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Under $2000 gaming build

I'm looking to build myself a new gaming rig. I built one around August 2010 but didn't research it very well and ended up getting an entry-level mobo (GA-P55A-UD3). I would just upgrade, but I have an i7 1156, so not only would I need to buy a new mobo, but a new CPU as well, so I might as well just build a new rig. My boyfriend is a TV hog, so I'd like to move the majority of my gaming to a PC anyway, so I want a pretty fierce beast. I don't want to make the same mistakes I did on my first build, so any help is appreciated.

Approximate Purchase Date: February 2012-ish

Budget Range: I'd like to keep it under $2000 but willing to go over if necessary

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, internet (I use a LOT of tabs and windows open at once)

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon almost exclusively. I have no-interest financing available.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Full tower case. I have a Coolmaster 690II and I'd like a little more room for better cable management. I don't mind paying more for a reliable brand.

Overclocking: I'd like to figure it out, but won't try it immediately.

SLI or Crossfire: Preferably yes

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, but looking to add a second 22" monitor

Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D (I know this one's not full tower, but it's reeeeeeally pretty)
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Obsidian-Aluminum-Enthusiast-Computer/dp/B004UE1W9K/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I3OC7U2908Y9BE&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

OR

Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra (not available on Amazon but also really nice)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147157&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=4003003&SID=18oqxu7nzwvto

Mobo: ASRock Z68 EXTREME7 GEN3
http://www.amazon.com/ASRock-Gen3-Intel-Z68-Motherboard/dp/B005FGQLO8/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I30MUAQAZZ9AZH&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

OR

ASUS Maximus IV Extreme -Z
http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Maximus-IV-Extreme-Motherboards/dp/B005584ZEO/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2VLFCYF3Z95NN&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Processor
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-BOX80623I52500K-Core-i5-2500K-Processor/dp/B004EBUXHQ/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1ECP3KM8XMMOL&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

CPU Cooler: Corsair H80
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Performance-Liquid-Cooler-CWCH80/dp/B0051U7HMI/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1A1NW4B2EYSZL&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

PSU: Corsair Enthusiat 850W
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Enthusiast-Certified-Compatible-platforms/dp/B004MYFODS/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2WA46D7HM04A2&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB
http://www.amazon.com/G-skill-Ripjaws-240-pin-Desktop-F3-12800cl9q-16gbxl/dp/B004JPKGY2/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2N7ZSCG0549VX&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

SSD: Corsair Force 120GB
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Force-2-5-Inch-Solid-CSSD-F120GBGT-BK/dp/B0057QETGS/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I27ADNPPQXSNVT&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Caviar-Internal-Desktop/dp/B0036Q7MV0/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I24VP5EDJDW0KN&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

GPU: I'm still a little iffy on this...
2x XFX Radeon HD 6950
http://www.amazon.com/XFX-Radeon-Mini-Displayport-PCI-Express-HD695XZDFC/dp/B004NDSZUW/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I24SLQF7OY1NV8&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

OR

EVGA Geforce GTX580
http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Mini-HDMI-Lifetime-Warranty-03G-P3-1584-AR/dp/B004YJVUBG/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2LZAH5X2CWVS2&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

I'm not 100% sold on anything right now and am open to any suggestions! I want this computer to last and to actually be able to upgrade it in the future, so any help is very appreciated.
25 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about under 2000 gaming build
  1. Are you entirely set on February? New Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs and nVidia/AMD GPUs are expected to arrive March-April.

    Something to consider.
  2. Yep plus with the new GPUs coming out
  3. This will beat your build w/ the 580 by about 40% fps .....

    Case - $ 130 - Corsair 500R White http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139010
    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=767&Itemid=61

    PSU - $ 150 - Corsair HX850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139011
    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story5&reid=153

    MoBo - $ 210 - ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131790
    http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-p8z68-v-pro-review/

    CPU - $ 210 - Intel Core i7-2500K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070

    Cooler - $ 50 - Hyper 612 PWM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103103
    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=797&Itemid=62&limit=1&limitstart=4

    TIM - $ 5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835150080
    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=150&Itemid=62&limit=1&limitstart=12

    RAM - $ 48 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 (White) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233199

    GFX - $ 230 - Asus GTX 560 900Mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121425
    GFX - $ 230 - Asus GTX 560 900Mhz Same
    http://www.pureoverclock.com/review.php?id=1201&page=17

    HD - $ 240 - Barracuda XT 2TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148506
    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=708&Itemid=60&limit=1&limitstart=10

    SSD - $ 210 - Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226236
    http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/4328/mushkin_chronos_deluxe_120gb_solid_state_drive_review/index.html

    DVD Writer - $ 58 - Asus Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135247

    Total $1,771

    As for Ivy Bridge ? ..... Yawn.....

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5276/intel-core-i7-3820-review-285-quadcore-sandy-bridge-e/5

    Quote:
    What About Ivy?

    By the time the 3820 is available for purchase early next year, Ivy Bridge will be just about a quarter away. For desktop users Ivy Bridge is really only going to bring lower power consumption and a better integrated GPU. If you're seriously considering anything in the SNB-E family, the latter isn't going to matter and the former will be of arguable value.
  4. Thanks for the replies. I don't think that I will wait for Ivy Bridge if the performance jump isn't going to be that massive.

    Thanks for the build JackNaylor, but I do have some questions...
    Did you mean to link that i7 2600k? From what I've read around the forums, the i5 2500k is good enough for gaming.

    Since you suggested 8GB instead of 16, I changed the RAM to the Corsair Vengeance, 1866mHz instead of 1600. Looks good?
    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-PC3-15000-1866mHz-CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9R/dp/B0056KUWS4/ref=sr_1_7?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1325444551&sr=1-7

    Are the 560s as powerful as the two 6950s or the one 580? Since the 7970 comes out soon, should I wait for that instead, since I won't be picking up this rig until February anyway? I'd also be interested, in the future, in buying a single 7970 and buying a second later on. Same with the 580. I will also probably buy a second of my current monitor (http://www.amazon.com/ViewSonic-VX2250WM-LED-21-5-Inch-Widescreen-Integrated/dp/B003HFCDLY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1325444861&sr=8-2) and dual screen. If I did that, should I stick with the Maximus IV or some other powerful mobo? I'm really unsure about which mobo would be the best choice, if the Maximus IV is overkill or not.
  5. My bad, slapped wrong link in there

    Those twin 560's score 862 fps in Guru3D's game test suite .... the MSI Twin Frozr 6950's score 759 fps.

    After the 560 /6950, the cost per frame skyrockets

    Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

    $ 220.00 6950 (479/751) $ 0.46 - $ 0.59
    $ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
    $ 205.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.45 - $ 0.52
    $ 320.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.61 - $ 0.78
    $ 215.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.43 - $ 0.50
    $ 340.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.65 - $ 0.78
    $ 500.00 580 (616/953) $ 0.81 - $ 1.05

    Twin 580's give ya just 10% more fps than the twin 580's for an extra $570 (not counting what it costs for the bigger PSU.

    One MoBo ina given generation is not "more powerful" than another. When ya spend more money, ya get more features. Those features might includes extra PCI-E slots, extra LAN ports, Firewire, USB, overclocking features, improved multi phase power regulation, NF200 chip (allows wider PCI bandwidth), etc
  6. Okay, I will go with the dual 560s then!

    What I meant by more powerful is that, if I did decide to upgrade to 2 7970s or whatever other GPU may come out in the future, if the mobo would be able to handle that. Or if I wanted to add a third GPU, would there be enough slots, that kind of thing.
  7. there is ABSOLUTELY no reason why you should get anything less the sli'ed 570's or cf'ed 6970. with a budget of 2 grand anything less would just be silly. if you want to cut the budget as small as possible maybe i can see that but if you want to spend 2 grand you should spend at least a grand on gpu's alone.

    also you dont need to spend a large sum on a motherboard unless your doing extreme overclocking. a 150 dollar motherboard will do. same with the cpu cooler. no need for a liquid cooling setup unless doing high overclocks.

    motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157265

    cooler(mid lined)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118046

    commenting on above build.

    why 2 560tis? really, what do you do when 2 560tis arent enough for the games? thats why its better to sli/cf two high end cards if your going to sli/cf when first building. with her budget 570/6970 should be used

    A 60 dollar cd drive? come on man
  8. Okay, so if nixed the 2 560s, what else would you suggest?

    2 570s? Or should I jump to 2 580s? If I did 2 580s, would the 2500k and the mobo you suggested be enough?
  9. I think waiting for the HD7970 was a good idea - one great card is better than 2 good cards IMHO. It will be out soon and you can sort out GPU options then.
    -Bruce
  10. dish_moose said:
    I think waiting for the HD7970 was a good idea - one great card is better than 2 good cards IMHO. It will be out soon and you can sort out GPU options then.
    -Bruce


    yes very wise words. if you need more power later you can buy one when you need it.
  11. So forget the 560 and 580 and just get the 7970? I'm not buying anything until February so waiting is not a problem, I'd just like to have it all sorted out buy the time I'm ready to make the purchase.

    Is the ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 a good choice for that then?

    What about the Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4? I've been research that one a little as well.
  12. chickenhound said:
    So forget the 560 and 580 and just get the 7970? I'm not buying anything until February so waiting is not a problem, I'd just like to have it all sorted out buy the time I'm ready to make the purchase.

    Is the ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 a good choice for that then?

    What about the Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4? I've been research that one a little as well.



    that gigabyte board doesnt have pcie 3.0 support like the Asrock i suggested. so if you ever decided to drop an ivy bridge cpu in there you wouldnt have that upgraded pci slot.
  13. Okay, I will definitely go for that Asrock board and the 7970 when it comes out. Do you have any other suggestions for the other parts I posted. You've been really helpful so far.
  14. air cooling instead of water cooling. you might loose 1-2 degrees with a top end air cooler but without the hassle of water cooling.

    id recommend the noctua nh-d14. its about 35*c cooler then stock and just about equal with your h80
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608024
    if you can find that one in stock somewhere this one just has one less fan
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608018
  15. I actually have a Hyper 212+ in my current computer and part of the reason I'm leaning towards the H80 is for how much less space it takes up.

    AFAIK, the HX0 series is a "set it and forget it" type of water cooling like with air cooler, so there's no hassle there, unless I'm not getting how they work? I got my boyfriend the H60 and no where could we find any kind of instruction on maintenance or installation beyond installing it like a regular air cooler.
  16. yeah i guess i was more talking about the setup of it and getting it mounted and making sure that the air flow was getting out of the case and the fans werent causing any bad harmonics or anything like that. but for that money the h80 and the noctua are about the same.
  17. Hmm... I actually went and looking at some pictures of the H80 in a case and it looks like it may take up just as much space as a regular cooler. Anyway, this is what I've more or less or settled on at this point.

    Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D - will be filled with red case fans and cold cathodes - $190
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139006&Tpk=corsair%20650d

    Mobo: ASRock MB-P67E4G3 - $150
    http://www.amazon.com/ASRock-MB-P67E4G3-Intel-P67-Motherboard/dp/B005FGMQAQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325521113&sr=8-1

    CPU: Intel i2500K - $230
    http://www.amazon.com/Intel-BOX80623I52500K-Core-i5-2500K-Processor/dp/B004EBUXHQ/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1ECP3KM8XMMOL&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

    CPU Cooler: Corsair H80 $95
    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Performance-Liquid-Cooler-CWCH80/dp/B0051U7HMI/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1A1NW4B2EYSZL&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4
    Also considering Coolermaster V6GT - $45
    http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-V6GT-220-Watt-RR-V6GT-22PK-R1/dp/B003XNG6LI/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1325521342&sr=1-1

    PSU: Corsair Professional 850W - $175
    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Professional-850-Watt-Certified-High-Performance/dp/B003PJ6QW4/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I12J0PVSN3U5AF&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

    GPU: Radeon 7970 - $550

    RAM: Corsair 8GB Vengeance 1866mHz - $80
    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-PC3-15000-1866mHz-CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9R/dp/B0056KUWS4/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1KI8LN7NNNC6&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

    SDD (Boot Drive and games): Corsair Force 120GB - $195
    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Force-2-5-Inch-Solid-CSSD-F120GBGT-BK/dp/B0057QETGS/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I27ADNPPQXSNVT&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

    HDD: Western Digital 1TB SATA3 7200RPM - $156
    http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Caviar-Internal-Desktop/dp/B0036Q7MV0/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I24VP5EDJDW0KN&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

    $1821, not including shipping since I have Amazon Prime.
  18. JackNaylorPE said:
    This will beat your build w/ the 580 by about 40% fps .....

    Case - $ 130 - Corsair 500R White http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139010
    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=767&Itemid=61

    PSU - $ 150 - Corsair HX850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139011
    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story5&reid=153

    MoBo - $ 210 - ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131790
    http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-p8z68-v-pro-review/

    CPU - $ 210 - Intel Core i7-2500K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070

    Cooler - $ 50 - Hyper 612 PWM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103103
    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=797&Itemid=62&limit=1&limitstart=4

    TIM - $ 5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835150080
    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=150&Itemid=62&limit=1&limitstart=12

    RAM - $ 48 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 (White) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233199

    GFX - $ 230 - Asus GTX 560 900Mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121425
    GFX - $ 230 - Asus GTX 560 900Mhz Same
    http://www.pureoverclock.com/review.php?id=1201&page=17

    HD - $ 240 - Barracuda XT 2TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148506
    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=708&Itemid=60&limit=1&limitstart=10

    SSD - $ 210 - Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226236
    http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/4328/mushkin_chronos_deluxe_120gb_solid_state_drive_review/index.html

    DVD Writer - $ 58 - Asus Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135247

    Total $1,771

    As for Ivy Bridge ? ..... Yawn.....

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5276/intel-core-i7-3820-review-285-quadcore-sandy-bridge-e/5

    Quote:
    What About Ivy?

    By the time the 3820 is available for purchase early next year, Ivy Bridge will be just about a quarter away. For desktop users Ivy Bridge is really only going to bring lower power consumption and a better integrated GPU. If you're seriously considering anything in the SNB-E family, the latter isn't going to matter and the former will be of arguable value.


    Until he adds another 580 in SLI
  19. chickenhound said:
    Hmm... I actually went and looking at some pictures of the H80 in a case and it looks like it may take up just as much space as a regular cooler. Anyway, this is what I've more or less or settled on at this point.

    Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D - will be filled with red case fans and cold cathodes - $190
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139006&Tpk=corsair%20650d

    Mobo: ASRock MB-P67E4G3 - $150
    http://www.amazon.com/ASRock-MB-P67E4G3-Intel-P67-Motherboard/dp/B005FGMQAQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325521113&sr=8-1

    CPU: Intel i2500K - $230
    http://www.amazon.com/Intel-BOX80623I52500K-Core-i5-2500K-Processor/dp/B004EBUXHQ/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1ECP3KM8XMMOL&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

    CPU Cooler: Corsair H80 $95
    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Performance-Liquid-Cooler-CWCH80/dp/B0051U7HMI/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1A1NW4B2EYSZL&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4
    Also considering Coolermaster V6GT - $45
    http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-V6GT-220-Watt-RR-V6GT-22PK-R1/dp/B003XNG6LI/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1325521342&sr=1-1

    PSU: Corsair Professional 850W - $175
    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Professional-850-Watt-Certified-High-Performance/dp/B003PJ6QW4/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I12J0PVSN3U5AF&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

    GPU: Radeon 7970 - $550

    RAM: Corsair 8GB Vengeance 1866mHz - $80
    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-PC3-15000-1866mHz-CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9R/dp/B0056KUWS4/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1KI8LN7NNNC6&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

    SDD (Boot Drive and games): Corsair Force 120GB - $195
    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Force-2-5-Inch-Solid-CSSD-F120GBGT-BK/dp/B0057QETGS/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I27ADNPPQXSNVT&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

    HDD: Western Digital 1TB SATA3 7200RPM - $156
    http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Caviar-Internal-Desktop/dp/B0036Q7MV0/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I24VP5EDJDW0KN&colid=IHMUNX5Q8UC4

    $1821, not including shipping since I have Amazon Prime.


    i would try to get a z68 chipset board for one reason. you can use integrated graphics if something goes wrong with your gpu. the motherboard i linked earlier is a good one.
  20. The P67 is the one you linked me, actually. Is this the one you meant to link? http://www.amazon.com/ASRock-MB-Z68X4G3-Intel-Z68-Motherboard/dp/B005FE52X6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1325532222&sr=8-2
  21. haha opps yes it is
  22. Okay, I'll add that one in instead, haha. But other than that, looks like a good build?
  23. Best answer
    yes ma'mam
  24. Exceeeeeellent! Thanks so much for your help, you've been awesome.
  25. Best answer selected by chickenhound.
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