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  • LancerVI - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    Hey, 10% may not catch it up, but a 10% bump is pretty damn good!

    That being said, I'm still waiting to replace my I7 920 C0 with something. It's probably going to be Ivy Bridge.
  • goldenatom - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    Same here, the old 920 is feeling a bit long in the tooth, pretty disappointed by the Ivy Bridge delay....not to mention the limited (and dang expensive) cpu releases for x58 over time... Reply
  • KingofL337 - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    I'm still Rocking a Q6600 @ 3.5GHz and haven't found a reason to upgrade. Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    I just grabbed a Phenom II X4 at 3.3ghz. Not cutting edge anymore, but considering I was moving from a 1.3ghz single core, it's significantly better. :) Reply
  • knedle - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    I gave up on my Q6600 and gave it to my brother, he never complained to me about it's performance, so I think it's still pretty good CPU.
    As for me, I moved to Sandy Bridge - something more energy efficient, to minimize electricity bills. ;)
  • dj christian - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    Agreed! See no reason for me upgrading my old trustworthy Q6600 until Ivy Bridge comes out. Will do good for both perfomance, powerdraw and requiring less powerfull fan which will do good for noise. Reply
  • CK804 - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    I'm still running a Q6700 at stock speeds on a 975X board. The only reason for me to upgrade would be to lower power consumption and noise. Reply
  • claytontullos - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    I've got a 920 D0 - No reason to upgrade.

    I've got it clocked at 3.6ghz.
  • Samus - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - link

    ditto, i have my 920 d0 clocked at 3.96 at 1.325v, completely cool and stable, no reason to upgrade, especially with 12gb of triple channel Reply
  • augiem - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - link

    Same here. (Can't remember the stepping.) @ 3.6 + 12GB mem, I don't see anything out there on the market worth spending hundreds of dollars on for an upgrade. Sure, you may get a 4.0 clock and 10% better performance per clock with SB, but it's just not significant in real-world use. I'm really suprised this build has lasted me 2.5 years already with no signs of feeling at all weak with all the 3D, video editing, photoshop, games, etc. stuff I do. I'm used to a 1.5 year upgrade cycle, but there's just no reason to upgrade. I guess processors just haven't been improving at the break-neck pace of the past. Reply
  • MadMan007 - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    Might as well wait until Haswell unless you really want lower power consumption or find yourself CPU-bound a lot. Reply
  • stimudent - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    I'm waiting for Collapsed Bridge. Reply
  • niva - Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - link

    Yeah wth, 10% is a HUGE deal. It might actually make the BD a better performer than the Phenom IIs now. Reply
  • Kryten67 - Friday, January 27, 2012 - link

    I wrote a benchmarking tool in 1999 which stress-tests the CPU's ability to context switch and perform small/large memory copy operations.
    I run the test to pin everything on one core of the processor.
    Doing so reveals that a new Opteron 6204 runs at about HALF the speed of an i7 920 or even a E3-1230.
    I've opened up support tickets with AMD and SuperMicro to see if I can get to the bottom of this issue, but it's a very concerning performance issue.
  • kishorshack - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    My basic question question here is why microsoft took months to address this issue, anyways wasnt anything that could have been done from AMD's side to tackle this issue????? Reply
  • N4g4rok - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    Maybe a driver, but that still would have just been a topical fix. The OS's thread scheduler is where the issue comes from. A new set of drivers wouldn't be able to dictate the way the OS handles parrallel processing, and it would ahve just consumed mroe unnecessary system memory. Reply
  • crimson117 - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    AMD could have identified this issue during testing and worked with Microsoft to release the patch before Bulldozer was released. Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    For all we know, they did and it has taken this long to straighten it out. I imagine it's not a small change.

    I wonder what would happen if you applied this fix to an Intel SMT system? :p
  • TormDK - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    Microsoft has much bigger conserns than a 2-5% hotfix for a certain kind of CPU when we are talking about changing the Scheduler in Windows Core.

    You do not do this without making certain overall Windows performance is not effected, Microsoft does not Hotfix it's core OS parts that often. It typically takes four to six months from an issue is identified, till a hotfix is provided depending on how business critical it is (Hint, AMD's issue isn't critical in that sense)
  • knedle - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    Microsoft took month to eliminate Pentium HT issue, so I think it's just the way all bi corporation are - big, slow and ugly ;) Reply
  • gseguin - Monday, December 19, 2011 - link

    Changes to the scheduler are complex. People (Benchmarks, applications, drivers) have been optimising for the current scheduler for years. When you change anything in the windows core, it represents months of testing on different hardware and apps. It makes no sense to make a windows patch that kills the performance of Core 2 Duo processors to help out AMD, so due diligence on this kind of patch is rather costly in time and effort..

    As for AMD, they probably provided the design for the patch and an engineer(s) for the project. They can't build windows core services themselves, else they'll have to pay for testing on all versions/subversions/patches of all supported windows versions, and risk loosing Microsoft as a partner.

    Microsoft has no vested interest in making AMD chips optimal for the OS, but they do need windows to be seen as a performing and up to date OS.
  • Mirakulix - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    The patch doesn't generally perform better, sometimes worse, and has been removed already.
    The links below are German, but you get the numbers:
  • Kristian Vättö - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    The source link still works, so I don't think it has been removed. Reply
  • darkequitus - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    The patch has been removed by MS due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    Text updated, thanks. Reply
  • werfu - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    What's coming out of these numbers is that the patch doesn't take into account when a thread is massively using floating point instructions. I guess MS didn't take into account that detail. But once they get it right I think we may really see a good boost. Reply
  • tk11 - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    AFAIK no schedulers make any attempt to examine the instructions they're scheduling. I don't think it would make sense to attempt to write a scheduler that did so either. Best case would be an OS that schedules one thread per module before scheduling threads on any module that isn't idle.

    It would probably be ideal if MS had some sort of scheduler API that allowed CPU manufacturers to write a driver that could suggest to windows which core to schedule the next thread on. Perhaps the driver could use a few of the CPU's vendor specific performance counters to make a more informed decision than windows could ever hope to make.
  • freezervv - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    I imagine we'll see that in the next 10 years with heterogeneous computing.

    An Intel GPU won't be an ATI GPU won't be an NVIDIA GPU... and if we have "one framework to rule them all", then we're going to need some BIOS-equivalent able to say "Hey! I'm here, and these are the computational resources I provide!"
  • fic2 - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    Still waiting on the AMD fix.... Reply
  • ochadd - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    AMD would be gone if the wintel CPU business had more than a couple players. IMHO AMD needs to be the first to market with some new whizbang technology to stay relevant. Optical CPUs, quantum computing, etc. They will not be able to outperform Intel by ratcheting up an existing technology. There aren't enough mhz or cores out there to make the jump. Reply
  • jeremyshaw - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    IMO, that's what they have done in the past, slowly, deliberately, and surefootedly, marched intels pace, even if intel itself failed to keep up. Though they did try something new: APU. While we may not think much of it, it is apparently running the roost in some markets outside of the USA.

    The manuf aspect of the technology race? I honestly don't expect anyone to catch up to intel in the consumer market. iBM may give them a helluva chase (and whooping) in the enterprise/server market, though (technically, it's what's happening right now).
  • 0ldman79 - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    There were several players a few years ago. Now there is only AMD and Intel. Anyone else (Via?) is left to ultra low power usage with matching performance.

    Most of the x86 compatible single board computers are AMD based.

    Otherwise, I agree, AMD needs to up the ante a bit. They had the performance crown for a while, now they're pricing is much more agreeable and the CPU's are fast enough, but we now have more of a performance difference percentage than we did back in the P2/K6 days.
  • chizow - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    This hotfix doesn't do anything to address Bulldozer's underlying problem, poor design leading to poor single/lightly threaded performance. All it does is arrange thread load on the fewest number of modules to give a slight boost in performance from turbo modes for lightly threaded apps. Given how far behind Bulldozer is compared to Intel or even previous Phenom II designs, don't expect any miracles from a few hundred MHz. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    Spoken like a true Intel fangirl. Reply
  • 0ldman79 - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    I don't see a bit of preference in that comment. Sounds like a bit of fact.

    Bulldozer is very reminiscent of Williamette. First gen of a new core that needs GHz+ to work well compared to the previous generation.

    I was kind of waiting of Bulldozer to start my next system, now I'm really leaning towards a 6 core Phenom II if it will work in my board, or a faster quad core if it won't.

    Completely ignoring Intel, Bulldozer performance just isn't that impressive compared to the previous generation at this time.

    I'd rather have the six core CPU.
  • chizow - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    Right, coming from the gal dancing around this thread defending this dud of a CPU at every chance.

    Its a dud, even AMD has admitted to it and are looking to correct their mistake ASAP with Piledriver.
  • Hector2 - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    I'm confused. I'll take a leap of faith that AMD validates their products before launch and that they would include Microsoft OS'es in their validation. Did AMD wait until Anand & Co ran their benchmarks and uncovered a performance problem ?

    Seems like Elementary Validation 101 to me. If they already knew they needed a Microsoft fix, they should have either 1) delayed launch until it was fixed or 2) at least mention that we would see performance degradation until it was fixed by MS.

    This shouldn't have been a surprise to either AMD or their customers.
  • Kristian Vättö - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    They did the latter one. Like I mentioned in the article, AMD ran tests on W7 and W8 before the NDA of Bulldozer was lifted, so they knew what was going on. Reply
  • BSMonitor - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    It is not a fix, it's an optimization. And Microsoft is under no obligation to optimize their code for every AMD whim out there.

    This all sounds a lot like 3D Now!.

    Intel builds and implements its own compilers when implementing new registers/architecture changes, etc. And hands that over to the software companies.

    AMD makes hardware changes and expects everyone to do the work for them.

    Two different approaches. Clearly one is superior.
  • aGreenAgent - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    Intel does the same thing. Look at the number of Windows KBs that fix (in software) a hardware problem that Intel did. This is fairly standard practice for all hardware manufacturers with respect to Windows fixes. Reply
  • BSMonitor - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    Again, it is not a fix. It is optimizing software for a architecture enhancement. Similar to Hyperthreading, Quicksync, MMX, SSE, etc..

    If AMD wants software designers to make full use of <new> transistors, AMD needs to provide the tools for doing this. Not wait around for software vendors to incorporate their new tech.

    AMD has compiler code available to it as well as Intel... Intel simply does this better than AMD.

    Again, NOT a fix. An Optimization.
  • phatboye - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    This is an optimization to the Windows scheduler, not some library optimization. This is nothing like MMX, SSE or quicksync. Neither AMD nor Intel has the ablility to release updated versions of the windows scheduler as that is proprietary MS code. They have no access to that and only MS is able to produce optimizations to that code. Reply
  • BSMonitor - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    Yawn. You must be a Republican. Nit pick the evidence. And miss the point completely.

    Notice how you pulled out the three similar scenarios and left the one scenario that is EXACTLY like this out of your argument.

    Good try, no one is saying what you are implying I said. Grow Up.
  • phatboye - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    OK, I get it. Of the 4 things you mention 3 of them have nothing to do with the topic at hand and I call you out on it. Then your response was that I am nick picking. Finally you resort to calling me a Republican (lol). You then conclude by telling me to grow up while showing your level of maturity (which is not that of an adult).

    OK yeah I left out hyperthreading. Even still Intel does not have access to optimize the Windows scheduler to improve hyperthreading performance so my argument still stands. You cannot blame AMD for this as this is something totally out of their hands. Even if AMD wanted to release an optimized scheduler they can't. I wound't go around and say MS is at fault either, maybe they wanted to wait till final silicon was released in order to properly test this optimization out. Maybe they needed more time for validation. Either way my argument still stands.
  • JonnyDough - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    I agree with your "immature" statement. /thread Reply
  • BSMonitor - Monday, December 19, 2011 - link

    My immature reaction is entirely eaggerated to meet the level of ignorant ranting of the person commenting.

    Continues to fail at comprehending the initial point and repeats his own beliefs, instead of facts.... YAWN
  • phatboye - Monday, December 19, 2011 - link

    LOL ignorant ranting? You initial point was that AMD was not providing the fix themself and instead is relying on others (MS in this case) to provide a fix for their changed hardware.

    I then explained how this is something that is totally out of their control. MS is the only one able to make changes to the MS scheduler.

    You have yet to counter my argument with anything (substantial or otherwise) at all. Instead you question my maturity and resort to stating that I "Continues to fail at comprehending the initial point".

    The really funny part is when you state that I am ignorant on this subject. That is laugh worthy. While AMD doesn't provide it's own proprietary compiler and no where near as much code is released from AMD as it is from Intel (AMD doesn't have nearly as many resources as Intel) to state that AMD does nothing is completely false. It is just as ignorant as your claim that AMD should do the work of optimizing the scheduler themselves especailly when Intel does the same exact thing when they release a new CPU architecture requiring core changes to the MS windows closed source scheduler.

    Also consider this my last update to your post unless you are going to post something relevant to defend your original statement. Otherwise you are just trolling with your claims of me being ignorant without any counter-argument to back up your statements.
  • JonnyDough - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    Stop calling it that. Windows needs to change, because the architecture is FORWARD THINKING and cannot be changed. Its a FIX, something that has to be implemented to make the hardware work properly. You really are an Intel fanboy, I bet you own stock...

    You can argue semantics all day long if you'd like, but its kind of silly. Who cares what its called?
  • BSMonitor - Monday, December 19, 2011 - link

    Intelligent human beings.

    Fix = implies Microsoft has done something wrong in not preemptively changing long-standing base code for a 3rd parties' architectural whim

    Optimization = a planned redesign of existing code to accommodate new hardware

    My point, AMD waits until after the release, and then blames Microsoft.

    Intel works with Microsoft during development to ensure optimization at launch.

    Again, ignorant fools prove their amazingness on forums!
  • JonnyDough - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    You're right. They should just design their operating system around Intel and give them a monopoly. /sarcasm Reply
  • BSMonitor - Monday, December 19, 2011 - link

    Exactly. And if AMD were forward-thinking they would work with Microsoft in the design phase, not post-product release.

    It has happened before and will happen again, and again, and again. AMD's management has/always will be brutal.
  • Dark Man - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    Accord to BSN, this patch was just the first one and still not "enough"
  • ajcarroll - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    Each BullDozer shares the FP (floating point) and Instruction Decode units between the cores on the module.

    The consequence of this is that when 2 threads are scheduled on a single module, the threads are competing for resources... and thus, depending on what they are doing, may run slower when scheduled on a single module, than when scheduled on separate modules.

    Offsetting this is the competing tension that when fewer modules are active, turbo mode kicks in and ups the clock speed

    The point is there's this tension between "maximizing clock speed" vs. "maximizing Instructions per clock cycle".

    If a given pair of threads are collectively bottlenecked by "Instructions per Clock Cycle" (because the penalty they incur by competing for resources, exceed the benefit they would receive from higher clock speed), then those threads will run faster when run on separate modules, despite the lower overall clock speed.

    The point is the choice between scheduling a task to a separate module or on the same module, is potentially task dependent.

    This is very very very nuanced.... and tricky for something as low level as the task scheduler to get right, without additional hints........ so it will be interesting to see if without compiler support Microsoft can come up with a one-size-fits-all solution in the scheduler.
  • BrianTho2010 - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    The thing that gets me about this is that AMD should have waited until MSFT had the patch ready before releasing the processors, AND they should have included an update disk with each CPU so that you could get maximum performance from the processor even if you were not connected to a network. Reply
  • phatboye - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    you do realize that AMD CPUs run on OS other than MS Windows. So for them to hold up an entire product launch because of Windows doesn't make sense especially on the server side of things,

    As far as Desktops are concerned, although the CPUs didn't run at full potential without this updated scheduler, it did run good enough that it made sense to release the product. AMD just can't sit on their hands waiting for MS to finish the scheduler optimizations before releasing their product. They knew the update was coming soon so they decided to release bulldozer.

    Also if you for one second think companies don't release products until they have fully optimized drivers, etc. you need to wake up. This is fairly standard practice. This is not limited to AMD CPUs, just look at the GPU industry for starters. Intel released drivers that take advantage of it's new architecture in its Sandy Bridge iGPUs after it's hardware release.
  • JonnyDough - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    Fail. Software follows hardware. Not the other way around. Reply
  • BSMonitor - Monday, December 19, 2011 - link

    Uhhh, not fail.

    "Software follows hardware"

    Uhhh, wrong. Where in the x86 world have you been?? Every piece of hardware released as an x86 processor must run legacy x86. Hence, new processors should run existing software just as fast as previous hardware.

    AMD decided to ignore this, hence BD is a huge FAIL.
  • praeses - Monday, December 19, 2011 - link

    "new processors should run existing software just as fast as previous hardware"

    Hrm.. So P4 Hyper-Threading was a complete failure too? There were lots of applications notably for desktops (games were a big one) that were noticeably slower with Hyper-Threading enabled.

    How about when multi-core processors came out with slightly lower clocks than the single core siblings and they were slower at single threaded applications than multi-threaded? Was that a big fail?

    Or how about when applications would refer to the RTC in multi-core processor systems rather than the OS Clock? Some would glitch and freeze, some would return incorrect results, some would crash.

    Or how about applications that would just flat out crash with SpeedStep?

    Heck pretty much all the code from the previous generation is supported with bulldozer, whether it will get optimized or not is still a good question. Windows is only a part of the problem from a performance perspective. I would recommend taking a broader look at the situation.

    Software/data necessitates hardware yes, but software updates tend to follow hardware for support. Whether its a driver, application update, or operating system update it varies depending on the situation.

    Don't get me wrong, the product doesn't impress me, I will wait until Piledriver before making a decision between it and Ivy Bridge but your argument is clearly flawed looking at history.
  • BSMonitor - Monday, December 19, 2011 - link

    Don't let JonnyDough hear you talk like that.. He thinks Microsoft owes it's existence to AMD and should bow to their less than mediocre whims! Reply
  • Beenthere - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    People buying Bulldozer based Zambezi CPUs do not want Intel CPUs. The hotfix is a free small performance enhancement. It is not intended to make the FX CPUs as fast as Intel's CPUs. It's intended to better use the available processing power of the Bulldozer architecture. People are voting with their wallet and FX CPUs are selling very well. Reply
  • fic2 - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link


    FX cpus are selling very well: "we can't get enough to meet demand" - i.e. yields are so low that AMD can't produce enough for the 1% of people that want them.
  • ZekkPacus - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    At every price point you can get an Intel CPU that will kick the snot out of an FX for the same price, except in VERY specific multi-threaded integer heavy/FP light scenarios.

    Current retail price for the i5-2500k in the UK is £167.40. The FX-8120, which generally appears under the 2500k in bench, costs £179.95 and is as rare as you like. Granted, AM3+ motherboards are much cheaper, but I don't think the cost difference is worth it, especially given we have now gone as far as AM3+ is likely to go and the Piledriver CPU will most likely require a new socket. I personally know from experience that the only two Zambezi parts regularly available in the channel are the FX-4100 and the FX-6100. That's not due to overwhelming demand, that's due to a lack of product being made available by AMD. I find it very telling that not one major OEM is producing desktops based on Zambezi, because they just can't guarantee supply.
  • ZekkPacus - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    Infact, a cursory glance reveals that there aren't even any A8-3850 based machines available from HP or Dell. That's the ONE bright spot in AMD's product range right now - an agressively priced quad-core CPU that offers blistering price/performance when compared to an i3, which it's more or less competing against. I'm looking to build an HTPC soon and would've prefered to base it around one of those bad boys, but the 95W TDP and the lack of supply has forced me into Intel's hands again. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    For an HTPC you could have just used a single core Sempron. LOL Reply
  • vortex222 - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    unless you do transcoding, stream ripping, light big screen gaming, content serving....

    Technically an e350 is a fine htpc core, but in practice such systems are painful to use. Even when surfing to Youtube to watch a video.
  • frozentundra123456 - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    I am becoming somehat more impressed with Llano on the desktop than I was originally, and agree it is the best line that AMD sells.

    However, I wouldnt exactly call the A8-3850 "blistering" in comparison to the i3 2100. Infact I would think that the i3 would offer superior CPU performance in most cases except for very highly theaded scenrios. If you are comparing graphics without a discrete card, then yes, the A8 is superior. But personally, since I do some gaming at moderate settings, I would prefer an i3 with a mid-range discrete card. The A8 IGP is still not quite good enough, and if you add a discrete card, it kind of defeats the purpose of an APU.

    But for HPTC use like you are talking about, Llano might be ideal.
  • ZekkPacus - Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - link

    Was talking purely from a price/performance standpoint - bang for buck, if you like. AMD motherboards are also cheaper than Intel ones whilst retaining the same or better features (c'mon Intel, how long has USB3 been out and it's still not native). Reply
  • Samus - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - link

    pentium Reply
  • niva - Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - link

    What's the problem, if it gets the job done? If you're not gaming a p4 system might be more than enough for what you need. Reply
  • Roy2001 - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - link

    Nothing can save the BD. Reply
  • kennii - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - link

    I need this cause for XMAS Reply
  • ShieTar - Monday, December 19, 2011 - link

    I don't assume this patch will really change much in any scenario where CPU power is critical, as such cases should not be a 3-thread case as described in the graphic in this article.
    3-Thread applications tend to be games, but they will be GPU limited in about 99% of all cases, because that is how people buy: Almost nobody will run a 40$ CPU along a 500$ GPU.
    Or your software is either singlethreaded, so that scheduling should play no role, or highly multithreaded, where 8 Threads are used and the scheduler is out of options anyways.

    I could be wrong, but personally I expect to see the only differences in gaming benchmarks done in ultra-low resolutions.
  • Dragan - Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - link

    I gave up on my Q6600 it has a good CPU and I don't see any reason to upgrade!
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  • Belard - Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - link

    I'm building a system for one of my clients with parts from a local store. I priced out the system with 3 different kinds of CPUs. The MicroCenter store is offering $50~30 off for CPU and Mobo combos for Intel and AMD... Other than the CPU and mobo, the entire system with Win7Home has the same parts.

    $650 = Intel i5 2500k (Gigabyte board with USB 3.0)
    $600 = AMD X4 970 (Gigabyte 880 board)
    $720 - AMD FX 8150

    I told my client, spend the $50 extra and get a system that is up to 50% faster roughly... depending on the application. The FX 8150... not much better.
  • fashionbook - Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - link

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