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  1. #1
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    Preparing for a new PC build

    With new tech being release towards the end of this year I think it will be a fine time to start a new build. Firstly you've got the new series of graphics cards towards the end of the year or the start of next year, then there are new motherboards that are appearing at a similar time with the new DDR4. Those two are pretty big in itself however now that I have an UHD monitor on the way I'll certainly need more processing power. My current CPU is pretty high end already though as I am completely replacing this system fully then I'll want to get a new CPU, most likely one of the new i7's that will be out later in the year, the current range isn't much better than mine (the i7 4820 perhaps almost identical to my i7 3820).

    It might not seem like much of an upgrade but the graphics card itself is the major one and so is the RAM. What I'm wanting to do though is to fully watercool the system, both the CPU and the GPU(s) in a single loop. This would mean that I would need:
    • Thermal paste
    • CPU block
    • GPU block
    • Reservoir
    • Radiators x2
    • Pump
    • and plenty of tubing!

    Having this in would mean that I would also need to have a bigger PSU and a new case to accommodate it all. This is why I thought that having a new build would be best. As the year goes on I'll most likely be changing and swapping everything around till I find the best combo. It will also be a very very expensive rig which I want to make it last for a good 4+ years. The rig I have now is plenty good enough for gaming but with all of the video editing, 3D graphics and other things that I have been doing more and more of lately I've felt the computer really struggle in the workstation department - to be fair it kind of always has but I wasn't ever in a situation where time was critical.

    So there we have it - a new build for a new era of PC tech for next year. The specs I'm aiming for are:
    CPU: Intel i7 (mid to high end) ~430 (i7-4930)
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 8xx TITAN Black equivalent (low-mid end workstation card but top end gaming card) ~750 (GTX 780 Titan Black)
    PSU: Seasonic X-1250 (no ifs or buts, they're the best brand around) ~250
    RAM: 32 to 64GB Quad channel DDR4 (4x 8GB or 8x 8GB) ~270 32GB or ~540 64GB
    HDD: 4x Western Digital Caviar Red 4TB (raid 1 for mirroring, 2 HDDs for Windows and 2 HDDs for Linux) ~530 (132 each)
    SSD: 2x Intel 335 240GB (1 for Windows and 1 for Linux) ~160 (80 each)
    Case: Corsair 900D or Phanteks Enthoo Pro or even go with another P280 ~90 (Phanteks)
    Mobo: Asus X79 Deluxe (socket 2011) or the Asus Rampage IV Extreme ~265 (Asus X79)
    Optical: External BD-RW ~60
    Price: Excluding the watercooling... ~3080 *shudders*.

    Well let's put it this way, I don't want to spend more than 2500 overall. I'm sure by the end of the year the cost will be considerably cheaper and I'm getting all of these prices from Overclockers so shopping around will help too. I would need to add on roughly another ~800 for the water cooling too so I'm going to have to compromise heavily in some areas, halving the HDDs and RAM would net me back ~534 which is almost the cost of the entire water cooling kit. Getting a lesser CPU like the i7-3820K would get me back another 200 too which means that the cost of 3100 is roughly what I have here if I did those current compromises.

    So what do you think? Any thoughts or suggestions?

  2. #2
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    If you already have an i7 3820 system, why do you feel the need to build a new computer?

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    Yeah, this build totally seems unnecessary? I wish I could throw money around like this. lol

    Why not just upgrade the GPU and RAM?

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    There were various reasons I have already mentioned:
    1. DDR4 3000MHz compatible mobo
    2. The next generation of Intel CPUs
    3. Water cooling
    4. Workstation card

    These 4 alone would force me to get a larger case and a larger PSU. Then there's 32GB or 64GB of RAM to speed up rendering times and to keep all of the apps like 3ds Max, MudBox, Premiere and more open at the same time running smoothly.

    The 3820 I put down is just for reference in terms of price, like I said this list is most likely going to be changing heavily apart from a few things like the PSU and the case. I'm doing a lot of video editing now too so I'll be needing plenty of reliable HDD space to store all of the uncompressed media hence the 8GB Raid 10 mirrored.

    Essentially because of all of this I may as well get a brand new PC and sell this current machine as a whole.

    Also it's not that I'm throwing money around, this is actually for work so I'll have to see if I can get TAX (20%) back from any of this.

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    Kind of wish i bought a seasonic PSU now, instead I bought a Corsair AX860i its not crap, its just not as good, the whole i part of the PSU is a waste of time, the novelty of being able to see how much power and current is being used soon wears off, also the software is organised badly and not easy to use, another thing is the fan doesn't spin at low loads so it is quiet (which is nice) but when new it means it will get warm and give off horrible acrid smell of burnt electronics which can be irritating, it soon wears off though.

  6. #6
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    Yeah my Seasonic PSU has now lasted me over 4 years and it's still, half the time, running in fan-less mode, it is absolutely superb, quiet, and is about 92% efficient (despite its 80+ rating).

    I have a Jeantech 750W in my old PC (my first fully modular PSU - since then modular all the way) and it also had a wattage reader on the PSU itself and it let me see how much Wattage was being used as a whole. In a way it's a great idea so I wouldn't overload it but then it doesn't always work as you can easily overload a rail instead so again, like you said, the novelty wears off.

    Seasonic might be one of the best but they're bloody expensive, but in my opinion once you used it you'll never go back.

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    These days lots of PSU tend to have one large rail, I remember about 10 years ago they were all promoting their multiple rail systems which at the time I thought was odd because having multiple small rails can mean you over load one and not another so have to balance them out between your devices due to the majority being connected unknowingly on 1 rail and the others are barely being used. I did have this problem once.
    Just seemed more like a pain in the arse to me.
    Last edited by keefy; 07-16-2014 at 13:58.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varsh View Post
    There were various reasons I have already mentioned:
    1. DDR4 3000MHz compatible mobo
    2. The next generation of Intel CPUs
    3. Water cooling
    4. Workstation card

    These 4 alone would force me to get a larger case and a larger PSU.
    yup, that 1st reason there is why i could not continue upgrading my PC. upgrading just your GPU or RAM is a myth. it only works if you messed up the first time and you upgrade it within a year or two.

    and i figured they were coming out with new tech, now that PCs are being utilized more.

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    Well DDR3 has been in use since 2007 so it will be a good 8 years since the last jump and it has taken quite a while. This is also most likely DDR's last generation too as I think it will be replaced within the next 4 years with a different technology - most likely PCM/PRAM (Phase-change memory Random Access Memory).

    The next generation of CPUs though are going to still be socket 2011 so I could potentially still use my CPU but it doesn't support Intel QuickSync which is rather annoying so I'm going to have to have a different CPU anyway.

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    my problem was back when i had the DDR (2005) that when i wanted to upgrade to a better DDR memory, i could buy DDR2 for the same price as i would DDR and my mobo did not support it. then i bought an AM2+ mobo (2007?) and again, i had a similar problem but i can't confirm the exact specs but i found myself again in a dilemma where DDR3 was actually "cheaper" than DDR2 sometime in 2008-2009.

    so i just sort of gave up. then i did the same with trying to upgrade my video card and back in 2010 i wanted to go with a 9800GTX or a 4870 or whatever this card was named, very powerful but turns out, i could get a cheaper card with better consumption for about the same money that my motherboard did not support.

    so what's the point of upgrading then? you're screwing yourself over with old tech when you can have a better one if you had a better motherboard.

    i would get back into the PC scene in a split second if they figured out how to eliminate that issue or at least stop giving incremental updates but worked more on generational ones. both of which will not happen because they are in it to make money and they want us to keep upgrading.

  11. #11
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    Well if I wasn't an enthusiast and power user then all I would do is upgrade my GPU and RAM. As long as you build a new PC at the start of when new tech is released then you won't have the problems you've been getting. In the last 10 years I have had 3 new builds. 2004, 2007, 2012. The 2007 PC had an upgrade of 4GB to 8GB RAM and two GPU upgrades. That second GPU upgrade is in the 2012 PC.

    Build at the start and just do small incremental upgrades as the years pass such as RAM and GPUs, but if new tech is coming out very soon then just wait and spend a little more and get a new rebuild, that's the way I do things and it seems to work nicely. It sounds like you're building PCs in the middle of a generation so you're getting caught out.

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    yeah, i was trying to build a computer that would work for my daily needs as well and that's usually a bad idea. well now i have a couple of laptops/phones so it's not a problem anymore but back then i wasn't into laptops/phones (i still am not) and so i had no choice but to build it when i needed it.

    the way i look at it, i'd actually try to build it at the end of a generation because that way you get a matured product, all kinks are out, it's also cheaper. and when you just can't use it anymore, keep it as a secondary computer, or sell it (or stop using it and just let it sit there) and just build a new one.

    in other words, i'm not a big fan of upgrading. i would rather just do it from scratch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omar View Post
    yup, that 1st reason there is why i could not continue upgrading my PC. upgrading just your GPU or RAM is a myth. it only works if you messed up the first time and you upgrade it within a year or two.
    Sufi pls, we've been over this already. Several times. PC gamers don't rely on upgrading just because they felt like being daring one day. It's a completely viable venture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omar View Post
    so what's the point of upgrading then? you're screwing yourself over with old tech when you can have a better one if you had a better motherboard.
    No, because the price to performance ratio can be much more beneficial and effective when upgrading. Why buy a new case with new RAM, HDD, Motherboard, PSU, and GPU when you can just buy that GPU alone and effectively get the same performance upgrade for much, much, much cheaper?

    As long as you weren't ignorant in building the PC from the start then you know there's room to upgrade still. If you're building with longevity in mind then get enough RAM and invest in a powerful CPU, then make GPUs disposable however you like. They rig will last for years and years.

    p.s. For the record I'm also not a fan of upgrading either. I want to build a solid PC that'll last for about 4-6 years. Then when I see some new tech amazing coming or I feel my PC isn't meeting my gaming wants any longer I'll scrounge up 1,000$ and build a new one. These larger intervals also give me that satisfaction of seeing the huge performance difference between my new and old computers.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerevar View Post
    Sufi pls, we've been over this already. Several times. PC gamers don't rely on upgrading just because they felt like being daring one day. It's a completely viable venture.
    there are different kinds of PC gamers too.

    No, because the price to performance ratio can be much more beneficial and effective when upgrading. Why buy a new case with new RAM, HDD, Motherboard, PSU, and GPU when you can just buy that GPU alone and effectively get the same performance upgrade for much, much, much cheaper?
    except you'd also get performance gains from upgrading everything else too. minus HDD/PSU.

    it is a real problem.

    As long as you weren't ignorant in building the PC from the start then you know there's room to upgrade still. If you're building with longevity in mind then get enough RAM and invest in a powerful CPU, then make GPUs disposable however you like. They rig will last for years and years.
    actually investing in a powerful CPU is pointless. you might as well get the cheaper one now and upgrade to a better one later. but i would only do that if it was cheaper than the newer better CPUs, most of the time they aren't. otherwise you are paying more for power that won't be used. i don't get the point in that.

    especially when newer CPUs (that would be better in everything) will be about the same in price difference you paid for yours years ago.

    p.s. For the record I'm also not a fan of upgrading either. I want to build a solid PC that'll last for about 4-6 years. Then when I see some new tech amazing coming or I feel my PC isn't meeting my gaming wants any longer I'll scrounge up 1,000$ and build a new one. These larger intervals also give me that satisfaction of seeing the huge performance difference between my new and old computers.
    and this supports my earlier statement. you would see a much larger performance gain. but you don't even need to spend $1000 on it. what i realized is that it's best to build one when the generation is becoming cheaper in price (new one is coming soon) and then wait for that one to mature. build a new one each time.

    you likely don't realize it but you may be subconsciously avoiding the issues i had with PCs.

    yes, if i just built one from scratch, i could see myself doing it but i'm not as big of a PC fan to do that every few years. especially since upgrading is so simple and easy. it's just not smart to do so.

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    Actually you'd be surprised that upgrading everything does NOT give performance gains, this is a myth that even overclockers don't seem to get. I'll go by how RAM works for instance.

    With RAM you can get 800MHz, 1000MHz, 1333MHz, 1666MHz, 2000Mhz, etc. and of course you get various different latency timings too. Now here's the problem, when you go for a higher hertz your timings will be slower, however if your hertz range purchased is higher then your latency will be slower. Granted this can be overclocked but here's the thing, for gamers there is zero need in getting expensive RAM because even the slowest RAM with the highest timings actually perform almost identical to the RAM with the fastest hertz and the lowest timings.

    The advantage of having such higher hertz range is the bandwidth which is critical for workstations and servers, in fact servers will benefit the greatest and will eat into RAM like crazy. Games, no matter how killer they are, are primarily focused on VRAM, this means that all the RAM does is pass through general purpose data that barely comes close to even filling up your lowest hertz'd RAM bandwidth.

    So is there a need to go for 2000MHz DDR3 if I was to only game? No. Is there a need to go for 2000MHz DDR3 if I was to render and multi-task at the same time while keeping a critically stable machine? Yes.

    The only thing you need to do as a gamer is to get yourself some nice cheap sticks of RAM and fling it into your motherboard and only upgrade the amount of RAM and not the hertz range. CPUs are also another issue here, most unknown gamers think that i7's are better than i5's at gaming, ironically i7's are slower than i5's at games at the equivalent hertz range. Having said that i5's get annihilated at workstation tasks.

    And funnily enough the biggest performance boost you can make nowadays IS the HDD and PSU. Getting the right PSU is key in keeping not only a stable PC but one that performs at a constant level. Cheap PSUs have poor rails and minor fluctuating voltages that can cause damage to your hardware and also cause your hardware to not run at a steady rate. The higher the efficiency the better - it's why I tell people that one of your most expensive parts in your PC MUST be a PSU.

    As for the HDDs this is perhaps the largest boost any PC can get. Swap out an HDD for an SSD and you'll have you applications load up almost instantly. Hell from Windows booting on an HDD it used to take me approximately 80 seconds from post to a usable state. Now it takes me barely 30 seconds from a cold boot. Even if you only have HDDs, RAID 0 them together and the speed almost triples itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omar View Post
    except you'd also get performance gains from upgrading everything else too. minus HDD/PSU.

    it is a real problem.
    Nope. Processors aren't advancing as quickly as graphics cards are. Spending several hundred on that new shiny CPU will only net you a couple of extra frames in a game. This is partially due to software still not taking advantage of the tremendous horsepower PC processors offer. Buying that new GPU, depending on your current GPU, can get you 20-50% boosts in performance depending on the game. For some that's worth upgrading every year or two.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omar View Post
    actually investing in a powerful CPU is pointless. you might as well get the cheaper one now and upgrade to a better one later. but i would only do that if it was cheaper than the newer better CPUs, most of the time they aren't. otherwise you are paying more for power that won't be used. i don't get the point in that.
    Also untrue. The difference between a mediocre and excellent gaming CPU can be a 100$ difference, and it will last you years longer showing effectively no effort in running the latest games. It doesn't make any sense to buy weak now then spend additional cost later. You should check how AMD's processor line fared a few years ago against Intel's (when the 2500k was making its rounds). It did not turn out well for those that with with AMD's weaker, but cheaper, CPUs. They just don't hold up, and many had to buy new mobos to upgrade or move to Intel. They ultimately got worse performance for a higher cost.

    You really should get back into the PC gaming scene first before making your usual strong statements. You're very disconnected from the reality of how it works now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerevar View Post
    They just don't hold up, and many had to buy new mobos to upgrade or move to Intel.
    Which is exactly what I did and the difference was immediate!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Varsh View Post
    Actually you'd be surprised that upgrading everything does NOT give performance gains, this is a myth that even overclockers don't seem to get. I'll go by how RAM works for instance.

    With RAM you can get 800MHz, 1000MHz, 1333MHz, 1666MHz, 2000Mhz, etc. and of course you get various different latency timings too. Now here's the problem, when you go for a higher hertz your timings will be slower, however if your hertz range purchased is higher then your latency will be slower. Granted this can be overclocked but here's the thing, for gamers there is zero need in getting expensive RAM because even the slowest RAM with the highest timings actually perform almost identical to the RAM with the fastest hertz and the lowest timings.

    The advantage of having such higher hertz range is the bandwidth which is critical for workstations and servers, in fact servers will benefit the greatest and will eat into RAM like crazy. Games, no matter how killer they are, are primarily focused on VRAM, this means that all the RAM does is pass through general purpose data that barely comes close to even filling up your lowest hertz'd RAM bandwidth.

    So is there a need to go for 2000MHz DDR3 if I was to only game? No. Is there a need to go for 2000MHz DDR3 if I was to render and multi-task at the same time while keeping a critically stable machine? Yes.

    The only thing you need to do as a gamer is to get yourself some nice cheap sticks of RAM and fling it into your motherboard and only upgrade the amount of RAM and not the hertz range. CPUs are also another issue here, most unknown gamers think that i7's are better than i5's at gaming, ironically i7's are slower than i5's at games at the equivalent hertz range. Having said that i5's get annihilated at workstation tasks.

    And funnily enough the biggest performance boost you can make nowadays IS the HDD and PSU. Getting the right PSU is key in keeping not only a stable PC but one that performs at a constant level. Cheap PSUs have poor rails and minor fluctuating voltages that can cause damage to your hardware and also cause your hardware to not run at a steady rate. The higher the efficiency the better - it's why I tell people that one of your most expensive parts in your PC MUST be a PSU.

    As for the HDDs this is perhaps the largest boost any PC can get. Swap out an HDD for an SSD and you'll have you applications load up almost instantly. Hell from Windows booting on an HDD it used to take me approximately 80 seconds from post to a usable state. Now it takes me barely 30 seconds from a cold boot. Even if you only have HDDs, RAID 0 them together and the speed almost triples itself.
    that's interesting about the RAM, i knew of the latency issues but was not aware that there wasn't much gain anyway. i guess i had low RAM and figured a generational upgrade would've been better. some of the reviewed i read did state that there were performance boosts...and i think they may have been talking about the bandwidth in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerevar View Post
    Nope. Processors aren't advancing as quickly as graphics cards are. Spending several hundred on that new shiny CPU will only net you a couple of extra frames in a game. This is partially due to software still not taking advantage of the tremendous horsepower PC processors offer. Buying that new GPU, depending on your current GPU, can get you 20-50% boosts in performance depending on the game. For some that's worth upgrading every year or two.
    i know CPUs don't matter much in gaming performance but they do matter with loading up the game and running your games a bit more stable...meaning a weak CPU wouldn't be good.

    But that’s beside the point, you’re stepping away from the real issue, which is, if you upgrade your mobo to get a better GPU (that is only possible if you make the generational jump), that is sometimes better than just being stuck with an older mobo with older tech. in my case, I needed a mobo upgrade to get the better GPU and I were to do that, it would be silly to keep my 3-4 year old CPU.

    It would make sense to buy a newer CPU so there’s no bottleneck and if I needed more RAM (which I definitely would), it would make no sense to keep the DDR2 RAM I had, it would’ve made more sense to get rid of that and get DDR3 instead. Point being, you might as well leave your PC alone and build a new one.

    Also untrue. The difference between a mediocre and excellent gaming CPU can be a 100$ difference, and it will last you years longer showing effectively no effort in running the latest games. It doesn't make any sense to buy weak now then spend additional cost later. You should check how AMD's processor line fared a few years ago against Intel's (when the 2500k was making its rounds). It did not turn out well for those that with with AMD's weaker, but cheaper, CPUs. They just don't hold up, and many had to buy new mobos to upgrade or move to Intel. They ultimately got worse performance for a higher cost.

    You really should get back into the PC gaming scene first before making your usual strong statements. You're very disconnected from the reality of how it works now.
    I don’t know how you can say the $100 difference without any real example. Trust me, I look for hours, days, weeks before I buy my builds. My decision was based on what I needed for the next few years and possibly upgrade to newer tech. what I realized is that if you want to buy a PC, you might as well let the generation mature a bit, buy the latest you can that takes advantage of the mobo/RAM/CPU/GPU from that generation and then keep it.

    The best thing I can do with an extra $100 is to buy a better GPU, which has nothing to with the issues I’m explaining you. I could buy a $1000 build that is future proof (2-3 years more) but you’re still stuck in that one generation you bought the stuff for. It doesn’t address that issue, the issue I have.

    My statements may seem strong to you because you may be interpreting them wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omar View Post
    i know CPUs don't matter much in gaming performance but they do matter with loading up the game and running your games a bit more stable...meaning a weak CPU wouldn't be good.
    Actually the HDD/SSD, FSB, and RAM are the most important factors in regard to loading data, the CPU simply processes what's been gathered. With modern CPUs they just don't make any difference to loads times whatsoever any more. However they make a huge difference in regards to gaming performance, especially if the game utilises multi-threading. Games are becoming far more complex in terms of mechanics and physics, and what calculates real-time physics? You guess it, the CPU. Nvidia do have a monopoly in this regard as AMD have to route the physics through the CPU in order for it to be able to render any kind of PhysX enabled game.

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    oh yea, i figured the HDD was a problem but did not realize it did more than give faster loading times. i guess i could see it giving less hiccups that may come due to loading data from the HDD.

    and i was also under the impression that GPU was taking the tasks of simulating physics.

    when i say CPU is also important, i don't mean it is more important, i mean that if i have a weak CPU, it's a bottleneck, i do understand that CPUs aren't needed for gaming as much as people think. i have never thought about upgrading my CPU in the past. they've always been decent.

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    This is what I have for one of my workstation:

    3930K
    64g of ram
    I had a K4000 but switched to a Titan Black.

    I'll end up probably getting a k6 once I can get hooked up.

    Why not go with 2 12core xeons instead, more cores for rendering.

    I use Max and VRay 3, as well as Zbrush. and yet I still plan on upgrading soon lol

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    Going dual Xeons would cost me 3600 for the CPUs alone, that's more than the rig I'm putting together itself!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Varsh View Post
    Going dual Xeons would cost me 3600 for the CPUs alone, that's more than the rig I'm putting together itself!
    why would you do that lol jeez

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    If I was rich then I would get them. Xeon's a workstation CPUs that, despite it's low clock, annihilates i7's at pretty much everything, but then they are 3 times more expensive.

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    oh i read that wrong, i thought you did get them. lol. 3600 pounds must be like $5k over here.

    EDIT: nvm, about $6100 O_O why are they an option

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