Upgrading my PC advice?

MoshJosh

Thinking about upgrading my PC a little.

mostly for gaming and school.

currently
intel i5 6500
GTX 1060 founders (having issues)
24 gigs of DDR4
Samsung evo SS drive
short stroked mechanical drive

Think I’ll leave my motherboard the same, MSI gaming M3 skylake chipset lga1151

trying to go as cheap as possible and ok with used stuff from reputable sellers, probably eBay.

was thinking upgrading to:
Intel i7 7700
2 RX480s in cross fire
Leaving my ram
Upgrading to all solid state drives, maybe a raid 0 set up for kicks haha

not sure how much an “upgrade” the RX480s would be, but it was sort of what I wanted to do when I started building but could find RX480s, plus I can buy them one at a time as my paychecks allow.

so would these things “upgrade” my current setup? I.e could I run games at higher FPS and such? Just better performance overall? . . . or not worth the price I’ll pay?

Orrrrrr should just start a whole new build on a new chipset etc???
 

Shrimp42

I'd upgrade to the i7, but for gpu I would see if you could get your hands on a gtx 1080 ti (If your motherboard can support it).
 
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MoshJosh

Yeah that 1080 to just SOOOOO pricey!!! But I will certainly keep an eye out for any deals.
 
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Shrimp42

Yeah that 1080 to just SOOOOO pricey!!! But I will certainly keep an eye out for any deals.
I feel you. I have the same specs as you except only 16 gigs of ram, been wanting a new gpu for a while. I'm not an expert, but that just seems to be the best idea right now to me, but it Is really pricey.
 
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Zach72202

To be honest, if I were you, I would be looking for a 20 series card. Maybe a 2060 or if you can find a 2080 for a good price jump on that. They are good and due to the 30 series becoming more available and such a lower price than the 20's. I have seen some going for the 300 range on facebook marketplace. I would also stick with the i7. A new 1080ti is just pricey new because they are kinda obsolete with these newer cards. Give it a year and the 20 series will be out of date. I have a friend who recently got a 3080 and he runs games like Escape From Tarkov in 4k smooth.

Regarding a GPU, if you're willing to hawk it, 3060 ti's run $399.99 new, but hard to find. I have only seen one 3060 and two 3070s in person, both bought the day they came in.

One word of the wise for building a pc though, as I am sure you are aware- Don't cheap out! Its better to wait the extra month to get the better card, you'll appreciate it in the long run!

Also, Best Buy has a sale going on for a 1tb ssd WD blue for 95$- get it shipped for free.
 
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HHHHMMMMMMMMMM

I personally recommend a Ryzen 5, i've done quite a bit of research on them and you get more for you money than with intel, Ryzen used to be bad but they've gotten way better. You should also get 16 gigs of RAM, 8 will cut it but barely for some things. is this for gaming and if so what games?
 
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Zach72202

I personally recommend a Ryzen 5, i've done quite a bit of research on them and you get more for you money than with intel, Ryzen used to be bad but they've gotten way better.
Biggest problem with this is that he would need a new Motherboard because AMD and Intel cpu's use different sockets. The ryzen series is really good though, not knocking you there.
LGA 1200 (I think) for intel
AM4 for AMD ryzen series.
 
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HHHHMMMMMMMMMM

Yes, sorry i forgot about that. Motherboard arent too bad, you can pick one up for ~100 bucks. You said minimal cost tho, and again, it depends on what you want this PC for. An ideal PC for Roblox and an ideal PC for CoD and GTA 5 are two very different things.
 
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Cherryshrimp420

Take a look at the newer Intel i9 series, they are cheap and priced to compete with Ryzen 5s
 
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Zach72202

I am just going to throw one more thing out there as to what I do.

If you want to build new, go on a prebuilt website like Digital Storm or Origin Pc, those are the best two. (Avoid iBuypower and Cyberpower pc, they suck) I use these to 'build' a pc for me that will work and it gives me alternate options as to what else I could use as a substitute. Just a way to channel thoughts I suppose.

In another way, which I would recommend you doing, is plugging all of your parts into pcpartpicker's website and then assuring everything is compatible, even ideas.
 
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MartinXIX

Please try to get your hands on a 1070 instead of crossfire RX480. SLI/Crossfire is pretty much useless and you would benefit much more from the performance of a single powerful GPU.

I think we need to approach this from a usage perspective; what exactly do you plan on using this pc? From my experience with friends many say they want to do video editing, AAA gaming, autocad, etc. but they end up just using them as overpriced YouTube watching machines. Unless this is a case of "I need to upgrade regardless of usage because my pc is a toaster," I would simply look for budget options that are worth their value and not simply because something is cheap.

Lets go over your desired upgrade parts:
Core: i5-6600 -> i7-7700
GPU: GTX 1060 -> RX480 (x2)
Storage: Some HHD -> All SSD

Core: I personally see no point in upgrading to this specific core. Yes it might have higher clock speeds but the gain in performance is so minuscule that you would be better off using that money to get a better GPU. If you really want to upgrade I would save up and just get a used "K" series processor so you could overclock. I assume your MSI board is a Z270 series? If so then by all means you could overclock by getting a "K" series processor. Getting a non OC core for the price is just not worth it.

For context I have an i7-4770K and R7 2700X; both perform similarly well in gaming tasks but the 4770K is almost a decade old! Intel has great core and yours is likely one of them. Unless you know your core is causing the PC to fail at running it's task then just keep what you have.

GPU: For the performance of two RX480s you would only be competing with base GTX1080 non Ti cards (Ha, only as if a GTX1080 is suddenly ! [spoiler: it's not]). Most games are not going to be utilizing the extra power from a second card making gaming on crossfire or SLI worthless in my opinion. As evidence of this, Nvidia only allows SLI on their very top GPU for the 3000 generation (3090), and this can be taken as a sign that nobody uses dual gpu setups enough to justify widely supporting it.

I would rather utilize the maximum power of a card like a 1070 or 1080 (Ti if you can get a hold of one) as you're getting as much performance as possible from one card and not wasting money buying a half utilized card.

Also I would try getting something with 6 or 8GB of VRAM to help performance in video games.

Side Note: If your 1060 is giving you problems I would happily take it if you're willing to ship to Canada lol.

Storage: Just make sure your boot SSD has a memory cache to make launching Windows a lot faster. For me personally storage is storage. If you want to play games with unoptimized load times like GTA get an SSD for only storing games on and make sure it has DRAM cache. Other than that I used HDD if I'm just storing files long term. I'm thinking of making a network attached storage pc with a bunch of 16TB Iron Wolf drives; I need space and storage is storage.

Other things to consider:

RAM: Why is your RAM 24BG? Is it configured to 4GB/4GB/8GB/8GB or 8GB/8GB/8GB? At this point I think your memory is running in single channel and using whatever the lowest compatible frequencies are. I would get whatever the cheapest set of 2666 or higher 4-stick set is available to you and run everything in dual channel. Most of the time when gaming you really only need to use 16GB of it. I run 32GB 3000mhz and it's honestly more than enough for pretty much everything I do (I'm not editing 8-12k freaking footage).

Monitor: What are you using? 60Hz? Higher? Resolution (1080, 1440, 4k)? Panel type? I personally think that there's no point trying to upgrade your system if you're bottlenecking your performance with a janky monitor. If you're playing esports titles that would benefit from higher FPS then i would save and get a budget 1080p 144hz monitor. 1080p high refresh rate is honestly a great thing to have when playing video games because at least you can appreciate having hardware that runs at higher performance. You get no benefit if you lock yourself at 60fps but your pc can handle 120fps.
 
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Zach72202

Following up with Martin's comment, I suppose we need to ask really what you are trying to play and your target goal. That's pretty much as simple of a question as we can get.

Personally, I play a lot of first person shooters, so thats where my brain goes first. That's kinda why I pointed you toward a 20 series card, but I suppose if you are just looking to play more MMO games or something like modded singleplayer games (excluding cyberpunk) that can really change what people would recommend. For my purposes, I have a 240hz monitor, so I really want a 30 series card, but for your case may be different.
 
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MoshJosh

Please try to get your hands on a 1070 instead of crossfire RX480. SLI/Crossfire is pretty much useless and you would benefit much more from the performance of a single powerful GPU.

I think we need to approach this from a usage perspective; what exactly do you plan on using this pc? From my experience with friends many say they want to do video editing, AAA gaming, autocad, etc. but they end up just using them as overpriced YouTube watching machines. Unless this is a case of "I need to upgrade regardless of usage because my pc is a toaster," I would simply look for budget options that are worth their value and not simply because something is cheap.

Lets go over your desired upgrade parts:
Core: i5-6600 -> i7-7700
GPU: GTX 1060 -> RX480 (x2)
Storage: Some HHD -> All SSD

Core: I personally see no point in upgrading to this specific core. Yes it might have higher clock speeds but the gain in performance is so minuscule that you would be better off using that money to get a better GPU. If you really want to upgrade I would save up and just get a used "K" series processor so you could overclock. I assume your MSI board is a Z270 series? If so then by all means you could overclock by getting a "K" series processor. Getting a non OC core for the price is just not worth it.

For context I have an i7-4770K and R7 2700X; both perform similarly well in gaming tasks but the 4770K is almost a decade old! Intel has great core and yours is likely one of them. Unless you know your core is causing the PC to fail at running it's task then just keep what you have.

GPU: For the performance of two RX480s you would only be competing with base GTX1080 non Ti cards (Ha, only as if a GTX1080 is suddenly ****! [spoiler: it's not]). Most games are not going to be utilizing the extra power from a second card making gaming on crossfire or SLI worthless in my opinion. As evidence of this, Nvidia only allows SLI on their very top GPU for the 3000 generation (3090), and this can be taken as a sign that nobody uses dual gpu setups enough to justify widely supporting it.

I would rather utilize the maximum power of a card like a 1070 or 1080 (Ti if you can get a hold of one) as you're getting as much performance as possible from one card and not wasting money buying a half utilized card.

Also I would try getting something with 6 or 8GB of VRAM to help performance in video games.

Side Note: If your 1060 is giving you problems I would happily take it if you're willing to ship to Canada lol.

Storage: Just make sure your boot SSD has a memory cache to make launching Windows a lot faster. For me personally storage is storage. If you want to play games with unoptimized load times like GTA get an SSD for only storing games on and make sure it has DRAM cache. Other than that I used HDD if I'm just storing files long term. I'm thinking of making a network attached storage pc with a bunch of 16TB Iron Wolf drives; I need space and storage is storage.

Other things to consider:

RAM: Why is your RAM 24BG? Is it configured to 4GB/4GB/8GB/8GB or 8GB/8GB/8GB? At this point I think your memory is running in single channel and using whatever the lowest compatible frequencies are. I would get whatever the cheapest set of 2666 or higher 4-stick set is available to you and run everything in dual channel. Most of the time when gaming you really only need to use 16GB of it. I run 32GB 3000mhz and it's honestly more than enough for pretty much everything I do (I'm not editing 8-12k freaking footage).

Monitor: What are you using? 60Hz? Higher? Resolution (1080, 1440, 4k)? Panel type? I personally think that there's no point trying to upgrade your system if you're bottlenecking your performance with a janky monitor. If you're playing esports titles that would benefit from higher FPS then i would save and get a budget 1080p 144hz monitor. 1080p high refresh rate is honestly a great thing to have when playing video games because at least you can appreciate having hardware that runs at higher performance. You get no benefit if you lock yourself at 60fps but your pc can handle 120fps.

I use the PC almost exclusively for gaming, on my days off usually 1+ hours of gaming once the fam is asleep. I would like to do some video editing in the future but it’s not an imminent concern. My wife uses it for university word, PowerPoint, etc.

I play a bit of everything recently Doom Eternal which I run on high with a decently stable 60fps.

I have an Asus monitor, think similar to this:https://www.grooves-inc.com/asus-vg...nMYiIVv9sBc4J96DT6nw0kxpsBuEMBb4aAnRlEALw_wcB

Unfortunately it will only run 144hz through display port. . . And that’s where my 1060 comes in. I can’t get it to output through display port only HDMI. The display port used to work fine but now it won’t work at all. Tried updating my drivers, uninstalling and reinstalling everything, downloading some strange fix from an Nvidia forum. . . If you have ideas for fixing this issue I would be happy to listen.

my ram 8gb 4gb 8gb 4gb, should I remove the 4gb sticks???

Super good to know about the SSD cache stuff, I will look into that

Ok I think I will just look for a 1080 or similar instead of 2 cards.

thanks for a detailed and informative post!!! And thanks to all the others that have posted!!!!!!!
 
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MartinXIX

The good news for you in terms of future upgrades is that most of the components for 2000-3000 series AMD CPUs will be a great price for massive performance gains. If you're looking to upgrade now I would focus the money on the GPU and aim for a 1070-1080 Ti if possible.

As for your RAM, I would check what the mhz speeds are on those 8GB sticks are and run with those. (So yes remove the 4GB).

Also most motherboards would have RAM slot configs like:
empty // 8GB RAM // empty // 8GBRAM

This should allow you use dual channel ram at 16GB and will be great performance wise as it allows faster and easier access to workspace for the CPU. If you wanted to go even higher on RAM you could find matching 8GB RAM sticks and make everything 32GB. Also I assume your two 8GB are the exact same spec sticks?

After looking at the minimum and recommended specs for Doom Eternal, unless you want to start gaming at 1440 or 4k then stick with most of the hardware and upgrade the gpu. Your monitor seems fine and is not really in need of an upgrade. I use a 32' 1440p 144hz monitor but it's definitely not something everyone needs to have (and that's not even on the craziest high level of tech).

Also for your other games you should look around at what specs you really need to play them. If you're planning on sticking with the 1000 series cards then you should be good to go price wise (I'm assuming the price for used GPUs is going to be way better in the US vs Canada). I would avoid getting anything in the 2000 line and just wait for the 3000 to restock in future if you plan on going full on new build. The CPU will limit you going forward as a jump to the 7th generation isn't going to benefit you for your money going forward, so if you go 30 series I suggest looking at a whole new build.

For your workload on the PC I think your wife will be fine as long as it turns on and doesn't crash. If she's in anything that runs data in Excel or anything using a database it should be okay. A lot of those programs are optimized to use as low spec hardware as possible from my experience (One program I had to use was on 2GB minimum RAM requirements!). If she's in a STEM field and needs to render models then it might be a bit slow when it comes to programs that are CPU intensive but it should get the job done regardless (my friend used an i5-9400F and 1660Ti for AutoCAD and was fine).

Hope you have a Merry Christmas // Happy Holidays, and best of luck buying your PC parts!

Also to keep things a little fish related, look into a game called FISHERY on Steam. It's basically a freehand aquascape and fish keeping game. It's super cheap too since it's made by a small team.
 
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Mike999

You've said yourself you'd like to keep the costs down as much as possible, so I presume you're still gaming @ 1920 x 1080/60hz as opposed to 2k or 4k.
--------------
Nvidia: RTX2060, or 1660ti (or 1660 super) / 1070 (there's really a 1/2 a dozen good options, but none are cheap)
AM 5600xt.
--------------
See if someone is selling them on Ebay, otherwise save up until you're ready.
Nothing is 'cheap' these days, even computer components.
--------------
Nvidia 1080ti or beyond, is overkill on both budget and gaming requirements for 1080/60hz gaming.
If you wanted to step into the world of 4k, then deal with it later, when you have an entirely new mb/cpu.
 
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jake37

The I5 is fine and i would not upgrade the cpu. For GPU you have to start by asking what resolution your monitor is and how much you are willing to spend. If you are willing to spend $400 and your monitor is 1440p go for the 3060. If your monitor is 720p and you are willing to spend $100 go for the ....
--
More so you have to also ask what you are trying to accomplish by upgrading. Is your experience bad? Are you getting less than 100 fps on your 60 hz monitor? Do you have to wait forever for safe files to load or check points to save? Are you frustrated when your partner drops out of your multiplayer game?
-
If it ain't broken don't fix it.
 
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MoshJosh

OK so a little update. . .

I bought (for not particularly good reasons):

Intel core i7-6700k 4.0 GHz
MSI Radeon RX 580 8GB
Samsung EVO 250GB M.2
Noctua fans X2

. . . think I'll stick with my corsair vengeance (think its 32GB 2X16GB)

but I sort of want/need a new motherboard. . . I sort of broke one of my USB ports. . . I mean still works but meh. Any recommendations?
 
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dwc13

Hopefully your case allows for good airflow with appropriate fan quantity, placement & direction. The RX 580 can run hot & loud -- and it doesn't exactly sip power. But it's a very capable GPU even if the Polaris architecture is a bit dated. I have a Sapphire Pulse RX 580 (8GB) version and Ryzen 7 3700X CPU inside an Antec Three Hundred case with 4 Corsair ML fans (1x140, 3x120).

No sense buying an Intel K series CPU unless you're going to overclock, right? The challenge you might encounter is actually finding a new compatible motherboard for a 5+ year old Intel Skylake CPU that is currently available for purchase at a reasonable price.

Intel Core i7-6700K 4 GHz Quad-Core Processor Compatible Motherboards - PCPartPicker

Looks like an LGA 1151 socket is needed. Be careful -- Intel also released an LGA 1151 socket with 300 series chipset which is apparently not compatible with Skylake CPUs.
 
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MoshJosh

I found a MSI M5 gaming that should be compatible, think I will go with that. . . its what I know. . .

I dont have a case. . . just a test bench right now. . . thinking about getting a case though
 
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Baiulus

ive just upgraded my pc aswell only to have it not power on at all.
 
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dwc13

I found a MSI M5 gaming that should be compatible, think I will go with that. . . its what I know. . .

I dont have a case. . . just a test bench right now. . . thinking about getting a case though

If you're looking at computer cases, here are a few things you might consider:
1. Front panel with mesh so you can install case fans in the traditional front(2)-back-top arrangement (push-pull). Good airflow within & exhausting hot air out of the case are really important, especially if you're a gamer. IMO, this should be the top priority when buying a case.

Awards: Best & Worst PC Cases of 2020 | GamersNexus - Gaming PC Builds & Hardware Benchmarks

2. Check the size (length) of the largest graphics card that can be supported by the case. Compare that with the length of some of your MSI Radeon RX 580 the current high-end graphics cards (Ampere & RDNA 2).
3. Check the size (height) of the CPU cooler that can be supported by the case. Noctua's website has a compatibility database.

Noctua Compatibility Centre

4. Power supply preferably installed at the bottom of the case. Note any blockage or non-movable bracket that will limit the size of the PS and/or make it very difficult to install non-modular PS cabling.
5. Not a "must-have", but a removable tray for the motherboard is very helpful for a build.
6. Dedicated areas/pathways for cable routing varies by case and is a matter of builder preference. If the case is wide enough, you can use standoffs and raise the height of the motherboard above the tray/panel and create space under the motherboard for cable routing. Keep in mind doing this will slightly reduce the available height for other items, including the CPU cooler.
7. Clear side panel to show off lighting/innards is a matter of builder preference.
8. Because of the mesh front panel many case manufacturers have implemented in their cases, an external 5.25" or 3.5" drive bay might not be available. So if you're dead set on including an internal (SATA or IDE) optical drive in your build, make sure the case has an external 5.25" drive bay. Same thing if you want to install a hot swap 3.5" hard drive -- verify it has an external 3.5" drive bay.
9. Finally, last but not least, look at the AIO cooling options (size, location) available for the case (if interested).
 
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MoshJosh

Ok. . . So I finally tore apart my PC and rebuilt it with new parts. . . Now running a MSI M5 gaming motherboard, Intel i7-6700K, AMD RX580 GPU, 16gigs of DDR4, 250gb M.2 for boot drive, 250gb SSD, and 1tb "short stroked" HDD. . . it was a pain. . . surprisingly it booted up right away, no real issues despite a few of the parts being used and untested for months. . . woot!!! but all the windows stuff was sort of a nightmare. . .

First I did a clean install/reinstall of windows. . . unfortunately I didn't realize that during this process I couldn't choose a different drive as my boot drive. . . after that I found out windows 10 wouldn't reactive without the product key. . . that I threw in the trash like 6 years ago. . . Microsoft support was no help. I just ended up buying another key (what's your time worth right???) THEN windows wouldn't install from USB to my M.2. . . I had to reconfigure the M.2. . . felt like I was cracking the Da Vinci code (I had no idea what I was doing just followed a guide on the internet. . .

Basically. . . Now I have a valid copy of Windows 10, my computer boots from my M.2. . . and it runs OK. . .

Questions:
How do I change fan setting on the rx580? currently it has a "fan stop"? fan doesn't turn on till certain temps. . . should I change this?

Why do I now get a blue windows symbol right after boot and right before the log in screen? never used to do this (trivial complaint I know). . .

What software do I need to download to optimize my rig? I used to use NVIDIA's app but obviously I no longer have an NVIDIA card so should I download AMDs app? Intel app? etc?
 
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Zach72202

Questions:
How do I change fan setting on the rx580? currently it has a "fan stop"? fan doesn't turn on till certain temps. . . should I change this?

Why do I now get a blue windows symbol right after boot and right before the log in screen? never used to do this (trivial complaint I know). . .

What software do I need to download to optimize my rig? I used to use NVIDIA's app but obviously I no longer have an NVIDIA card so should I download AMDs app? Intel app? etc?


Few tips for the future. A windows 10 CD will always install windows 10, you don't need a product key, it will leave a watermark on the bottom right though. If you want that gone, you can buy a windows 10 key off of www.G2A.com for like 25$, not kidding.

I actually just upgraded my pc today too, I got corsair lpx ddr4 3600mhz 16gb, a ryzen 5800x, and an MSI b550 board. Going through some of these steps like you are lol, but I have done it a few times.

To optimize things, go into your updates setting and make sure everything is up to date there, even optionals. With your hardware, it may have come with some CD's that contain drivers. You can get them off of the internet if you look, but these discs have them right there, so might as well use those. You don't have to install everything they prompt, sometimes they will encourage you to install all of their 'extra programs', but unless you know how to use them or have reason, it is pretty much bloatware to you. Bloatware is basically programs you don't need and are just clogging up the system.

After you get everything up to date, you should be pretty much ready to go. Only thing I could recommend is if there is a program like the AMD equivalent to Nvidia GeForce Experience. If so, which I would guess yes, then get that, if you want. If you don't like it, its up to you.

As for optimization of how it runs, that would be nitty gritty things in the bios with overclocking and things you really don't want to mess with unless you are okay with maybe causing issues. I tried it, but it isn't worth the risk in my opinion.

As long as you keep your pc organized, keep files you want to keep on thumb drives (pictures and whatnot) and delete things from your downloads file that you'll never look at again, you should be in pretty good shape.

If you want an antivirus, if you feel the need, I would recommend Webroot from Best Buy. Pretty affordable, and works. Things like Norton or McAfee are better than nothing, but they are called 'the anti-virus virus' for a reason. They are incredibly annoying and not too great.
 
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