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[Build Log] £3000 Define R4 Setup Build Log

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Hey, all.

This is my second post so excuse me if I do something horrendously wrong. tongue.gif
Feel free to give me any advice or appraise if you want to. Both will be appreciated.

I will try to do a fairly basic review of all parts included in this build, in case it will help anybody.

Parts

Case:
Fractal Design Define R4 (very slightly modded by me)

Motherboard:
Asus Sabertooth Z77

Processor:
Intel i7-2600k @4.5GHz

Graphics:
PowerColor Radeon HD 6970 *2

RAM:
Corsair Vengeance 16GB @1866MHz

PSU:
Corsair AX860

Cooling:
Fractal Design Silent R2 120mm *2
Fractal Design Silent R2 140mm *3
Corsair Hydro H100i 240mm

Storage:
Samsung 840 Pro 250GB SSD
OCZ Agility 3 120GB SSD
Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB HDD
Seagate External Expansion Drive 1TB HDD
Iomega EGO External Drive 500GB HDD

ODD:
LG Blu-ray RW drive

Lighting:
NZXT PCI Sleeved LED Kit White *2
Sound Responsive Colour Changing Sound Tube *2

Peripherals:
BenQ XL2720T Monitor (120Hz, 1920x1080, 3D)
Thermaltake Challenger Ultimate Keyboard
Thermaltake Black Element Mouse
Thermaltake Dasher Gaming Surface
Razer Electra Black Headset
Epos Aktimate Micro Speakers


In total, this whole setup probably set me back over £3000. That being said, I didn't buy it all in one go. I have had the speakers for over two years, one of the graphics card and blu-ray drive for almost two years, RAM, OCZ SSD, keyboard, mouse and surface for about a year and everything else has been bought in the last month or so.

One last thing, before anyone else mentions it, I know the RAM is red, I bought it for my old red themed build and had to salvage it from there as I cannot afford to spend another £130 on something I already own but in a different colour even though I feel it ruins the whole look. mad.gif

Right, now for the bits you probably want.

THE BUILD



Getting some of the parts prepared.



These NZXT LED kits are great. They slide right into the PCI slots in the case, require a 4-pin molex connection, have a brightness switch and a on/off button for if you get bored of them. I plan on leaving these off until I get the window panel for the case.



It's such a lovely case. There is only one thing I dislike about it, the lighting. I know this sounds ridiculous but I probably have some light OCD (dat pun) so when I see a case where the whole interior and exterior is based on a black and white colour scheme but has a BLUE LED (or red with the white version of the case) on the front for the power button and light bar, it just pisses me off. Other than that it's great. It comes with two 140mm fans and a basic fan controller which can take three fans, I believe.



I will be using the AMD Radeon HD 6970, which has been expertly improved by PowerColor by using a massive heatsink with two fans and probably some other things too. I cleaned out and recompounded this card and am awaiting my second one to do the same and then crossfire it. It is a brilliant card and has served me well. It can easily play all of the games I have thrown at it on the highest settings at 60fps+ (apart from Tomb Raider, I had to lower the settings a little to make the most out of my 120Hz monitor. The card features two DVI ports, two mini DisplayPorts and one HDMI port.



To help keep this monster cool, I bought some extra fans. The case came with two Fractal Design Silent R2 140mm fans and I bought one more and two 120mm versions to replace the two on the CPU cooler.



I am using the Corsair Hydro H100i Liquid CPU Cooler to keep my processor cool at 4.5GHz and, I have to say, it does it's job very well. The processor is between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius when idle.



Despite the great packing quality of the Hydro, it still managed to have some bent fins in the radiator. I was very disappointed with this as I'd had the same problem with the three H80's I had (long story - the first two they sent didn't work) and I would have hoped that in the newer generation, Corsair used a stronger metal. I guess for the price I can't really complain. It's also nice to see that they have moved to SATA power for the unit, as opposed to 4-pin molex on the older ones.



For power, I used the Corsair AX860 as it is fully modular which I think is great. I chose this over the 860i (pretty much the same but with Corsair Link features) as, after some research, I found that a different company makes the 860i which isn't as reliable as the company who make the 860, though I may be wrong. the 860 is, by far, one of the best packaged products I have ever bought. Each item comes in it's own seperate bag and it just seems like a really good quality product.



The power supply comes with many options but I found that having to plug two joined cables into the two 24-pin ATX slots was a bit awkward as you have to bend the cable a fair bit to get it in. I also found that some of the connections were quite tight and the whole look of the product would be improved tenfold if they sleeved all of the cables, instead of just the 24-pin ATX. At least all of the cables are black so they will match any build unlike ones with horrible looking red and yellow wires coming out everywhere.



It was a clear choice for motherboard for me. The Sabertooth Z77 by Asus is probably the best sub-£200 motherboard which suits my build and is high in spec. The TUF armor on it will hopefully prevent warping of the motherboard with my two hefty graphics cards. The only problem I had with it was fitting the radiator and fans in above it with the thick armor. Seeing as I will have two AMD graphics cards, I was a little annoyed that it came with an SLI bridge but no CrossFire bridge. *adds £10 to total costs* tongue.gif It was very simple to plug the front panel connectors into the motherboard, as it was clearly labelled, a feature missing in my old board.



I slotted two of the 140mm fans into the front of the case and screwed the bottom drive mount back in. These fans are very quiet and, although they may not be the best, they provide enough cooling for my needs whilst still looking great (yes, that was directed at you, Noctua).



I decided to make use of the 2.5" mounting holes on the back of the motherboard tray. These mounts are both good and bad. The good bit is you'll use less of your bays but the bad bits are if you want to add of remove a drive, you have to take out the motherboard and as it lies flat on the tray, you need a flat SATA cable, something that Corsair didn't think of. I used a simple flat 4-pin molex to SATA cable to solve that issue.



It's coming together nicely now! Still waiting for the second HD 6970 to arrive...
The 2600k has served me well over the last couple of years. It is still one of the top spec LGA1155 socket processors, and at 4.5GHz there isn't any need to upgrade it any time soon.



Got the h100i in!
Note: Once I got everything together and took my photographs, I realised that I meant to put all of the fans in the other way around. I know, right? Stupid. So I had to take the drive bay and cooler out to do that.



You can just about make out the bent fins scattered across the whole radiator.



At the stage of a build when you regret not getting a bigger case. tongue.gif



Guess who's going to have a fun evening. Certainly not me.



I guess I'd better test it to make sure I haven't monumentally cocked up.



WE HAVE LIFE! Note: That is my old TV, not the monitor I'm going to use. wink.gif This means one thing...



...CABLE TIME!



Honestly, I don't think I did a bad job of managing the cables. It looks surprisingly neat from the front. I guess it would help if I didn't have to lie on the side panel to shut it. tongue.gif Just ignore that fan which is plugged into nothing... I have now bought an extension so I can use it for my exhaust fan.



Finished! Well, almost.
Now I just have to wait for the second graphics card and my stupid white LEDs to finally arrive from Hong Kong after almost a month. Hey, they were cheap. Then I will be able to mod the LED on the front of the case. I did tell you it was only a slight modification!
I guess all that's left is to post some nice photographs I took at the end with my DSLR. Don't fret, more will be posted showing how to change the LED and after I get the second card in (with the corrected fans).










Here are all of my peripherals. The monitor is fantastic. 1080p and 120Hz in a 27" screen, what more do you want? The keyboard and mouse are both good, but not brilliant. The keyboard could do with having more memory available for each macro as you can only have a few keys pressed for each button. A seemingly common problem with the mouse is after a while, when you click it will sometimes double click which can be irritating. Finally, as you can probably tell, the speakers are brilliant. The bass from them is fantastic.


Thank you all for reading all of this. If there is anything particular you would like to know/see, just let me know. I will be more than happy to help.

Rob.
Define R4
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 2600K Asus Sabertooth Z77 PowerColor Radeon HD 6970 x2 in CrossFire Corsair Vengeance 16GB @1866MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
OCZ Agility 3 Samsung 840 Pro Seagate Barracuda Green LG BD RW 
CoolingOSOSMonitor
Corsair Hydro H100i Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Ubuntu BenQ XL2720T 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
ThermalTake Challenger Ultimate Corsair AX860 Fractal Design Define R4 ThermalTake Black Element 
Mouse PadAudio
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Define R4
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 2600K Asus Sabertooth Z77 PowerColor Radeon HD 6970 x2 in CrossFire Corsair Vengeance 16GB @1866MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
OCZ Agility 3 Samsung 840 Pro Seagate Barracuda Green LG BD RW 
CoolingOSOSMonitor
Corsair Hydro H100i Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Ubuntu BenQ XL2720T 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
ThermalTake Challenger Ultimate Corsair AX860 Fractal Design Define R4 ThermalTake Black Element 
Mouse PadAudio
ThermalTake Dasher Epoz AktiMate Micro 
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post #2 of 33
Thread Starter 


Well, the second card arrived. I've cleaned out the fans and heatsink, greased the fans and recompounded the GPU so now it should run as good as new, if not better.



Now for changing the LED. This was actually a very simple process. I pulled off the front panel, pulled out the LED, cut the existing heat shrink wrap, removed the solder connecting the LED to the two wires with a hot soldering iron, replaced the blue LED with a white one I had bought, soldered each pin back to the wires and, finally, covered each wire and the whole thing in heat shrink wrap to keep it together.



And this is the final product. It's not the best heat shrink wrap but it does the job well.







I guess I'm finished now.
And I only burnt myself twice and stabbed myself thrice!
Please give me some feedback about my build and the components used.

Thanks.
Define R4
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 2600K Asus Sabertooth Z77 PowerColor Radeon HD 6970 x2 in CrossFire Corsair Vengeance 16GB @1866MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
OCZ Agility 3 Samsung 840 Pro Seagate Barracuda Green LG BD RW 
CoolingOSOSMonitor
Corsair Hydro H100i Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Ubuntu BenQ XL2720T 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
ThermalTake Challenger Ultimate Corsair AX860 Fractal Design Define R4 ThermalTake Black Element 
Mouse PadAudio
ThermalTake Dasher Epoz AktiMate Micro 
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Define R4
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 2600K Asus Sabertooth Z77 PowerColor Radeon HD 6970 x2 in CrossFire Corsair Vengeance 16GB @1866MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
OCZ Agility 3 Samsung 840 Pro Seagate Barracuda Green LG BD RW 
CoolingOSOSMonitor
Corsair Hydro H100i Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Ubuntu BenQ XL2720T 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
ThermalTake Challenger Ultimate Corsair AX860 Fractal Design Define R4 ThermalTake Black Element 
Mouse PadAudio
ThermalTake Dasher Epoz AktiMate Micro 
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post #3 of 33
Damn, it looks awesome. Also, nice photos!

I was just about to ask in the Fractal Design fan club on how to change the LED for the Define R4... I was hoping I wouldn't even have to solder... (Don't own a soldering kit, even though it's a fiver in Wilkinsons, and haven't soldered for 10 years.) frown.gif
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post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by neo0031 View Post

Damn, it looks awesome. Also, nice photos!

I was just about to ask in the Fractal Design fan club on how to change the LED for the Define R4... I was hoping I wouldn't even have to solder... (Don't own a soldering kit, even though it's a fiver in Wilkinsons, and haven't soldered for 10 years.) frown.gif

Thanks a lot. It is a fairly simple process, and I guess you could replace it without soldering if you did it tightly and there was good contact between the pins and the wires, but I would not recommend doing that myself. Do you know anyone with a soldering iron? I only use a cheap one and you just have to touch it to the two pins on the original LED and add a little solder to the new one.
Define R4
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 2600K Asus Sabertooth Z77 PowerColor Radeon HD 6970 x2 in CrossFire Corsair Vengeance 16GB @1866MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
OCZ Agility 3 Samsung 840 Pro Seagate Barracuda Green LG BD RW 
CoolingOSOSMonitor
Corsair Hydro H100i Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Ubuntu BenQ XL2720T 
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Define R4
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 2600K Asus Sabertooth Z77 PowerColor Radeon HD 6970 x2 in CrossFire Corsair Vengeance 16GB @1866MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
OCZ Agility 3 Samsung 840 Pro Seagate Barracuda Green LG BD RW 
CoolingOSOSMonitor
Corsair Hydro H100i Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Ubuntu BenQ XL2720T 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
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post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by neo0031 View Post

Damn, it looks awesome. Also, nice photos!

I was just about to ask in the Fractal Design fan club on how to change the LED for the Define R4... I was hoping I wouldn't even have to solder... (Don't own a soldering kit, even though it's a fiver in Wilkinsons, and haven't soldered for 10 years.) frown.gif

I meant to ask, are you like me and think it's ridiculous that they sell a case with a black and white colour scheme, but stick a blue LED on the front? I'm probably overreacting but it looks so much nicer now.
If you want a more detailed explanation for how to change the LED, just ask.
Define R4
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OCZ Agility 3 Samsung 840 Pro Seagate Barracuda Green LG BD RW 
CoolingOSOSMonitor
Corsair Hydro H100i Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Ubuntu BenQ XL2720T 
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Define R4
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Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
OCZ Agility 3 Samsung 840 Pro Seagate Barracuda Green LG BD RW 
CoolingOSOSMonitor
Corsair Hydro H100i Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Ubuntu BenQ XL2720T 
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ThermalTake Challenger Ultimate Corsair AX860 Fractal Design Define R4 ThermalTake Black Element 
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post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob47ww View Post

I meant to ask, are you like me and think it's ridiculous that they sell a case with a black and white colour scheme, but stick a blue LED on the front? I'm probably overreacting but it looks so much nicer now.
If you want a more detailed explanation for how to change the LED, just ask.

Yes, yes I am. I'm so glad I'm not the only one. And more so when Asus does RoG in black and red and somehow this case is black and white and has somehow a blue LED...

I can't wait to get the case. I would either not use the LED or switch it to red... White LED looks so good on this case it's a wonder why Josh of Fractal Design went ahead with blue on the black case and red on the white. (Not sure what colour LED the grey has.)
Scarlett
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i7 3770k Asus Maximus V Gene Asus GTX 780 Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Series Pro 256GB WD Caviar Black 1TB Corsair H100i Corsair SP120 PWM x2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Corsair AF140 Corsair AF140 Corsair AF120 Windows 8 
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Asus VN247H-P WASD fully custom keyboard in UK layout Corsair AX860i Corsair 350D 
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Scarlett
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Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
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CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Corsair AF140 Corsair AF140 Corsair AF120 Windows 8 
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Asus VN247H-P WASD fully custom keyboard in UK layout Corsair AX860i Corsair 350D 
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post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by neo0031 View Post

Yes, yes I am. I'm so glad I'm not the only one. And more so when Asus does RoG in black and red and somehow this case is black and white and has somehow a blue LED...

I can't wait to get the case. I would either not use the LED or switch it to red... White LED looks so good on this case it's a wonder why Josh of Fractal Design went ahead with blue on the black case and red on the white. (Not sure what colour LED the grey has.)

Haha, I spent far too long searching for an all black motherboard with decent specs before deciding that the Sabertooth is close enough. You'd think with the big role aesthetics play in modern PCs that companies would start to make different coloured motherboards with matching pcb etc. Or am I being too OCD? I thought that the blue LED looked good but this white LED looks beautiful in person! If you're thinking of sticking with the white in the colour scheme I would definitely recommend the white LED. The white Define R4 has a red LED in it, but I don't really like white cases. They remind me too much of the old beige cases and dust shows up more on them.
Define R4
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Define R4
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OCZ Agility 3 Samsung 840 Pro Seagate Barracuda Green LG BD RW 
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Corsair Hydro H100i Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Ubuntu BenQ XL2720T 
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post #8 of 33
No I'll never get the white case, or any white cases. It's just not me. I've had too many white tech related stuff and I rather prefer sleek, matte black on everything. White things may get dirty too easily...

I guess when I get the case I'll pop to Wilko's or B&Q for a cheap tenner soldering kit.

Anyway, sorry to hijack your post. Really nice build mate. thumb.gif
Scarlett
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Windows 7 Ultimate Cooler Master Quickfire TK XFX 650w XXX Edition Aerocool X Warrior Red 
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Razer Deathadder 2013 Razer Vespula 
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i7 3770k Asus Maximus V Gene Asus GTX 780 Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Series Pro 256GB WD Caviar Black 1TB Corsair H100i Corsair SP120 PWM x2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Corsair AF140 Corsair AF140 Corsair AF120 Windows 8 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VN247H-P WASD fully custom keyboard in UK layout Corsair AX860i Corsair 350D 
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Scarlett
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RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Crucial Technology  Samsung 840 Evo WD Caviar Black WD Caviar Green 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Hitachi 1 TB Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo Xclio 256 Colour 120mm Fan x 2 Cougar Vortex 120mm 
OSKeyboardPowerCase
Windows 7 Ultimate Cooler Master Quickfire TK XFX 650w XXX Edition Aerocool X Warrior Red 
MouseMouse Pad
Razer Deathadder 2013 Razer Vespula 
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i7 3770k Asus Maximus V Gene Asus GTX 780 Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Series Pro 256GB WD Caviar Black 1TB Corsair H100i Corsair SP120 PWM x2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Corsair AF140 Corsair AF140 Corsair AF120 Windows 8 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VN247H-P WASD fully custom keyboard in UK layout Corsair AX860i Corsair 350D 
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post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by neo0031 View Post

No I'll never get the white case, or any white cases. It's just not me. I've had too many white tech related stuff and I rather prefer sleek, matte black on everything. White things may get dirty too easily...

I guess when I get the case I'll pop to Wilko's or B&Q for a cheap tenner soldering kit.

Anyway, sorry to hijack your post. Really nice build mate. thumb.gif

No problem, glad I could help.
Thanks.
Define R4
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 2600K Asus Sabertooth Z77 PowerColor Radeon HD 6970 x2 in CrossFire Corsair Vengeance 16GB @1866MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
OCZ Agility 3 Samsung 840 Pro Seagate Barracuda Green LG BD RW 
CoolingOSOSMonitor
Corsair Hydro H100i Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Ubuntu BenQ XL2720T 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
ThermalTake Challenger Ultimate Corsair AX860 Fractal Design Define R4 ThermalTake Black Element 
Mouse PadAudio
ThermalTake Dasher Epoz AktiMate Micro 
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Define R4
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 2600K Asus Sabertooth Z77 PowerColor Radeon HD 6970 x2 in CrossFire Corsair Vengeance 16GB @1866MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
OCZ Agility 3 Samsung 840 Pro Seagate Barracuda Green LG BD RW 
CoolingOSOSMonitor
Corsair Hydro H100i Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Ubuntu BenQ XL2720T 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
ThermalTake Challenger Ultimate Corsair AX860 Fractal Design Define R4 ThermalTake Black Element 
Mouse PadAudio
ThermalTake Dasher Epoz AktiMate Micro 
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Reply
post #10 of 33
simple,nice,clean. just what any case should be. thumb.gif
w00t
(18 items)
 
   
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ph2 x20be asus m4a785-m sapphire vapor-x 4850  geil black dragon 1066 5-5-5-15-20 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
wd  asus dvd multi-write arctic cooling freezer 64 pro win 7 ultimate x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
samsung 42" lcd logitech wireless antec basic 500watt old dell crap 
MouseAudio
logitech wireless pioneer 7.1 
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w00t
(18 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
ph2 x20be asus m4a785-m sapphire vapor-x 4850  geil black dragon 1066 5-5-5-15-20 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
wd  asus dvd multi-write arctic cooling freezer 64 pro win 7 ultimate x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
samsung 42" lcd logitech wireless antec basic 500watt old dell crap 
MouseAudio
logitech wireless pioneer 7.1 
  hide details  
Reply
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