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Is it possible/worth it to upgrade my PC?
posted in Hardware
1
#1
0 Frags +

Or am I better off just to build a new one?

I have a pre-built Acer M3970. It came with (and still has) an Intel Core i5-2320 processor, AMD Radeon HD 6570 graphics card, 10GB of RAM, running windows 7 (I think that's all the relevant information, please let me know if I missed anything)

I know very little about computer parts, and this PC is almost five years old, so I was wondering what kind of upgrading I could do to get the best possible performance boost, or if I should just scrap it and make a new PC. Ideally I'd like to be able to stay abvoe 120 fps without using a graphics config, and be able to stream at a reasonable fps. Pretty much the only games I play are TF2, Tabletop Simulator, and Civ V, but the fps I get in Civ and Tabletop is pretty unimportant.

Or am I better off just to build a new one?

I have a pre-built Acer M3970. It came with (and still has) an Intel Core i5-2320 processor, AMD Radeon HD 6570 graphics card, 10GB of RAM, running windows 7 (I think that's all the relevant information, please let me know if I missed anything)

I know very little about computer parts, and this PC is almost five years old, so I was wondering what kind of upgrading I could do to get the best possible performance boost, or if I should just scrap it and make a new PC. Ideally I'd like to be able to stay abvoe 120 fps without using a graphics config, and be able to stream at a reasonable fps. Pretty much the only games I play are TF2, Tabletop Simulator, and Civ V, but the fps I get in Civ and Tabletop is pretty unimportant.
2
#2
-7 Frags +

if you havent really taken care of the internals of your computer i would get a new pc. dust and other stuff gets in there and can really slow it down. especially if you cant even reach 120 fps. your gpu is pretty bad, your i5 is a bit outdated, but you do have a good amount of ram. if you have the money i would go for a new one, otherwise just upgrade to an i5-4690k and a gtx 750 ti at least, any 900 series would be a good pick.

if you havent really taken care of the internals of your computer i would get a new pc. dust and other stuff gets in there and can really slow it down. especially if you cant even reach 120 fps. your gpu is pretty bad, your i5 is a bit outdated, but you do have a good amount of ram. if you have the money i would go for a new one, otherwise just upgrade to an i5-4690k and a gtx 750 ti at least, any 900 series would be a good pick.
3
#3
25 Frags +

Get a new i5, then look into the rx 480 or gtx 1060

Get a new i5, then look into the rx 480 or gtx 1060
4
#4
5 Frags +

Hey there, hopefully I can help you out a bit!

First, I'd recommend you download this and check your temperature of the CPU/GPU in idle and on load please! http://openhardwaremonitor.org/

Yes you can upgrade and get a boost in performance, but you're not gonna be able to "stay above 120fps without using a config." Valve makes it hard to do that in a (9?) year old game!
If you are streaming 720p@30fps I think you could make do with an i5 still. On your socket you could upgrade to an i5 2500 or i5 3550/3570 used and get a reasonable boost but it's probably not worth it. If you are really adamant on playing TF2 without a config, you will either have to lower your expectations or build a whole new PC.

If you do decide to build a whole new PC check out the PC Build Thread

#2 Just a heads up the i5 4690k is on a different socket and even if it was, it's on a locked motherboard so no point in a K CPU!

Hey there, hopefully I can help you out a bit!

First, I'd recommend you download this and check your temperature of the CPU/GPU in idle and on load please! http://openhardwaremonitor.org/

Yes you can upgrade and get a boost in performance, but you're not gonna be able to "stay above 120fps without using a config." Valve makes it hard to do that in a (9?) year old game!
If you are streaming 720p@30fps I think you could make do with an i5 still. On your socket you could upgrade to an i5 2500 or i5 3550/3570 used and get a reasonable boost but it's probably not worth it. If you are really adamant on playing TF2 without a config, you will either have to lower your expectations or build a whole new PC.

If you do decide to build a whole new PC check out the [url=http://www.teamfortress.tv/12714/pc-build-thread]PC Build Thread[/url]



#2 Just a heads up the i5 4690k is on a different socket and even if it was, it's on a locked motherboard so no point in a K CPU!
5
#5
26 Frags +

#1
There are lots of things you could do. But it all hinges on the answer to the standard question #1:
Budget?

#1
There are lots of things you could do. But it all hinges on the answer to the standard question #1:
Budget?
6
#6
1 Frags +

Sorry I haven't been responding, thank you so much for all the advice though, I really appreciate it :)

#4
I downloaded the program and while I didn't have anything running except the program, steam and chrome my CPU was averaging about 43°C, and my GPU was sitting at 65°C. After playing TF2 for about 15 minutes, those numbers hit max at at 67°C for my CPU, and 98°C for my GPU. (Again I know pretty much nothing about what is considered good and bad for those numbers, but after some googling 98°C does not sound good...)

#5
I don't really have a hard budget, obviously I don't want to go drop $10,000 on a new PC, but if something costs more than I'm willing to pay right now, I'm fine with saving up for a few months and buying it when I can afford it. I guess for right now I'd be willing to drop a few hundred bucks, if you forced me to pick a number I'd probably be willing to drop $500 CAD to upgrade my PC to a point I could stream and get stable fps right now. If I'm going to be building a good PC that will last me a few years though, I'd be willing to save up and spend a little over a thousand. (If I'm being honest I'm not really sure what an average price for a PC to be built is, but I have a buddy that just built one, and he said he spent about $1000 on it.)

Really I'm looking for options at the moment, and then I will decide what I think is worth my money.

Sorry I haven't been responding, thank you so much for all the advice though, I really appreciate it :)

#4
I downloaded the program and while I didn't have anything running except the program, steam and chrome my CPU was averaging about 43°C, and my GPU was sitting at 65°C. After playing TF2 for about 15 minutes, those numbers hit max at at 67°C for my CPU, and 98°C for my GPU. (Again I know pretty much nothing about what is considered good and bad for those numbers, but after some googling 98°C does not sound good...)

#5
I don't really have a hard budget, obviously I don't want to go drop $10,000 on a new PC, but if something costs more than I'm willing to pay right now, I'm fine with saving up for a few months and buying it when I can afford it. I guess for right now I'd be willing to drop a few hundred bucks, if you forced me to pick a number I'd probably be willing to drop $500 CAD to upgrade my PC to a point I could stream and get stable fps right now. If I'm going to be building a good PC that will last me a few years though, I'd be willing to save up and spend a little over a thousand. (If I'm being honest I'm not really sure what an average price for a PC to be built is, but I have a buddy that just built one, and he said he spent about $1000 on it.)

Really I'm looking for options at the moment, and then I will decide what I think is worth my money.
7
#7
6 Frags +

Yeah 98°C is too high.

I'll be honest, TF2 doesn't need a lot of GPU power and if you don't care about fps in other games then you could just fix your temps.
Check the fans, remove the GPU cooler, clean off the old thermal paste and put new one on it.
Fps depend on the settings you want though, 120 on low might be doable, 120 on high won't happen. But even then a used GPU for 50-100$ would be more than enough.

For streaming again it depends on the settings. I can see 720p 30fps happening with your current CPU.

120 fps in TF2 really doesn't require the best possible upgrade.

Yeah 98°C is too high.

I'll be honest, TF2 doesn't need a lot of GPU power and if you don't care about fps in other games then you could just fix your temps.
Check the fans, remove the GPU cooler, clean off the old thermal paste and put new one on it.
Fps depend on the settings you want though, 120 on low might be doable, 120 on high won't happen. But even then a used GPU for 50-100$ would be more than enough.

For streaming again it depends on the settings. I can see 720p 30fps happening with your current CPU.

120 fps in TF2 really doesn't require the best possible upgrade.
8
#8
0 Frags +

It'd probably be easy to find a secondhand i7 2600 for streaming.

It'd probably be easy to find a secondhand i7 2600 for streaming.
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#9
0 Frags +

Do you think it would be worth it for me to just buy a new GPU cooler? If so are there any that are compatible with my 6570 that you could recommend? At the moment I float around 55-60 fps while just playing TF2, and it drops to as low as 40 when there's lots of stuff on the screen. The game also crashes if I play it for a long time without breaks, and I think this may be because of my GPU overheating.

Do you think it would be worth it for me to just buy a new GPU cooler? If so are there any that are compatible with my 6570 that you could recommend? At the moment I float around 55-60 fps while just playing TF2, and it drops to as low as 40 when there's lots of stuff on the screen. The game also crashes if I play it for a long time without breaks, and I think this may be because of my GPU overheating.
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#10
0 Frags +

Simply put: no.

Long answer: Monitor your GPU temps with something like Afterburner or Rivatuner. Worst comes to worst, grab some thermal paste and reseat the cooler.

Simply put: no.

Long answer: Monitor your GPU temps with something like Afterburner or Rivatuner. Worst comes to worst, grab some thermal paste and reseat the cooler.
11
#11
-5 Frags +

I think if you're going so far as to stream tf2 at 120 fps without a graphics config you should probably just get a new computer. (Though you can re-use some parts from your current rig such as the motherboard since basically all the Intel CPUs that you would be looking to buy would be compatible with it) A new computer that fits your needs would probably set you back about $1100-1200ish dollars if you factor in tax, shipping, and new operating system. As #4 said you should probably post in the "PC Build Thread" if you actually go through with getting a new computer. Hope I could help!

I think if you're going so far as to stream tf2 at 120 fps without a graphics config you should probably just get a new computer. (Though you can re-use some parts from your current rig such as the motherboard since basically all the Intel CPUs that you would be looking to buy would be compatible with it) A new computer that fits your needs would probably set you back about $1100-1200ish dollars if you factor in tax, shipping, and new operating system. As #4 said you should probably post in the "PC Build Thread" if you actually go through with getting a new computer. Hope I could help!
12
#12
4 Frags +

#9
What #10 said. The cooler worked fine so if it's overheating now (check that first), the only thing that could be at fault is the thermal paste. Even really good thermal paste will be <7$ and one syringe is usually enough for 3 to 5 uses (depending on the size). No need to get a new cooler.

#9
What #10 said. The cooler worked fine so if it's overheating now (check that first), the only thing that could be at fault is the thermal paste. Even really good thermal paste will be <7$ and one syringe is usually enough for 3 to 5 uses (depending on the size). No need to get a new cooler.
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#13
-4 Frags +
Cornpop16Do you think it would be worth it for me to just buy a new GPU cooler? If so are there any that are compatible with my 6570 that you could recommend? At the moment I float around 55-60 fps while just playing TF2, and it drops to as low as 40 when there's lots of stuff on the screen. The game also crashes if I play it for a long time without breaks, and I think this may be because of my GPU overheating.

If you plan on building a new rig for a bit above 1000 cad, go for i5 6500+gtx 1060 combo. I get an average of 150/200 fps in tf2 and it can play most new games at very high settings 60fps.

[quote=Cornpop16]Do you think it would be worth it for me to just buy a new GPU cooler? If so are there any that are compatible with my 6570 that you could recommend? At the moment I float around 55-60 fps while just playing TF2, and it drops to as low as 40 when there's lots of stuff on the screen. The game also crashes if I play it for a long time without breaks, and I think this may be because of my GPU overheating.[/quote]

If you plan on building a new rig for a bit above 1000 cad, go for i5 6500+gtx 1060 combo. I get an average of 150/200 fps in tf2 and it can play most new games at very high settings 60fps.
14
#14
0 Frags +

Ok, it took a while but I finally got a day to go to the city and get some thermal paste. I put on new thermal paste, and cleaned it out with canned air, and now my GPU is staying under 80C, and my frames sit between 50-70 while playing.

An improvement on the temps for sure, but I'm looking for more fps than that. Would my best bet be to buy a new graphics card then? The rx 480 or gtx 1060 were recommended a little while ago, but are there any others I should look at?

Ok, it took a while but I finally got a day to go to the city and get some thermal paste. I put on new thermal paste, and cleaned it out with canned air, and now my GPU is staying under 80C, and my frames sit between 50-70 while playing.

An improvement on the temps for sure, but I'm looking for more fps than that. Would my best bet be to buy a new graphics card then? The rx 480 or gtx 1060 were recommended a little while ago, but are there any others I should look at?
15
#15
0 Frags +
Cornpop16Ok, it took a while but I finally got a day to go to the city and get some thermal paste. I put on new thermal paste, and cleaned it out with canned air, and now my GPU is staying under 80C, and my frames sit between 50-70 while playing.

An improvement on the temps for sure, but I'm looking for more fps than that. Would my best bet be to buy a new graphics card then? The rx 480 or gtx 1060 were recommended a little while ago, but are there any others I should look at?

I'm not sure you're aware of this, but tf2 is mostly CPU heavy as most source games are, so getting a graphics card wouldn't be your best bet on boosting fps. Also streaming tf2 without a graphics config is gonna need a much beefier build, tf2 really isn't optimized.

[quote=Cornpop16]Ok, it took a while but I finally got a day to go to the city and get some thermal paste. I put on new thermal paste, and cleaned it out with canned air, and now my GPU is staying under 80C, and my frames sit between 50-70 while playing.

An improvement on the temps for sure, but I'm looking for more fps than that. Would my best bet be to buy a new graphics card then? The rx 480 or gtx 1060 were recommended a little while ago, but are there any others I should look at?[/quote]

I'm not sure you're aware of this, but tf2 is mostly CPU heavy as most source games are, so getting a graphics card wouldn't be your best bet on boosting fps. Also streaming tf2 without a graphics config is gonna need a much beefier build, tf2 really isn't optimized.
16
#16
0 Frags +

get gpuz running and look at the gpu load while playing, its probably gonna be quite low. if so, you dont need a new gpu.

get gpuz running and look at the gpu load while playing, its probably gonna be quite low. if so, you dont need a new gpu.
17
#17
2 Frags +

#14
Budget?
480 or 1060 are overkill for TF2, although they're nice to have for other games.

Also do what #16 suggested, maybe even open the Task Manager to see the CPU usage.

#15
Depending on his settings the 6570 might actually be the bottleneck. Keep in mind it's slower than a current iGPU.

#14
Budget?
480 or 1060 are overkill for TF2, although they're nice to have for other games.

Also do what #16 suggested, maybe even open the Task Manager to see the CPU usage.

#15
Depending on his settings the 6570 might actually be the bottleneck. Keep in mind it's slower than a current iGPU.
18
#18
2 Frags +
Fireget gpuz running and look at the gpu load while playing, its probably gonna be quite low. if so, you dont need a new gpu.

I noticed that on low graphics settings in TF2 my FPS was shit and it was hardly using my GPU. On maxed out settings its using more GPU and less CPU and I got higher FPS.

[quote=Fire]get gpuz running and look at the gpu load while playing, its probably gonna be quite low. if so, you dont need a new gpu.[/quote]

I noticed that on low graphics settings in TF2 my FPS was shit and it was hardly using my GPU. On maxed out settings its using more GPU and less CPU and I got higher FPS.
19
#19
0 Frags +

Alright, so after some testing here's what I found.

- My fps doesn't change a whole lot weather I'm playing on low or high settings. I get probably 5-10 more fps on average when I'm playing with everything turned down.

- My CPU usage from my task manager generally sits around 30%, so I don't think my CPU is the problem.

-My GPU usages from gpuz fluctuates a lot in game, but after playing for a few minutes my average was 71%, although I saw it a lot up in the 80s and 90, and my max hit was 99%...

So basically my GPU is the problem. As for upgrading, I'm willing to spend a few hundred dollars. I don't need the best card in the world, but if I could stay above 120fps, on low settings, without using a graphics config, that would be ideal. (I'm not absolutely against using a config if what I'm looking for isn't realistic, I would just rather not have to use one)

Really just looking for options at this point, so all suggestions are appreciated :)

Alright, so after some testing here's what I found.

- My fps doesn't change a whole lot weather I'm playing on low or high settings. I get probably 5-10 more fps on average when I'm playing with everything turned down.

- My CPU usage from my task manager generally sits around 30%, so I don't think my CPU is the problem.

-My GPU usages from gpuz fluctuates a lot in game, but after playing for a few minutes my average was 71%, although I saw it a lot up in the 80s and 90, and my max hit was 99%...

So basically my GPU is the problem. As for upgrading, I'm willing to spend a few hundred dollars. I don't need the best card in the world, but if I could stay above 120fps, on low settings, without using a graphics config, that would be ideal. (I'm not absolutely against using a config if what I'm looking for isn't realistic, I would just rather not have to use one)

Really just looking for options at this point, so all suggestions are appreciated :)
20
#20
2 Frags +
Cornpop16My CPU usage from my task manager generally sits around 30%, so I don't think my CPU is the problem.

In TF2's case, this logic doesn't actually work. Because source is such an old engine, almost all of the workload is put onto a single core of the CPU. I looked up your cpu, and it's quad-core. 30% cpu usage probably means that single core on your CPU is being pushed to the limit.

This is also indicated by the change in graphics settings not really mattering much: If it really was the GPU causing you problems, then turning down graphics-intensive options would help you a lot more than it does. You don't need a great GPU to run TF2 at a good FPS, but you do need a great CPU. That said, it does seem like your GPU is struggling a bit, but probably not as much as your CPU is

intel i5-6500 and i5-6600k are pretty good options as far as I'm aware

edit: if setsul disagrees with me after seeing your results then he's right, not me

[quote=Cornpop16]My CPU usage from my task manager generally sits around 30%, so I don't think my CPU is the problem.[/quote]

In TF2's case, this logic doesn't actually work. Because source is such an old engine, almost all of the workload is put onto a single core of the CPU. I looked up your cpu, and it's quad-core. 30% cpu usage probably means that single core on your CPU is being pushed to the limit.

This is also indicated by the change in graphics settings not really mattering much: If it really was the GPU causing you problems, then turning down graphics-intensive options would help you a lot more than it does. You don't need a great GPU to run TF2 at a good FPS, but you do need a great CPU. That said, it does seem like your GPU is struggling a bit, but probably not as much as your CPU is

intel i5-6500 and i5-6600k are pretty good options as far as I'm aware

edit: if setsul disagrees with me after seeing your results then he's right, not me
21
#21
7 Frags +

#19
Not sure how high you can go before the CPU becomes the limiting factor but a new GPU would definitely mean some improvement.
However your current GPU is just extremely slow by today's standards. That's actually a good thing, because a 50-100$ used GPU would already be a huge upgrade. If you still want more fps after that you can still get a new CPU (+ mobo).

#20
2 cores + GPU driver. It's complicated. Assume about 1.7 cores of actual work, so ~40% on a quad core. He's not too far from that but he should be able to get 30-40% more fps.

If the GPU hits >90% then that means drops, so I'd adress that first.

#19
Not sure how high you can go before the CPU becomes the limiting factor but a new GPU would definitely mean some improvement.
However your current GPU is just extremely slow by today's standards. That's actually a good thing, because a 50-100$ used GPU would already be a huge upgrade. If you still want more fps after that you can still get a new CPU (+ mobo).

#20
2 cores + GPU driver. It's complicated. Assume about 1.7 cores of actual work, so ~40% on a quad core. He's not too far from that but he should be able to get 30-40% more fps.

If the GPU hits >90% then that means drops, so I'd adress that first.
22
#22
-3 Frags +

get a used i5-2500k if you wanna go cheap and dont fear overclocking

get a used i5-2500k if you wanna go cheap and dont fear overclocking
23
#23
6 Frags +

That would be a great upgrade if he had a motherboard that allowed overclocking.
He doesn't.

That would be a great upgrade if he had a motherboard that allowed overclocking.
He doesn't.
24
#24
-1 Frags +

Just get
the cheapest 1150 motherboard you can find that supports overclocking
find a used 4690k/4670k
Hyper 212 Evo cooler
used AMD Radeon HD 7970/7950 or R9 280x/280/285
Used seasonic 650 watt OEM psu on ebay

Reuse all your other old parts and bump the multiplier on the CPU as high as it will go while still being stable. Should around 500$ for everything and will run just about anything on 1080p high/ultra settings.

Anything less and the longevity/price performance ratio will be compromised.

Just get
the cheapest 1150 motherboard you can find that supports overclocking
find a used 4690k/4670k
Hyper 212 Evo cooler
used AMD Radeon HD 7970/7950 or R9 280x/280/285
Used seasonic 650 watt OEM psu on ebay

Reuse all your other old parts and bump the multiplier on the CPU as high as it will go while still being stable. Should around 500$ for everything and will run just about anything on 1080p high/ultra settings.

Anything less and the longevity/price performance ratio will be compromised.
25
#25
8 Frags +

212 Evo. Why.
650W PSU for a 400W build. Why.

212 Evo. Why.
650W PSU for a 400W build. Why.
26
#26
4 Frags +
Setsul212 Evo. Why..

Decent cheap cooler.

650W PSU for a 400W build. Why.

I got 5x of those used Seasonic 650 watt 80+ bronze PSUs for $20 each. They are the best PSU you can get for under $40.

[quote=Setsul]212 Evo. Why..[/quote] Decent cheap cooler.
[quote] 650W PSU for a 400W build. Why.[/quote]
I got 5x of those used Seasonic 650 watt 80+ bronze PSUs for $20 each. They are the best PSU you can get for under $40.
27
#27
3 Frags +

Yeah, but other coolers can be on sale too.

Depends a bit on which PSUs they are and what I mean is that if you can get the 400W version for less there's no reason not to.

Yeah, but other coolers can be on sale too.

Depends a bit on which PSUs they are and what I mean is that if you can get the 400W version for less there's no reason not to.
28
#28
0 Frags +
SetsulYeah, but other coolers can be on sale too.

They can be on sale but the 212 is consistently cheap. If you have a better option feel free to post it instead of just complaining about it.

Depends a bit on which PSUs they are and what I mean is that if you can get the 400W version for less there's no reason not to.

Those 650 watt Seasonics are the cheapest decent quality PSUs on ebay. I don't see any 80+ bronze PSUs that are significantly cheaper. @ 35$ including shipping i would say it is the best deal on a PSU you are going to get. The only other acceptable cheaper PSU i could find (Corsair 430) is significantly worse and only 5$ cheaper after shipping.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SEASONIC-650W-ATX12V-V2-31-EPS12V-V2-92-ACTIVE-FPC-F3-PSU-POWER-SUPPLY-SS-650HT-/331776849134?hash=item4d3f70f4ee:g:lZIAAOSwr0ZXOQWe

[quote=Setsul]Yeah, but other coolers can be on sale too.[/quote] They can be on sale but the 212 is consistently cheap. If you have a better option feel free to post it instead of just complaining about it.

[quote]Depends a bit on which PSUs they are and what I mean is that if you can get the 400W version for less there's no reason not to.[/quote]
Those 650 watt Seasonics are the cheapest decent quality PSUs on ebay. I don't see any 80+ bronze PSUs that are significantly cheaper. @ 35$ including shipping i would say it is the best deal on a PSU you are going to get. The only other acceptable cheaper PSU i could find (Corsair 430) is significantly worse and only 5$ cheaper after shipping.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SEASONIC-650W-ATX12V-V2-31-EPS12V-V2-92-ACTIVE-FPC-F3-PSU-POWER-SUPPLY-SS-650HT-/331776849134?hash=item4d3f70f4ee:g:lZIAAOSwr0ZXOQWe
29
#29
1 Frags +

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SEASONIC-550W-ATX12V-V2-03-EPS12V-V2-91-ACTIVE-PFC-F3-PSU-POWER-SUPPLY-SS-550HT-/391384022093?hash=item5b204e3c4d:g:MssAAOSw0UdXripI

Same seller, 550W version.
Doesn't seem like you're really trying.
Unless of course a SS-550HT for 22$ is suddenly a much worse deal than a SS-650HT for 35$.

There's also Delta OEM units at similar prices which I'd argue are better.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SEASONIC-550W-ATX12V-V2-03-EPS12V-V2-91-ACTIVE-PFC-F3-PSU-POWER-SUPPLY-SS-550HT-/391384022093?hash=item5b204e3c4d:g:MssAAOSw0UdXripI

Same seller, 550W version.
Doesn't seem like you're really trying.
Unless of course a SS-550HT for 22$ is suddenly a much worse deal than a SS-650HT for 35$.

There's also Delta OEM units at similar prices which I'd argue are better.
30
#30
0 Frags +
SetsulSame seller, 550W version.

Thats weird. I searched for that exact model and got no results yesterday.

[quote=Setsul]
Same seller, 550W version.
[/quote]
Thats weird. I searched for that exact model and got no results yesterday.
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