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Windows 7: Building a new computer, help/info needed!

06 Feb 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Building a new computer, help/info needed!

Hi everybody!

So, as the title says, I'm building myself a new computer, and I could really need some help with, well, almost everyhing really, so I got a ton of questions.
My uses for the computer will mainly be gaming, but also for everyday use and a little Adobe Photoshop/Flash work to mention a few.
I'm gonna try to keep this post as tidy and factual as possible, but please bare with me even if it gets a little jumbled and what not.

So let's talk business shall we?


1. CPU:
I've been looking at three different CPUs, all from Intel, these being the i5-3570K, i7-2600K, and the i7 3770K, but I don't really know which one to go for. I'm planning on overclocking the CPU (which when the time comes I'll also make a thread about) if that makes a difference. I am aware that buying the i5 would save me a few bucks, but the price difference ain't really too big so it doesn't really matter to me.

The i7-3770K is the newest of the three, being of the microarchitecture Ivy Bridge, while the other two are Sandy Bridge, does this matter a lot?

I know that Ivy Bridge is made(?) using(?) 22nm lithography, while Sandy Bridge is made using 32nm, which I believe effect the amount of power the CPU uses as well as how easy it is to keep it cooled. I don't think temperature will be much of a problem as I'm planning on using a Corsair Hydro Series H100i CPU cooler which I believe will be sufficient enough.

Is it true that the i7-2600K only supports PCIe 2.0 as opposed to the other two supporting PCIe 3.0? 'Cause if that's the case than the i7-2600K is out of the equation, being that I'm buying a graphics card that utilizes PCIe 3.0.

I've noticed on Intels homepage that they've listed that all three CPUs support DDR3 1333/1600MHz RAM, are these only recommendations? I mean, would I still be able to use memory with speeds like 1866 or even 2400MHz (assuming that the motherboard supported them of course)?


2. Motherboard:
I don't really have that many requirements when it comes to the motherboard, not that I know of at least.
All I can think of is that is has to support memory speeds from at least 1866MHz to as high as perhaps 2400Mhz, it has to contain USB 3.0 and SATA revision 3.0 (6 Gbit/s), and it also got to have a PCIe 3.0 slot, one being enough as I do not plan on running Crossfire/SLI. Hmm, guess I had a few requirements after all.

Like everything else I don't really have much knowledge about motherboards, but I'm under the impression that motherboards using the Z77 chip set is a good bet?

The ASUS Sabertooth Z77 looks pretty decent, it has the LGA1155 socket and supports 1866MHz memory. Only problem is that it feels a bit pricy, so any other decent suggestions are welcome!


3. GPU:
First of all, and I'm sure it doesn't matter, but for some reason I have in my imaginary world reached the conclusion that maybe perhaps using a Nvidia-based graphics card on a computer that uses an Intel processor is better than using an AMD-based graphics card, is there anything to this?

Would for an example a couple of AMD graphics cards still be able to run in Crossfire and utililze Eyefinity even if I were to have a motherboard with an LGA1155 socket with a i7 CPU in it?

If there ain't, than I'm probably gonna go with the Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 GHz 1GB "Flex".
I'm aware that I won't be running Battlefield 3 or anything like that on the maximum settings, but a graphics card is something that I can easily upgrade in the future without the need to upgrade the rest of my computer as well, though as always other suggestions are more than welcome.


4. RAM:
The dreaded random-access memory, the source of many sleepless nights. So, where to start..

Let's use the ASUS Sabertooth Z77 motherboard I mentioned earlier as an example, would it support a pair of 8GB Kingston DDR HyperX Predator RAMmies? They use/need 1.5V, they're un-buffered, they have the XMP function, dual channel, etc..

Are there anything else I should think about, or that I need to know? Please do elaborate on this whole memory deal as I'm having a hard time getting a grasp of it, especially the whole voltage aspect of it and how important that is when choosing memory modules.


5. PSU:
Okay, so the final part of the puzzle, the power supply.
How much wattage do I need to run this puppy? I could also mention that I'll be using one SSD and two HDDs in my computer, and then there's the fan control, the fans themselves, whatever I put in the USB ports, the graphics card (which'll probably be upgraded in the future to a more powerful one) etc. etc..

Would a power supply delivering 650 or maybe 750W suffice?
And should I perhaps even get a 850W to be sure, or would that be overkill?





Well, that should pretty much cover it, at least I hope so.

I do apologize for the wall of text which might be quite tedious to read through, let alone answer it.
But I do sincerely hope there are a few kind souls out there that are willing to take time out of their day to help me out, 'cause I would sincerely appreciate it if they do.

So yeah, that's all for now and hopefully when I check back there will be a few replies to get the ball rolling.


- Drops

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

06 Feb 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Hi and welcome to Seven forums, this will be the first of a boatload of opinions, lol.

First of all, the 2600K is the only Sandy Bridge, the other two are both Ivys, denoted by the 3000 series number. Ivys run hot on their own and when overclocking, much hotter so I would recommend a GOOD CPU cooler, h100 or Noctua NH-D14 or similar. don't depend on the Intel stock cooler for anymore than playing solitaire.

The supported RAM from Intel refers to the native setting for it with no user adjustments, Sandy is 1333 and Ivy is 1600. You will have to enable XMP profiles or manually adjust the RAM frequency and timings. The 3570 may not be able to run RAM more than 2133, some chips are better. The 3770 should be able to handle maybe 2400 or more.

PCIe 3 in only supported with a Z77 chip and Ivy CPU. The PCIe 2 is not maxed except for one AMD GPU, 7970? maybe, PCIe 3 has no GPU that will max it out as of now. Hopefully someone with more GPU knowledge can speak to Eyefinity.

For the board I you may look at the ASUS P8Z77-V series, there are several version and lower cost than a Saber Tooth but are similar in features.

Your PSU is very important to give you good, reliable, and clean power in the amount your setup needs with about 25% overhead. Brand that are good: Seasonic, Antec, Corsair. Depending on your final choices you will need from 600W to 1000W, maybe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2013   #3

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Drops View Post
Hi everybody!

So, as the title says, I'm building myself a new computer, and I could really need some help with, well, almost everyhing really, so I got a ton of questions.
My uses for the computer will mainly be gaming, but also for everyday use and a little Adobe Photoshop/Flash work to mention a few.
I'm gonna try to keep this post as tidy and factual as possible, but please bare with me even if it gets a little jumbled and what not.

So let's talk business shall we?


1. CPU:
I've been looking at three different CPUs, all from Intel, these being the i5-3570K, i7-2600K, and the i7 3770K, but I don't really know which one to go for. I'm planning on overclocking the CPU (which when the time comes I'll also make a thread about) if that makes a difference. I am aware that buying the i5 would save me a few bucks, but the price difference ain't really too big so it doesn't really matter to me.

The i7-3770K is the newest of the three, being of the microarchitecture Ivy Bridge, while the other two are Sandy Bridge, does this matter a lot?
The 3570k is Ivy Bridge too. Ivy Bridge is faster than Sandy Bridge when compared clock-for-clock.

For overclocking help, I sincerely recommend Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Drops View Post
I know that Ivy Bridge is made(?) using(?) 22nm lithography, while Sandy Bridge is made using 32nm, which I believe effect the amount of power the CPU uses as well as how easy it is to keep it cooled. I don't think temperature will be much of a problem as I'm planning on using a Corsair Hydro Series H100i CPU cooler which I believe will be sufficient enough.
Ivy Bridge usually ends up with higher temperatures due to a minor flaw in the physical design. Some Ivy Bridge CPUs don't suffer from this while others do. It's a gamble. Still, even the ones that suffer from it are pretty good!

I'm only mentioning this just in case you end up going with Ivy Bridge (3570K or 3770K) and you get one that runs hotter than you were expecting.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Drops View Post
Is it true that the i7-2600K only supports PCIe 2.0 as opposed to the other two supporting PCIe 3.0? 'Cause if that's the case than the i7-2600K is out of the equation, being that I'm buying a graphics card that utilizes PCIe 3.0.
I think you're right, but I'm not 100% sure.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Drops View Post
I've noticed on Intels homepage that they've listed that all three CPUs support DDR3 1333/1600MHz RAM, are these only recommendations? I mean, would I still be able to use memory with speeds like 1866 or even 2400MHz (assuming that the motherboard supported them of course)?
The actual supported memory depends on the motherboard. This means if you were to get a super-cheap motherboard that doesn't extend the support, then you would be limited to what the CPU natively supports. Fortunately, most good Z77 motherboards support memory that's way faster than DDR3 1600. Check out what memory is supported for every motherboard that you look at.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Drops View Post
2. Motherboard:
I don't really have that many requirements when it comes to the motherboard, not that I know of at least.
All I can think of is that is has to support memory speeds from at least 1866MHz to as high as perhaps 2400Mhz, it has to contain USB 3.0 and SATA revision 3.0 (6 Gbit/s), and it also got to have a PCIe 3.0 slot, one being enough as I do not plan on running Crossfire/SLI. Hmm, guess I had a few requirements after all.

Like everything else I don't really have much knowledge about motherboards, but I'm under the impression that motherboards using the Z77 chip set is a good bet?
For overclocking, the Z77 chipset is what you'll need.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Drops View Post
The ASUS Sabertooth Z77 looks pretty decent, it has the LGA1155 socket and supports 1866MHz memory. Only problem is that it feels a bit pricy, so any other decent suggestions are welcome!
I recommend the P8Z77-V and the P8Z77-V Pro.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Drops View Post
3. GPU:
First of all, and I'm sure it doesn't matter, but for some reason I have in my imaginary world reached the conclusion that maybe perhaps using a Nvidia-based graphics card on a computer that uses an Intel processor is better than using an AMD-based graphics card, is there anything to this?

Would for an example a couple of AMD graphics cards still be able to run in Crossfire and utililze Eyefinity even if I were to have a motherboard with an LGA1155 socket with a i7 CPU in it?

If there ain't, than I'm probably gonna go with the Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 GHz 1GB "Flex".
I'm aware that I won't be running Battlefield 3 or anything like that on the maximum settings, but a graphics card is something that I can easily upgrade in the future without the need to upgrade the rest of my computer as well, though as always other suggestions are more than welcome.
Fortunately, you can use an AMD or NVIDIA card and it won't matter. The confusion comes in due to the "AMD" name being used. I believe that if they were still going by ATi, then this would be less confusing.

So there's nothing wrong with having an AMD card in an Intel system. The same is true about having an NVIDIA card in an AMD system.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Drops View Post
4. RAM:
The dreaded random-access memory, the source of many sleepless nights. So, where to start..

Let's use the ASUS Sabertooth Z77 motherboard I mentioned earlier as an example, would it support a pair of 8GB Kingston DDR HyperX Predator RAMmies? They use/need 1.5V, they're un-buffered, they have the XMP function, dual channel, etc..
I'm not sure at the moment. I'd have to look at the Memory Support list on the product page for this board on the ASUS website.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Drops View Post
Are there anything else I should think about, or that I need to know? Please do elaborate on this whole memory deal as I'm having a hard time getting a grasp of it, especially the whole voltage aspect of it and how important that is when choosing memory modules.
Generally, the lower the voltage the better. You can go up to 1.65V.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Drops View Post
5. PSU:
Okay, so the final part of the puzzle, the power supply.
How much wattage do I need to run this puppy? I could also mention that I'll be using one SSD and two HDDs in my computer, and then there's the fan control, the fans themselves, whatever I put in the USB ports, the graphics card (which'll probably be upgraded in the future to a more powerful one) etc. etc..

Would a power supply delivering 650 or maybe 750W suffice?
And should I perhaps even get a 850W to be sure, or would that be overkill?
For your system, a quality-made 400-450W power supply is all you will ever need because you have no plans of having two or more video cards. By "quality-made", I really mean it.

Can you order from stores like Scan.co.uk, Overclockers.co.uk, and even eBuyer?



Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Drops View Post
Well, that should pretty much cover it, at least I hope so.

I do apologize for the wall of text which might be quite tedious to read through, let alone answer it.
But I do sincerely hope there are a few kind souls out there that are willing to take time out of their day to help me out, 'cause I would sincerely appreciate it if they do.

So yeah, that's all for now and hopefully when I check back there will be a few replies to get the ball rolling.


- Drops
Oh, this is fun stuff.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


06 Feb 2013   #4

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

Welcome aboard Drops and I must admit that's some good writing. You must be a writer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2013   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP in VM)
 
 

I think most of your questions have been answered above. But, to reiterate. The 2600K is sandy Bridge and only supports PCIe 2.0. The other 2 are Ivy Bridge and support PCIe 3.0. Right now, it makes little difference, but within the next year or two very well may make a difference.(PCIe 3.0 is backward compatable and will run on PCIe 2.0, so not a real big issue) The Ivy Bridge chips do create more heat, but only while running stress tests. During most every day use there is very little difference, depending on how high you overclock. But, even in that case it is usually not significant. As has been said, you can run AMD or Nvidia on an Intel board. It really does not matter. The Z77 chipset is what you want and most of the Z77 boards I am aware of will run 8GB chips at higher frequencies than Intel states. I'm running 2400MHz right now. I would choose my PSU wisely. Many people try to save money there. That is the wrong decision. The PSU is the heart of your rig and a cheap one can take many of your components out. The better quality ones are made to not do that, at least most of the time. I always recommend Corsair, Seasonic or Antec. They are some of the better ones. If you can afford it, get a modular PSU, it will make your build much easier. Notice I mentioned PSU before graphics. That is because your graphics card choice will be a major determining factor in your choice of PSU. Most cards will list the minimum required PSU in their specs. That is for the whole computer. Another consideration is you stated you may upgrade in the future. With that in mind I would buy a larger one than the required one. It will allow you to upgrade your graphics without having to upgrade your CPU. Personally, I like to buy a PSU that is 50% higher than I need. It will make it run cooler and not strain it and should last longer. Plus, I can upgrade graphics cards at any time without having to worry. As far as cards, I will leave that to your choice. You can really get into a war with people talking about which is best, AMD or Nvidia. I'm a fanboy of neither. They both make good cards. I own a 6950 and a GTX670 right now and either one will play any game out. I would certainly opt for 2GB of graphics memory or better. I am not familiar with the new 7000 series of AMD cards. For nvidia, I think the 660TI and the 670 are the 2 best Nvidia cards price/performance right now. Rumor has it that both are coming out with a new line soon. The Passmark site rates the cards price/performance, you may wish to look. There really is no gaming difference between the 3570K and 3770K, both will play any game out with ease. But, with graphics editing the 3770K is what you would want to choose. Although you can't buy from there, I would recommend looking at components you are interested in at Newegg. Take the time and read the user feedback. It can help you decide on components and save you a lot of grief. Buy the parts wherever you want but Newegg is a great place to do research. In the bottom left of every post here, click on 'My System Specs', those are the components of the people making the post. It can give you an idea of which components work together. My advice is pick your CPU first, then the motherboard. Match all the components that you want and that will give you a better idea of what size PSU you want/need. Then keep the above PSU suggestions and considerations in mind. Just my opinions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2013   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

@Britton30
Thanks for the warm welcome!
And also I must say, excellent replies mere minutes after I posted my hour-long thread, very impressive.

Quote:
First of all, the 2600K is the only Sandy Bridge, the other two are both Ivys, denoted by the 3000 series number.
Gosh darn it you're right! How did I screw up on that one, I must've double-checked it like ten times earlier today.

Quote:
Ivys run hot on their own and when overclocking, much hotter so I would recommend a GOOD CPU cooler, h100 or Noctua NH-D14 or similar. don't depend on the Intel stock cooler for anymore than playing solitaire.
Yeah I was aware of that, so I'm gonna use the H100i from Corsair which I'm sure will do the job just nicely.

Quote:
For the board I you may look at the ASUS P8Z77-V series
Yeah I've actually been looking at those, and TwoCables mentioned those as well.


@TwoCables

Quote:
The 3570k is Ivy Bridge too.
So the rumors says, hehe. But yeah, I messed up on that one.

Quote:
For overclocking help, I sincerely recommend Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community.
Sounds familiar, but I'll be sure to check it out, thanks!

Quote:
Ivy Bridge usually ends up with higher temperatures due to a minor flaw in the physical design. Some Ivy Bridge CPUs don't suffer from this while others do. It's a gamble. Still, even the ones that suffer from it are pretty good!

I'm only mentioning this just in case you end up going with Ivy Bridge (3570K or 3770K) and you get one that runs hotter than you were expecting.
Minor flaw actually? But yeah, I'm probably gonna end up with choosing the i7-3770K, despite that it might running hotter than what I'm expecting, not that I'm really expecting anything, but never the less, I'm sure I'll be one happy camper.

Quote:
The actual supported memory depends on the motherboard. This means if you were to get a super-cheap motherboard that doesn't extend the support, then you would be limited to what the CPU natively supports. Fortunately, most good Z77 motherboards support memory that's way faster than DDR3 1600.
This was a gem as far as information goes, explains a lot, much appreciated.

Quote:
I recommend the P8Z77-V and the P8Z77-V Pro.
Britton30 mentioned the same series, and I have actually checked them out, so they're definitely an excellent possibility.

Quote:
Generally, the lower the voltage the better. You can go up to 1.65V.
I see, so all memory modules will work with pretty much any motherboard (assuming they have a speed that is supported by the MB of course)? 'Cause aren't all memory modules between 1.5V and 1.65V?

Quote:
For your system, a quality-made 400-450W power supply is all you will ever need because you have no plans of having two or more video cards. By "quality-made", I really mean it.
So a 650W or 750W power supply will be more than sufficient for my needs, taking possible future needs into consideration (mainly a more powerful graphics cards)?

Quote:
Can you order from stores like Scan.co.uk, Overclockers.co.uk, and even eBuyer?
Anything is possible in today's world, though I'm most likely going to order from a site that's located here in Norway.

Quote:
Quote: Originally Posted by Drops
Well, that should pretty much cover it, at least I hope so.

I do apologize for the wall of text which might be quite tedious to read through, let alone answer it.
But I do sincerely hope there are a few kind souls out there that are willing to take time out of their day to help me out, 'cause I would sincerely appreciate it if they do.

So yeah, that's all for now and hopefully when I check back there will be a few replies to get the ball rolling.


- Drops



Oh, this is fun stuff.
Hehe, I'm glad you feel that way. I must admit that I consider myself rather lucky, my first thread, a painfully long one as well, and I get excellent replies within minutes, answering pretty much everything.


@Wrenches
Quote:
Welcome aboard Drops and I must admit that's some good writing. You must be a writer.
Thank you very much! I'm not sure if that whole good writing part was ment to be sarcastic, haha, but if it wasn't, then thanks again, that's awfully nice of you to say, really.


@essenbe
Glad to see I'm not the only one posting walls of text, hehe.
But if you don't mind, I'll check your post tomorrow, gotta get some shut-eye, but thanks for taking time to reply to my massive post!



Again, I must say that I really appreciate your guys help, it has made my day(night?) that much easier.
Now I'm gonna get a few hours of sleep, and when I wake up I'm gonna have another look over various components and what not, and then I'll make another post with what I've gathered, possibly with some final questions and what not.

But again, appreciate all your help guys, have a good night!


- Drops


P.S.(off topic)
As you guys might've noticed, I'm also a complete dingbat when it comes to forums and quoting others posts, so, mind sharing with me how I quote somebody else, BUT also containing information of who's post I'm quoting? 'Cause right now I had to do the @username before quoting so that people are able to keep track of who and what.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2013   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP in VM)
 
 

At the end of the post you want to quote, press the quote button. It will quote the whole post and the posters name. To quote just a portion of the post copy what you want to quote and use the # in the top, it will wrap quote tags around the paste. Something else you may eventually need is Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums. I recommend using the snipping tool. It will give a better picture. Click start and type snip in the search box. Also, don't forget a good case with good airflow and an Operating System.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2013   #8

Windows 7 Professional 32bit
 
 

What's your budget?
Do you plan on using multiple monitors?

I don't know why people don't ask these questions first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2013   #9

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Drops View Post
Minor flaw actually? But yeah, I'm probably gonna end up with choosing the i7-3770K, despite that it might running hotter than what I'm expecting, not that I'm really expecting anything, but never the less, I'm sure I'll be one happy camper.
I don't mean to be advertising Overclock.net too much, but this is a thread that helps make it easier to understand:

[Official] Delidded Ivy Bridge Club


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Drops View Post
This was a gem as far as information goes, explains a lot, much appreciated.
You're welcome!


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Drops View Post
I see, so all memory modules will work with pretty much any motherboard (assuming they have a speed that is supported by the MB of course)? 'Cause aren't all memory modules between 1.5V and 1.65V?
Some have lower voltages, like 1.35V. Speaking of which, this memory is being regarded as pretty much the holy grail of memory right now:

Newegg.com - SAMSUNG 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model MV-3V4G3D/US

It may not have heatspreaders, but damn: I haven't heard any negative things about it yet; only extremely positive ones. People are saying that it overclocks like a dream and provides superior performance over everything else.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Drops View Post
So a 650W or 750W power supply will be more than sufficient for my needs, taking possible future needs into consideration (mainly a more powerful graphics cards)?
If you never have more than one video card, then a 650-750W PSU would be a waste of money. All that you'd need for a single-card setup is a 450W power supply. I'm dead serious and I can prove it later. All I will say for now is, each new generation of GPUs and CPUs requires less power than the previous and right now a quality-made 450W power supply can handle any typical single-card system with ease.

Also, some people will want to talk about how PSUs losing some of their overall capacity over time. This only affects lower quality units because they use lower quality parts inside, like cheaper capacitors. The kind of PSUs I want to recommend are not affected by this enough to worry about. You'd have to have them fully loaded 24/7 for a few years in a row to make it begin to matter.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Drops View Post
Anything is possible in today's world, though I'm most likely going to order from a site that's located here in Norway.
Oh, ok. I'd like to use the store's site to post PSU recommendations.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Drops View Post
P.S.(off topic)
As you guys might've noticed, I'm also a complete dingbat when it comes to forums and quoting others posts, so, mind sharing with me how I quote somebody else, BUT also containing information of who's post I'm quoting? 'Cause right now I had to do the @username before quoting so that people are able to keep track of who and what.
Use the two buttons on the bottom-right corner of each post. Treat the Multi button like checkboxes: each Multi button that you activate dictates which posts end up getting quoted. This enables you to reply to each Multi-quoted post in your post. It's like you're selecting each post.

Tip: The order in which you click each Multi button dictates the order in which they will appear in your post.

Tip #2: If you click the "Quote" button on the last post that you want to add, then you will be brought to the reply page with all of your Multi-quotes included with that Quoted post at the bottom. I hope this makes sense because I'm finding it hard to explain. lol
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2013   #10

Windows 7 Professional 32bit
 
 

Everyone ITT seems to have forgotten about the newest iteration of the Sandy Bridge-E models.
Run a lot better than the previous i7 range.
If you can afford it, go for the 2011 socket and X79 motherboards.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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