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      07-30-2008, 02:41 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by UltimateBMW View Post
Don't mention it. Just happy to help out. Let me know what you end up getting, and if you have any more questions.
Will do.
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      07-31-2008, 09:16 AM   #24
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Another question:

The Nvidia website lists the specs for the different video cards. Here's the listing for the 8000 series:

My current video card and the 8800GT's Texture Fill Rate are circled. Would it be safe to say that the 8800GT is almost ten times faster than my current video card ?? And, is the Texture Fill Rate value a good indicator of performance ??

edit: My 8500GT cards both have 512MB memory, so that may make a difference on the numbers.
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      07-31-2008, 02:17 PM   #25
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While yes your Texture fill rate is nearly 10% of what the 8800GT has, I wouldn't say that this alone makes the 8800GT 10x faster. The reason being is because there are so many other factors (You can even see them all in that chart alone) that play a role in the overall performance that you get out of a card. The texture fill rate is just one of many aspects.

I'll admit though, this is getting a bit beyond my expertise in the matter since I am not a professional in the field. Nor am I a professional computer engineer, more just a dedicated hobbier. So by looking at the chart you provided alone, I can safely assume that the 8800GT will be at the very least twice as fast as what you are seeing since it has roughly twice the values in most of the categories listed. If you want to sum up the speed of a graphics card in one number though, I would be more inclined to say that the pure number of transistors will determine the overall speed you'll see out of it. So you should compare that number as well. Let me see if I can find some literature to explain a bit more depth about each of the fields on that chart.
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      07-31-2008, 02:20 PM   #26
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Here is a brief article explaining one aspect of the texture fill rate stat.

Quote:
Posted By: Michael Thomas - 10:42:00 Thu, July 06, 2006
Short Version

The number of textured pixels the card can render to the screen every second. To render a 3D scene, textures are mapped over the top of polygon meshes. This is called texture mapping and is accomplished by texture mapping units (TMUs) on the videocard. Texture fill rate is a measure of the speed with which a particular card can perform texture mapping.

How To Calculate It


Texture Fill Rate = (# of TMUs) x (Core Clock)

Does It Matter?

Though pixel shader processing is becoming more important, this number still holds some weight. Best example of this is the X1600 XT. This card has a 3 to 1 ratio of pixel shader processors/texture mapping units. And the X1600 XT gets creamed by the 7600 GT because of it. In the mid range, texture mapping can still very much be a bottleneck.

However, at the high end, the X1900 XTX has this same 3 to 1 ratio, but does just fine because screen resolutions top out and it has more than enough texture mapping power to handle any display.

Long Version

Over the years the ratio of texture mapping units to pixel pipelines has bounced around a bit. At first, the Voodoo1 had 1 pixel pipeline and 1 texture mapping unit. Then came the Voodoo2 which had 1 pixel pipeline, but 2 texture mapping units. This ability to apply 2 different textures in a single clock cycle was a huge advantage over other cards which would take 2 clock cycles to do the same job. But this was only an advantage in games that actually performed muti-texturing. (luckily several big games did and the Voodoo2 was a huge success).

The ratio stayed at 2 to 1 for quite a while, all the way up till ATi released the R300 powered 9700 pro which had 8 pixel pipes and 8 texture mapping units. The ratio changed here, because the number of pixel pipelines got so high that memory simply couldn't keep up. Even with the best memory of the day the 9700 pro's 8 texture units were underfed to begin with, if a second TMU per pipe had been added, it would have been completely starved and useless.

Recently ATi has introduced the X1600s and X1900s, both of which feature a 3 to 1 ratio of pixel pipes to texture units. This crippled the X1600, but gave the X1900s a nice boost (25% over the X1800 XT which was 1:1). We can see from this that a 3:1 ratio is somewhat inefficient (only a 25% boost in performance from a 300% boost in pixel pipelines). nVidia has remained at a 1:1 ratio ever since the launch of the GeForce 6 Series.
Back
Source: http://www.gpureview.com/texture-fil...ticle-375.html
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      07-31-2008, 02:28 PM   #27
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Here is a quick reference to each of the stats mentioned.

1. clock speed : this is the speed at which the gpu(graphics processor unit) runs at,the faster the clock speed the faster the card can render graphics in games and applications.

2. memory speed : memory clock speed is the speed at which the video memory runs at,just like system memory(ram),video memory runs at a speed such as 500mhz which equates to the speed at which the card can perform however some memory is shown as "non ddr effective",this means allthough a cards memory speed may be shown as just 750mhz taking into account its ddr effectivness its actual speed is 1500mhz( 2 x 750mhz = 1.5ghz ddr effective)

3.memory bit interface : The number of bits wide (and the organization) of the memory bus that connects your GPU to your video card RAM.In order to process 3D data as much as possible your video card has onboard RAM which typically operates much faster than your system RAM. This onboard video card RAM is connected to the GPU via the memory bus. This connection can be of varying widths depending on what GPU you have. Some GPUs support wider busses than others. Also, most cards support using memory over a smaller bus than the maximum supported by the card.

4.memory bandwidth : Memory bandwidth is equal to the size of the memory bus multiplied by the speed at which the memory is clocked.The higher the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be able to handle large textures and anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering. Not to say that you don't need a lot of memory bandwidth if you don't want to use these features, you still do. Memory bandwidth is important in nearly every part of graphics processing.

5.pixel and shader version : This relates to a cards DirectX compliance. DirectX can be divided into two specifications, the Pixel Shader Model, and the Vertex Shader Model. Each model has different hardware requirements, and when you take both into account you can determine the overall DirectX version.
Think of this number as a more specific description of the DirectX version. Specifically, what pixel manipulation capabilities it has.
Here's a brief description of the different versions:
PS2.0 - Came with the original DirectX 9.0 specification. First implemented in the Radeon 9700 Pro.
PS2.0a - Usually refers to the extended PS2.0 version supported by nVidia's GeForce FX line. Essentially a quarter of the way to full blown PS3.0. It supported far more instructions and features than the PS2.0 specification required.
PS2.0b - Refers to the shader model supported by the Radeon X700/X8*0 series. Could handle more instructions than PS2.0, but was still behind PS2.0a in instruction limits and features.
PS3.0 - Most notably added dynamic flow control making the gpu much more like a general processor (cpu). Also removed the ceiling on most instruction limits entirely and raised other limits significantly. This model is supported by all GeForce 6 Series and higher and all Radeon X1000 series and higher.
PS4.0 - Significantly raised nearly all instruction limits, added integer operations, tightened handling of floating point numbers, as well as tons of other features. This model is supported by all GeForce 8 Series and higher and all Radeon X2000 series and higher. This is generally considered to be a much more significant upgrade than was PS3.0.

6.DirectX Compliance : DirectX is an API created and maintained by Microsoft for the purpose of programming 3D applications. With different versions of DirectX new capabilities are added, and the minimum requirements for support go up. For example, version 9 of DirectX introduced pixel shader version 2.0 support, so in order for a card to be DirectX 9 compliant, it would have to support PS 2.0 (as well as other requirements).
Game developers target their games to these DirectX levels. Often they'll create multiple different modes to support different versions of DirectX and thus different generations of video cards. Older cards which don't support the latest DirectX version often have to use downgraded visuals in order to get a game to play.

7. OpenGL Compliance : Like DirectX, OpenGL is an API for programming 3D accellerated applications. OpenGL is an open standard originally based on SGI's IRIS GL. DirectX has become easier to program and is updated more frequently than OpenGL, so a lot of programmers have migrated to DirectX. However, OpenGL's relative stagnation has made it a far more reliable platform than OpenGL, so professional applications tend to favor it. OpenGL is also cross-platform whereas DirectX is limited to Windows.

8. Pixel Fill Rate : The number of pixels the card can render to the screen every second. Before pixel shader processing became the more limiting factor, this was the most accurate measure of performance (along with texel fill rate).
How To Calculate It
Pixel Fill Rate = (# of ROPs) x (Core Clock)

9. The number of textured pixels the card can render to the screen every second. To render a 3D scene, textures are mapped over the top of polygon meshes. This is called texture mapping and is accomplished by texture mapping units (TMUs) on the videocard. Texture fill rate is a measure of the speed with which a particular card can perform texture mapping.
How To Calculate It
Texture Fill Rate = (# of TMUs) x (Core Clock)

10. Texture Units : Texture units (aka TMUs or texture mapping units) map textures onto 3D geometry. (see Texture Fill Rate ). 3D scenes are generally composed of two things: 3D geometry, and the textures that cover that geometry. Texture units in a video card take a texture and 'map' it to a piece of geometry. That is, they wrap the texture around the geometry and produce textured pixels which can then be written to the screen.
Textures can be an actual image, a light map, or even bump mapping.

11. Raster Operator : Raster Operators (ROPs) handle several chores near the end of the of the pixel pipeline. ROPs handle anti-aliasing, Z and color compression, and the actual writing of the pixel to the output buffer.
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      07-31-2008, 02:31 PM   #28
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@ UltimateBMW:

Thanks for all the info. It definitely shows that my current video card is definitely slow compared to the 8800GT.
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      08-01-2008, 01:14 PM   #29
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not to but if a mobo has pci-e 1.0, can you still put a pci-e 2.0 card in the slot? i hope so cause upgrading mobos is a real pita.
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      08-01-2008, 09:40 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by hl0m4n View Post
not to but if a mobo has pci-e 1.0, can you still put a pci-e 2.0 card in the slot? i hope so cause upgrading mobos is a real pita.

Answered in your other thread. Upgrading the motherboard is very easy. Last time I did it, I followed these instructions: Motherboard replacement This is presuming you are running either W2K or XP.
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      08-05-2008, 09:45 AM   #31
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Hey MadDog, Tomshardware.com just came out with their best for the price list for August.

Check it out if you still haven't gotten a new card yet.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...card,1987.html
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      08-05-2008, 10:04 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateBMW View Post
Hey MadDog, Tomshardware.com just came out with their best for the price list for August.

Check it out if you still haven't gotten a new card yet.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...card,1987.html

Thanks for the link. I still haven't bought the video card - haven't had the time. I liked the review of the Radeon 4870. Fry's has it on sale for $279.99, so I'm going to try and get there after work.

Edit: My PSU only has one PCI-Express 6-pin connector. Would this preclude me from getting a video card that needed two - such as the 4870 ?? I don't really think I'd want to use a splitter......

Last edited by MadDog; 08-05-2008 at 10:33 AM.
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      08-05-2008, 01:44 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadDog View Post
Thanks for the link. I still haven't bought the video card - haven't had the time. I liked the review of the Radeon 4870. Fry's has it on sale for $279.99, so I'm going to try and get there after work.

Edit: My PSU only has one PCI-Express 6-pin connector. Would this preclude me from getting a video card that needed two - such as the 4870 ?? I don't really think I'd want to use a splitter......
Yeah, if you don't have the right pin connectors on your current psu, you shouldn't get the card. Get a card that only requires 1 if thats all you got. I probably should of asked you about that near the beginning on this thread. haha

Be careful because there are some cards that require a 8pin connector as well. Some PSU's will have an extra 2 pin modifier on the strand if you need it, but I don't know how common this is.
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      08-05-2008, 01:45 PM   #34
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Yeah, if you don't have the right pin connectors on your current psu, you shouldn't get the card. Get a card that only requires 1 if thats all you got. I probably should of asked you about that near the beginning on this thread. haha
Then, I'll be looking at the 8800GTS when I go to Fry's !!

Thanks again.......

Edit: The Hierarchy chart on Tom's Hardware shows the 8800GT as being on the same level as the 8800GTS, so I may just get the 8800GT.

Here's the chart:
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      08-06-2008, 10:36 AM   #35
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Its really just a matter of $30 now. Here are 2 very good options. The 8800GTS has a core clockspeed of 675mhz, the 8800GT has 625 mhz.

$129.99 (after $30 rebate) - BFG Tech BFGE88512GTOCE GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814143118

$159.99 (after $30 rebate) - BFG Tech BFGE88512GTSE GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814143119

Tough call. I'd probably just grab the 8800GT. I've been very happy with mine, it is a great card. The way I see it, the money you save now, you could use later on to buy a top of the line model when it first comes out.
(This was my original plan when I got a 8800GT and was waiting for the GT200 series cards. However now, I'm pretty happy with the 8800GT so I'm going to wait probably a year or two before upgrading again.)
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      08-06-2008, 10:38 AM   #36
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Really quick, on the chart. Some of their reviews that I have read in the past are slightly different than what that chart portrays. But overall any difference I've seen is pretty insignificant. The chart is mostly a very good resource.
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      08-08-2008, 11:24 PM   #37
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Quote:
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Don't mention it. Just happy to help out. Let me know what you end up getting, and if you have any more questions.
Picked up an XFX GeForce 8800GT 512MB Alpha Dog card on Thursday from Fry's. Cost was $169.99 +tax and a $30 rebate. Will wind up costing me $154.01. The salesman was trying to talk me into getting a 9800GT until I told him I only had one PCI Express power connector. Couldn't believe I actually found a salesman who knew something at Fry's.
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      08-08-2008, 11:57 PM   #38
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Quote:
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Picked up an XFX GeForce 8800GT 512MB Alpha Dog card on Thursday from Fry's. Cost was $169.99 +tax and a $30 rebate. Will wind up costing me $154.01. The salesman was trying to talk me into getting a 9800GT until I told him I only had one PCI Express power connector. Couldn't believe I actually found a salesman who knew something at Fry's.
haha, nice man. You'll enjoy it.
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      08-09-2008, 06:12 PM   #39
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haha, nice man. You'll enjoy it.
Thanks. It's already shown itself to be a lot faster on games.
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      08-10-2008, 12:08 AM   #40
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Definitely, pick up a copy of COD4 and at least play through the single player. Its pretty amazing.
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      08-27-2008, 04:00 PM   #41
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Last question: Upgrade to Windows Vista (with DX10), or stick with Windows XP (DX9) ??

A software developer who used to work for me now works for Microsoft, and can get me a copy VERY cheap.
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      08-28-2008, 04:54 PM   #42
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Quote:
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Last question: Upgrade to Windows Vista (with DX10), or stick with Windows XP (DX9) ??

A software developer who used to work for me now works for Microsoft, and can get me a copy VERY cheap.
Well, it depends on how long you can hold out. And also how big of a gamer you are. Microsoft will stop it's support for XP by the end of this year. When I say stop, I mean completely stop. They basically are going to force poeple to upgrade to vista. But I imagine most games that come out in the next year or two will be XP complient still, since the game producers won't want that to be any kind of limiting factor for selling their game to poeple. I also believe that Windows 7 should be out around 2009. So if you can live with xp, or whatever your current O/S is, until 2009 without any MS support or updates I would say hold off. But this is a general reply.

Getting a bit more detailed, most games will be using DX10 in the upcoming years, and as time goes on obviously it will only become worse (or better depending on your point of view). But alot of games may still be DX9 compliant which means you would still be able to run them, they just won't look as pretty. I currently am using Vista 64bit, which brings me to the topic of actually using it, its usability, and any bugs. So far I've only seen a few compatibility issues with Vista 64 bit. I enjoy the change in interface and graphics and the extra system ram that I can run on it. (8gb max in 64bit vs. 4 gb max in 32 bit)

If you like to play older games, you can forget it in a 64bit system. Classic versions of games won't work at all on a 64bit machine, whether it is XP or Vista. In the end there would only be 2 reasons for you to upgrade, get a new cooler interface or to go from a 32bit to a 64bit OS. There is also a 64bit XP version, but like I said MS isn't going to support XP for much longer. How good of a deal can your friend get you? If its incredible, you might as well take him up on it to carry you over to Windows 7, but i'll let you know now that Vista is ALOT heavier on your system resources. Your 8800GTS card won't have much trouble running it, and if you have 4gb of ram you'll be fine. But alot of average computers sold at Best Buy and Fry's may have some trouble.


My reply kind of jumps around on topic because im trying to close up my computer and go home as I write it. Its 4:55pm here.

Shoot me a PM if you want of what your looking to run on the computer in the new or distant future. I'll talk to you more about it.
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      09-01-2008, 09:30 PM   #43
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Quote:
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Well, it depends on how long you can hold out. And also how big of a gamer you are. Microsoft will stop it's support for XP by the end of this year. When I say stop, I mean completely stop. They basically are going to force poeple to upgrade to vista. But I imagine most games that come out in the next year or two will be XP complient still, since the game producers won't want that to be any kind of limiting factor for selling their game to poeple. I also believe that Windows 7 should be out around 2009. So if you can live with xp, or whatever your current O/S is, until 2009 without any MS support or updates I would say hold off. But this is a general reply.

Getting a bit more detailed, most games will be using DX10 in the upcoming years, and as time goes on obviously it will only become worse (or better depending on your point of view). But alot of games may still be DX9 compliant which means you would still be able to run them, they just won't look as pretty. I currently am using Vista 64bit, which brings me to the topic of actually using it, its usability, and any bugs. So far I've only seen a few compatibility issues with Vista 64 bit. I enjoy the change in interface and graphics and the extra system ram that I can run on it. (8gb max in 64bit vs. 4 gb max in 32 bit)

If you like to play older games, you can forget it in a 64bit system. Classic versions of games won't work at all on a 64bit machine, whether it is XP or Vista. In the end there would only be 2 reasons for you to upgrade, get a new cooler interface or to go from a 32bit to a 64bit OS. There is also a 64bit XP version, but like I said MS isn't going to support XP for much longer. How good of a deal can your friend get you? If its incredible, you might as well take him up on it to carry you over to Windows 7, but i'll let you know now that Vista is ALOT heavier on your system resources. Your 8800GTS card won't have much trouble running it, and if you have 4gb of ram you'll be fine. But alot of average computers sold at Best Buy and Fry's may have some trouble.


My reply kind of jumps around on topic because im trying to close up my computer and go home as I write it. Its 4:55pm here.

Shoot me a PM if you want of what your looking to run on the computer in the new or distant future. I'll talk to you more about it.

Thanks for the advice. I do have a computer that should be able to run Vista - AMD 64 X2 6000+ (3.0GHz), 4 GB RAM, etc, etc.

My ex-developer, who now works for Microsoft, can get me Vista for $30.00. I ran the Microsoft Vista advisor on my desktop, and the only thing it didn't like was the video card. Guess that was because I'm using the XP driver ?? There is a Vista driver for it.

Also, is there any guarantee that Windows 7 will be better than Vista ??
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      09-01-2008, 11:55 PM   #44
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Quote:
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Thanks for the advice. I do have a computer that should be able to run Vista - AMD 64 X2 6000+ (3.0GHz), 4 GB RAM, etc, etc.

My ex-developer, who now works for Microsoft, can get me Vista for $30.00. I ran the Microsoft Vista advisor on my desktop, and the only thing it didn't like was the video card. Guess that was because I'm using the XP driver ?? There is a Vista driver for it.

Also, is there any guarantee that Windows 7 will be better than Vista ??
Absolutely none.

However, the likelyhood that it will be worse is slim. And $30?
Get it! That's dirt cheap as long as it is legit and not just a burned copy of a pirated file.

As of right now, the main perk they are showcasing already for Windows 7 is touch screen applications. Of coarse, this function would require a touch screen monitor.

And the 8800's have no trouble running Vista. I'm running Vista 64 with my 8800GT and its absolutely fine. The interface is so much cleaner and polished than previous Windows. It's just a nice change of pace. You'll have to get use to the constant Admin access that it will ask you for pretty much every time you want to install, uninstall applications. And in some instances even when you want to simply just run a application it will prompt you for it. But once you get use to it, it's really no big deal.

The coolest function I've found so far is this little button I've circled in red in this picture below. Its just fun to hit over and over again when you have alot of windows open!
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