseller rating - 9.38)
Yes, and Directron has it for $20 less than Newegg with $12 higher shipping cost. Thanks. Either of these will save a bit.

InTeGeR13 wrote:
JustAnEngineer wrote:$168 2x 2x2 GiB Mushkin PC2-6400 DDR2-800 5-4-4-12 memory
Any idea about GeIL? 5-4-4-12 at 2.0V - 2.2V for $71 (after $15 MIR), 4-4-4-12 at 1.9V - 2.3V at $86 (after $25 MIR) (all for 4 GiB).
I want DDR2 memory that will boot at the default 1.8 Volts. I am willing to bump the voltage up a bit if it is needed for overclocking, but I want to avoid the catch-22 of memory that won't work at the default voltage and stock speed.

InTeGeR13 wrote: The $460 4x 640 GB Western Digital Caviar SE16 drives are $100 at Directron.com (Reseller rating - 8.67)
Thanks! Shipping is only $12 more at Directron for a $48 net savings. I checked Directron for the case and ZipZoomFly for the drives and PSU, but I didn't think to look at Directron for the drives.
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 9:54 am

My only comment is with the mobo. I'm currently putting together a system (geared towards being a fairly quiet system) and debating between your pick (GA-EP35-DS4) and the Abit IP35 Pro. I've read on various forums that the most recent revision of the GA-P35-DS4 does not allow fan control on anything other than the CPU fan header, and also have issues with S3 suspend/resume. Unfortunately, I have not read anything consistent about either of these two issues, and I'm not sure if they also apply to the EP35. Just thought I'd throw that out in case either of those features matter to you.
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 10:05 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:$ 44 Thermalright Ultima-90 heatsink
I have had great success with Thermalright coolers over the years. The Ultra-120 eXtreme performs slightly better than the Ultima-90, but it will not fit on the motherboard that I selected.


My question is simple....how do you know that? Practical experience or a "what fits" type chart? Mobo measurements? Lucky guess?

I assume that you are not a fan of water cooling. Just curious.



Thx
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 10:31 am

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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 11:08 am

My only criticism is your choice of blue colour as your alternate text. You are only catering to those who use the tan stuff. :P

Edit: Then again, why not the Q9450 for the geeky compulsive need for "the whole thing"?
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 11:30 am

I got a G-skill kit a while ago, no problems with it and work at 1.8-1.9 default. Unless you are hunting for some massive FSB OC or extra low latencies, those are a decent choice IMO.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820231122

At this price you could get 8 Gigs for the price of that mushking memory.

Edit: Phail at reading. These and the mushking are fairly similar, so either one will do.
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 11:36 am

Flying Fox wrote:My only criticism is your choice of navy colour as your alternate text. You are only catering to those who use the tan stuff. :P
I could use cyan, but something like yellow would have been mean to the folks who aren't using the blue theme. :lol:

Flying Fox wrote:Edit: Then again, why not the Q9450 for the geeky compulsive need for "the whole thing"?
It wasn't listed at Newegg. They did have this little dandy, though. :o
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 11:43 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:My only criticism is your choice of blue colour as your alternate text. You are only catering to those who use the tan stuff. :P
Yes, I could use cyan, but something like yellow would have been mean to the folks who aren't using the blue theme. :lol:
The "mod" green should be good for both, same as the "admin" red.

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:Edit: Then again, why not the Q9450 for the geeky compulsive need for "the whole thing"?
It wasn't listed at Newegg. They did have this little dandy, though. :o
Then hurry up and get that X48 monster! I think other places should have the Q9450?
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 12:12 pm

Flying Fox wrote:I think other places should have the Q9450?

Spotted at OnSale.com for $340 (Reseller rating - 7.5/10)
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 3:34 pm

That's a pre-order for the Q9450. I haven't seen it in stock.
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 4:20 pm

I just don't see the point in going quad-core; by the time you have an app that will use it, you'll have already upgraded for other reasons. Get the E8400.

Great motherboard choice; I'm loving mine, with the sole exception being that it occasionally wakes from sleep on its own. Other than that, the performance and stability has been awesome.

I don't see any reason not to get Vista X64 Ultimate. It's not that much more money at the OEM level, given the scope of your spending.

I would get a Noctua NH-U12P cooler over the Thermalright, and the 120mm fans should be Noctua NF-P12. More money, but definitely quieter.
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Mon May 12, 2008 1:16 pm

*laughs* Yeah, that's just the sort of 'excess' I'd put into my own build. Simply perfection!
Feel free to buy two of everything and mail me the duplicates...

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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Mon May 12, 2008 3:08 pm

I say just get a 486DX-66 and blow a hole in all these quad-core crapolas!!! :P
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Re: New build for browsing TR forums ;)

Postposted on Mon May 12, 2008 10:40 pm

Here's what I ordered:

Intel C2Q Q9300 Yorkfield 2.5GHz quad-core processor, retail Arrived 5/14
(It's a shame that the Q9450 is late to market.)
Gigabyte GA-X48-DS4 motherboard Arrived 5/14
(Flying Fox told me to hurry up and order this. Yes, it's expensive.)
Thermalright Ultima-90 heatsink Arrived 5/19
2x Scythe S-FLEX SFF21F 120mm fans Arrived 5/14
Scythe PWM 90mm fan Arrived 5/15
2x 2 GiB Mushkin HP PC2-6400 DDR2-800 5-4-4-12 memory Arrived 5/14
2x2 GiB Mushkin HP PC2-6400 DDR2-800 5-4-4-12 memory Arrived 5/15
(Mushkin tech support says that this RAM should run easily at DDR2-1000 with only slightly relaxed timings.)
4x 640 GB Western Digital Caviar SE16 Arrived 5/15
(It's a shame that the WD Velociraptor is late to market.)
Antec P182 case Arrived 5/15
Corsair 650TX power supply
6" power cable extension Arrived 5/14
Microsoft Windows Vista 64-bit Ultimate w/ SP1, OEM Arrived 5/14
Microsoft Office 2007 Home & Student (3-PC license) Arrived 5/14

I expect that all of it except for one or two critical components will arrive before the weekend. :lol:
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
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First post from new PC

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2008 10:46 pm

Whee!

It's up and running. I'll get to play with it some more tomorrow night.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15426
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

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