Video: Apple's iMac Pro vs 2013 Mac Pro (Part 2) - photo editing comparison

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  • Reply 21 of 28

    wanderso said:
    The biggest problem I have with the iMac Pro is the permanent video card and difficult accessibility. I have an iMac right now at home that surprised me with the video card failing. Everything else in the system is fine; used Apple proprietary AMD video cards on eBay are as much as the iMac is worth with no guarantee after I open it and do the risky swap out that they will work.  Unfortunately I have some software mated to that machine that I can't bring to a different one, so I'm still pondering my options. In a pinch, I bought a used current generation iMac Mini and installed an SSD, giving me surprisingly good performance in Final Cut X for my use. It was a horrible, nearly unusable machine without the hard drive upgrade. 

    I've owned generations of iMacs dating back to the first year, a mirror drawer powermac, MacBooks, PowerBooks. MacBook pros, etc. My first Mac was a used SE/30 in '92. 

    What I've learned through my recent iMac experience is that I won't buy another iMac as a primary machine at home. Instead, it has to be part of a modular system.  Even the Mac Mini gives more options and less risk of throwing away perfectly good hardware. 

    I assembled a gaming PC with my daughter recently from scratch using components  (case, power supply, motherboard, intel i8 processor, SSD, Nvidia video card, corsair memory, etc.). Being able to replace any single failed component or upgrade another later is very useful. 

    You don't have to be a "pro" to want to have a machine you can repair or upgrade with high quality components.  It taught my daughter some good skills, even though we also own several apple products. 
    wanderso said:
    The biggest problem I have with the iMac Pro is the permanent video card and difficult accessibility. I have an iMac right now at home that surprised me with the video card failing. Everything else in the system is fine; used Apple proprietary AMD video cards on eBay are as much as the iMac is worth with no guarantee after I open it and do the risky swap out that they will work.  Unfortunately I have some software mated to that machine that I can't bring to a different one, so I'm still pondering my options. In a pinch, I bought a used current generation iMac Mini and installed an SSD, giving me surprisingly good performance in Final Cut X for my use. It was a horrible, nearly unusable machine without the hard drive upgrade. 

    I've owned generations of iMacs dating back to the first year, a mirror drawer powermac, MacBooks, PowerBooks. MacBook pros, etc. My first Mac was a used SE/30 in '92. 

    What I've learned through my recent iMac experience is that I won't buy another iMac as a primary machine at home. Instead, it has to be part of a modular system.  Even the Mac Mini gives more options and less risk of throwing away perfectly good hardware. 

    I assembled a gaming PC with my daughter recently from scratch using components  (case, power supply, motherboard, intel i8 processor, SSD, Nvidia video card, corsair memory, etc.). Being able to replace any single failed component or upgrade another later is very useful. 

    You don't have to be a "pro" to want to have a machine you can repair or upgrade with high quality components.  It taught my daughter some good skills, even though we also own several apple products. 
    I will point out kindly that while it’s sweet that spent time building a computer with your daughter not to mention fantastic parenting ... one might suggest next time you just boot camp the iMac you already had, install high Sierra and get a egpu with a compatible Sierra gpu. Would have been educational enough to stop ring that bell and elegant as their are plenty enclosures now that don’t need to have lime green light eminanting from them. My two cents. Sure two computers would mean two computers but the solution I’ve descibed is a 600$ situation. Building a pc could be done for 500$ but not with a great video card.
  • Reply 22 of 28
    It is about screen and not just resolution. So stop testing CPU. We have better screen than Apple offers in iMac. Let me know when the screen is professional IPS with full gamut and correction and 32 inch that does not become yellow in two years glare free and potantiall accepts hood over it. Is it hard to understand?
    williamlondon
  • Reply 23 of 28
    Next time when you review stop using only Apple as reference because it is not in some aspects. For example compare to this and besoides of irrelevant number of pixels tell iif it can do the same for professional: http://www.eizo.com/products/coloredge/cg318-4k/
    williamlondon
  • Reply 24 of 28
    It is about screen and not just resolution. So stop testing CPU. We have better screen than Apple offers in iMac. Let me know when the screen is professional IPS with full gamut and correction and 32 inch that does not become yellow in two years glare free and potantiall accepts hood over it. Is it hard to understand?
    Have you ever personally used Apple's 5K monitor?
    williamlondonfastasleep
  • Reply 25 of 28
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,781member
    Rayz2016 said:
    macxpress said:
    Marvin said:
    I try to understand the justification for a $5K+ iMac -- but I just can't.

    The main appeal of the iMac form factor is for those who want a clean uncluttered workspace -- and the all-in-one does that.  
    The appeal of the Mac-Pro is shear power.

    For the power user, the only reason the iMac-Pro can compete with the Mac-Pro is because the Mac-Pro is a 4 year old machine.   A Mac-Pro using modern components would blow an iMac right out of the water -- and plus it would be more readily upgradeable.

    Yes, there are those who need enormous amounts of power while also demanding a clean, uncluttered workspace.  But there you are selecting a few from an already limited population....
    A Mac Pro with modern components would perform exactly the same if it was designed to a 500W thermal limit. 500W is 500W no matter what form factor it is put into.

    When Apple made the cylinder, they put faster components than what was in the 2012 Mac Pro into 1/10th the volume.
    When Apple made the iMac Pro, they put faster components than what was in the 2013 Mac Pro behind the display.

    The old Mac Pro had a 1kW power limit (the GPUs were restricted to 300W total, 2xCPUs would have been about 300W so 600W in parts). The cylinder and iMac Pro are both ~500W. Another iteration of the Mac Pro would need to have a 1kW power supply to be worthwhile, which means at most 2x CPUs and 2x GPUs. This will be up to twice the speed of the iMac Pro and the price would be higher than the iMac Pro for that spec. For tasks that can't use multiple GPUs, a new Mac Pro will perform the same as the iMac Pro.

    There doesn't need to be any more justification for a $5k+ iMac than a $5k+ Mac Pro. If someone is buying for the performance, the form factor doesn't make much difference. The price is largely because of Intel, they charge over $1000 just for the CPU but it's also because of the high base spec (1TB SSD, 32GB RAM - https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-960-PRO-Internal-MZ-V6P1T0BW/dp/B01LYRCIPG ($600) https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-PC3-14900-240-Pin-Systems-CT2K16G3R186DM/dp/B00GEC3ZJQ ($389) ). That's $2k in parts before you add a display, enclosure, other parts and profit.

    If the appeal of the old Mac Pro was about the most power, most sales would have been the highest end models every update and that wasn't the case. Most workstation sales are around the low-mid spec, for the Mac Pro this was 6/8-core with a single fast GPU (~$3.5-5k total) that people could switch to an Nvidia GPU without buying a new machine and the upgrade cycle was long. Apple knows what people have been buying and make new machines to accommodate the highest demand.

    I don't think they'll go back to PCIe GPUs that can be switched out by users because it breaks the compatibility with Thunderbolt, which they need for a Retina display (it has to connect to their other products). Apple can offer GPU upgrades but they can do this for any desktop machine.

    There are different needs for different tasks. For heavy rendering or encoding, it means as many CPU cores. For real-time video compositing and effects, it means multiple high-end GPUs and a CPU with a lot of cores too. For high resolution movie edits, a large amount of fast internal storage is important to some. For the gamer audience, it means an affordable desktop that can have the GPU changed every now and again to a gamer GPU. I think whatever comes out next will fail to satisfy the last two - way too expensive for gamers and no bulk storage options. Even if they offer two CPUs, that option is going to start around $6-7k without a display. If they offer two GPUs, that will boost video effects work but if someone is already working in 1/2 the desired resolution, a second GPU isn't going to be enough to alleviate the problem entirely. Performance-wise it will be worth as much over an iMac Pro that the iMac Pro is worth over an iMac but the price point will appeal to very few people.

    Mostly the appeal of the headless desktop is the resistance to modern form factors. Having to use an iMac is like being made to drive a Prius instead of a Mustang, it causes an emotional reaction in some people because they have to use it in front of other bros who will laugh at them. It bothers some people because they irrationally think that machines need to look monstrous to behave that way. If Apple made a headless tower starting around $1500-2000 that you could put an Nvidia PCIe GPU in, the highest volume of noise about a pro desktop would disappear but there would nothing more high-end about it than the iMac Pro. Eventually, this road ends with compact form factors like the iMac and Macbook Pro, anything that happens in the interim is temporary.
    While I absolutely agree with you that Apple knows what they're doing -- and I respect that,
    I disagree that the appeal of the MacPro over the iMacPro is essentially a macho, emotional one.

    Once they drop the trash can design, the MacPro can return to what desktops have always been:  Upgradeable -- even if it's by Apple.  The iMac form is essentially an overgrown MacBook with the same limitations of a compact, integrated, non-upgradeable form factor.

    In addition, IF they do drop the trash can look and return to a Function over Form design, that opens up options that are simply not available to the compact, integrated MacBook type design.

    And finally, with the MacPro, the money you pay for a high end screen you may not need is instead put towards increased power and flexibility.
    And what if Apple releases a new Mac Pro tower that isn't really all that upgradeable beyond maybe RAM and storage?
    This is the the thing. It’s probably best not to make assumptions concerning any piece of unseen, untried hardware. Apple has always described this new Mac as “modular”, so I’m thinking it’s more a case of being able to add bits on rather than upgrade internal components (aside from memory). 
    cgWerks said:
    For the power user, the only reason the iMac-Pro can compete with the Mac-Pro is because the Mac-Pro is a 4 year old machine.   A Mac-Pro using modern components would blow an iMac right out of the water -- and plus it would be more readily upgradeable.
    I'm not so sure that will be the case. I bet the gap will be much more narrow than you think, with the form-factor and possible upgradability being more crucial.

    StrangeDays said:
    You're confusing at-home DIY tinkering with real pros doing real work. Pros in the office don't tinker, even the IT support guys don't perform upgrades. They source new machines, sometimes as a matter of policy every X years (in my experience in leading fortune 100s and dotcoms anyway).
    For sure. The amounts of money we're talking about for these things are tiny in any big company for a department that needs equipment like this. When I was in Fortune 100, there was typically a year-end... we've got to spend $250k or something like that to maintain the budget numbers for next year... new laptops for everyone (and our old ones got shuffled down or retired) and do we need anything in the server room? (And this was just a small 'startup-like' division of a Fortune 100).

    I think were things get more picky is when they are deploying 1000s of machines to the worker-bee masses. Then they start trying to trim $10 here and there per unit.

    But, for small businesses, freelancers, consultants, etc. this is a more serious investment and we often don't have backup units sitting around or stuff like that. And, I suppose that's why we're here evaluating and complaining. :)  That said, I don't care that much about upgradability or serviceability any more. But, I do need something that meets my needs. Apple has been failing on both accounts.

    macxpress said:
    I agree...I work in IT and we buy computers (Macs and PC's) that suit our needs, use them until they're no longer useful and then we get rid of them and replace them if necessary. We don't upgrade as its not worth it in the end.
    True, though I know shops that did stuff like CAD or 3D rendering/animation would typically upgrade GPUs a few times over the life of a workstation. The problem is that GPU technology is moving too fast for normal replacement cycles. So, you either upgrade cards, or you'd have to pre-maturely buy/sell or cycle machines within the organization.


    GeorgeBMac said:
    While I absolutely agree with you that Apple knows what they're doing -- and I respect that, 
    I disagree that the appeal of the MacPro over the iMacPro is essentially a macho, emotional one.

    ...

    And finally, with the MacPro, the money you pay for a high end screen you may not need is instead put towards increased power and flexibility.
    I totally agree that it isn't about some macho, emotional thing. My main beef is a single-use monitor. I tend to prefer a single good display that I can use with multiple devices. Why Apple doesn't include some kind of video in on the iMac seems kind of staggeringly stupid to me, but I guess it is what it is. They just need a non-all-in-one too.

    Unfortunately, I doubt if they remove the screen, they'll deduct that form the price. I'm sure the Mac Pro will cost even more, and I have my doubts about how much faster it will actually be.

    macxpress said:
    And what if Apple releases a new Mac Pro tower that isn't really all that upgradeable beyond maybe RAM and storage?
    Yea, I think we need to be prepared for that possibility (actually, likelihood). I'm not sure it's a good idea, but I think 'modular' might simply mean, not an all-in-one.
    I'm OK with that, though... but a lot of people here probably aren't.

    Apple could be preparing Thunderbolt 3 (or 4?) for eGPU's, or whatever else needed in the new Mac Pro. I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case (no pun intended). Apple could make a much smaller and quieter tower with expandable RAM and a couple of NVMe slots for storage swaps. I wouldn't really expect the new MacPro to have any PCIe slots inside it. I could be wrong, but we'll see. I just have this feeling that it won't be the Mac some are expecting....Like, its not going to be the 2012 Mac Pro again. 
  • Reply 26 of 28
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    bradford_kirby said:
    ... but the Pro moniker doesn’t mean professional... it means powerful.
    Actually, that has been one of the criticisms up until the iMac Pro... that Apple has shifted to making 'pro' products aimed at professionals (who it is for), instead of it being a descriptive quality of the machine. It looks like the iMac Pro is pretty solidly back in that latter camp (where as I don't think the MacBook Pro really was, and the last Mac Pro was a bit questionable to some).

    One criteria have for a pro product (especially when it comes to server equipment or workstations), is that it has to be able to run full-out w/o damaging itself. That doesn't mean every pro runs them full-out 24x7, but it needs to be capable. That's one gripe I've had with the MacBook Pro, is that doing so generally shortens their life (I've damaged 2 over the years). IMO, that's a design problem for a pro product.

    That's why I won't buy a 5k or 4k iMac as my desktop machine, as despite the speed/cost, I don't think they are built to handle that. When I had my last iMac, I was careful to limit my stuff to only 2 or 3 of the cores if it was going to run for an extended period of time (more than a couple of hours). And, then there is the fan noise... but that's more an irritation and quality I want, than pro or not.

    bradford_kirby said:
    its a no brainer. Certainly this isn’t a budget we’re speaking from... but if ur a photographer with 2 kids and no room for a bunch Macs ... 1 mac that can be all things to all people is kinda fantastic... 
    Unfortunately, that's an issue I have with the iMac Pro. Because I only want one device on my desktop and am dealing with limited space... I don't want my display to be single-use. If they only included video in, I'd be saving up for one. So, now I have to wait and see what the Mac Pro is, or build something, or buy an old Mac Pro, etc.

    The sad thing is that I don't *really* need a full-blown pro machine outside of that reliability and my want for quiet. I'd be perfectly happy with a quad-core i7 4k iMac guts in a small cube or rectangle with adequate cooling. I don't understand Apple's reluctance to produce something like that.

    macxpress said:
    Apple could be preparing Thunderbolt 3 (or 4?) for eGPU's, or whatever else needed in the new Mac Pro. I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case (no pun intended). Apple could make a much smaller and quieter tower with expandable RAM and a couple of NVMe slots for storage swaps. I wouldn't really expect the new MacPro to have any PCIe slots inside it. I could be wrong, but we'll see. I just have this feeling that it won't be the Mac some are expecting....Like, its not going to be the 2012 Mac Pro again. 
    I don't think TB4 is anywhere near ready, so I doubt it will be that. I suppose you could put 2 eGPUs with a main unit with CPU & RAM and even have storage modules. The problem there, is that with the limitations of TB3, the iMac Pro might be faster. Maybe that wouldn't matter, though, if the Mac Pro had better overall performance (i.e.: say two Vegas, maybe 3, etc.). It's a bit like like the current 5k iMac vs the iMac Pro then.... or for a car analogy, a Tesla vs a Porsche 911 GT (for those who don't get the analogy, a Tesla might squeak out a 0-60 win, but the Porsche 911 GT would devastate the Tesla on a racetrack).
  • Reply 27 of 28
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,394member
    macxpress said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    macxpress said:
    Marvin said:
    I try to understand the justification for a $5K+ iMac -- but I just can't.

    The main appeal of the iMac form factor is for those who want a clean uncluttered workspace -- and the all-in-one does that.  
    The appeal of the Mac-Pro is shear power.

    For the power user, the only reason the iMac-Pro can compete with the Mac-Pro is because the Mac-Pro is a 4 year old machine.   A Mac-Pro using modern components would blow an iMac right out of the water -- and plus it would be more readily upgradeable.

    Yes, there are those who need enormous amounts of power while also demanding a clean, uncluttered workspace.  But there you are selecting a few from an already limited population....
    A Mac Pro with modern components would perform exactly the same if it was designed to a 500W thermal limit. 500W is 500W no matter what form factor it is put into.

    When Apple made the cylinder, they put faster components than what was in the 2012 Mac Pro into 1/10th the volume.
    When Apple made the iMac Pro, they put faster components than what was in the 2013 Mac Pro behind the display.

    The old Mac Pro had a 1kW power limit (the GPUs were restricted to 300W total, 2xCPUs would have been about 300W so 600W in parts). The cylinder and iMac Pro are both ~500W. Another iteration of the Mac Pro would need to have a 1kW power supply to be worthwhile, which means at most 2x CPUs and 2x GPUs. This will be up to twice the speed of the iMac Pro and the price would be higher than the iMac Pro for that spec. For tasks that can't use multiple GPUs, a new Mac Pro will perform the same as the iMac Pro.

    There doesn't need to be any more justification for a $5k+ iMac than a $5k+ Mac Pro. If someone is buying for the performance, the form factor doesn't make much difference. The price is largely because of Intel, they charge over $1000 just for the CPU but it's also because of the high base spec (1TB SSD, 32GB RAM - https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-960-PRO-Internal-MZ-V6P1T0BW/dp/B01LYRCIPG ($600) https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-PC3-14900-240-Pin-Systems-CT2K16G3R186DM/dp/B00GEC3ZJQ ($389) ). That's $2k in parts before you add a display, enclosure, other parts and profit.

    If the appeal of the old Mac Pro was about the most power, most sales would have been the highest end models every update and that wasn't the case. Most workstation sales are around the low-mid spec, for the Mac Pro this was 6/8-core with a single fast GPU (~$3.5-5k total) that people could switch to an Nvidia GPU without buying a new machine and the upgrade cycle was long. Apple knows what people have been buying and make new machines to accommodate the highest demand.

    I don't think they'll go back to PCIe GPUs that can be switched out by users because it breaks the compatibility with Thunderbolt, which they need for a Retina display (it has to connect to their other products). Apple can offer GPU upgrades but they can do this for any desktop machine.

    There are different needs for different tasks. For heavy rendering or encoding, it means as many CPU cores. For real-time video compositing and effects, it means multiple high-end GPUs and a CPU with a lot of cores too. For high resolution movie edits, a large amount of fast internal storage is important to some. For the gamer audience, it means an affordable desktop that can have the GPU changed every now and again to a gamer GPU. I think whatever comes out next will fail to satisfy the last two - way too expensive for gamers and no bulk storage options. Even if they offer two CPUs, that option is going to start around $6-7k without a display. If they offer two GPUs, that will boost video effects work but if someone is already working in 1/2 the desired resolution, a second GPU isn't going to be enough to alleviate the problem entirely. Performance-wise it will be worth as much over an iMac Pro that the iMac Pro is worth over an iMac but the price point will appeal to very few people.

    Mostly the appeal of the headless desktop is the resistance to modern form factors. Having to use an iMac is like being made to drive a Prius instead of a Mustang, it causes an emotional reaction in some people because they have to use it in front of other bros who will laugh at them. It bothers some people because they irrationally think that machines need to look monstrous to behave that way. If Apple made a headless tower starting around $1500-2000 that you could put an Nvidia PCIe GPU in, the highest volume of noise about a pro desktop would disappear but there would nothing more high-end about it than the iMac Pro. Eventually, this road ends with compact form factors like the iMac and Macbook Pro, anything that happens in the interim is temporary.
    While I absolutely agree with you that Apple knows what they're doing -- and I respect that,
    I disagree that the appeal of the MacPro over the iMacPro is essentially a macho, emotional one.

    Once they drop the trash can design, the MacPro can return to what desktops have always been:  Upgradeable -- even if it's by Apple.  The iMac form is essentially an overgrown MacBook with the same limitations of a compact, integrated, non-upgradeable form factor.

    In addition, IF they do drop the trash can look and return to a Function over Form design, that opens up options that are simply not available to the compact, integrated MacBook type design.

    And finally, with the MacPro, the money you pay for a high end screen you may not need is instead put towards increased power and flexibility.
    And what if Apple releases a new Mac Pro tower that isn't really all that upgradeable beyond maybe RAM and storage?
    This is the the thing. It’s probably best not to make assumptions concerning any piece of unseen, untried hardware. Apple has always described this new Mac as “modular”, so I’m thinking it’s more a case of being able to add bits on rather than upgrade internal components (aside from memory). 
    cgWerks said:
    For the power user, the only reason the iMac-Pro can compete with the Mac-Pro is because the Mac-Pro is a 4 year old machine.   A Mac-Pro using modern components would blow an iMac right out of the water -- and plus it would be more readily upgradeable.
    I'm not so sure that will be the case. I bet the gap will be much more narrow than you think, with the form-factor and possible upgradability being more crucial.

    StrangeDays said:
    You're confusing at-home DIY tinkering with real pros doing real work. Pros in the office don't tinker, even the IT support guys don't perform upgrades. They source new machines, sometimes as a matter of policy every X years (in my experience in leading fortune 100s and dotcoms anyway).
    For sure. The amounts of money we're talking about for these things are tiny in any big company for a department that needs equipment like this. When I was in Fortune 100, there was typically a year-end... we've got to spend $250k or something like that to maintain the budget numbers for next year... new laptops for everyone (and our old ones got shuffled down or retired) and do we need anything in the server room? (And this was just a small 'startup-like' division of a Fortune 100).

    I think were things get more picky is when they are deploying 1000s of machines to the worker-bee masses. Then they start trying to trim $10 here and there per unit.

    But, for small businesses, freelancers, consultants, etc. this is a more serious investment and we often don't have backup units sitting around or stuff like that. And, I suppose that's why we're here evaluating and complaining. :)  That said, I don't care that much about upgradability or serviceability any more. But, I do need something that meets my needs. Apple has been failing on both accounts.

    macxpress said:
    I agree...I work in IT and we buy computers (Macs and PC's) that suit our needs, use them until they're no longer useful and then we get rid of them and replace them if necessary. We don't upgrade as its not worth it in the end.
    True, though I know shops that did stuff like CAD or 3D rendering/animation would typically upgrade GPUs a few times over the life of a workstation. The problem is that GPU technology is moving too fast for normal replacement cycles. So, you either upgrade cards, or you'd have to pre-maturely buy/sell or cycle machines within the organization.


    GeorgeBMac said:
    While I absolutely agree with you that Apple knows what they're doing -- and I respect that, 
    I disagree that the appeal of the MacPro over the iMacPro is essentially a macho, emotional one.

    ...

    And finally, with the MacPro, the money you pay for a high end screen you may not need is instead put towards increased power and flexibility.
    I totally agree that it isn't about some macho, emotional thing. My main beef is a single-use monitor. I tend to prefer a single good display that I can use with multiple devices. Why Apple doesn't include some kind of video in on the iMac seems kind of staggeringly stupid to me, but I guess it is what it is. They just need a non-all-in-one too.

    Unfortunately, I doubt if they remove the screen, they'll deduct that form the price. I'm sure the Mac Pro will cost even more, and I have my doubts about how much faster it will actually be.

    macxpress said:
    And what if Apple releases a new Mac Pro tower that isn't really all that upgradeable beyond maybe RAM and storage?
    Yea, I think we need to be prepared for that possibility (actually, likelihood). I'm not sure it's a good idea, but I think 'modular' might simply mean, not an all-in-one.
    I'm OK with that, though... but a lot of people here probably aren't.

    Apple could be preparing Thunderbolt 3 (or 4?) for eGPU's, or whatever else needed in the new Mac Pro. I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case (no pun intended). Apple could make a much smaller and quieter tower with expandable RAM and a couple of NVMe slots for storage swaps. I wouldn't really expect the new MacPro to have any PCIe slots inside it. I could be wrong, but we'll see. I just have this feeling that it won't be the Mac some are expecting....Like, its not going to be the 2012 Mac Pro again. 
    It'll be a pyramid.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 28 of 28
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    fastasleep said:
    It'll be a pyramid.
    With special triangle-shaped expansion cards.... that sounds about right. :)
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