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Sapphire Announces RX Vega 64 Graphics Card Lineup

SAPPHIRE Technology has announced the launch of the much-anticipated SAPPHIRE Radeon Vega 64 enthusiast graphics cards. The Vega architecture boasts significant improvements focused on maximizing the performance. Vega cards are designed for enthusiasts seeking top-of-the-chart framerates in games of today and tomorrow - in Ultra details and VR.

SAPPHIRE Technology is introducing three Vega-powered models:
  • SAPPHIRE Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB HBM2 Liquid Cooled
  • SAPPHIRE Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB HBM2
  • SAPPHIRE Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB HBM2 Limited Edition

AMD Asks Reviewers to Prioritize Vega 56 over Vega 64

It seems that AMD's RX Vega lineup won't be too far away from the norm, it seems. Street knowledge almost always says that it's the runner-up to the highest performing graphics card that is the more interesting in a price-performance ratio, and it seems that AMD knows this as well. Steve Burke from Gamer's Nexus has reported on AMD's NDA dates and the company's indications to reviewers on changing up the game leading up to reviews: they're asking that publications focus on the Vega 56 ahead of the halo Vega 64.

This might be somewhat bad news for those who wanted to see the Vega 64 compete in favorable terms with the GTX 1080; this decision by AMD is obviously geared towards making the best impact on the company's product line and image. The fact that AMD can offer a more compelling argument over the Vega 64 means that Vega 56 will probably have an easier battle in the $400 camp (if you can find it at those prices on launch, that is.)

AMD RX Vega Mining Performance Reportedly Doubled With Driver Updates

Disclaimer: take this post with a bucket of salt. However, the information here, if true, could heavily impact AMD's RX Vega cards' stock at launch and in the subsequent days, so, we're sharing this so our readers can decide on whether they want to pull the trigger for a Vega card at launch, as soon as possible, or risk what would seem like the equivalent of a mining Black Friday crowd gobbling up AMD's RX Vega models' stock. Remember that AMD has already justified delays for increased stock so as to limit the impact of miners on the available supply.

The information has been put out by two different sources already. The first source we encountered (and which has been covered by some media outlets solo) has been one post from one of OC UK's staff, Gibbo, who in a forum post, said "Seems the hash rate on VEGA is 70-100 per card, which is insanely good. Trying to devise some kind of plan so gamers can get them at MSRP without the miners wiping all the stock out within 5 minutes of product going live."

EK is Releasing Full Cover Water Blocks for AMD Radeon RX Vega

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer has proven its market leadership once again by presenting Full Cover water blocks for the long awaited AMD Radeon Vega architecture based high-end graphics cards. Customers will be able to transform their GPU into a stunningly beautiful single slot graphics card and the water cooling block will allow it to reach higher frequencies, thus providing more performance during gaming or other GPU intense tasks.

EK-FC Radeon Vega
This water block directly cools the GPU, HBM2 memory, and VRM (voltage regulation module) as water flows directly over these critical areas thus allowing the graphics card and it's VRM to remain stable under high overclocks. EK-FC Radeon Vega water block features a central inlet split-flow cooling engine design for best possible cooling performance, which also works flawlessly with reversed water flow without adversely affecting the cooling performance. This kind of efficient cooling will allow your high-end graphics card to reach higher boost clocks, thus providing more performance during gaming or other GPU intense tasks. Moreover, such design offers great hydraulic performance allowing this product to be used in liquid cooling systems using weaker water pumps.

AMD RX Vega 56 Benchmarks Leaked - An (Unverified) GTX 1070 Killer

TweakTown has put forth an article wherein they claim to have received info from industry insiders regarding the upcoming Vega 56's performance. Remember that Vega 56 is the slightly cut-down version of the flagship Vega 64, counting with 56 next-generation compute units (NGCUs) instead of Vega 64's, well, 64. This means that while the Vega 64 has the full complement of 4,096 Stream processors, 256 TMUs, 64 ROPs, and a 2048-bit wide 8 GB HBM2 memory pool offering 484 GB/s of bandwidth, Vega 56 makes do with 3,548 Stream processors,192 TMUs, 64 ROPs, the same 8 GB of HBM2 memory and a slightly lower memory bandwidth at 410 GB/s.

The Vega 56 has been announced to retail for about $399, or $499 with one of AMD's new (famous or infamous, depends on your mileage) Radeon Packs. The RX Vega 56 card was running on a system configured with an Intel Core i7-7700K @ 4.2GHz, 16 GB of DDR4-3000 MHz RAM, and Windows 10 at 2560 x 1440 resolution.

AMD Says Vega Delays Necessary to Increase Stock for Gamers

In an interview, AMD's Chris Hook justified Vega's delayed release due to a wish to increase available stock for gamers who want to purchase the new high-performance architecture by AMD. In an interview with HardOCP, Chris Hook had this to say:

"Part of the reason it's taken us a little longer to launch Vega - and I'll be honest about that - is that we wanted to make sure we were launching with good volume. (...) Obviously we've got to compensate for things like coin-miners, they're going to want to get their hands on these. We believe we're launching with a volume that will ensure that gamers can get their hands on them, and that's what's important to us."

It appears that AMD tried their best to increase production and stock volumes so as to mitigate price fluctuations upon Vega's entry to the market due to above normal demand from cryptocurrency miners. The jury is still out on whether Vega will be an option for mining due to its exquisite architecture, however. Still, this sounds as good a reason as any to delay Vega for as long as it has been already. Just a few more days until we see what AMD managed with this one, folks. Check the video after the break.

NVIDIA Unlocks Certain Professional Features for TITAN Xp Through Driver Update

In a bid to preempt sales of the Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition, and the Pro WX 9100, NVIDIA expanded the feature-set of its consumer-segment TITAN Xp graphics card, with certain features reserved for its Quadro family of graphics cards, through a driver update. NVIDIA is rolling out its latest GeForce software update, which adds professional features for applications such as Maya, unlocking "3X more performance" for the software.

Priced at USD $1,199, the TITAN Xp packs a full-featured "GP102" graphics processor, with 3,840 CUDA cores, 240 TMUs, 96 ROPs, and 12 GB of GDDR5X memory across the chip's 384-bit wide memory interface. At its given memory clock of 11.4 GHz (GDDR5X-effective), the card has a memory bandwidth of 547.6 GB/s, which is higher than the 484 GB/s of the Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition.

DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 385.12 for TITAN Xp

Ethereum Takes Literal Flight; Mining Conglomerates Rent Airplanes for Transport

Ethereum is a strange little thing. When you open up your Blockfolio to look at how much you're valued right now, it can be as a fine bit of coffee in the morning, perking you up for the entire day, or a wrecking ball to your capitalist, speculative heart. However, even if you don't believe in the technology, there are many people who do believe: at least, in the future value of it. They believe it so much, really, that they're willing to rent entire airplanes to transport mining equipment (read graphics cards). And we're talking Boeing 747 here, not your average private jet (handy infographic on the pictures below, by the way.)

Ethereum's price fluctuations notwithstanding, which saw the currency soar from $10 at the beginning of the year to a historical high of $400 in mid-June, seems to have somehow settled around a $200 support level. At that value, it's still profitable to mine - even with the increased difficulty of the myriad of miners, dedicated or not, who have flooded towards the GPU-based workloads that support the cryptocurrency's POW (Proof of Work) design. And faith - or expectation of future value is so high, that mining conglomerates (the ones with the greatest running costs, but also pretty scalable profits - aren't willing to waste more idle time than they possibly can. Marco Streng, chief executive of Genesis Mining, told Quartz that "Time is critical, very critical. For example, we are renting entire airplanes, Boeing 747s, to ship on time. Anything else, like shipping by sea, loses so much opportunity."

AMD Giving Up on CrossFire with RX Vega

AMD is reportedly scaling down efforts on its end to support and promote multi-GPU technologies such as CrossFire, and not in favor of open-standards such as DirectX 12 native multi-GPU, either. Speaking to GamersNexus, an AMD representative confirmed that while the new Radeon RX Vega family of graphics cards support CrossFire, the company may not allocate as many resources as it used to with older GPU launches, in promoting or supporting it.

This is keeping up with trends in the industry moving away from multi-GPU configurations, and aligns with NVIDIA's decision to dial-down investment in SLI. This also more or less confirms that AMD won't build a Radeon RX series consumer graphics product based on two "Vega 10" ASICs. At best, one can expect dual-GPU cards for the professional or GPU-compute markets, such as the Radeon Pro or Radeon Instinct brands.

AMD Announces Radeon Pro Update With Vega Support

AMD today is announcing the latest update to their Radeon Pro Hardware and Software, which brings with it enhanced features designed to fully take advantage of the company's new high-performance Vega graphics micro-architecture. Namely, AMD has announced the Radeon Pro WX 9100, the Radeon Pro SSG, and Radeon Vega Frontier Edition (already launched) along with new Radeon Pro Software for the same.

As per AMD, the Radeon Pro WX 9100 workstation graphics card is designed to excel in the most demanding media and entertainment, and design and manufacturing workloads. Delivering up to 12.3 TFLOPS of peak single precision compute performance, the Radeon Pro WX 9100 graphics card represents a new era of professional graphics capabilities fueled by powerful Next-Gen Compute Units3 with Rapid Packed Math and an Enhanced Geometry Pipeline which improves processing efficiencies. Compared to the AMD FirePro W9100, the Radeon Pro WX 9100 runs models more than twice as fast, delivering over 2.6X the peak throughput-per-clock.

AMD Radeon Vega Holocube Not Shipping Come August

Remember that awesome Vega Holocube that made its way around the web some time ago? How it looked like a über-cool tachometer of sorts for GPU utilization. Well, as you might have noticed, AMD's RX Vega pricing is extremely competitive in regards to the technology they offer on-board; this, coupled with AMD's play for a higher price-performance ratio than the competition, means that AMD is left with less wiggle room for bundling this kind of extras with their RX Vega graphics cards.

However, AMD has released a statement, which while confirming the sad news of no Holocube bundling or availability to accompany RX Vega's launch come August, leaves the door open for a later-in-time launch. The statement reads "AMD appreciates the excitement and curiosity surrounding the Radeon Holocube. The Radeon Holocube was developed as a prototype and at this time, it is one of very few that exist in the world. The Holocube will not be shipping with Radeon RX Vega in August." You can check some videos of the Holocube in action after the break.

Everything AMD Launched Today: A Summary

It has been a huge weekend of product announcements and launches from AMD, which expanded not just its client computing CPU lineup on both ends, but also expanded its Radeon graphics cards family with both client- and professional-segment graphics cards. This article provides a brief summary of everything AMD launched or announced today, with their possible market-availability dates.

ASUS ROG STRIX AMD Vega 64 Announced - Early September Availability

The first custom AIB partner graphics card that we have a chance to look at is none other than ASUS' ROG Strix. AS usual, everything about this particular offering from ASUS screams customization - from the purpose-built PCB and power delivery, to the oversized, triple-slot cooling design with three fans, and premium backplate design for better heat dissipation; all of these should greatly improve temps over Vega's reference design with better acoustics, at the same time. As with almost all AIB partner offerings, there will be two offerings based on this model, differing only in regards to out-of-box clock speeds.

ASUS' latest DirectCU III cooling system makes an appearance, combining Super Alloy Power II components and their Auto Extreme manufacturing technology. Max contact GPU technology makes its way here, as does FanConnect II, which provides hybrid-controlled fan headers and a comprehensive set of tuning options with GPU Tweak II to optimize system cooling and performance even further. As with most ASUS ROG products nowadays, the ROG Strix Vega 64 graphics card will feature support for ASUS AURA RGB LED. Display outputs include 2x HDMI (for VR systems), 2x DisplayPort and 1x DVI. No pricing was announced at time of writing, though you should count on this offering being near the top pricing bracket between AIB cards.

AMD Announces the Radeon RX Vega Nano

AMD had two press days over the weekend to cover a whole bunch of announcements- Ryzen Threadripper, RX Vega, Vega Pro and more. They provided details galore on the Vega microarchitecture, and the two RX Vega versions. Well, make that three now. AMD at Capcaicin SIGGRAPH 2017 also announced and showed off the RX Vega Nano.

Raja Koduri, Senior Vice-president of AMD's Radeon Technology Group, came up on stage minutes ago and handed over one of the very few working samples of this new card to Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games and Unreal Engine. The RX Vega Nano is an update to the R9 Nano from 2015 which was based off AMD's "Fiji" microarchitecture and was the then king of efficiency and small form factor support. We were only just talking about how RX Vega missed an opportunity with HBM2 to provide another mITX GPU and looks like AMD agreed.

AMD Radeon RX Vega in Person!

AMD has been on a roll recently releasing new hardware and software products alike, but nothing has been as eagerly anticipated as RX Vega- their upcoming Radeon GPU flagship for gamers and PC enthusiasts alike. Today we are happy to be able to share some photographs we took of the retail RX Vega card ourselves, which in turn also provides some useful information to digest while we all await more.
After the break, we have more pictures and information from other sources so be sure to read further.

AMD Says Vega Frontier Edition "Gaming" and "Pro" Modes are Not Placeholders

AMD's Vega Frontier Edition was a release that seemingly left most users either scratching their heads in bewilderment or - more specifically - disappointed. Some of this disappointment seemed to stem from a desire to see the long-awaited RX Vega consumer graphics card performance in the wild - or at least snagging a preview of it. Alas, the Frontier Edition's gaming performance was a disappointment when one considers the expected performance of AMD's underlying hardware - 4096 Stream processors and 16 GB of HBM2 memory - as well as the fact that this is AMD's first high-performance architecture since the Fury line of graphics cards. But to be fair to AMD, they did warn us - the Frontier Edition isn't the right graphics card for gamers.

One of the points of contention for this new release was that AMD delivered a graphics card that straddled the prosumer equation - offering both Pro drivers for professional workloads, and a Gaming Mode which should allow developers to seamlessly jump from development mode to testing mode through a driver toggle. However, when used at launch of the Frontier Edition - and even now - this toggle is little more than a dud. Mostly, what it does is remove the Wattman control panel.

AMD RX Vega First Pricing Information Leaked in Sweden - "Feels Wrong"

Nordic Hardware is running a piece where they affirm their sources in the Swedish market have confirmed some retailers have already received first pricing information for AMD's upcoming RX Vega graphics cards. This preliminary pricing information places the Radeon RX Vega's price-tag at around 7,000 SEK (~$850) excluding VAT. Things take a turn towards the ugly when we take into account that this isn't even final retail price for consumers: add in VAT and the retailer's own margins, and prospective pricing is expected at about 9,000 SEK (~$1093). Pricing isn't fixed, however, as it varies between manufacturers and models (which we all know too well), and current pricing is solely a reference ballpark.

There is a possibility that the final retail prices will be different from these quoted ones, and if latest performance benchmarks are vindicated, they really should be. However, Nordic Hardware quotes their sources as saying these prices are setting a boundary for "real and final", and that the sentiment among Swedish retailers is that the pricing "Feels wrong". For reference, NVIDIA's GTX 1080 Ti is currently retailing at around 8,000 SEK (~971) including VAT, while the GTX 1080, which RX Vega has commonly been trading blows with, retails for around 5600 SEK (~$680) at the minimum. This should go without saying, but repare your body for the injection of a NaCl solution.

AMD Radeon RX Vega Put Through 3DMark

Ahead of its July 27 unveiling at AMD's grand media event on the sidelines of SIGGRAPH, performance benchmarks of the elusive Radeon RX Vega consumer graphics card surfaced once again. Someone with access to an RX Vega sample, with its GPU clocked at 1630 MHz and memory at 945 MHz, put it through 3DMark. One can tell that it's RX Vega and not Pro Vega Frontier Edition, looking at its 8 GB video memory amount.

In three test runs, the RX Vega powered machine yielded a graphics score of 22,330 points, 22,291 points, and 20.949 points. This puts its performance either on-par or below that of the GeForce GTX 1080, but comfortably above the GTX 1070. The test-bench consisted of a Core i7-5960X processor, and graphics driver version 22.19.640.2.

AMD's RX Vega Low Key Budapest Event: Vega Pitted Against GTX 1080

On the first stop in AMD's two-continent spanning RX Vega tour (which really only counts with three locations), the company pitted their upcoming RX Vega graphics card (we expect this to be their flagship offering) against NVIDIA's GTX 1080 graphics card. The event itself was pretty subdued, and there was not much to see when it comes to the RX Vega graphics card - literally. Both it and the GTX 1080 were enclosed inside PC towers, with the event-goers not being allowed to even catch a glimpse of the piece of AMD hardware that has most approximated a unicorn in recent times.

The Vega-powered system also made use of a Ryzen 7 processor, and the cards were running Battlefield 1 (or Sniper Elite 4; there's lots of discussion going on about that, but the first image below does show a first-person view) with non-descript monitors, one supporting FreeSync, the other G-Sync. The monitor's models were covered by cloth so that users weren't able to tell which system was running which graphics card, though due to ASUS' partnership in the event, both were (probably) of ASUS make. The resolution used was 3440 x 1440, which should mean over 60 FPS on the GTX 1080 on Ultra. It has been reported by users that attended the event that one of the systems lagged slightly in one portion of the demo, though we can't confirm which one (and I'd say that was AMD's intention.)

Liquid-cooled AMD Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition Power Draw Tested

The liquid-cooled variant of AMD Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition has some very lofty power requirements. Although it draws power from a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connectors, which along with the PCI-Express slot total a power output of 375W, the card was tested by PC Perspective, to be overdrawing power from the power connectors, with a peak power draw of a staggering 440W, with its power limit raised by 25% to stabilize a 7% overclock. At its stock clock speeds, however, the card remains well under the 375W limit, drawing around 350W of power.

The liquid-cooled Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition has its TDP rated at 375W, compared to 300W of the air-cooled variant. Given its performance being somewhere between the GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti, these figures don't bode particularly well for the upcoming Radeon RX Vega family of consumer graphics cards, unless AMD pulls a rabbit out of its hat with pricing. The RX Vega series is expected to be announced on July 27.

Liquid Cooled AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition Now on Sale for $1,489.99

The liquid cooled version of AMD's latest graphics card meant for the "pioneering crowd" of prosumers has been made available over at SabrePC. It sports the exact same GPU you'd find on the air-cooled version, featuring all the same 4096 Stream Processors and 16 GB of HBM2 memory. The only differences are, and you guessed it, the higher cooling capacity afforded by the AIO solution, and the therefore increased TDP from the 300 W of the air-cooled version to a eyebrow-raising 375 W. That increase in TDP must come partially from the employed cooling solution, but also from an (for now, anecdotal) ability for the card to more easily sustain higher clocks, closer to its AMD-rated 1,630 MHz peak core clock.

You can nab one right now in that rather striking gold and blue color scheme, and have it shipped to you in 24H. Hit the source link for the SabrePC page.

AMD CEO Talks Ryzen Threadripper and Ryzen 3 Series in Latest Company Video

In a video presentation posted on the company's official YouTube channel, AMD CEO Lisa Su talked at length about the two new lines of Ryzen desktop processors the company plans to launch later this month. This includes the Ryzen Threadripper HEDT socket TR4 processor at the higher-end of the lineup, and the new Ryzen 3 series socket AM4 processors at the lower-end. AMD is announcing market-availability of two SKUs for each of the two brands. To begin with, AMD will launch two quad-core SKUs in the Ryzen 3 series, beginning with the Ryzen 3 1200 and the Ryzen 3 1300X. Both of these are quad-core parts which lack SMT, leaving them with just four threads. AMD is expected to price them on par with Intel's dual-core "Kaby Lake" Core i3 SKUs.

The Ryzen 3 1200 is clocked at 3.10 GHz, with 3.40 GHz boost, the 1300X is clocked higher, at 3.50 GHz, with 3.70 GHz boost, and XFR (extended frequency range) enabling higher clocks depending on the efficacy of your cooling. Both parts will be available worldwide on July 27. The Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processor lineup is designed to take Intel's Core X series head-on, and will launch with two SKUs, initially. This includes the 12-core Ryzen Threadripper 1920X, and the 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X. Both parts further feature SMT and XFR. The 12-core/24-thread 1920X features clock speeds of 3.50 GHz, with 4.00 GHz boost; while the 16-core/32-thread 1950X ticks at 3.40 GHz, with 4.00 GHz boost. AMD also ran live demos of the Threadripper chips, in which the 12-core 1920X was shown to beat 10-core Intel Core i9-7900X at Cinebench R15 multi-threaded benchmark. The 16-core 1950X was shown to be close to 50% faster than the i9-7900X. The company also confirmed pricing.

Intel Says AMD EPYC Processors "Glued-together" in Official Slide Deck

So, yes, Intel, I think the AMD engineers who have developed the Zen architecture from the ground-up would take issue with that. Especially when AMD's "Glued-together" dies actually wipe the proverbial floor with the blue company's chips in power-performance ratios, and deliver much better multi-threaded performance than Intel's offerings. Not bad for a "Glued-together" solution, I'd say.

Our resident W1zzard had this to say regarding AMD's latest CPUs: "The SenseMi power-management system seems to be working well in idle, with the 8-core machine drawing the same amount of power as Intel's quad-core "Kaby Lake" machine." And "At stock speeds, the energy-efficiency of Ryzen is truly phenomenal. Prime95 loads all cores and threads on the chip, and the Ryzen ends up with as much power draw as the quad-core Intel i7-7700K. The high power draw result of the overclocked chip is due to the increased voltage needed to achieve stable operation." And let's not forget this: This is epic. We're assuming you've sifted through our game-test results before seeing this page, and so you'll find that the gaming power draw of the 8-core Ryzen makes Intel's quad-core i7-7700K look bad. Power draw is as much as 30W lesser! Ryzen is hands down the most energy-efficient performance CPU AMD ever made, and easily outclasses Intel's 14 nm "leadership." Good show."

Here Be AMD RX Vega Model's Codenames: Vega XTX, Vega XT, Vega XL

Videocardz is running a story where some of their sources have seemingly confirmed the Radeon RX Vega model's codenames according to the particular GPU that's being run, with some juicy extra tidbits for your consumption pleasure. Naturally, as Videocardz themselves put it, codenames be codenames, and are always subject to change.

However, what is arguably more interesting is the supposed segregation between models. Apparently, the RX Vega XTX is the same GPU that ticks inside AMD's Vega Frontier Edition, only with a reference water cooling solution attached to it. They report that the board should pull in 375 W of power, with the GPU pulling in 300 W of those. The Vega XT will reportedly be a more mundane air-cooled version of the graphics card, as are the until-now launched Frontier Edition versions of it (with a reduced 285 W board power, with the ASIC now pulling 220 of those watts.) The most interesting point, though, is the Vega XL. Videocardz is reporting that this will be a cut-down version of the Vega XTX and Vega XT's 4096 Stream Processors, down to 3584 Stream Processors, and that it will be sold exclusively in custom variants designed by AMD's AIB partners. Board power and ASIC power are the same as the Vega XT version, though, which seems strange, considering the not insignificant cut down in graphics processing resources. It is unclear as of yet the amount of HBM 2 memory the AIB-exclusive Vega XL will carry, but the Vega XTX and Vega XT should both deliver 8 GB of it.

RX Vega is On the Road: AMD Showcases Their Latest on a Road Trip

In a bid to increase interest and feed the Radeon rebels with hope for their latest high-performance GPU architecture, AMD is beginning a celebration of sorts, a road trip that will span two continents. Now this community tour won't be a non-stop travel and showcase - it's really only going to stop in two places. Still, AMD will be giving those lucky enough to be in attendance a chance to visit their Radeon RX Vega Experience area, where you'll be able to game on the upcoming graphics card and take in the experience, trade-show-style.

The first stop is in the old continent: the Radeon Experience will be setting up shop in the Akvárium Klub in Budapest, Hungary, from 2 to 7 CET. Then, the Radeon team will travel across the pond towards the USA, more specifically, towards PDXLAN in Portland, from July 21st to July 23rd. Finally, the last stop is one we knew about already: SIGGRAPH in the City of Angels. As we knew, they confirm that "Details on the Radeon RX Vega are coming during SIGGRAPH 2017, so you'll want to pay attention to what's happening during this technology summit taking place in the last week of July." So now you know. Are you going to go out of your way to attend?
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