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      05-21-2009, 02:27 PM   #23
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true. i never ran a dual set-up before so it would be interesting. i dont really play games at super high resolutions though so it might be a bit of overkill. plus im imagining with two cards there would be more heat? ill look into this more...
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      05-21-2009, 04:45 PM   #24
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Its pretty easy these days - you just clip them together and make sure you have a big enough PSU for those bad boys.

In all honesty anything beyond a 4870X2 is serious overkill.

Determine how large a screen you want to game at and the resolution and you'll be pretty hard pressed to find ANYTHING that'll need a GTX295 or a 4890X2.

The beauty of the X2 and 295 cards are that they are effectively Sli/Crossfire on a single board, minimizing hassel, heat and required power - both cards have 2 indivudal graphical processors on board.
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      05-25-2009, 04:17 PM   #25
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HAWX is a pretty demanding game at high resolutions. My brother's got a single GTX280 with an I7 920 6gb of ram, and I couldn't even run it at max resolution without choppyness.

But like aforementioned, 2 GTX 295s = overkill
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      05-25-2009, 06:20 PM   #26
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The OP is lucky, some very good advice has been dispensed in this thread.

Some notes:
First, to the person that said "SCSI raptors" are overkill...first of all, raptors are SATA, not SCSI. And I think they are useful even in any scenario where your hard drive is thrashing. I like how quick load times are and how applications pop open real quick. Obviously SSDs are faster and the new 7200.12 series Seagate drives are in some cases faster.

Second: To the folk asking if you do any multifunctional programming...that must have been a typo? I am a developer and the closest thing to that I have heard of is functional programming...and that can be run a P1 133MHz...(Haskell, F#)

Third: As for the person claiming ATI cards having more value right now...this is very true; ATI is a great value proposition but nVidia is doing a good job countering them. I personally prefer nVidia cards thanks to all the CUDA applications being developed for it. OP: CUDA allows the video card to be used for non video related tasks...and does them VERY fast. For example, using Badaboom, I am able to convert DVDs onto my iPhone in 1/20th of the time it takes my CPUs.

Now I suggest the OP sticks with Core i7 because of the aforementioned point of CPU socket. If you are going to be building a PC and want it to last 2-4 years, try to future-proof as much as you can. It is true Core 2's are pretty close in performance (HardOCP and Anandtech have good comparisions) but the i7 will have more headroom and lifespan in the form of overclocking, Hyperthreading, SSE instructions, and socket.

As for overclocking, I feel it's a no-brainer to overclock it. Get a nerdy friend to help you out if you are inexperienced. As long as you buy the correct stepping processor, a good motherboard, a stable power supply, a good CPU cooler, and quality RAM (And make sure to buy a good mobo and CPU cooler, 3.6GHz should be easily attainable; the additional speed will be noticeable in video encoding and other CPU intensive tasks. Also, it will slow the rate of performance decay on your PC, delaying when you will want to upgrade.

As for buying the parts...I personally would wait for deals over a month's span, and then assemble the computer once you get all the parts. I lurked on Slickdeals and got a Core i7 for $200 at Microcenter. (Be sure to stick with reputable sellers such as FrozenCPU, Newegg, TigerDirect, Fry's, ZipZoomFly, Fry's, etc)

One point I would like to make about SLi...stay away from it; irregardless of it being single card (GTX 295) or multi-cards. Micro-stuttering still exists and it is very annoying in my opinion. If your resolution is not too high, the GTX 275 is a great deal now and a good overclocker.

Keep in mind, Intel should be responding soon with their shot back at the latest Phenom's, and these should bring some nice improvements (along with increased cost) and nVidia has the GT300 cards around the corner which are rumored to be a more than 200%+ performance increase.

Regarding your PSU, when you buy it, don't just look at total output power, take a look at how much power is distributed on each rail and how efficient the unit is. Then, look at reviews on [H]ardOCP. They do comprehensive tests that show any issues that occur at full load (such as voltage ripple, etc).

The last step I suggest you take is to make an account on [H]ardForum or Anandtech forums. They have sections in which you lay out your complete build and people will critique it for you.

Anyways, good luck with your build and post any more questions you have!

Last edited by vgame64; 05-25-2009 at 07:07 PM. Reason: Merge + Clean
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      05-25-2009, 07:41 PM   #27
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LOL - definitely a hardforum, anandtech and extremeoverclock forum kinda guy myself...lucky for me this e92 I drive makes it hard for people to work out just how much of a geek I am.

Re the 300GT - I'm hearing some bad press in regards to this - I was an avid Nvida user myself, way back to the 4200 Ti, this 4850X2 was my first ATi experiment, however competition is good and raises the bar and lowers prices so I hope Nvidia deliver.
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      05-25-2009, 08:37 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_crome View Post
LOL - definitely a hardforum, anandtech and extremeoverclock forum kinda guy myself...lucky for me this e92 I drive makes it hard for people to work out just how much of a geek I am.

Re the 300GT - I'm hearing some bad press in regards to this - I was an avid Nvida user myself, way back to the 4200 Ti, this 4850X2 was my first ATi experiment, however competition is good and raises the bar and lowers prices so I hope Nvidia deliver.
Haha, my E90 does not help at all...b/c the second I open my mouth, my <3 for technology becomes obvious.

My main rig currently uses 2x280's in SLi and I am as happy as a pig in sh*t. (Aside from the microstuttering) I am considering getting GeForce 3D as well once I get a 120Hz monitor, but am still scared from my last 3D experience which was nauseating.
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      05-25-2009, 09:06 PM   #29
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I have an old 7900GT that I'm considering using as a physics card however I'm unsure if you can pair it up with an ATi - plus with the X2 cards I'm not seeing the microstutter, maybe I'm just lucky.

GTX280 Sli - you must be using a 42-inch plasma as your display! lol Thats extreme!
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      05-26-2009, 08:42 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_crome View Post
I have an old 7900GT that I'm considering using as a physics card however I'm unsure if you can pair it up with an ATi - plus with the X2 cards I'm not seeing the microstutter, maybe I'm just lucky.

GTX280 Sli - you must be using a 42-inch plasma as your display! lol Thats extreme!
42" LCD...was that a lucky guess? Creepy haha! (And two 30" 2560x1600 monitor's for coding)

As far as I know, the 7900GT won't work for nVidia PhysX because it requires an 8 series or higher card that supports CUDA and has unifed shaders.
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      05-26-2009, 12:03 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vgame64 View Post
The OP is lucky, some very good advice has been dispensed in this thread.

Some notes:
First, to the person that said "SCSI raptors" are overkill...first of all, raptors are SATA, not SCSI. And I think they are useful even in any scenario where your hard drive is thrashing. I like how quick load times are and how applications pop open real quick. Obviously SSDs are faster and the new 7200.12 series Seagate drives are in some cases faster.

Second: To the folk asking if you do any multifunctional programming...that must have been a typo? I am a developer and the closest thing to that I have heard of is functional programming...and that can be run a P1 133MHz...(Haskell, F#)

Third: As for the person claiming ATI cards having more value right now...this is very true; ATI is a great value proposition but nVidia is doing a good job countering them. I personally prefer nVidia cards thanks to all the CUDA applications being developed for it. OP: CUDA allows the video card to be used for non video related tasks...and does them VERY fast. For example, using Badaboom, I am able to convert DVDs onto my iPhone in 1/20th of the time it takes my CPUs.

Now I suggest the OP sticks with Core i7 because of the aforementioned point of CPU socket. If you are going to be building a PC and want it to last 2-4 years, try to future-proof as much as you can. It is true Core 2's are pretty close in performance (HardOCP and Anandtech have good comparisions) but the i7 will have more headroom and lifespan in the form of overclocking, Hyperthreading, SSE instructions, and socket.

As for overclocking, I feel it's a no-brainer to overclock it. Get a nerdy friend to help you out if you are inexperienced. As long as you buy the correct stepping processor, a good motherboard, a stable power supply, a good CPU cooler, and quality RAM (And make sure to buy a good mobo and CPU cooler, 3.6GHz should be easily attainable; the additional speed will be noticeable in video encoding and other CPU intensive tasks. Also, it will slow the rate of performance decay on your PC, delaying when you will want to upgrade.

As for buying the parts...I personally would wait for deals over a month's span, and then assemble the computer once you get all the parts. I lurked on Slickdeals and got a Core i7 for $200 at Microcenter. (Be sure to stick with reputable sellers such as FrozenCPU, Newegg, TigerDirect, Fry's, ZipZoomFly, Fry's, etc)

One point I would like to make about SLi...stay away from it; irregardless of it being single card (GTX 295) or multi-cards. Micro-stuttering still exists and it is very annoying in my opinion. If your resolution is not too high, the GTX 275 is a great deal now and a good overclocker.

Keep in mind, Intel should be responding soon with their shot back at the latest Phenom's, and these should bring some nice improvements (along with increased cost) and nVidia has the GT300 cards around the corner which are rumored to be a more than 200%+ performance increase.

Regarding your PSU, when you buy it, don't just look at total output power, take a look at how much power is distributed on each rail and how efficient the unit is. Then, look at reviews on [H]ardOCP. They do comprehensive tests that show any issues that occur at full load (such as voltage ripple, etc).

The last step I suggest you take is to make an account on [H]ardForum or Anandtech forums. They have sections in which you lay out your complete build and people will critique it for you.

Anyways, good luck with your build and post any more questions you have!
i am very lucky indeed for all the great advice given in this thead! especially by d_crome... very helpful guy

thanks for your advice too
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      05-26-2009, 08:00 PM   #32
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*sigh* of course, when im ready to place my order for the setup - the GTX 295 has to be sold out. not only at newegg, but at every other place that sells it
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      05-27-2009, 01:08 AM   #33
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^its ok, just wait 4 it or the next gen
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      05-27-2009, 01:20 AM   #34
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^its ok, just wait 4 it or the next gen
wont be awhile til thats out i bet, right? is there any official name for it or is it still speculation?
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      05-27-2009, 12:23 PM   #35
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You'll ALWAYS lose money "keeping up with the Jone's" on vid cards!

ALWAYS!!

dell might still have them - there was a 25% going on "computer accessories" too there which somehow GPU's fell under that category...I'll check for you to see if it's still active.

Oh - try this - they have them at Amazon, free shipping and no tax.

http://www.amazon.com/BFG-BFGEGTX295...3444920&sr=8-2
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      05-27-2009, 01:50 PM   #36
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You'll ALWAYS lose money "keeping up with the Jone's" on vid cards!

ALWAYS!!

dell might still have them - there was a 25% going on "computer accessories" too there which somehow GPU's fell under that category...I'll check for you to see if it's still active.

Oh - try this - they have them at Amazon, free shipping and no tax.

http://www.amazon.com/BFG-BFGEGTX295...3444920&sr=8-2
sold out as well

what are the differences between the EVGA gtx 295, BFG gtx 295, etc. ?

also i noticed evga has 2 versions of them - one is black, the other is red. any differences besides color?
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      05-27-2009, 02:57 PM   #37
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BFG and EVGA have the best warranty and customer service in the industry - so you don't lose regardless in your choice between the two.

Now as far as same chip, different colour/name etc goes - this is basically the manufacturer trying to offer you something "different" than the stock chip from Nvdia - they might have a better factory cooler, a higher clock setting (i.e. they "boosted" the speed a little more than the "stock" version) etc. None of these things can't be done aftermarket by you if you choose to - i.e. you can boost the speed of the card yourself easily within windows (overclocking) and you can replace the factory heatsink with an aftermarket too.

Again - all that I've just mentioned is "value engineering" - pushing a little less to go a little more - so it's your call.

If it were me - I'd go dual 4890's for $200 a pop - then you'd have a $400 vid card that would kick a GTX295's $ss and still have an additional $150 to play with - again, that's my preference.

EDIT - if you wanted to get REALLY crazy - that MB has THREE GPU slots - you could effectively go TRI-CROSSFIRE with 4890's for $600 - I'd hate to think just how insane that would be.
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      05-27-2009, 08:52 PM   #38
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XFX's warranty has been good for me as well. EVGA is the best by far though, IMO.
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      06-02-2009, 03:05 PM   #39
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There is some good advice in here.

However, I'd like to add that a lot of the more recent batches of i7 920's have been disappointing in the OC aspect. At first, Intel was pumping out some real scorchers, but of late, those have been harder to find. The 1366 so far has been more of a server type processor that happens to clock like a mofo but is way more than what is needed for the average user or gamer.

Also, for a gamer, the hyperthreading is overkill at this point in time. And by the time it'll be applicable or necessary in games, your other specs won't keep up. Keep in mind that for many games, two cores at 4GHz outperforms four cores at 3GHz.

Look into the AM3 CPU's and boards as well. There is plenty there to gawk at. The 45nm 955 (I think) 3.2GHz stock, again clocks like a mofo, and has DDR3 support. It will also cost you much less to build than an i7 setup. The only thing about this is that the good clocking AMD mobos rule out the nvidia (SLI) NB, even though the 780a platform is ok too.

As far as video cards go, ATI has done great things with their drivers lately (which have traditionally been their achilles heel), and the 4890 is one hell of a bargain and an unexpectedly amazing overclocker. It still gets beat by the 285 in a lot of aspects, but they aren't really in the same price range at the moment. In any case, unless you're above 1920x1200, you won't need more than the 4890 unless you jack up the AA and such.

Most modern onboard sound cards will do unless you've got some crazy setup. If you insist on a sound card (keep in mind this will slightly inhibit flow for other devices requiring cooling), stay away from the fatal1ty.

As far as CPU coolers go, I use the CM V8. It's alright. The TRUE, lapped and fans on both sides seems to be the concensus best bet there.

Casewise, I'd recommend the CM HAF, especially if you plan on going WC at all. Otherwise, the CM690 is a great case that doesn't take up your entire living room.

Supportwise, EVGA, BFG, and XFX rule. Foxconn blows goats (but I use their Quantum Force boards because they clock great with extensive cooling). ASUS I've heard can be dicey.

It all comes down to "how much more than you need do you want?" In six months, you'll be looking at the prices of your components, watching them fall through the floor, and gazing at the "new" stuff (such as 32nm procs). IMO, i7 is overkill. But sometimes overkill is what you want.
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      06-03-2009, 04:41 AM   #40
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Quote:
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i'm looking into building a new PC but am not too familiar or up-to-date with parts.

what are some of the cool or "hottest" parts to have right now?

video card
motherboard
ram
audio card
etc etc

thanks
I built my system roughly 1 1/2 ago so it is "out of date" even though it will rape 99% of systems out there.

Here are a few things you should put into consideration:
Are you going to be overclocking? And do you know how?
SLI or single card?
Water Cooling or fan? Or both?
How big do you want your tower?
Are you going to trying to get a decent 3DMark score?
How much money are you willing to sink into this beast?

Here is what I could get with a budget of around $2000 which is a decent budget:

CoolerMaster Cosmos case. (I regret not getting this baby everyday)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811119138

Thermaltake 1000Watt PSU
http://www.provantage.com/thermaltak...u~7THER04H.htm

Intel i7 920 Nahalem 2.66quad core 8mb cache (plenty)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819115202

Cooler Master V10 fan (excellent cooling and it cools the ram also)
http://www.sundialmicro.com/cooler_m...1740_1528.html

EVGA X58 SLI/Crossfire ready board (best on the market)
http://speedycomputing.com/index.php...132-BL-E758-TR

OCZ Blade Series DDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820227414

Nvidia GTX 295 (If you have deep pockets add 1 or 2 for maximum performance)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814143167

Atleast Dual Western Digital VelociRaptor 150GB 10000RPM
(Set these these things in Raid-0 to fly) add Terabyte Hard Drive for all your porn also.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136296

LG Blue-Ray player
http://www.acnt.com/product.asp?pf_id=DVDRWLGB100

Creative-Labs X-Fi Extreme Gamer sound card
http://www.altex.com/COCLBlaster-X-F...A-P143110.aspx

That should do it. If I missed anything feel free to pm me. If you have any questions at all or want to paypal me some money lemme know.

Here's a picture of my system:
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      06-03-2009, 01:02 PM   #41
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I would recommend the Cosmos S over the cosmos, as you can fit a triple rad in without extensive modification.
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      06-03-2009, 04:05 PM   #42
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Definitely agree - the new i7's are hit and miss depending on the stepping - the D0's are the ones to go for, where as a C0 doesn't have that overclocking headroom but it's still very solid.

Unfortunately it looks like Intel is reverting to it's old ways of locked chips and limiting overclocks (remember the old P2 and P3 days??) with the new i5 CPU's - and not only is it a new CPU, it's a new socket too - so you'll have 2 different sockets for 2 different CPUs....just more fuss and confusion.

It's really going to open the door for AMD again - just like they did back in the day with the Athalon XP chips - making them unlocked and a single socket so you COULD overclock and UPGRADE easily. All AMD need is just ONE good i7 equivalent chip - they've been playing catch-up for the past 3 or 4 years now since the conroe's came out - so now with Intel stepping off the accelerator as it were, there's a chance for AMD once again.

Competition is great for everybody - just look at where ATi are now since Nvidia slowed down - they're right back in the game.

Coolermaster do make some nice cases aswell, if you want an alternative to Antec that's definitely it.

I still think that for gaming anything beyond a C2Duo is overkill - a highly clocked dual core is all you need with a badboy of a GPU. Today you can get an E8400 for $120, an ASUS P45 MB for $80, 4 gig DDR2 for $20 - right there for $220 you have a serious gaming platform. Slap on a 4850 for $80 and you have quite a respectable gaming system - slap on a 4870 or GTX260 - you have a serious gaming system - slap on a 4890, 4850X2 or GTX285 and you're seriously not going to "NEED" an upgrade anytime soon.

1T HD's are $70, Blu-Ray $80, Case $50 (antec 300, CM690), a good 700W PSU (OCZ $60) and a nice 22-inch display ($130) and you have yourself all the PC that anybody will need.

Not bad for $690...
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      06-03-2009, 04:43 PM   #43
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Definitely agree - the new i7's are hit and miss depending on the stepping - the D0's are the ones to go for, where as a C0 doesn't have that overclocking headroom but it's still very solid.

Unfortunately it looks like Intel is reverting to it's old ways of locked chips and limiting overclocks (remember the old P2 and P3 days??) with the new i5 CPU's - and not only is it a new CPU, it's a new socket too - so you'll have 2 different sockets for 2 different CPUs....just more fuss and confusion.

It's really going to open the door for AMD again - just like they did back in the day with the Athalon XP chips - making them unlocked and a single socket so you COULD overclock and UPGRADE easily. All AMD need is just ONE good i7 equivalent chip - they've been playing catch-up for the past 3 or 4 years now since the conroe's came out - so now with Intel stepping off the accelerator as it were, there's a chance for AMD once again.

Competition is great for everybody - just look at where ATi are now since Nvidia slowed down - they're right back in the game.

Coolermaster do make some nice cases aswell, if you want an alternative to Antec that's definitely it.

I still think that for gaming anything beyond a C2Duo is overkill - a highly clocked dual core is all you need with a badboy of a GPU. Today you can get an E8400 for $120, an ASUS P45 MB for $80, 4 gig DDR2 for $20 - right there for $220 you have a serious gaming platform. Slap on a 4850 for $80 and you have quite a respectable gaming system - slap on a 4870 or GTX260 - you have a serious gaming system - slap on a 4890, 4850X2 or GTX285 and you're seriously not going to "NEED" an upgrade anytime soon.

1T HD's are $70, Blu-Ray $80, Case $50 (antec 300, CM690), a good 700W PSU (OCZ $60) and a nice 22-inch display ($130) and you have yourself all the PC that anybody will need.

Not bad for $690...
Good write up. However everyone on here drives BMW's, and doesn't want to have to upgrade for awhile, even though you and I both know within 2 years a new pc will arrive at their doorstep. My build was extreme overkill, but it will do ANY job you throw at it with ease.

Btw Marty if you don't want a new i7 chip. I love my Q6600 to death. It's been overclocked to a stable 4.0ghz with ease. Then again I am on water cooling.
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      06-03-2009, 05:53 PM   #44
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I guess that above post was more for those who just want a GOOD pc that'll do more than the job for a relatively cheap price...

Sure you can spend 1000's - but thats why drive BMW's - spend 1000's on them instead...LOL

BTW I have an E8500 clocked to 4.1 on air and it's great - does everything I need it to and more.
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