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Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 Socket AM3 Motherboard

Yes, the new Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 gives you all the benefits of the 890FX chipset.  They have even given the chipset a bit of Gigabyte’s own prescription. The resulting medicine would be the ability to unlock the extra cores on X3 and X4 Athlon II and Phenom II processors. This ability is no longer present within the chipset, but integrated in the motherboard via a hardware mounted IC. Another Gigabyte exclusive is the Ultra Durable 3 Technology, which means that two ounces of copper is placed into each PCB for better heat dissipation and stability.



gigabyte fxa890-ud5

Yes, the new Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 gives you all the benefits of the 890FX chipset.  They have even given the chipset a bit of Gigabyte’s own prescription. The resulting medicine would be the ability to unlock the extra cores on X3 and X4 Athlon II and Phenom II processors. This ability is no longer present within the chipset, but integrated in the motherboard via a hardware mounted IC. Another Gigabyte exclusive is the Ultra Durable 3 Technology, which means that two ounces of copper is placed into each PCB for better heat dissipation and stability.

Introduction to the Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5

We have read and even written a few reports on AMD’s 890GX chipset, a very versatile offering that gives an individual all they would want in a smaller mATX form factor. Best suited for home theater setups, we see motherboards like the MSI 890GXM and the Asrock 890GX overclock pretty solidly.

With the introduction of the AMD Thuban six-core processor, many end-users are looking for a performance chipset for AMD’s higher-end processor. That chipset would be the 890FX. Chances are the first people to run out and get the new processors will be gamers and overclockers, these guys and gals know the advantages of the 890FX over the 890GX are much needed. The biggest of the differences would be the configuration of the PCIe 2.0 slots. With the 890GX you are given a single 16x bandwidth slot and the newer 890FX gives you dual full bandwidth over two slots.

Yes, the new Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 gives you all the benefits of the 890FX chipset.  They have even given the chipset a bit of Gigabyte’s own prescription. The resulting medicine would be the ability to unlock the extra cores on X3 and X4 Athlon II and Phenom II processors. This ability is no longer present within the chipset, but integrated in the motherboard via a hardware mounted IC. Another Gigabyte exclusive is the Ultra Durable 3 Technology, which means that two ounces of copper is placed into each PCB for better heat dissipation and stability.


  1. Support for Socket AM3 processors: AMD Phenom™ II processor / AMD Athlon™ II processor
Hyper Transport Bus
  1. 5200 MT/s
  1. North Bridge: AMD 890FX
  2. South Bridge: AMD SB850
  1. 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB of system memory (Note 1)
  2. Dual channel memory architecture
  3. Support for DDR3 1866(OC)(Note 2)/1333/1066 MHz memory modules (Note 2)
  1. Realtek ALC889 codec
  2. High Definition Audio
  3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  4. Support for Dolby Home Theater
  5. Support for S/PDIF In/Out
  6. Support for CD In
  1. 2 x Realtek 8111D chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
  2. Support for Teaming
  3. Support for Smart Dual LAN
Expansion Slots
  1. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2) (Note 3)
  2. 1 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8) (Note 4)
  3. 1 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
  4. 2 x PCI Express x1 slot (All PCI Express slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 Standard.)
  5. 1 x PCI slot
Multi-Graphics Technology
  1. Support for 2-way/ 3-way ATI CrossFireX™ technology
Storage InterfaceSouth Bridge:

  1. 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors supporting up to 6 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  2. Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID5, RAID 10 and JBOD


  1. 1 x IDE connector supporting ATA-133/100/66/33 and up to 2 IDE devices
  2. 2 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors supporting up to 2 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  3. Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD

JMicron JMB362 chip:

  1. 2 x eSATA 3Gb/s connectors (eSATA/USB Comobo) on the back panel supporting up to 2 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  2. Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1 and JBOD

ITE 8720 chip:

  1. 1 x floppy disk drive connector supporting up to 1 floppy disk drive
USBSouth Bridge:

  1. Up to 14 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (8 on the back panel, including 2 eSATA/USB Combo, 6 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)

NEC D720200F1 Chip:

  1. Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel
IEEE 1394T.I. TSB43AB23 chip

  1. Up to 3 IEEE 1394a ports (2 on the back panel, 1 via the IEEE 1394a bracket connected to the internal IEEE 1394a header)
Internal I/O Connectors
  1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  2. 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  3. 1 x floppy disk drive connector
  4. 1 x IDE connector
  5. 2 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  6. 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  7. 1 x CPU fan header
  8. 2 x system fan header
  9. 1 x North Bridge fan header
  10. 1 x power fan header
  11. 1 x front panel header
  12. 1 x front panel audio header
  13. 1 x CD In connector
  14. 1 x S/PDIF In header
  15. 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  16. 1 x IEEE 1394a header
  17. 3 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  18. 1 x serial port header
  19. 1 x parallel port header
  20. 1 x clearing CMOS jumper
  21. 1 x clearing CMOS button
  22. 1 x power button
  23. 1 x reset button
Back Panel Connectors
  1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse port
  2. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  3. 1 x coaxial S/PDIF out connector
  4. 2 x IEEE 1394a port
  5. 6 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  6. 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  7. 2 x eSATA/USB Combo connectors
  8. 2 x RJ-45 port
  9. 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)
I/O Controller
  1. ITE IT8720 chip
H/W MonitoringSystem voltage detection

  1. CPU/System temperature detection
  2. CPU/System fan speed detection
  3. CPU overheating warning
  4. CPU/System fan fail warning
  5. CPU/System fan speed control (Note 5)
  1. 2 x 8 Mbit flash
  2. Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
  3. Support for DualBIOS™
  4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b
Unique Features
  1. Support for @BIOS
  2. Support for Q-Flash
  3. Support for Xpress BIOS Rescue
  4. Support for Download Center
  5. Support for Xpress Install
  6. Support for Xpress Recovery2
  7. Support for EasyTune (Note 6)
  8. Support for Easy Energy Saver
  9. Support for Smart Recovery
  10. Support for Auto Green
  11. Support for ON/OFF Charge
  12. Support for Q-Share
Bundle Software
  1. Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Operating System
  1. Support for Microsoft Windows 7/ Vista/ XP
Form Factor
  1. ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm
Note(Note 1) Due to Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than 4 GB.
(Note 2) To reach DDR3 1866MHz or above, you must install two memory modules and install them in the DDR3_3 and DDR3_4 memory sockets.
(Note 3) For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16_1 slot; if you are installing two graphics cards, it is recommended that you install them in the PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots.
(Note 4) The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16_1 slot. When PCIEX8 is populated with a PCI Express graphics card, the PCIEX16_1 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.
(Note 5) Whether the CPU/system fan speed control function is supported will depend on the CPU/ system cooler you install.
(Note 6) Available functions in EasyTune may differ by motherboard model.
  1. Due to different Linux support condition provided by chipset vendors, please download Linux driver from chipset vendors’ website or 3rd party website.
  2. Due to most hardware/software vendors no longer offer support for Win9X/ME. If some vendors still has Win9X/ME drivers available, we will publish on website.
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  • Supports new generation of AMD Phenom™II X6 processors
  • AMD SB850 provides 6 native SATA3 storage interfaces with superfast 6Gbps link speed and RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 support
  • Supports newest NEC SuperSpeed USB 3.0 with superfast transfer rates of up to 5 Gbps
  • 3X USB power delivery for greater compatibility and extra power for USB devices
  • Exclusive Auto Unlock technology provides hardware-based solution for unleash CPU performance
  • Ultra Durable 3 Technology with copper cooled quality for lower working temperature
  • Revolution energy saving design with Easy Energy Saver technology
  • Supports AMD AM3 Phenom II/ Athlon II processors
  • Advanced 8+2 phase CPU VRM power design for AMD high-TDP 140W CPU support
  • Dual Channel DDR3 1866+ for remarkable system performance
  • 4 PCI-E 2.0 x16 interface with ATI CrossFireX support for ultimate graphics performance
  • Smart DualLAN with Intelligent LAN port auto-switching
  • Supports Dolby Home Theater audio to enjoy a rich surround sound experience
  • The Precision OV provides more precision voltage control for system
  • Compatible with Window 7 to deliver the best operation experience
  • Meet European Union ErP(Energy-related-Products) requirement

AMD 890FX Chipset features

With support for up to 4 ATI Radeon Premium Graphics boards with ATI CrossFireX™ technology and advanced technology like SATA 6Gb/s to accelerate your connectivity, the AMD 890FX chipset is ideal fit for your Phenom™ II processor and your ultimate PC.

  • Ready to take AMD Phenom™ II processors beyond all expectation
    • Full socket compatibility for AM3 and AM2+ processors with Hypertransport™ 3.0 interconnects mean you can upgrade your components when you’re ready to, and always get the most performance. Use your current AMD Phenom™ II or step up into the latest AMD Phenom™ II X6 processors with AMD Turbo Core Technology
  • Support for up to 4 ATI Radeon HD Graphics boards with ATI CrossFireX™ technology
    • PCI® Express 2.0 technologies enable 2×16 or 4×8 configurations to enable higher levels of performance on your graphics applications. The AMD 890FX enables our best scalable platform for game-dominating performance
  • Get ready to take control of your PC with the ultimate command console, AMD OverDrive™ software
    • Customize your PC by getting full control of your different AMD components. AMD Black Edition Memory control enables the latest DDR3 memories to run at their full potential, while AMD Smart Profiles tune your PC automatically to deliver every last ounce of performance.
  • Take advantage of advanced technology like SATA 6Gb/s to accelerate your connectivity
    • Enjoy the latest in performance benefits on your RAID and SSD configurations with motherboards built around AMD 890FX.
 GraphicsNot Included
Up to 2 slots for Graphics Upgrade
CPU CompatibilityAMD Athlon™, AMD Athlon™ II, AMD Phenom™, AMD Phenom™ II
Memory SupportAM2+ socket motherboards support DDR2
AM3 socket motherboards support DDR3
PCI Express®PCI Express® 2.0
USBUp to 14 USB 2.0
SATASupports SATA 6Gb/s devices

AMD 8xx Series Feature Comparison

Feature Name870880G890GX890FX
PCI Express® Generation 2.01×161×161×16
ATI CrossFireX™ TechnologyYesYes
Microsoft® DirectX® 10.1YesYes
Unified Video Decoder(UVD)2YesYes
ATI Stream TechnologyYesYes
ATI PowerplayYesYes
Gigabit EthernetYesYesYesYes
SATA 6Gb/sYesAvailableYesYes

Closer look at the 890FXA-UD5

Being a top of the line of chipset, the 890FX has many people drooling. First look at the 890FXA-UD5 and it will have you drooling, until you dehydrate. The blue and white PCB and layout always seems to amaze me. Gigabyte has taken a different road when it comes to visual appeal. Many manufacturers have elected to go the all black with a different highlight, while Gigabyte has brightened their layouts.

Of the latest motherboards based on the newest AMD 890FX chipset, the 890FX UD7 has been getting the most amount of attention. This is due to several reasons one which would be it is the higher end of both models. But visually there are more reasons. The biggest would be the number of PCIe 2.0 slots which the UD7 has six versus the four on the UD5. Gigabyte indicates each can be used for the ultimate gaming system platform. If you are planning to use single GPU cards like the Radeon HD5870, you are maxed out with tri-Crossfire. As with the UD7, four GPUs can be used for quad-Crossfire.

Two other visual differences would be the passive cooling used on each and the LED display. The LED display is a no-brainer but not the case when it comes to the cooling. On the surface the heat sink of the UD7 looks like a simple Gigabyte based cooler, but for those that each to venture into water-cooling this heat sink has water-cooling inlet for heat dissipation. Gigabyte calls it Hybrid Silent-Pipe 2.

Gigabyte knows that the UD5 is going to be a hit with those that want maximum performance from their processor so they arranged the area around the CPU socket to accommodate the largest of air coolers. Even their own passive heat sink which are assigned to cool the power mosfets are low-profile. Speaking of power mosfet, Gigabyte uses an 8+2 VRM configuration which is stated capable of handling the power requirement of the 140W AMD CPU. The UD5 supports all the current AM3 processors that include the Athlon II and Phenom II which consist of X2/X3/X4 and the new X6. This includes the lonely Sempron processors as well.

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Depending on your particular CPU the 890FXA series of motherboards has the ability to unlock the extra core on the Athlon and Phenom II X2 and X3. Not including the price of the motherboard you gifted with a new CPU of sult.

The UD5 has four DIMM for support for DDR3 1066 and 1333 with 1866 possible in an over clocked mode. And because of O/S limitations 4GB for 32-bit operations and 16GB for 64-bit. In order to get DDR3 1866 working you must plant the modules in slots 3 and 4. The color combination of blue and white slots shows dual channel modes. And beside the DIMM slots are a couple of legacy IDE and floppy connections. We were surprised to see them here as we thought with a new chipset would be the end of anything out-dated. But what we know many will like is the power and reset buttons located near the ATX power connector.

The 890FX supports a total of 32 lanes for the PCIe 2.0 protocol. This means if you decide to go Crossfire with just two video cards you will get 16x bandwidth per slot. If you are fortunate enough to be able to afford three to four cards for tri/quad Crossfire each of the slots become 8x. Two 1x and a PCI slots are also available.

When it comes to storage and drive connections there are a total of eight SATA port on the UD5. The six blue ports are of the SATA III standard and the two white ones are of the SATA II standard. The six blue ones support RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID5, RAID 10 and JBOD via the SB850 Bridge. While the white ones support RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD via Gigabyte’s own SATA2 chip.

If you are into external connectivity you are given a ton of options with the UD5. There are a total of eight USB ports on the rear of the layout two of which are an eSATA/USB combination. And two of them are rated USB 3.0 or SuperSpeed provided by a NEC D720200F1 IC. An additional two eSATA ports. Dual gigabit LAN and high definition audio are present. For those that use it dual fire wire ports are located on the rear panel in the form of 4/6 pin configurations.

Testing Begins

We began our testing in the usual fashion with a fresh installation of Windows Seven with all the latest updates. All benchmarks are re-installed. Each test was run a minimum of three times and an average of each was recorded for our final score. BIOS used was the F2.

Testing Hardware:

Motherboard: Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5
Processor: AMD Phenom II 965 Black
Ram: Patriot Viper II Sector 5 1600MHz DDR3 4GB Dual-Channel (Donated by Patriot for our test bench)
Video Card: Sapphire HD 5770
HDD: Seagate 7200.11
Power: Thermaltake Tough Power XT 1000 (Donated by Thermaltake for our test bench)
Case: Open Air
Cooling: Thermolab Baram
OS: Windows 7 64-bit

Competing Systems:

Motherboard: Asrock GX890 Extreme3/MSI 890GXM-G65
Processor: AMD Phenom II 965 Black
Ram: OCZ DDR3 PC12800 4GB Dual-Channel
Video Card: iGPU
HDD: Seagate 7200.11
Power: Thermaltake Tough Power XT 1000 (Donated by Thermaltake for our test bench)
Case: Open Air
Cooling: ZEROTherm FZ120
OS: Windows 7 64-bit

Futuremark PCMark Vantage
3DMark Vantage is a PC benchmark suite designed to test the DirectX10 performance of your graphics card. We’ve been making 3DMark for over 10 years, with each new edition using the latest 3D technology to determine real-world performance.

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
3DMark Vantage is a PC benchmark suite designed to test the DirectX10 performance of your graphics card. We’ve been making 3DMark for over 10 years, with each new edition using the latest 3D technology to determine real-world performance.
A 3DMark score is an overall measure of your system’s 3D gaming capabilities, based on comprehensive real-time 3D graphics and processor tests. By comparing your score with those submitted by millions of other gamers you can see how your gaming rig performs, making it easier to choose the most effective upgrades or finding other ways to optimize your system.
3DMark is widely used by the PC industry, press and media as well as individual users and gamers, for comparing performance levels between whole systems or even specific components.

SiSoftware Sandra Lite 2007 SP1
SiSoftware has announced the availability of Service Release 2 (SR2) for SiSoftware Sandra 2005, the latest version of its award-winning utility. The focus of this service release has been improved support, compatibility and reliability rather than new features. We have been working closely with more hardware vendors than before to be able to bring greater direct support of an increased market share of commodity and server technologies.

Lavalys Everest
Lavalys EVEREST Home Edition is freeware system information, system diagnostics and benchmarking solution for home PC users, based on the award-winning EVEREST Technology. It offers the world’s most accurate system information and diagnostics capabilities, including online features, memory benchmarks, hardware monitoring, and low-level hardware information. EVEREST Home Edition is uniquely available for home users without any charges, based on the freeware license.

Maxon Cinebench
CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer’s performance capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

Super PI Modded 1.5
In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi in collaboration with Dr. Y.Kanada at the computer center. This record should be the current world record. (Details are shown in the windows help.) This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environment such as Windows NT and Windows 95. In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes within 3 days with a Pentium 90 MHz, 40 MB main memory and 340 MB available storage.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
The events of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat unfold shortly after the end of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. Having discovered about the open path to the Zone center, the government decides to hold a large-scale military “Fairway” operation aimed to take the CNPP under control.

According to the operation’s plan, the first military group is to conduct an air scouting of the territory to map out the detailed layouts of anomalous fields location. Thereafter, making use of the maps, the main military forces are to be dispatched.
Despite thorough preparations, the operation fails. Most of the avant-garde helicopters crash. In order to collect information on reasons behind the operation failure, Ukraine’s Security Service send their agent into the Zone center.
From now on everything depends on the player.

Tech ARP x264 HD 3.15
Simply put, it is a reproducible measure of fast your machine can encode a short HD-quality video clip into a high quality x264 video file. It’s nice because everyone running it will use the same video clip and software. The video encoder (x264.exe) reports a fairly accurate internal benchmark (in frames per second) for each pass of the video encode and it also uses multi-core processors very efficiently. All these factors make this an ideal benchmark to compare different processors and systems to each other.

HD Tune
HD Tune is a hard disk utility with many functions. It can be used to measure the drive’s performance, scan for errors, check the health status (S.M.A.R.T.), securely erase all data and much more


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When it came time to overclocking the Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5, we pretty much felt the process was no different from any ofter motherboard using an AMD chipset. The thing we were more excited about was the overclocking over head. And we were not disappointed.

We begun the process by ramping the CPU voltage upto 1.48 volts just to see what we could get using a moderate voltage increase which would also maintain decent temps. First, we keep the CPU multiplier at the default 17x and just upped the CPU frequency. We netted a delightful 4.1GHz which isn’t too bad and topped what we achieved with the MSI 890GX-65. Granted the MSI uses the AMD 890GX chipset and not the 890FX of the Gigabyte offerings. As the maxbus speed achieved was 245MHz.

NExt, we kept the voltage at 1.48 and upped the CPU multiplier to 20X and increased the CPU frequency which achieved a better result of 4220MHz. 211Mhz was the highest we could get with our simple adjustments.


The Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 will be one of those motherboards that will be mentioned a lot by those looking for a very good AMD AM3 motherboard with all the bells and whistles. We are not just talking about USB 3.0 and SATA 600 being implemented into the motherboard as this is common with all new motherboards we are seeing lately. But we are talking about the four PCIe 2.0 slots for extreme Crossfire support. Granted many of us would not need such a feature but it is nice to know it is there if the time comes. If you intend ongoing multi-GPU then using two slots will result in 16x/16x bandwidth which is one of the unique features of the newer AMD 890FX chipset. Using all four slots will lower the bandwidth to 8x each.

A feature that Gigabyte is currently priding themselves is the new On/Off Charge. This feature will be heavily used by those that have small gadgets that constantly need to be charged like the Apple Ipod and Ipad. But not only is Apple products are supported but other mobile devices like my new HTC HD2 phone. The charging may vary or even be a little slower than AC charging but it is nice to know that the feature charges the device even when in Sleep and Shut Down modes. Giagbyte states that their 3x Power Boot allows for more power across the entire voltage range allowing for greater device powering capability.

On-board power, reset and clear CMOS buttons are always a great option to have especially when you are in a benching session. And like most of the high-end motherboards out there the UD5 does have them. But the placement of the power and reset buttons are located behind the ATX power connect which I feel is a much unusual. Removing the IDE connector and replacing it with the buttons would have resulted in a better layout. But we know that many people are still using legacy ATAPI devices and companies have to do right by them as well.

We can never get enough of the Overclocking process especially with AMD processors as they are so easy to achieve such high clocks. We had great success with the UD5 has we top the magically 4GHz barrier and sailed right up to 4.3GHz which is the highest clock our AMD Phenom II 965 have ever seen. This was done using just 1.5 volts which is not at the extreme high end of the air-cooling’s capabilities. But we feel at 1.5 volts is a safe and non-damaging range for the processor.

The Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 will set up back about $180-$200 depending on where you shop. Cheaper than the UD7 and the ASUS Crosshair IV. But more expensive than some of the other 890FX motherboards out there on the market. But comparing this motherboard with cheaper models did not get you the features of the UD5 like the 8+2 phase power design, higher overclocking and dual LAN if needed.

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ProClockers was founded way back in 2004, with a goal to provide unbiased PC hardware and tech reviews. Whilst the first products we reviewed are long gone, we're continuing to review the latest and greatest every month.

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ProClockers was founded in 2004, and since then we have reviewed thousands of tech products, including motherboards, CPUs, graphics cards, PC cases, cooling solutions and more. Whilst many of the original products we reviewed back then have long bit the dust, we continue working hard to provide unbiased PC hardware and tech reviews.

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