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Build

Mini Beast - Small Gaming Build ($1500)

by cbuchhauser

91
113 Comments

Details

Date Published

Dec. 10, 2014

Date Built

Dec. 6, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

4 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

60.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.076 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7 GHz

Description

I wasn't planning on building a new PC, but I spotted this case while checking Black Friday deals. From what I know, this is the smallest conventional case that can support current gaming demands. Well, that part was debatable. It was the forum naysayers calling this case "stupid, impracticable and useless" that sold me on it. How could I refuse the challenge? And the first compact GTX 970 was just released? I'm going to make this work (and without cutting corners). Check out my Imgur album for more info on the challenges and modifications made to get this done: http://imgur.com/a/3I5wv

Please ask me questions! I'd love to talk :)

Comments Sorted by:

chowsownsomepizza 1 Build 11 points 52 months ago

A ruler, an iPhone but no banana for scale? Now I will never see its true size...

chowsownsomepizza 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

HOLY BALLS THAT IS SMALL. Thanks...now I know what to build for a future HTPC/PC console.

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 2 points 52 months ago

I will deliver, just give me a little time...

[comment deleted]
sajiin 4 points 52 months ago

Beast is such a taboo word on here cause it has been overused so much but your tiny little build is so badass that I think mini beast is a very accurate description of what you have here sir. Well done. "You are now free to game about the country!"

maneatintaco 3 points 52 months ago

How is it taboo if everyone uses it?

KawaiiSailorKitty 1 point 52 months ago

I think he just means it's overused and that if you use it you might not get as much respect :p

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 3 points 52 months ago

Good point. Renaming it the 360 Swagger Reker

KawaiiSailorKitty 1 point 52 months ago

XD

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Woohoo! I had to name it quickly for the post, but I am open to suggestions for a new name.

chowsownsomepizza 1 Build 4 points 52 months ago

My Little PC? The Uber Kitten? Whopper Jr.? PC Mustard rice? yeah..retarded names...

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M3RICA_ 3 points 52 months ago

Bring that thing to a LAN party, and they'll have rainbow mouths... +1

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 47 months ago

Finally got to bring it to a LAN! It attracted a lot of attention... haha

elpidio 7 Builds 3 points 52 months ago

Fantastic job Sir. Great job in fitting the optical drive in there. I know most people leave it out completely nowadays even in Full sized builds. But you've manged to fit it into this case. Well done.

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 2 points 52 months ago

Thanks! I was tempted to put the hard drive up there instead and call it a day, but I made it work.

tobleroneuk 1 Build 2 points 52 months ago

Nice build, well done to get everything to fit and a good balance between power and functionality

jacobs4525 1 Build 2 points 52 months ago

Absolutely fantastic build. Grab a tenkeyless keyboard and a mouse, bring it to a friends house, plug it into their TV and you're good to go. I love these tiny little builds.

bloodroses75 1 Build 2 points 52 months ago

Nice build. Case is a little large though. ;)

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Haha

bloodroses75 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Honestly, there are smaller cases that can handle the same level of hardware. Not that this case is large by any means though. :)

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

I didn't mean to sounds like I was self-proclaiming a title or anything, but I truly had not seen a smaller case (except for the NCASE M1 I learned of this morning, which has the PC-TU100 beat by millimeters). Do you have any examples of smaller builds with competitive specs?

pegotico 2 Builds 2 points 50 months ago

this one is not in production yet but comparing it to the lian li tu100 170 mm (W) x 277 mm (H) x 252 mm (D), 11.86 liters

the A4 seems very promising at only 6.6 liters, almost half size 110mm x 196mm x 306mm, 6,6L

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1799326

na1nsxr 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

It's actually quite easy since the EVGA Hadron Air is smaller and has much bigger CPU cooler clearance and video card length space. The appeal of the TU-100 is the handle, which makes it suitable as carryon luggage or just generally more convenient if it will be transported often.

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 47 months ago

The EVGA Hadron Air is definitely not smaller (6.30" x 10.79" x 9.49" vs 6.6" x 12" x 12.1"), but I'm really digging the airflow that it has built in. And it can support a full graphics card. Really nice!

bloodroses75 1 Build 0 points 52 months ago

That is one of them that I know of. Also the silverstone RVZ01 / ML07 in actual overall internal space, but is longer/wider/skinnier due to the video card being on a riser card.

weredawg 2 points 52 months ago

Absolutely love this build. Contemplated going with that case and cooler but wasn't sure of the restricted airflow but man your modding is perfect. Nice job.

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Thanks!

12345678 1 Build 2 points 50 months ago

OMG i have the same ruler as you!

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 50 months ago

Ruler buddies!

[comment deleted by staff]
f0dor. 2 points 49 months ago

is that thing a case, or a briefCASE :D

jg900ss 2 points 41 months ago

Excellent build. My favorite photo is actually the one with the NZXT Vulcan in the background. The Vulcan is my favorite case of all time. Too bad its not made anymore.

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 41 months ago

Thanks. Yeah, I still love that case. Small, good handle, huge side fan.

Sheepzorable 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Wow, very unique case, I like it though +1

Iamgeeli 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

that's awesome man. it's like a little suitcase! Would be awesome bringing this out while you're traveling through conventions or just for LANS and watching people's jawdrop when they see it's running an i7/GTX970 lol! Cool autobots decal on the front too, where can i get something like that?

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

My mom got it for me when she was out of town in a random gift shop, but I'm sure they're all over ebay. Just look for Decepticon Plastic Badge or Sticker.

gigagoku12 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Is that an autobot?

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

It's a Decepticon (I also have the Autobot one somewhere)

gigagoku12 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

I thought so

xNightCaster 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Wow! now THAT'S amazing! +1 How are your temps on that mini 970?

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 2 points 52 months ago

30 idle and 50-60 gaming. I'm really impressed with it. The added bottom fan helps tremendously.

xNightCaster 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Nice! Those are about the same temps im getting with my gigantic 780 Ti... Have you attempted overclocking it yet? (or is that pushing the limit?)

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 2 points 52 months ago

I have not. I definitely could, but I don't see the need. Maybe when I see an ounce of lag on something in the distant future, I'll consider it :)

Hiatus0809 1 point 42 months ago

I'm assuming fan is an intake. I'm on mobile and can't really tell.

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Yes, both the front and bottom fans are intakes. I could put a very small outtake fan on the back of the case, but I don't think it's necessary.

Hiatus0809 1 point 42 months ago

I'm thinking of doing two fans in the bottom, like so: http://imgur.com/zirLnk2

eopest 9 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Q. Why only DDR3-1600? Or was that to be able to get the 1 TB SSD? Otherwise, WOW!

RPiAwesomeness 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Personally, I don't think you need anything above DDR3-1600 in a regular, non-APU build. It doesn't improve anything very much at all.

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Ah, good to know. I'm not very familiar with RAM speeds and the difference they make.

gigagoku12 1 Build 2 points 52 months ago

Fast ram is best for APU's because unlike a GPU, it does not have dedicated VRAM. 1600 is completely fine for what you use it for.

ECC is also best for workstations or server PC's that can't crash or fail.

Just some RAM info

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Appreciate the info

RPiAwesomeness 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

There's no need to go for anything above 1600 or maybe 1866 MHz RAM on a non-APU system. Linus does a great video explaining this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWgzA2C61z4

Definitely something you should watch

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

RAM is probably the component I know least about. Darn! You're making me want to return these sticks and upgrade.

eopest 9 Builds 2 points 52 months ago

Well... if I had that 4790K, I'd probably want to try for as much memory bandwidth as I could get and maybe go with a 480 or 512 GB SSD but I'm greedy. The extra heat you might dump into that case may not be worth what extra performance you could squeeze out. Then there's the fact you got all that in there in the first place; kudos to your planning and building skills!

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Thanks for the info!

RPiAwesomeness 1 Build 2 points 52 months ago

There's no need to go for anything above 1600 or maybe 1866 MHz RAM on a non-APU system. Linus does a great video explaining this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWgzA2C61z4

Definitely something you should watch

DDawg426 1 point 52 months ago

Nice build! Are you planning to OC your i7 sometime? I just ordered an i7-4790K, and the NH-L9i, and I'm worried I won't be able to do even a small overclock ;_;.

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Na, I don't plan on it. To be honest, I haven't really ever tried overclocking because I never needed to.

DDawg426 1 point 52 months ago

Alright, just checking. I was only curious cause you bought a K series chip :p

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Yeah, the price difference is so miniscule that I buy the K chips just in case I ever decide to try OC'ing.

DDawg426 1 point 52 months ago

That's a good idea. Once I finish my PC-Q30 build next week, I'm afraid I may have to take the "Smallest Current Gaming Build" title from you :p

sapphiretech368 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

how much room between the bottom and the GPU? just wondering if a NF-12 would fit there

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

It won't, or else I would have gotten it! Haha. There's only room for a half inch fan. The NF-12 is a full inch - it might fit, but it would be pushing the GPU. Bad idea. The one I got isn't half bad.

sapphiretech368 2 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

thanks for the info!

Applepiez 1 point 51 months ago

That's awesome man! Also I've got a few questions: As listed earlier here would a nf-12 fit in there? That would be sweet. What's the diameter of the hole you drilled? Couldn't you better have used Crucial Ballistix Tactical ram? (low profile better latencies) Did you just used the sfx's psu cables or did you used others? And my last question: I've seen the temps in the system, is it warming up the room where it is standing and how is the noise production?

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 2 points 51 months ago
  1. No, the NF-12 won't fit below the GPU. It's 1 inch tall, and only a half inch fan will fit. 2. 120mm hole, same size as the fan. 3. Yeah, I wish I did more research on RAM. The stuff I got is low profile enough, though. 4. I bought short/slim PSU cables. They're the last item on my list at the top. They're awesome. If you're building with this case, definitely a must-buy. 5. I've only played WoW on max settings so far (1080p), but I haven't felt the case heat up or get noisy yet. Very happy with the temps and sound. Haven't seen the CPU or GPU touch 70C yet.
greendouglash 6 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Can you run some benchmarks, I have the same case with a 4690s and I'm looking at upgrading to the mITX 970 this month. I want to know what that card is capable of. I was able to fit a Corsair H55 in that case by swapping the front fan for the corsair and just adding the rubber grommets to it. You have to install it sideways though so it won't interfere with the RAM and stuff, but it would help if you want to overclock that 4790k.

soulpowa 1 point 51 months ago

Did that case come with the hole in the bottom for the extra fan? Is that normal?

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

No, I cut it. Dude! Look at the Imgur album

soulpowa 2 points 51 months ago

yeah, i did look at it, and i thought you did, but it looked so good i thought it might've just come like that! lol.. anyway, how did you cut it? really good idea..and i can't believe cases don't come like that especially with the video card being so closed in there..

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

No worries. I actually have a confession to make - I didn't cut it myself. My mom works with a metal guy who made the cut look easy. He used one of these. The case is aluminum, so it's super easy to cut. I agree, this case would be perfect if they just made a few minor changes come standard.

LordOfSin 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

cool i was gonna ask how now i know

SilkyZ 1 Build 1 point 51 months ago

Just built a rig like this with the Zotac. I regret not having the flat cables

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Never too late to get 'em

SilkyZ 1 Build 2 points 50 months ago

This is true.

I am going to also cut the hole at the bottom for airflow like you did. I really like the SSD mount on the panel there, really slick idea.

LordOfSin 1 Build 1 point 51 months ago

such a clean cut out you did at the bottom what tool did you use

carterjohnson25 1 Build 1 point 50 months ago

Nice build. Love that case. We had the same idea. Silverston SG05 is only 12 cubic inches bigger. but 1) Supports full size 10.5 inch 970 2) Dual 120mm fans + watercooler Radiator 3) 3 EVO's 840 in Raid 0 4) 1 2.5 2tb HD 5) Over clockable to what ever your i7 will support

(no optical though)

http://pcpartpicker.com/b/8ND8TW

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 50 months ago

Sweet build, and your temp's look good too.

Bladedrummer 4 Builds 1 point 50 months ago

I love it!

SonicImmora 1 point 49 months ago

Very nice build. I'm going for a setup very similar to this but I'll have 2 fan cut outs top AND bottom (I'm very paranoid with the airflow). I noticed you mounted your ssd on the side panel which is a clever move. Do you think there is enough space to mount a 3.5" HDD on there instead? I don't feel like making my current storage unit external or selling it lol.

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

I'm not sure it will work, friend. There is not enough space in between the side and the other components unless you can squeeze it in between the PSU and the front fan. But check it out. Barely 3.5" in between, and a 3.5 HDD is 4" wide.

SonicImmora 2 points 49 months ago

Maybe if I use a slim fan in the front it might work. Wouldn't want to give up my 3TB :3 my only other option is to make it external. Thanks a lot for the help friend, really appreciate it. Can't wait to use this case :D.

kozio235 1 point 49 months ago

Just wondering, but where did you get the fan grills? I'm planning on getting a 3 fanned gtx 980 so I'll probably put three holes in the bottom, no fans though. That way the gpu has a way to suck in air. Should I put slim fans in there? Also is it possible to have a 25mm fan on the cpu cooler instead of the stock one?

kozio235 1 point 49 months ago

Mulit fan GPUs are too big, I'll just do one hole, but is the fan necessary?

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Here's the grill I bought. And the aftermarket cpu fan I used is, no joke, literally the only fan I could find that will fit besides the stock one. Had to return the first one I tried.

psices 1 point 49 months ago

First off, strong work. Second did you have to make any mods to the wiring for powering the drives and the fans? Third had you tried the gpu prior to cutting? If so how were the temps? Fourth in your opinion would there be power and room for a second ssd?

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

1- Thanks!
2- No mods, but I highly recommend going with a little modular Silverstone and then getting their slim wires that are on my items list. They are 100% essential to make airflow in this thing work. And twisty ties.
3- I did not, actually. I knew I wanted to make the cut before I even received parts, though.
4- Power? Yes. Space? The only possibility I can see is if you can sacrifice your slim optical drive. That spot will work great for a SSD.

LamboGames 1 point 48 months ago

Would you mind explaining how you cut a hole on the bottom and attached the silverstone fan grille to the case and then attached the fan? Did you need any nuts to hold down the fan to the fan grille??

I am looking to make the same case mod as you so please reply :D Would you also mind posting your initial temps before the fan mod vs after the case mod?

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 48 months ago

I didn't cut the hole myself, I knew someone with a large circular drill that could make the cut. And then yeah, it's just secured with little screws and washers. I didn't test temps prior to the hole, so I can't answer that. Sorry!

Archarin 1 point 45 months ago

Why did you have to cut the case? I'm interested in doing something like this, but wanted to know if you have to mod it.

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 2 points 45 months ago

I wanted a fan underneath the GPU to give it more airflow, so I made a new hole underneath the case.

AngelaPuppy 1 point 43 months ago

If you're not oc'ing why use the Z97 and not the H97? Also how's the WiFi working out for you so far? Any issues? Is the WiFi an external add on, I heard it's difficult to connect, is this true? Thanks for sharing your build, it's awesome. I think I'll get it. Sorry in advance if somebody asked these questions, I read most of the comments I think and didn't see them asked. Take care.

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 2 points 43 months ago

I'm glad you enjoyed the build! Neither of your questions have been asked.

I actually just finished switching my Noctua fan with Corsair H60 water cooling tonight (it's an insanely tight fit). I'm not overclocking right now, but I just like having the option. I am on a LAN connection, so I can't give a good review of the WIFI. It comes with external antennas that you plug into the back, but you could upgrade the antenna separately if you wanted. Let me know if any more questions come up. I'm going to try to add my few little updates to this build page soon.

AngelaPuppy 1 point 43 months ago

2 more questions, so you think it's a smart move to add the water cooling and I bought the GTX 970 Overclocked Mini Itx, you think the heat off the gpu will be a problem? Is your card oc'd?

AngelaPuppy 1 point 42 months ago

any updates?

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Sorry for my super late reply... I got it in! Super tight squeeze, but it's running like a champ: http://imgur.com/p1bI40d

AngelaPuppy 1 point 39 months ago

Thank you for the response. Sorry for my late response. I'm a bit stuck on 3 things, (1) which Corsair Water Cooler you used [was it the H60], did you keep the 140mm fan or did you change that too AND (2) How did you supply power to the fan mounted at the bottom of the case AND (3) did you modify the case feet, I can't find any feet that are similar diameter, but taller (any luck?) - thank you for your help!!! Waiting your reply.

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 2 points 39 months ago

(1) Yes, I am using an H60. I removed the front fan and replaced it with the H60's fan and radiator grill.
(2) It's running off my MOBO's case fan pins.
(3) Pretty sure these are what I bought and replaced the case feet with. Another tight fit!

AngelaPuppy 1 point 38 months ago

hey one more question please, did you have to remove any rivets to get the original case fan off?

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

Nope. My fan had a rubber twist-on mount. I just unscrewed the rubber mounting pad from the stock fan and put it onto the radiator fan.

Neo_Gatsby 1 point 43 months ago

What did you use to cut the hole in the bottom of the case?

vikingXcore 4 Builds 1 point 41 months ago

Hey! Don't know if you check this site at all recently, but my friend and I are about to build in this case (TU100A, not B), and I was just wondering how you made the bottom 120mm fan mount. I wouldn't mind cutting into it, but this won't be my computer, it'd be my friend's. I would love to know how so that I could try to convince him on it. Would a standard case fan fit in the bottom with a R9 Nano or did you use a low-profile fan (sorry, haven't used the prolimatech fan before). I'm sure the fan bracket would be an easy find, but getting the hole cut is something i've never done before. Hope to hear from you soon!

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 41 months ago

I'm not very familiar with the R9 nano. But just from googling it, I don't think it will give room for a standard case fan. Just buy a slim one and a fan grill - they're like 7 bucks on Amazon. As far as cutting the hole, I took it to a metal shop and asked them to cut a 120mm hole. They used a circular drill head.

vikingXcore 4 Builds 1 point 41 months ago

ah a metal shop great! Ya it's a pain trying to find a good low-profile fan. Was the fan you used touching the graphics card or did it have any space between the card and the fan?

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 1 point 41 months ago

It's a super tight fit. Once the graphics card is secured, I can barely fit my pinkie finger between them. Low profile fans work fine, but they're a little louder than standard sized ones. Not really much of a choice, though!

bowsandarrows 1 point 41 months ago

just out of interest, do you think it would take much modding to fit a FlexATX PSU in there? would save a lot of vital space in the system, although i'm not sure it would work well given there is already a cutout for SFX PSUs.

Also, since we're talking about this, an absolute dream would be to put the HDPLEX 240W fanless PSU with a AC-DC converting adapter either outside the case, or crammed in sowmwhere wherever the extra space manifests... do you think that's possible??

DTI466 1 Build 1 point 39 months ago

Not bad.

AngelaPuppy 1 point 36 months ago

Last August 2015, after seeing this exact build here from Cbuchhauser I decided to build it for my daughter's Christmas present. TLDR; nothing but trouble ever since. Literally 9 months of non-stop drama. At first it was the CPU overheating [Intel Xeon 1231v3], which is super strange b/c its known to run cooler than most other cpus, so I talked to Cbuchhauser and he suggested an H60 water cooler. So I did that... now, the GPU was overheating hitting 83C-85C under normal game play load. He suggested drilling a hole in the bottom of the case and using it as an intake fan. I did that... the gpu went off the charts actually blackscreening my system. So, the radiator for the H60 water block is placed in front of the FRONTPANEL intake fan... so, hot air is actually getting blown back into the case, where the bottom fan is pushing air into the case, but first passing over the hot GPU with nowhere for the air to go, so the mobo gets hotter than usual, including RAM. Unfortunately, the rear of the case is taken up by the PSU and that fan is pretty small, it's a SFX modular form that can sit on the palm of your hand. This is a hotbox. I have never been able to use the PC without the side panel off.

My daughter plays MineCraft with SUES Shadderspacks, Planetside2, Eve Online, DC Universe Online, she makes "Let's Play" videos using Adobe Creative Cloud etc., so, she really needs something that can stand a torture test. For some reason, playing any of those games in full screen mode kills the GPU. It's loud. So, imagine everytime you play a game or look at a HD video the fan goes to 80-90%... it's loud, hot and a pain in my @$$. I hate this build with a passion. This would've been maybe my 50th build, so I'm not entirely new to the DIY build scene. If you're planning on taxing your system with high performance settings while playing games, don't use this case. If you're ok with windowed mode, average settings then go for it. My build includes the ASUS VG248QE 144hz monitor also. Why buy all this hardware if you can't use it, right? I'm building 2 new pc's. I plan on using the Corsair 380T mini-itx and either the ASUS GTX 970 oc mini or the R Nano. I have all pics and videos, will post my experience later. Hope this helps somebody. Cbuchhauser was awesome to me, he really helped where he could - I'm curious, I'd love to see his system specs under load, video it for like 10 minutes with the case closed. Thank you Cbuchhauser for all your help.

cbuchhauser submitter 2 Builds 2 points 36 months ago

Damn, sorry to hear about all the trouble this build has given you! I will admit that my machine is on the louder side (a non-issue since I wear headphones), but I've been lucky not to run into any real problems. Hopefully a different case will treat your components better :) and I'll consider doing a quick video of my machine in action. I appreciate the write up.

AngelaPuppy 1 point 36 months ago

Another thing I realized is that the Gigabyte GTX 970 OC mini-itx actually sits with no vent towards the rear, it vents the hot air towards the front of the case - basically, the mobo and water-cooling radiator physically block off the front lower GPU vent area fairly well, so the GPU hot air has nowhere really to go. I thought about trying the R9 Nano or the Asus Gtx 970 mini-itx b/c they have the venting positioned correctly "out the back", doh. lol.

I love the case. I will keep it for myself and mess about with it, possibly adding a water cooled GPU to the top of the case with the radiator actually on top. More drilling, which I also love so no worries - you have been amazing support and I want you to know I appreciate your level of professionalism and attention when you're not being paid anything... thank you.

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