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madster111
The Original Pie Lover


Joined: 04 Jun 2006
Posts: 6263

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:22 am    Post subject: So you want to build a PC Reply with quote

Decided that i might as well post up a good guide of sorts for various budget builds of PCs for gaming.

PRICES CHANGE AND AS SUCH THE BEST BANG/BUCK COMPONENTS WILL CHANGE. ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE BEST DEALS, USE COMMON SENSE ON WHAT'S GOOD OR BAD, OR ASK FOR ADVICE IF YOU'RE UNSURE. This is meant to be used as a guide for the type of components to get and what they should cost - not a literal 'buy exactly this' thing.

All prices are from Amazon and are in USD. The best bang/buck components might also change depending on your location.
Due to SteamOS currently only supporting Nvidia, there are no AMD GPUs on this list despite usually being cheaper for the same performance. If you're not going to be using SteamOS, find the equivalent AMD GPU and see if you save money by going with it.

NONE OF THESE BUILDS INCLUDE WINDOWS, INSTEAD ALLOWING FOR A LINUX DISTRO & STEAMOS. IF YOU WANT WINDOWS, EITHER SPEND EXTRA OR BUY A DEAD PC WITH A WORKING KEY FOR CHEAP OFF EBAY.
All builds include the minimum specs needed to use steamOS and a graphics card powerful enough to make gaming enjoyable for a few years, however remember the more you spend the longer you'll get out of your components. All builds also include a wireless keyboard+mouse and a HDMI cable, allowing you to play from the couch. Simply add a wireless 360 controller if you want one and you're set.

All items are Amazon Prime where possible, saving you on shipping.
Last updated: December 2013

The $411 build
CASE+PSU:Cooler Master Elite 350 w/ 500w- $50
MOBO: Gigabyte FM2+ AMD A88X (Bolton D4) - $80
CPU: AMD A6-5400K - $55
RAM: Crucial 2x2gb DDR3 CT2KIT25664BA1339 - $45
GPU: PNY GTX650 1gb - $103
HDD: HGST Deskstar 500gb 3.5" - $50
Inland Pro Wireless keyboard and mouse - $18
2m bluerigger HDMI cable - $5
Operating System: Linux/SteamOS dual boot (4gb USB stick - $5)
Total Cost: $411usd


The $500 build
CASE: Thermaltake V3 Black Edition - $34
MOBO: Gigabyte GA-F2A88X-D3H - $94
CPU: AMD A6-5400K - $55
RAM: Corsair 2x4gb DDR3 CMV8GX3M2A1333C9 - $74
GPU: PNY GTX650 1gb - $103
HDD: WD Blue 1tb 3.5" - $60
PSU: Corsair CX-430M - $47
Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800 - $20
2m 'amazonbasics' HDMI cable - $6
Operating System: Linux/SteamOS dual boot (8gb USB stick - $7)
Total Cost: $500usd

The $700 build
CASE:Thermaltake V3 Black Edition - $34
MOBO: MSI 970A-G46 AM3+ - $80
CPU: AMD FX-6300 - $110
RAM: Crucial Ballistix 2x4gb BLS2CP4G3D1609DS1S00 - $78
GPU: ZOTAC GTX660 2gb - $190
SSD: Kingston 60gb V300 - $59
HDD: WD Blue 1tb 3.5" - $60
PSU: Corsair CX-500 - $50
Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800 - $20
2m 'amazonbasics' HDMI cable - $6
Operating System: Linux/SteamOS dual boot (8gb USB stick - $7)
Rosewill 120mm case fan - $5
Total Cost: $699usd

The $750 w/ windows to show dirkradke what's up build
CASE:Thermaltake V3 Black Edition - $34
MOBO: Gigabyte GA-F2A88X-D3H - $94
CPU: AMD A10-6800K - $130
RAM: Corsair 2x4gb DDR3 CMV8GX3M2A1333C9 - $74
GPU: ZOTAC GTX660 2gb - $190
HDD: HGST Deskstar 500gb 3.5" - $50
PSU: Corsair CX-500 - $50
Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800 - $20
2m 'amazonbasics' HDMI cable - $6
Operating System: Linux/SteamOS/Windows7 dual boot (8gb USB stick - $7)
Rosewill 120mm case fan - $5
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (OEM) - $89
The Dragon's Desire (Heart of the Dragon) [Kindle Edition] - $0.99
Faster Harder (Take Me... #1) (New Adult Romance Novel) [Kindle Edition] - $0.99
Total cost: $751usd

The $800 build
CASE:Thermaltake V3 Black Edition - $34
MOBO: ASRock Z87 PRO3 - $129
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K - $222
RAM: Crucial Ballistix 2x4gb BLS2CP4G3D1609DS1S00 - $78
GPU: ZOTAC GTX660 2gb - $190
HDD: WD Blue 1tb 3.5" - $60
PSU: Corsair CX-500 - $50
Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800 - $20
2m 'amazonbasics' HDMI cable - $6
Operating System: Linux/SteamOS/Windows7 dual boot (8gb USB stick - $7)
Rosewill 120mm case fan - $5
Total Cost: $801usd

The 'I want to run a 45gb texture pack with 16xAA' $925 build
CASE:Thermaltake V3 Black Edition - $34
MOBO: MSI 970A-G46 AM3+ - $80
CPU: AMD FX-6300 - $110
RAM: Crucial Ballistix 2x4gb BLS2CP4G3D1609DS1S00 - $78
GPU: Gigabyte GTX770 4gb - $390
SSD: Kingston 60gb V300 - $59
HDD: WD Blue 1tb 3.5" - $60
PSU: Corsair CX-600 - $65
Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800 - $20
2m 'amazonbasics' HDMI cable - $6
Operating System: Linux/SteamOS dual boot (8gb USB stick - $7)
Cooler Master 120mm silent fan 4-pack - $15
Total Cost: $924usd

The roughly $1000 build
CASE:Thermaltake V3 Black Edition - $34
MOBO: ASRock Z87 PRO3 - $129
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K - $222
RAM: Crucial Ballistix 2x4gb BLS2CP4G3D1609DS1S00 - $78
GPU: PNY GTX770 2gb - $350
SSD: Kingston 60gb V300 - $59
HDD: WD Blue 1tb 3.5" - $60
PSU: Corsair CX-600 - $65
Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800 - $20
2m 'amazonbasics' HDMI cable - $6
Operating System: Linux/SteamOS dual boot (8gb USB stick - $7)
Cooler Master 120mm silent fan 4-pack - $15
Total Cost: $1045usd

What i would personally build these days
CASE: NZXT Phantom 410 (white) - $85
MOBO: MSI Z87-G41 - $107
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K - $222
RAM: Crucial Ballistix 16gb (2x8gb) BLS2KIT8G3D1609DS1S00 - $134
GPU: Gigabyte GTX770 4gb - $390
SSD: Samsung 840 Evo 120gb - $90
HDD: WD Blue 1tb 3.5" - $60
PSU: Corsair TX-750M - $115
HSF: Corsair H100i - $120
Arctic Silver 5 - $8
Microsoft wired keyboard 400 - $15
My own old school Razer Deathadder (new ones are crap) - $40ish
2m 'amazonbasics' HDMI cable - $6
Windows 7 SP1 64bit / Kubuntu 13.10 dual boot (ADATA 16gb USB3 - $16)
2x SATA3 cables - $10
Total Cost: $1418usd
For reduced price, grab the $20 wireless microsoft keyboard+mouse and drop the 770 for a Zotac GTX760. Also go TX-650M and go for an 8gb usb stick, drop the SATA cables. More or less $1200 then.


The 'I just won a $500mil jackpot and don't even give a shit anymore' build
CASE: Corsair 900D - $320
MOBO: SuperMicro X9QR7-TF+ - $1,400
CPUs: 4x Intel Xeon E5-4620 - $1,917*4 = $7,668
RAM: 8x Kingston ValueRAM 64 GB Kit (4x16gb) ECC DDR3 - $758*8 = $6,064
GPUs: 2x Asus GTX690 4gb - $1,000*2 = $2,000
SSDs: 2x Samsung 840 EVO 1tb - $546*2 = $1,092
HDDs: 4x WD Black 4tb 3.5" - $250*4 = $1,000
PSU: Corsair AX1200i - $440
A dremel and about $1,000 worth of water cooling supplies - $1,050
Clicky clacky keyboard and 9,000,000dpi mouse - $350
4.5m 'amazonbasics' HDMI cable - $13
Operating System: Iunno, talk to NASA?
18x Corsair AF140 Quiet Edition fan - $19*18 - $342
Couple screw kits, welding kit, random pieces of scrap steel - $500
Hegar Urethral Sounds, 8 Piece - $12
'YIGO 7 Types Set New Top Unique Design Sex Toy Crystal Glass Transparent Calabash Shaped Anal Butt Plug Stimulate' - $42
Baconlube - $14
Fifty Shades of Bacon Paperback by Benjamin Myhre - $13
Total Cost: $22,320usd
32 cores w/ 512gb of ram
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Last edited by madster111 on Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:55 am; edited 9 times in total
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Toddy



Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the $700 and $750 builds, why use the 6800k? The FX 6300 or even FX 8320 would be better.
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madster111
The Original Pie Lover


Joined: 04 Jun 2006
Posts: 6263

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toddy wrote:
For the $700 and $750 builds, why use the 6800k? The FX 6300 or even FX 8320 would be better.

True. I'll update them, as well as the $900 build tomorrow.

Also like to point out i found a forum glitch.
Say's 'edited 1 time in total'. This is not even remotely the case.
I'm full retard at 3am
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Green_Lantern
Spacecataz


Joined: 06 Nov 2008
Posts: 5172

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where's the "fuck off with that budget bullshit" build?
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Mobius_Sean



Joined: 18 Sep 2006
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Green_Lantern wrote:
Where's the "fuck off with that budget bullshit" build?


That would be the $6000 monstrosity my best friend keeps threatening to build. He keeps saying "This build will be future-proof for the next 6 years!" And I'm always like, "And in 3 years I'll be able to build something more powerful for 1/6 the cost!"

Scary part is he's got the income to do it, I'm just trying to keep his finger off the trigger.
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Master_Craig
i liek to draw pictures


Joined: 02 Jul 2006
Posts: 1451

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that sounds like some impressive prices... I bought my custom built PC last year (around October). Unfortunately I can't break down the price for the parts as I bought it from an Australian website that essentially puts it together for you, but here's mine.

Please note: some of these parts I have no idea what they are/do, I was just recommended by the retailers as well as my friends to suit my needs (video games and multimedia).

-Antex DF30 Dark Fleet Case with Card Reader
-Hytec/Hipro Heavy Duty Low Noise 850W Power Supply
-ASROCK (Asus) z68 EXTREME Gen3, PCle 3.0, SATA3, USB3.0, QUAD SLI, 7.1CH Audio
-2nd generation Intel i7-2600 Core i7 QUAD Core 3.4 GHz, LGA1155 CPU
-Thermaltake ISGC 300 Low Noise CPU Fan & Heatsink
-nVidia Geforce GTX 560Ti 2GB DVI/HDMI/VGA Graphics Card
-LG SATA 24 Speed Dual Layer DVD Burner
-Seagate 1 Terrabyte SATA3 HDD
-16 Gigabytes 1600Mhz DDR3 G.Skill/Elixir Memory

Admittingly I was kinda being cheap with the HDD (as I only got 1 TB) but I'm going to upgrade the computer in the future with a few more hard drives and maybe even an SSD. I'm also thinking about upgrading the graphics card... I'm pretty happy with the RAM and the processor.

All up this was $1,844 AUD ($1,653.70 USD) which includes 24 months warranty, assembled for me and delivered with insurance. Does this sound fair at the time (October 2010)? Also, there was no operating system installed on it at the time, I had to do that myself to save a bit of money.
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madster111
The Original Pie Lover


Joined: 04 Jun 2006
Posts: 6263

PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mobius_Sean wrote:
That would be the $6000 monstrosity my best friend keeps threatening to build.

$6k is easy mode, man. Check out the build.

Also just realized that if i cheaped out on my next car i could do a quad-titan build.
Only a little tempted.

Master_Craig wrote:
All up this was $1,844 AUD ($1,653.70 USD) which includes 24 months warranty, assembled for me and delivered with insurance. Does this sound fair at the time (October 2010)? Also, there was no operating system installed on it at the time, I had to do that myself to save a bit of money.

Sounds like a slightly more powerful version of mine. IIRC i spent close to $1350 after everything was said and done, but i built it quite bit after you and assembled it myself. Seems like a decent enough price considering it was pre-built.

Should definitely go SSD. Wish i could squeeze an SSD into the $500 build, but i just can't. Very worth the extra $60, though, even for only a 60gb.

You sound like you'll be doing exactly what i'm doing. Gonna grab a new SSD (840 evo 120gb) and a few new HDDs (2x WD 2tbs), reinstall a fresh copy of windows and install only the good games/programs at the same time as a GPU upgrade and damn good clean out + higher CPU overclock.
GTX760 combined with 4.8ghz should tide me over for another 2-3 years.


You guys should see what builds you can do. Maybe fill in some of my gaps, like a $600 and $1200-1400 one
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MattAY
Posh B**tard


Joined: 02 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's cool maddy. Will help some rookies out there I'm sure.
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danielrbischoff



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Might use one of these builds if I hit the jackpot this Christmas.
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Lethean
Big Fat Poo Head Who Ignores GR


Joined: 27 Jan 2001
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was interested in trying the SteamOS. Then I realized I could only play 13 of my Steam library games on it. But this is helpful for those that want to build a SteamOS based machine. Good job!
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UrbanMasque
Don't Feed Him


Joined: 16 May 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thankds for the list dude!

I'm interested in this - and this is what I've put together - http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2keDW

I'm going smaller. Rather than price I've like something slim and portable but still powerful.

What can you help me out with? Got a build better/cheaper than this?
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madster111
The Original Pie Lover


Joined: 04 Jun 2006
Posts: 6263

PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lethean wrote:
I was interested in trying the SteamOS. Then I realized I could only play 13 of my Steam library games on it.

That's why a linux/steamOS dual boot is useful. Wine opens up a ton of possibilities, as does stuff like emulators.
I'm gonna try SteamOS soon. I'm hoping it'll take off - after seeing the mess that is Windows 8/8.1, we're gonna have to find something else eventually. Maybe we can convince google and steam to join up and make something.

UrbanMasque wrote:
I'm interested in this - and this is what I've put together - http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2keDW
I'm going smaller. Rather than price I've like something slim and portable but still powerful.

What can you help me out with? Got a build better/cheaper than this?

A lot of that looks quite expensive. The ram, for example can be cheapened a lot by going for a 2x4gb kit, something like the $77 crucial ballistix XT kit from newegg.
The CPU is a boxed one and thus should already come with a cooler. It's a crap one, but it'll do the job. Spending $44 on an intel one is pretty bad even if it wasn't a boxed CPU, as MUCH better coolers can be had for $25 or so.
Now, speaking of the CPU - there's no reason to get 4770S. You either want a 4670K or a 4770K. The unlocked ones are extremely useful, even if you don't want extra performance - at stock locks you can undervolt them significantly, producing less heat and using less energy. Another $30 for future proofing and/or less heat to deal with is very worth it, especially when going HTPC.

The Corsair SSD is also a bad choice. Although they're very good, being fast and reliable, the simple fact is that Samsung 840 evos are the quickest SSDs on the market and cheaper. $175 for a 250gb evo vs $230 for the 240gb corsair, the choice is pretty simple.

Otherwise, the motherboard, case and GTX660 all look good. You might have to modify the case a bit to get the GTX660 to fit well, but that's not too had. Tin snips and a file if you have to.

That slimline blu-ray reader is pretty expensive. You should be able to find one out of a laptop for much cheaper off ebay.
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UrbanMasque
Don't Feed Him


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems legit.



I'll let you know when I start ordering components. I was going to start with the Motherboard and Case in Jan if not end of the month.
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Mobius_Sean



Joined: 18 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

madster111 wrote:
Lethean wrote:
I was interested in trying the SteamOS. Then I realized I could only play 13 of my Steam library games on it.

That's why a linux/steamOS dual boot is useful. Wine opens up a ton of possibilities, as does stuff like emulators.
I'm gonna try SteamOS soon. I'm hoping it'll take off - after seeing the mess that is Windows 8/8.1, we're gonna have to find something else eventually. Maybe we can convince google and steam to join up and make something.


What I was hearing from Valve today seems to indicate that SteamOS doesn't play nicely with dual-boot at the moment. As I was not one of the lucky chosen for the core Beta, I'll be sticking to the Ubuntu/Win7 I'm rocking now. Newell seemed to indicate that non member Beta patches will be slow to trickle out: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/12/everything-you-need-to-know-to-install-steamos-on-your-very-own-computer/

With that out of the way, I'm excited to see how it turns out. If Windows breaks their pattern, (Good OS -> Shit OS -> Good OS -> Shit OS becomes Shit OS -> Shit OS -> Shit OS) I'll HAVE to switch over. I love 7, but I can't stay behind on Direct X upgrades forever, and I'll be damned if my monitor will ever see a tiled OS on it...

...although my poor little laptop might enjoy a lower overhead OS, and has been largely relegated to Youtube duties... Will investigate this option tomorrow on my day off, when I'm sober/alert.
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madster111
The Original Pie Lover


Joined: 04 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a little netbook thing that came with Windows 8. The lower overhead would've been great for it.

Right around the time i discovered i had to go into the operating system just to get into the UEFI/BIOS was around the same time i decided Microsoft could go and get fucked.
Metro is absolutely horrible and i will never use an operating system that aims to prevent me from installing other operating systems on my own goddamn hardware.

At least the windows 8 drivers have a tendency to work on windows 7, at least in my experience.


UrbanMasque wrote:
I'll let you know when I start ordering components. I was going to start with the Motherboard and Case in Jan if not end of the month.

Remember to keep shopping around as you go along, good deals might pop up in random places. You might be able to get a good combo deal for a 4770k and, like, 8gb of ram or something on newegg.

Also see if you can win an auction for a cheap GTX670 or HD7970 on ebay.
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Toddy



Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

madster111 wrote:
Also see if you can win an auction for a cheap GTX670 or HD7970 on ebay.


I wouldn't look for a AMD HD7950 or higher at the moment, because of mining for coins. The price of AMD hardware on Ebay has rocketed.

Wait until the mining bubble has burst and wait for the flood of GPU's.
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Mobius_Sean



Joined: 18 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

::photo removed due to operator idiocy:;

Since I recently wiped the drive on my laptop decided to give Linux "easy mode" a go.


Last edited by Mobius_Sean on Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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UrbanMasque
Don't Feed Him


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mobius, lets scale down these images playa playa
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Shaft wrote:
I let her come up with the safe word...thats about it

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Mobius_Sean



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Posts: 83

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite right. It's apparently an imgur thing. Considering it's going pretty off topic I'll just axe the pic and state simply: Giving Linux Mint a shot.
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UrbanMasque
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

madster111 wrote:
the simple fact is that Samsung 840 evos are the quickest SSDs on the market and cheaper. $175 for a 250gb evo vs $230 for the 240gb corsair, the choice is pretty simple..


I like cheap. Mounting this is the question - will I need to buy some brackets to place this into the case?
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Shaft wrote:
I let her come up with the safe word...thats about it

De-Ting wrote:
One-on-one brings out the true nazi in people.

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