Thoughts about the MacBook Pro 2016...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SteveJobzniak, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. SteveJobzniak, Nov 6, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016

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    SteveJobzniak

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    #1
    It's with a heavy heart that I have decided to keep my MacBook Pro 15" 2010 until around 2018-2021. There is nothing in any of these new models that really blows my current laptop out of the water.

    That being said, I briefly considered buying a maxed-out MBP 2016 15" after I discovered that the price isn't fully Apple's fault...

    https://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/search?q=i7-6920hq

    That is the top-end CPU available for the MBP 15", along with the names of laptops that contain it. If you look up those Windows laptop models, their prices are pretty much the exact same as the MacBook Pro 2016. At least here in Sweden.

    I can see 4 paths forward:

    1. Buy a MBP 2016 now, since it isn't very overpriced compared to Windows laptops with the exact same i7-6920HQ CPU, and the Apple build quality is far better. But then you are stuck with 16 GB RAM (not fun, I want 24 or 32 for music sample libraries). The RAM is the main issue with the new MBP.
    2. Wait until 2018 and buy a post-Kaby Lake MacBook Pro which fixes the RAM (adds LPDDR4 support) and fixes everything else that's inevitably wrong about the 2016 model. Apparently Kaby Lake won't support more RAM either, so 2018 is the earliest that we'd get workstation-grade RAM amounts in a laptop.
    3. Wait until 2018-2021 and get something awesome when Apple has finally joined the future and gone all-touchscreen on their future MacBook Pros. That would mean that musicians like me can touch the controls of our digital music equipment, and won't have to fiddle with a mouse cursor anymore. They will definitely support 24/32 GB RAM by then. And the laptop CPUs would probably be 6-core or 8-core by then, too, which means true future-proof workstation performance in a laptop!
    4. Screw laptops forever and just build a Hackintosh desktop for CPU performance instead, fill it with SSDs and other lovely equipment, and then easily keep replacing components like the CPU and GPU over the years to keep it powerful. This path would give the most bang for the buck and the most performance...
    Hard to decide... but the MBP 2016's RAM limit is the #1 reason I am skipping it. The price is pretty okay.

    By the way, it's possible to build a Hackintosh desktop TODAY with the eight-core i7-6900K: http://ark.intel.com/sv/products/94196/Intel-Core-i7-6900K-Processor-20M-Cache-up-to-3_70-GHz. That processor only costs about 1/4 or 1/5th of the highest-end MacBook Pro 2016.

    A 6290HQ (MacBook Pro) gives about 14000 in multi-core score:
    https://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/search?q=i7-6920hq

    A 6900K (Desktop Hackintosh) gives about 25000 in multi-core score:
    https://browser.primatelabs.com/processor-benchmarks/ (check multi-core tab, it is the top-end 6th generation Core i7, only marginally beaten by the new "costs as much much as a car" 6950X).

    So this desktop 6900K CPU is 1/4 or 1/5 the cost of the new MacBook Pro, but gives 1.8x the performance (interestingly; the laptop CPU is quad-core and the desktop is eight-core, so the laptop is very nearly at desktop levels per-core performance-wise).

    Anyone who wants their computer for performance reasons should consider building a desktop instead. And the CPU is the expensive part of a computer. The motherboard, RAM and storage are cheap. So after everything else is thrown in and the Hackintosh Pro desktop is complete, you have still only paid about 35%-45% of the cost of a MacBook Pro 2016. And your desktop can be continually upgraded whenever a certain component feels outdated to you.

    For this reason (not enough performance for the buck), and the RAM issue, I simply cannot justify buying a MBP 2016. It's very nearly able to be a professional workstation. Thunderbolt would take care of all storage needs. The CPU is very powerful. It's just the RAM that holds it back.

    Probably worth buying one in 2018 when the RAM capacity goes above 16GB.

    But honestly, like I said, the whole world is moving towards touch (the touch strip is only the first step). Why not wait a few more years until Apple comes out with their new AD: "we've revolutionized the laptop world by adding touch screens, *cough* which Windows definitely didn't do a decade before us...". It's going to happen. It's the way the whole computing industry is heading. Maybe worth waiting for those, proper future-proof laptops?

    It would suck to be stuck on an aging 2016 MacBook Pro without a touchscreen, when the entire OS gets deeper and deeper multitouch fun. You are going to cry about spending $4000 this year on something that won't support the greatest revolution in mobile computing... touch.
     
  2. maclaw21 macrumors regular

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    #2
    Touch isn't coming to the Mac. It's not happening.
     
  3. SteveJobzniak thread starter Suspended

    SteveJobzniak

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    Tell that to young people growing up today, and they would scoff and turn their backs on you. It's the interface of the future. And Apple are the hipster babies. They will do it, because the number of people growing up with touch and demanding touchscreens is growing. The multi-touch OLED display is their first step. It's going to be so much fun for people when they can finger-paint explosions on their screens with multitouch on their laptops. It's going to be an incredible selling point, and everyone with the old MacBooks will feel very left behind.
     
  4. maclaw21 macrumors regular

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    #4
    Nope. They would have done it by now. They may make the entire keyboard area touch, but not the screen. It defeats the whole purpose of having an upright screen with an input device (keyboard) in front.
     
  5. bcave098 macrumors 6502

    bcave098

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    #5
    Apple's made it pretty clear they are not going to be doing touch screens on the Mac. Sure, it could happen sometime but within 5 years? I don't think so.

    That's why they make iPads.
     
  6. SteveJobzniak thread starter Suspended

    SteveJobzniak

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    #6
    "They would have done it by now": No, the OS isn't ready for it yet and they won't release it until they've nailed it. But it's getting there. It currently has fullscreen mode, side by side fullscreen, launchpad just like on iOS, etc. It's getting there...

    "They may make the entire keyboard area touch, but not the screen.": That is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. Who would want to type on entirely glass? Besides, they already have a multitouch-capable trackpad. But this isn't about that. It's about touching the controls on the screen. Painting directly. Moving knobs and sliders and controlling everything effortlessly. I don't expect grandpas to understand this. But kids demand it.

    "It defeats the whole purpose of having an upright screen with an input device (keyboard) in front.": No it doesn't. Are you using a laptop right now? I am touching the screen right now and it feels extremely natural. Unfortunately it isn't a touchscreen yet, so I am just leaving smudges. ;-)
     
  7. arbitrage macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    If nothing in these new laptops or even in the 2015 version blows away your 2010 then I don't think you'll need a new one till at least 2020, probably later than that.

    I doubt we will ever see 6 and 8 core in a laptop and yeah 32GB is at the earliest Fall 2018. Apple will continue to prioritize minimalist style. I think if you are looking desktop performance you need to just give up on Apple and move to some sort of gaming laptop.
     
  8. maclaw21 macrumors regular

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    #8
    Perhaps you've never typed on an iPhone or iPad. Your local Apple Store likely has a couple on hand you can try for yourself.
     
  9. SteveJobzniak, Nov 6, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016

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    SteveJobzniak

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    #9
    Yeah, it's pretty easy to stay on this one. I've got an SSD in it so everything feels fast as hell. I could make it last many more years.

    What is it with people today and "we will never see X in a laptop"? It's like Bill Gates when he said we will never need more than 640 kilobytes of RAM.

    By the way, the MacBook Pro 2016 contains the i7-6920HQ, the highest-end mobile 6th generation Core i7 CPU.

    And yeah, PC gaming laptops with desktop-class CPUs are the only laptops that smoke the new MacBook Pro 2016. But all Windows laptops are hell to get to run as Hackintoshes; lots of problems with unsupported chips, battery saving not working, GPU switching not working, etc.

    So for me, the choice is either an official Apple laptop (later when it supports more RAM and can be used as a music production workstation with big sample libraries), or a Hackintosh desktop.
     
  10. bxs macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Can you please substantiate your need for more than 16 GB RAM ? For example, what is it that you run on your MBP today that will benefit from having 32 GB RAM ? If you're running an application today under Sierra on a MBP with 16 GB RAM much of the RAM for your application will be able to use around 14 GB. The memory management system will push out all unused memory allocations used by other applications and will squeeze the kernel buffer cache down to almost zero.
     
  11. SteveJobzniak, Nov 6, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016

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    SteveJobzniak

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    Yeah, typing on touchscreens is excellent for short messages. They are not so excellent for daily work 8 hours a day on a laptop. You would miss the keys constantly due to sliding around on the glass surface.

    Touchscreen keyboard on a work-machine: Now there's the first thing in this thread where we can truly say "not gonna happen".
    --- Post Merged, Nov 6, 2016 ---
    The Native Instruments Kontakt and EastWest PLAY sample engines load as much of your samples as possible into RAM.

    When you load a whole orchestra into RAM, even 24 GB will easily be hit. But around 24-32 GB is totally workable for very serious music production work.

    Here's an example... EastWest's Hollywood Strings library... It takes between 0.7-1.8 GB per loaded orchestral instrument. So if you load up one violin, you'd lose ~1 GB of RAM. Now imagine loading the entire orchestra. Now you see why 24 GB is the lowest amount of RAM that's comfortable for this kind of work.

    By the way, have a listen here for fun. All of this realism comes at the cost of RAM to hold the huge samples:
    http://www.soundsonline.com/Hollywood-Strings
    (Go to the Demos tab).

    People who do 3D rendering and Video editing also need a lot of RAM. About 24 GB+ is the sweetspot for those types of work too. That's why people are griping about the 16 GB limit in the new MacBook Pros. :-( It's the kind of thing where it's almost-good-enough, and you just know you will keep hitting its limitations if you try switching (from a desktop) to the new MacBook Pro as your main workstation.
     
  12. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #12
    If your 2010 will continue doing what you need it to do until 2021, you obviously don't need to upgrade.
     
  13. leman macrumors 604

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    #14
    We should applaud Apple for not trying to make money that silly gimmick, but instead promoting proper ergonomy and no-nonsense features (we will see whether the touchbar is useful or not). Touchscreen is an absolutely awful feature on laptops and should be left to tablets, where it belongs. Microsoft is experimenting with tablet/PC hybrid which is ok I guess, but we are still miles away from a point where such hybrids will become really interesting.
     
  14. SteveJobzniak, Nov 6, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016

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    SteveJobzniak

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    #15
    @leman: The touchscreen wouldn't replace the mouse and keyboard. It'd be an extra input method. So you could be browsing the web with the touchpad. Then you open Photoshop and fingerpaint. Then you open Logic Pro X and control all of the faders and knobs of the virtual music equipment with your hands. Then you close it down and go back to browsing the web with the touchpad. Best of all worlds.

    By the way, before people talk smack... I own a Slate Raven MTi2 multi-touch audio controller interface.

    It's f-ck-ng incredible. I can't wait until Apple joins the future:



    Yeah... I use the laptop for everyday work, and use a desktop for music production. The thing is that the MacBook Pro 2016 falls slightly shy of being able to totally replace my desktop for music production. It just needs 24+ GB of RAM to hold all samples (see above)...

    So sad that Intel didn't include LPDDR4 support in these processors. Then we could have had 24-32 GB of RAM in this otherwise-kickass computer. The top-end user selectable processor is great... It's so close to being perfect.
     
  15. T5BRICK macrumors 604

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    #16
    Ah, in that case it sounds like you might be able to buy a Mac that meets your needs about this time next year.
     
  16. ssong macrumors 6502a

    ssong

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    #17
    I believe Ive himself said that they completely discounted the idea a while back now. link to article

    My belief is that Apple's philosophy is strictly having a device that fits each respective situation. Admittedly devices in iOS are slightly overlapping (think iPhone Plus and iPad mini) but in the end the main objective is to provide the best experience that fits the use case.

    I agree that touch input is quite intuitive and is now one of the most used input methods, but the key here is 'touch input' and not 'touch screen'. Ive does mention that they are looking at further ways for user interaction and it could very well be that we will see further touch input methods coming to the mac but I would rule out a fully touch screen mac (in the style of MS surface).

    All in all, the MS approach of creating touchscreen hybrids isn't really Apple's approach or philosophy. macOS will always be there and so will iOS. instead of trying to merge two worlds together and creating a questionable experience on both ends, Apple will most likely continue to improve cohesion between the two for further synergy.
     
  17. macrem macrumors 65816

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    #18
  18. bxs macrumors 6502

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    #19
    If you absolutely require a portable Mac laptop computer, then you're stuck with the 16GB RAM. I highly suspect this max RAM Apple offers will persist for several more years. If you're willing to pay around $4000 and you can live with a less portable Mac system then go for the MP6,1 (4core model) that starts at $2999 and supports up 64GB from Apple and up to 128GB for 3rd party such as OWC.
     
  19. SteveJobzniak, Nov 6, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016

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    SteveJobzniak

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    #20
    You're looking at the wrong laptop. Don't look at CPU speed. Look at CPU model. There are lots of Precision 7510 models with different CPU models. None in your list contain Intel's top-end i7-6920HQ which is used in the fully-maxed-out MacBook Pro 2016.

    Here's one that contains the exact same CPU as the maxed out MacBook Pro 2016:

    https://www.merkamericaco.com/dell-...00m-4gb-16gb-2133mhz-fhd-1080p-512gb-ssd.html

    Intel Core i7 6920HQ 3.8GHz (in turbo boost; 2.9GHz normally) - same as MacBook Pro 2016
    16GB 2133MHz DDR4- same as MacBook Pro 2016
    512GB SSD- same as MacBook Pro 2016
    NVIDIA Quadro M4000M 4GB GDDR5 - possibly faster than the Radeon in the MBP, haven't checked
    17.3" FHD IPS 1920x1080 Wide LED - 2.3 inches larger screen, so what; the MBP 2016 uses 2560x1600 retina resolution and has a better screen.
    Condition: Refurbished (and yet the price is $3399).

    The MacBook Pro 2016 15" with the 2.9 GHz (3.8GHz turbo-boost) i7-6920HQ processor and 512 GB SSD costs $2999, and is far better built and has a much better screen. The GPU is a Radeon Pro 455 (optional +$100 for a 460 instead), but that's the main difference between these laptops.

    So I am saying: The MacBook Pro 2016 is very reasonably priced based on the prices of other laptops with the exact same top-end laptop CPU.

    I think someone said that the Kaby Lake in 2017 won't support it either, so Fall 2018 should be the earliest time a laptop would have workstation-grade RAM amounts. It's so weird that Intel dropped the ball on including LPDDR4 support.

    Thanks for that article. Ive confirms that they are working on a touchscreen Mac and that the touch-strip was the first step in that direction. They decided that their first goal was a very easily accessible touch-strip, and that further touch development will come in later models:

    Q: You say [simply adding a touchscreen] would be [an] easy and fast [solution, and that Apple doesn't want easy and fast solutions]. Is that why we’re not seeing a touchscreen-based MacBook Pro? That would have been an easy choice. Or was it something other PC makers have done and you wanted to go in a different direction?
    A: When we were exploring multitouch many, many years ago, we were trying to understand the appropriate application and opportunities for [it]. We just didn’t feel that [the Mac] was the right place for that…. It wasn’t particularly useful or an appropriate application of multitouch.
    Q: Because?
    A: For a bunch of practical reasons. It’s difficult to talk [laughs] without going into a lot of details that puts me starting to talk about things that we are working on. I don’t really want to talk much more about it.


    There you have it. Touchscreen MacBook Pros coming in a few years, probably with swiveling/hinged screens which can be locked into position so that they stay put, to make the screens easier to both reach and touch (which is the problem they're going to solve and which he didn't want to talk about). They first prioritized the easiest way to control touch (via a strip next to your fingers on the keyboard), instead of just adding a touchscreen. Then they got a question about why they didn't just add touch to the screen. Jonathan Ive then literally replied that they're working on it. Now that the touch-strip is out of the way (as a great, primary input method next to the keyboard), they are now ready to add multitouch as a secondary (extra/bonus) input method to the screen itself, for specific apps that take GREAT advantage of it.

    Here is what multi-touch on a computer is for (watch the whole thing):
     
  20. T5BRICK macrumors 604

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    #21
    I don't follow this as closely as I used to, but I thought Cannon Lake(?) was supposed to be released in late 2017.
     
  21. bcave098 macrumors 6502

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    #22
    If you trust Intel's schedules.
     
  22. T5BRICK macrumors 604

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    #23
    Like I said, I don't follow that closely.
     
  23. SteveJobzniak, Nov 6, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016

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    SteveJobzniak

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    #24
    Update: I've now had a look around at Hackintosh laptops for a few hours, and saw that the situation is still as terrible as it always was. Laptops are still not good Hackintoshes. You're stuck with the components in the laptop. The manufacturers often mix and match budget parts with high-end parts. And there's usually 4-5 different components that don't have native drivers (like sound, USB, WiFi, ethernet, card reader, whatever), and things like graphics switching between Intel GPU and dedicated GPU don't work so they drain battery like hell. So a Hackintosh gaming laptop is no option. It is a bad experience.

    x So that rules out a Hackintosh laptop built today. They're still awful choices for Hackintoshes.

    Still thought a bit about the MacBook Pro 2016 (despite its "low" RAM), but I've now discovered that the Silent Clicking trackpad is gone in the MBP 2016 and sounds awful. And that the keyboard sounds absolutely HORRIBLE (very loud). You can hear it in a video I linked to here: http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/silent-clicking-gone-2016.2012823/#post-23874422 - AND the video even shows that there is a problem where USB-C devices that require a lot of bandwidth actually kill the WiFi connection. What the hell, Apple? Three strikes already! The keyboard, the trackpad and the USB ports... Actually, four strikes when you count the 16 GB RAM limit.

    x So those flaws rule out the MacBook Pro 2016. Those are som serious flaws, and the fact that it only has 16 GB of RAM, which already made it slightly too underpowered RAM-wise to handle large orchestral music projects.

    If I'm ever building another Hackintosh as a workstation again, it will be a desktop. Then you can pick fully compatible and natively supported components yourself, and get a great experience. And you can keep upgrading components over time (replacing CPU, RAM, storage, etc, very cheaply over the years, by just replacing the parts you want to upgrade). This would give you almost 2x the performance of a MacBook Pro 2016 for about 40% of the cost. But I already HAVE a desktop, and I am trying to get away from being tied down to a desk. Small computer cases are no option either since they severely limit upgradability, which is the whole point of a desktop. So I've realized that I'm really looking for a laptop after all.

    x So that rules out a Hackintosh desktop / Mac Pro desktop. It's still a great option, and is the best thing on the list so far, but it isn't portable.

    Then there's the exciting news that after adding the touchscreen-strip, Ive is now working on the next generation of Touch-enabled MacBook Pros, which will be revolutionary and expand the touch abilities even more via some touch-optimized screen or another large touch surface. That will be mind-blowing when it's released; again, just watch the videos I linked earlier with audio professionals using touchscreens today; it's a life-changing experience - and I know what I'm talking about, since I own a Slate Raven MTi2 touchscreen. Imagine that touch control on a laptop (see the video). It would be incredibly portable and awesome to be able to bring that level of music production performance and touch control anywhere you go, in a compact form factor.

    So it looks like I'll hold out for several more years until there are 24+ GB RAM MacBook Pros, with silent keyboard/trackpad, and by then they'll probably have the next generation of touch control that Ive admitted to working on. And at that point, the performance of the CPU in a laptop will definitely be good enough to last me for the rest of my life, music-production wise (the current MBP 2016 i7-6920HQ CPU is pretty much already at that point).

    I'm in for a 2-5 year wait...

    Maybe I'll get bored while waiting, and build a Hackintosh desktop after all (and use the Slate Raven MTi2 with it). It's a very good path, if I can stand the idea of not being able to easily take my studio with me on the go. I've started loving laptops more and more, and seriously think they're pretty much at the point where they can replace powerful desktop workstations.

    Well, at least I finally know how I feel about the MacBook Pro 2016: I'll wait for a later generation laptop (when they support more RAM and have ironed out the flaws in the current model), and I might possibly build a compact Hackintosh desktop instead if I get way too tired of waiting.

    It's a nice feeling to finally know what to do.

    What a time we're living in, where desktops are beginning to be phased out and portable computers are finally powerhouses in their own right. Wow. :)
     
  24. Appleaker, Nov 6, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016

    Appleaker macrumors 68000

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    #25
    Given that they tested touchscreen MacBooks over 10 years ago, I think they are pretty confident that they don't want it to happen.
    There's been no growth in excitement with touch screen laptops, and when you get one you find that you rarely use the touchscreen. I used to love the idea, and having owned a touchscreen notebook, I found that I did use it for occasional scrolling and selection. However, after it stopped working due to a driver issue, I didn't care.

    A lot of people are asking "Why didn't they just put in a touch screen instead of a touch bar?", but very little people are realizing that the Touch Bar isn't just bringing touch to MacBooks, but it's a secondary display. That's the route that Apple are likely to go in the future - The clam-shell form factor with 2 displays.


    As for RAM, Apple should be worried for themselves if they are going to have the 16GB limit for at least 2 more years.
    Intel really are to blame for a lot of things:
    • Processor delays causing delayed Mac releases.
    • Inconsistent processor released causing fragmented and sooner outdated Macs.
    • Lack of USB 3.1 gen 2 or Thunderbolt 3 support on Core M causing the 5Gbps limit on the MacBooks port.
    • Refusal to make 15W or even 28W quad-core processors.
    • Delayed support for LPDDR4.
    • 16GB LPDDR3 limit.
    The thing is Apple want Macs to be powerful, but there is a lack of high performance components to match their power and thermal requirements. They must be extremely eager to move to their own silicon.
     

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