Question $2500-3000 gaming build

memory

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I am looking at building a pc and have the parts picked out. Have some questions about a few things. Just need the main components, don't need monitors or anything else. Main thing this will be used for is gaming. I realize certain parts maybe overkill like the CPU but one reason for that is I want this build to last a while. I don't build one every year or two.

One thing I am unsure about is the case. Will the case I have selected have plenty of cooling for the 12900k? Also thought about going liquid cooling for cpu since I read it does put out the heat. But also don't like the fact of having liquid around a pc. While this maybe pretty rare to happen, I leave my pc on when I am not around and don't want it to spring a leak or fail when I am not around. For the secondary storage I was going to go with a traditional hard drive but figured might as well go with ssd for storage and games this time. Forgot to mention I will be running games in 1440p.

 
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Tech Junky

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I trimmed some stuff based on what I've already built and have in use. One thing not listed on PCP is the SN770's for drives which are pretty nice. I'm using a couple of them 1 internal on a laptop and 1 in a TB4 enclosure because they perform really well w/o DRAM.

By tweaking things a bit I dropped your costs by $300. The biggest issue will be the heat from the GPU, Either add some fans to push air out the back or consider WC block on the GPU. It might not be such an issue though if it's the only card slotted and has some room around it to dissipate heat. When I was playing around with GPU's in my server setup they always caused heat soak though. The problem most will see is because the X16 is so close to the CPU there's not enough room to keep both cooled to optimal levels.

For the 226 heat sink I have a couple of Arctic PWM PST 120's on it and it keeps things at room temp and under load only goes up to ~50C and I skipped pasting for a graphite pad because it's just as good and you don't have to decontaminate the CPU every time you move things around. $15 for the pad and it lasts a lifetime. I use the same case fans though as well in the 140 size.

Also, I dropped you down to the 12700K since the 12900K is just a cash grab when most of the grunt work for games is handled by the GPU especially at the 3080 Ti level. My dinky 3060 / 6GB on the laptop handles all of the gaming stuff just fine though and the CPU just sits there most of the time. If you dumped the 3080 the 3060's are under $500 saving you as much at the same time.
1659893468696.png

https://www.amazon.com/WD_BLACK-SN770-Internal-Gaming-Solid/dp/B09QV692XY - $100 or 2tb $200

These are on a Gen3 interface but, on Gen4 they should be closer to 5GB/s
1659892905012.png
 

memory

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I made a few changes to my parts. I did drop down to the 12700k. Part of me still wants to go the 12900k route but just read too much about it being a waste and heat issues. One reason I considered it is because I want this build to last a while. I also went with a mid tower case, going by the dimensions compared to my full tower Antec 1200, don't see a reason to go full tower. Always bought full tower in the past. For whatever reason, the price for the case is not shown on pcp but it is $149.99 on newegg.

Have also picked out DDR5 motherboard and ram, there is a combo deal on newegg for the cpu, ram and motherboard which the price on pcp does not reflect that. Price for the bundle is $797.97

I really don't want to liquid cool anything, whether it be the cpu or the gpu. I realize liquid coolers are pretty reliable as long as you get a decent one. But just don't like the idea of having liquid near the parts. I do leave my computer running unattended quite a bit and would worry something would happen, spring a leak or the pump fail. And just guessing here but imagine even if the pump failed, nothing would be damaged as it should shut down or throttle down before it gets hot enough to damage anything, correct?

 
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Tech Junky

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12700K is a good top end option IMO from using it since they dropped last year.

DDR5 has a "tax" though and doesn't offer much benefit other than novelty and expense. The performance just isn't there to justify the extra $100 for 32GB nor the $100 MOBO price increase. Sure, it might be a nice to have when they engineer it to actually provide some edge over DDR4 but, it's just not there yet.

https://www.nowinstock.net/computers/memory/ - this is helpful in reducing the costs if you stick with DDR5 though.

Combo deals with NE aren't what they used to be and might add up $30 off but, they make up the difference somewhere else in pricing these days.

I usually come up with an idea on the final solution and then find sellers that are whores and sell each part on the cheap. Mid tower's are still a 24" x 24" setup and for what you're putting into it are way too much case but, the options for say an mATX board are still quite limited if you want the perks of more lanes to use for peripherals over the B660 or lower tiers.

For the drives though you would get more performance using dual NVME's over the 2.5" option for the same price. That's why I mentioned the SN770's above. If you were building more of a NAS into the case I would recommend WD Red's @ 8TB or higher.

LC IMO is the same as yours when it comes to electrical + liquid not being the best idea. I leave my machine on 24/7 because it's my router as well so, building with that in mind makes things a priority for uptime.

When you take the NE deal and split it among different merchants it's 837 vs 797 so, $40 difference for the "deal". However when you factor in DDR5 tax due to them not offering a DDR4 bundle using similar parts it's going to be less.

https://pcpartpicker.com/products/memory/#t=14&Z=32768002&L=30,180&sort=price&page=1&S=3600,6600 - 3600mhz / $105 vs $200
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/X6mmP6/msi-mag-z690-tomahawk-wifi-ddr4-atx-lga1700-motherboard-mag-z690-tomahawk-wifi-ddr4 - $259.99 - same price either 4 or 5
CPU stays the same price though if you have a MC nearby or someone that's close by to one you can knock off $30 https://www.microcenter.com/product/641917/intel-core-i7-12700k-alder-lake-36ghz-twelve-core-lga-1700-boxed-processor-heatsink-not-included

They also have MOBO / 12700K combos for ~$550 depending on the board / DDR version

They even have a MOBO/CPU/EVO 1TB for $$805 https://www.microcenter.com/product/5005386/intel-core-i7-12700k,-msi-z690-mpg-carbon-wifi-ddr5,-samsung-870-evo-1tb-25-ssd,-computer-build-combo

Anyway... just some things to consider before locking things down. The name of the game is to do it as cheap and effectively as possible compared to a pre-built. When I rebuilt my server the effective cost increase over the 8700K I was running was within $200 even with upgrades with selling the old version in mind which made it a no brainer. I picked up PCIE 3 >> 5 and the potential DDR5 option until the market went wonky on prices. Then diffing deeper into the specs made it less of a great idea worth spending the extra "tax" on. I'm finding myself being a bit more tame when it comes to making changes to it unlike the prior version where it seemed every couple of months I was tweaking things or swapping the case for something different for better thermals or more PCI slots on the back or compressing things into a mATX case w/ enough drive bays for the NAS drives. Maybe I just got it out of my system in a been there, done that sort of philosophy.
 

memory

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Oct 3, 2010
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12700K is a good top end option IMO from using it since they dropped last year.

DDR5 has a "tax" though and doesn't offer much benefit other than novelty and expense. The performance just isn't there to justify the extra $100 for 32GB nor the $100 MOBO price increase. Sure, it might be a nice to have when they engineer it to actually provide some edge over DDR4 but, it's just not there yet.

https://www.nowinstock.net/computers/memory/ - this is helpful in reducing the costs if you stick with DDR5 though.

Combo deals with NE aren't what they used to be and might add up $30 off but, they make up the difference somewhere else in pricing these days.

I usually come up with an idea on the final solution and then find sellers that are whores and sell each part on the cheap. Mid tower's are still a 24" x 24" setup and for what you're putting into it are way too much case but, the options for say an mATX board are still quite limited if you want the perks of more lanes to use for peripherals over the B660 or lower tiers.

For the drives though you would get more performance using dual NVME's over the 2.5" option for the same price. That's why I mentioned the SN770's above. If you were building more of a NAS into the case I would recommend WD Red's @ 8TB or higher.

LC IMO is the same as yours when it comes to electrical + liquid not being the best idea. I leave my machine on 24/7 because it's my router as well so, building with that in mind makes things a priority for uptime.

When you take the NE deal and split it among different merchants it's 837 vs 797 so, $40 difference for the "deal". However when you factor in DDR5 tax due to them not offering a DDR4 bundle using similar parts it's going to be less.

https://pcpartpicker.com/products/memory/#t=14&Z=32768002&L=30,180&sort=price&page=1&S=3600,6600 - 3600mhz / $105 vs $200
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/X6mmP6/msi-mag-z690-tomahawk-wifi-ddr4-atx-lga1700-motherboard-mag-z690-tomahawk-wifi-ddr4 - $259.99 - same price either 4 or 5
CPU stays the same price though if you have a MC nearby or someone that's close by to one you can knock off $30 https://www.microcenter.com/product/641917/intel-core-i7-12700k-alder-lake-36ghz-twelve-core-lga-1700-boxed-processor-heatsink-not-included

They also have MOBO / 12700K combos for ~$550 depending on the board / DDR version

They even have a MOBO/CPU/EVO 1TB for $$805 https://www.microcenter.com/product/5005386/intel-core-i7-12700k,-msi-z690-mpg-carbon-wifi-ddr5,-samsung-870-evo-1tb-25-ssd,-computer-build-combo

Anyway... just some things to consider before locking things down. The name of the game is to do it as cheap and effectively as possible compared to a pre-built. When I rebuilt my server the effective cost increase over the 8700K I was running was within $200 even with upgrades with selling the old version in mind which made it a no brainer. I picked up PCIE 3 >> 5 and the potential DDR5 option until the market went wonky on prices. Then diffing deeper into the specs made it less of a great idea worth spending the extra "tax" on. I'm finding myself being a bit more tame when it comes to making changes to it unlike the prior version where it seemed every couple of months I was tweaking things or swapping the case for something different for better thermals or more PCI slots on the back or compressing things into a mATX case w/ enough drive bays for the NAS drives. Maybe I just got it out of my system in a been there, done that sort of philosophy.
I appreciate your help.

You keep mentioning DDR5 and "tax". Not sure what you mean by that. I do realize there may not be much benefit from DDR5 at the moment. But I also want this build to last a while and don't want to worry about upgrading anything during that time. At the same time, if I do go with DDR4 now, I am sure I will be more than fine with it.

I do not have a microcenter close by but do have a friend that I game with that has one close by. So microcenter could be an option for me.

If I do go the dual NVME route, would I lose any PCI lanes? I know I read about that happening in the past, not sure if that is still a thing.
 

Tech Junky

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DDR5 adds $200 to the overall costs is what I mean by tax.

Dual NVME won't take more lanes since the primary M2 slot is CPU and the others run through the DMI/PCH anyway. Do you want a 600mb/s sata or 3500mb/s+ secondary drive for the same price?
 

memory

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DDR5 adds $200 to the overall costs is what I mean by tax.

Dual NVME won't take more lanes since the primary M2 slot is CPU and the others run through the DMI/PCH anyway. Do you want a 600mb/s sata or 3500mb/s+ secondary drive for the same price?
Gotcha. Still debating whether to go for ddr4 or ddr5. Just don't want to kick myself later wishing I went with ddr5 instead of ddr4. At same time, whatever I do decide, I just need to move on and not worry about it. When doing something like this, I tend to drive myself crazy trying to decide what to get.

I have the opportunity to get a 3090 gpu for $900, don't know the details about it yet. With the 3090, would a 1000 watt psu be enough or would I be better off upgrading to a 1200 watt?
 

Tech Junky

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Add the 3090 to your build on pcp to get an estimate on what you need. 1000 should be enough though for any surge from activating it for use. When idle it won't consume much.
 

memory

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Add the 3090 to your build on pcp to get an estimate on what you need. 1000 should be enough though for any surge from activating it for use. When idle it won't consume much.
It shows 670 watts on pcp with the 3090. So I should be fine with the 1000 watt psu. What about heat on the 3090 vs the 3080ti? Guessing it will produce more heat but guessing shouldn't be an issue as long as I have good airflow.

On the dual nvme drives, I do like the idea of that. I might be putting my foot in my mouth when I say this but in the real world, would I really notice the difference in performance if I am not constantly moving around files with running dual nvmes or and nvme and an ssd? Would having dual nvmes make that much of a difference in gaming? I know it would be close to the same price as the drives I selected, maybe a few dollars more. How do the WD drives compare to Samsung? I have always been a fan of WD drives, especially in the HDD category. But seems most recommend Samsung for nvme's, not sure if they actually that much better than everything else
 

Tech Junky

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Any GPU under load causes heat issues if you put it in the top slot. Proximity to the CPU will have some impact but not enough to throttle either too much. You could always section it off with something to force the heat out of the back or direct it towards the exhaust fan.

For the same price or a little more dual NVMEs at these capacities would be my preference. go higher octane on the os drive and lesser on the storage. If you have games on the NVME they will load to the GPU faster than from the SATA drive. I use an SN850 for my OS on both of my systems and the SN770 for storage on the laptop and in the TB4 enclosure.

Samsung you pay for the name and there are of course some niche uses where Samsung wins the speed battle but in general everyone is about equal at this point. If the 770 was around when I built the server I would have probably went that route for double the capacity for the same price. I've had tons of different drives over the years including SS WD and others and they all do the same thing. Some faster then others and some cooler than others. I look more at the warranty being at least 5 years and the tbw number for durability.
 

memory

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I chose the samsung for the OS drive as it is cheaper than the SN850.

Also went with DDR4. Still not set in stone but feel there could be too many issues with the DDR5.

If I am going to build now and not wait for anything, I need to make up my mind what I want and go with it. I can see one thing happening, I delay long enough and the specs for the 40 series cards will release and I will want one of them. Tend to drive myself crazy over this stuff. I know if I do build now with the 3090, I can always upgrade to the 40 series later and sell the 3090 to recoup the costs. But the question is would a 1000 watt psu be enough for the higher end 40 series? I think if I do build now, I just need to go with what I build and don't worry about upgrading anything.
 

Tech Junky

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Well, if you ruminate long enough you'll have more issues than just the 4 series coming out. Arrow Lake (14th) changes the whole focus again going from just hybrid cores to chiplets where they can move things around on the die to add more horsepower or add more GPU units or tack on something brand new. It's going to give boards a lot more longevity I suspect like AMD has had up until now with 2-3 major generations.

I would probably grab a cheap 3060 to get up and running and then when the 4 series land reevaluate things. 3060's are ~$370 and can do everything a 3090 can do just a few ns slower. If things crash back to reality you're not out $1K that can only get you $500 back and you have a backup on standby if something goes wrong with the main GPU.

With the new series you might need a new power lead with the new higher 600W connector on it or you could just combine a couple of 6-pin or 8-pin leads to power it if it's that hungry. Still 1000W PSU is enough. I mean we're just seeing the beginning of the prices coming down even though it's been a quick slide already there's still some more they need to come down. There's too many variables though to figure out the trend when it comes to supply / demand / new / old / etc.
 

memory

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Noticed that the Corsair hx1200 psu is cheaper than the hx1000 so did add that to the build. Newegg has a $30 rebate on it which brings it to $215, even without the rebate still cheaper but not by alot.
 

Tech Junky

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If you can get 1200 for less than 1000 it's a good deal if the reviews are decent across multiple sources.

I stick with 850's though as they leave me room to grow into if I decide to use a GPU which isn't likely. I did run a pair of GPUs though when playing with crypto but, that didn't pay off and cost more in electricity.

There are still deals to be had when it comes to piecing things together from the ground up. It might take some hunting around to find them but, they're out there.
 

memory

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If you can get 1200 for less than 1000 it's a good deal if the reviews are decent across multiple sources.

I stick with 850's though as they leave me room to grow into if I decide to use a GPU which isn't likely. I did run a pair of GPUs though when playing with crypto but, that didn't pay off and cost more in electricity.

There are still deals to be had when it comes to piecing things together from the ground up. It might take some hunting around to find them but, they're out there.
Most of reviews seem to be good on the hx1200. Did see a few mention loud coil whine. Not sure if that means all the psu's would have that or just depends on luck if you get one that does that or not. Or maybe some are just more picky on stuff like that and majority of people wouldn't notice.

Got a question about something else, contact frames. Is that is something that is really "needed" or just build without it and see how it does?
 

Tech Junky

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Seems like another shot at getting some money from people. If you get a decent cooler it's not an issue. Maybe using pastes instead of my graphite pad method could produce different results. It does seem like more pressure is used with ADL than with other processors though. Just crank the screws until they stop and it should be secure.
 

memory

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Seems like another shot at getting some money from people. If you get a decent cooler it's not an issue. Maybe using pastes instead of my graphite pad method could produce different results. It does seem like more pressure is used with ADL than with other processors though. Just crank the screws until they stop and it should be secure.
I am not sure what to think of this. They say the stock ILM causes the cpu to bend with the way to clamps the cpu due to the cpu being longer. If it does actually bend it, I am sure it is very minor. But even if it is a very minor bend, would the constant heat make it worse over time? I also wonder if the bend was there on previous cpus? Or is it just more of an issue with the 12th gen due to the design vs the previous gens?
 

Tech Junky

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Stock would mean using the supplied intel fan / mount system which is never something most people building would ever spend money on in the first place. All / most cooling solutions come with their own bracket and if they don't then you should pick something that does. For $50 the SE-226-XT fits the bill and works great. If you feel more comfortable with a different brand at twice the price then go for it.

There's been a lot of rumors of this or that or something else regarding the CPU and most have been false. The big thing was oh, it runs so hot you need to LC it to keep it tamed. It's all hype and not the IRL version of how it performs. The biggest issue is the change in the DIE size causing everyone to rejig the mounting system and at launch a lot of them didn't have the bracket in the box and required an add on part number to get a compatible mount sent. Now that it's been out long enough there are plenty of options of LGA1700.

If you're bending the IHS by mounting a tower to it then you're not doing something correctly. If things are level and torqued properly it's not an issue. I've removed and re-clamped my tower a few times and there's no bending. Just give it a couple of rotations and switch to the other side and do the same / repeat until locked into place.
 

memory

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Stock would mean using the supplied intel fan / mount system which is never something most people building would ever spend money on in the first place. All / most cooling solutions come with their own bracket and if they don't then you should pick something that does. For $50 the SE-226-XT fits the bill and works great. If you feel more comfortable with a different brand at twice the price then go for it.

There's been a lot of rumors of this or that or something else regarding the CPU and most have been false. The big thing was oh, it runs so hot you need to LC it to keep it tamed. It's all hype and not the IRL version of how it performs. The biggest issue is the change in the DIE size causing everyone to rejig the mounting system and at launch a lot of them didn't have the bracket in the box and required an add on part number to get a compatible mount sent. Now that it's been out long enough there are plenty of options of LGA1700.

If you're bending the IHS by mounting a tower to it then you're not doing something correctly. If things are level and torqued properly it's not an issue. I've removed and re-clamped my tower a few times and there's no bending. Just give it a couple of rotations and switch to the other side and do the same / repeat until locked into place.
Not sure we are on the same page or I am confused. When I said stock, I am talking about the cpu locking mechanism on the motherboard, which the contact frame replaces. I am on the fence about this, I can see why it could cause a curve or bend in the cpu with the way the stock mechanism locks it down, 1 point on each side in the middle. Now whether it is enough to make a difference for the average consumer, idk. Seen a few places that does say it makes a difference in temps. But again, if you are not having temp problems in the first place, not sure a few or 6 or whatever degrees is going to make a difference, again for the average consumer unless you just want to see what you can do and how far you can push your system. But then again, if you doing a build with these high end parts, maybe we are not considered the average consumer.
 

dlerious

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Seems like another shot at getting some money from people. If you get a decent cooler it's not an issue. Maybe using pastes instead of my graphite pad method could produce different results. It does seem like more pressure is used with ADL than with other processors though. Just crank the screws until they stop and it should be secure.
This is what I found for a description:
"In brief, the 12th Gen CPU is somewhat longer than previous generations but is still retained by pressure from the Integrated Loading Mechanism (ILM) at its center. Due to this pressure, its surface can become concave "

Gamers Nexus did reviews of the Thermal Grizzly and Thermalright frames. Derbauer has a video on his.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHXZMtWOVJ4
 

Tech Junky

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we are not considered the average consumer.
This sums it up right there!

The latching systems do vary a bit from board to board. I'm using ASRock and don't have an issue but, you might with Asus or Gigabyte. There's plenty of QC issues for both of those brands outside of latching. I would expect more of an issue though with the mounting brackets on air / LC setups though as those are manually installed by you for cooling. This is where some patience comes into play because you have to mount them through the board and tighten them down before even getting to the cooler side of it. If things aren't lined up or there's some compatibility bracket being applied to use non LGA1700 coolers that were designed for other sized CPUs that's more likely the issue than the latch system.

There are different height tolerances with the IHS on the new chips. If the adapter being used with an older cooler is out of alignment or the lapped surface coming down onto the CPU has an issue than it will transfer to the IHS. The IHS has a good amount of protection strength built into it though to handle some issues.

When ADL came out there were a handful of native built for LGA1700 options when it came to coolers. Finding them was a bit of a mess just as finding DDR5 became an issue as well. Looking for a cooler that wasn't a once size fits all and ported design from prior generations was a PITA to say the least. The modified adapters / mounting setups were an effort to save customers from spending on a new cooling setup to create some loyalty karma for the companies. From an engineering standpoint though there are critical differences prior products didn't have built into them. One of the biggest is the size of the IHS got bigger and taller.

Now that it's been almost a year though there's plenty of supply out there for coolers. It takes a bit of investigation tough to find something that fits and performs well designed for LGA1700 and not the masses. Reviews under some listings include prior models / generations of CPU sizes and they just change the content of the listing to show current gen info w/o the current use reviews.
 

Tech Junky

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I can see an additional benefit for those that are heavy handed with pasting as the frame would precent some spill over issues with pastes making contact with the board that could cause issues if they're metallic in nature.

1660440519322.png

I suppose there could be some passive heat benefits as well by making contact with the complete die / IHS and/or cooler being placed on top of it.

Here's a carbon fiber version for $36 - https://www.amazon.com/ElecGear-LGA-1700-Anti-Bending-LGA17xx-BCF-Leak-Proof/dp/B09ZPVCKMQ

I think the focus though of some is that they get better temps but, the primary focus for me at least would be good contact with the cooler itself. Not having a quick release on the CPU might be nice potentially. Mount it and forget it idea works for me. Since I use graphite pads instead of paste having the outer area flush would make for some tacking down of the pad so it doesn't slide or blow off the center of the CPU when placing the cooler on top could be an advantage.

Sure they provide a potential of ~5 degrees of cooling improvement but, it could also be the users adjusting the amount of paste being used to be more appropriate as well. I could also see the frame being used to add a dam around the edge for using liquid metal much easier to contain / apply.

I wouldn't waste the $16/$36 on them though w/o a real need to fix an issue that doesn't exist in the majority of mounted CPUs.
 

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