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WD Black SN850 PS5 SSD Expansion Test

8 août 2021 à 20:00

Testing the WD Black SN850 SSD on the PS5

Yes, it’s time for another PS5 SSD Expansion Test and this time it is the drive that received one of the most high profile recommendations so far (from Mark Cerny, designer and programmer, involved in the development of the PS5 itself), the WD Black SN850. Now that Sony has enabled the ability to expand the storage of the Playstation 5 in the latest software update (in beta at the time of writing), the range of potential PCIe M.2 SSDs that PS5 gamers are able to choose from is surprisingly vast. The minimum requirements of the M.2 update are 5,500MB/s sequential read (i.e big files), no longer than 22110 in length and PCIe Gen 4 M.2 Key interface in architecture. So, that narrows things down a little, but not by a vast amount. I made a master list of current compatible SSDs for PS5 HERE with help from Reddit users, but today I want to focus on the WD Black SN850, as it is one of the most available, well priced and high performing SSDs that are supported by PS5 right now. The WD Black SN850 is certainly supported by the Playstation 5 and in today’s test, I have opted for the smallest available capacity, as whatever results are achieved by this drive are only going to be amplified/better on the higher tiers and regardless I can imagine a number of buyers who choose this drive for its great architecture, will make a saving on the capacity. Let’s take a look.

IMPORTANT – In today’s article we will be testing 4 mid-range PS5 games. Bigger and more exhaustive titles (such as Spiderman Miles Morales, Rift Apart and Demon Souls) will be tested in a FULL comparison between the 6 BIGGEST/Most Popular M.2 NVMes that are compatible with the PS5 Expansion slot. Stay Subscribed for those later this same week!

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 – Specifications

Western Digital and its ‘WD Black’ series has been around for years! Indeed, WD was one of the very first brands to take direct-to-gamer storage media seriously, adapting the WD Black range that was originally aimed at pro-PC users and photo/video editors and shape it more towards games players. The WD Black SN850 is the latest iteration of this in NVMe (though originally released right at the tail end of 2020, ahead of many others at this storage tier), though the WD black label is carried on a large number of other data storage solutions from docks, HDDs to external drives and high-end PCIe lane media. The specifications are particularly impressive, even at the 500GB smallest capacity (though sequential read is a tad underwhelming by comparison) and only get better as you scale into the larger 2TB level at the top. The specifications are below:

Brand/Series WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

Model ID WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Capacity 500GB 1000GB 2000GB
Price in $ 500GB – $169.99 1TB – $249.99 2TB – $549.99
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND BiCS4 96L TLC BiCS4 96L TLC BiCS4 96L TLC
Controller WD_BLACK G2 WD_BLACK G2 WD_BLACK G2
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 4100MB 5300MB 5100MB
Warranty 5yr 5yr 5yr
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,750,000 1,750,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.3DWPD

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 Test – Internal Speed Test

The first test is the easiest. When you boot the PS5 with the WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD inside the expansion slot, the system will immediately identify that it is installed and format the drive. Then the system makes a performance benchmark check in order to ascertain whether the drive is suitable for PS5 Game use. The WD Black SN850 SSD achieved 6,457MB/s Sequential Read on the PS5 internal system performance test. This is only a small dip from the reported maximum 7,000MB/s, but I hoped it would be a pinch higher. Throughout my testing of SSDs in the PS5 m.2 expansion slot, the highest speed I have seen has been around 6,650MB/s reported sequential read, even on drive rated as high as 7,300MB/s, so this would indicate that the full development and fine-tuning of what the PS5 hardware can do still leaves room for growth. This is not unusual (even in previous generations of PlayStation, it took 2-3years for both Sony and Games developers to learn how to fully optimise the system hardware to its fullest degree in the lifespan of the system).

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 Test – Moving Games

Moving games from the internal console storage and onto the WD Black SN850 SSD is very straightforward and can be conducted from the Playstation main menu, then on from the settings>storage manager menu. I moved the four games that will be used later in the article for performance and loading tests from the PS5 internal SSD and onto the WD Black SN850:

Initiating the move of these files is very easy, however when files were being transferred (much like in my testing of the PS5 and other compatible SSDs) it was nowhere near the speed I was expecting and in fact it became very apparent that the PS5 system much performs some encryption, compression or bit-checks as the files are moved. The result is that moving games from the internal PS5 SSD and onto the expansion slot with the WD Black SN850 took much, MUCH longer than I expects. This is not the fault of the M.2 SSD and more regarding the clear internal handling protocol and security of the PS5 System.

They did move however and once the games were moved onto the WD Black SN850 M.2 SSD, the data used was clearly visible in the storage manager. Let’s get on with testing the games.

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 Loading Test 1 – Destruction Allstars

The first game to test loading times WITH the WD Black SN850 SSD on the PS5 was Destruction Allstars. Again, I started the timer from the title screen and below is the results on how the internal SSD and m.2 SSD compared:

Both games ran as well as expected, but the WD Black SN850 was able to load the game the tiniest pinch faster (under 1 sec). A good start!

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 Loading Test 2 – Control

Next was loading the game control directly from the PS5 player GUI and to test loading the game into a save and into direct gameplay would take, comparing the internal storage to the WD Black SN850 expansion SSD.

Interestingly, once again, the WD Black SN850 seemingly loaded the game a pinch faster at 16 seconds, 1.1 seconds faster than the PS5 internal SSD. Again, a small difference, but still noteworthy. As games become more advanced in the PS5 system lifespan and the speed of storage access grows in importance, knowing you have an SSD that can keep pace or even exceed the one inside the system at game loading is going to be reassuring.

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 Loading Test 3 – Maneater

The third game to test on the PS5 and using the WD Black SN850 SSD was Maneater. Rather than loading from the main PlayStation user interface, I opted to load the games from their own title screens, as this allowed me to not factor in the publisher and studio logos at startup that is unskippable and therefore would just hamper the comparison. Here is how the game running from the internal PS5 SSD compared with running on the WD Black SN850:

This was slightly an area of contention, as although both games loaded into the game fat (with the WD Black SN850 doing ti 1.5secs faster), they did load into different locations and this might have played a part. Nevertheless, load times were very close, and as long as they run at the same pace, that is always going to be a plus!

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 Loading Test 4 – Wreckfest

Next up was Wreckfest. I loaded this on the WD Black SN850 and PS5 internal SSD from the title screen and quickly skipped through the options and config menus. Only off-line play was selected, to remove any server/internet connectivity delays from the equation.

Once again, the WD Black SN850 was a clear second or more after, even with the slight differences in menu transition removed from the time difference. It’s once again worth highlighting that although these differences are very small, they are all still important, as later in the system’s life, you are going to want to know that this SSD can stand the test of time and greater demands from the PS5 hardware in future titles.

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 Loading Test 5 – Innocence A Plague Tale

Finally was A Plagues Tale. I selected this larger world title as it has a lot of world assets that need drawing very early on. The game was loaded directly from the title screen and below is both the game running from the PS5 SSD and the WD Black SN850:

For me, this was the clearest win for the WD Black SN850 SSD over the internal SSD. Although it was barely 1 second faster, it was the one where there was little to no difference in their loading side-by-side and the WD Black was clearly the faster. It’s all relative, as we are talking an odd second here or there, but it’s still good to know that upgrading your PS5 with the WD Black SN850 will not present any kind of bottleneck.

PS5 SSD Expansion WD Black SN850 – Conclusion

The WD Black SN850 is unquestionable a great PS5 SSD choice! Even without heavy market recommendations, it breezed through the preliminary testing and was even seen to exceed the PS5 internal SSD at points from a 100% even start. Clearly, the performance you have will scale depending on the capacity you choose, but even the 500GB has read performance that is more than enough to run your top tier games from. As mentioned, endurance on the WD Blck SN850, although a pinch lower than a number of other PCIe4 M.2 NVMe SSDs on the market right now (between 0.8 and 4.0 less DWPD), but is of little significance to anyone but the highest level professional gamers streamers (and even then if/when Sony open up the storage use to more than warm game storage). If you are looking for a great performing, best priced and highest recommended SSD for your PS5 SSD expansion upgrade, the WD Black is practically unbeatable!

Brand/Series WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

Model ID WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Capacity 500GB 1000GB 2000GB
Price in $ 500GB – $169.99 1TB – $249.99 2TB – $549.99


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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

 

WD Black SN850 SSD – PS5 EXPANSION GUIDE & TEST RESULTS

15 septembre 2021 à 01:13

PS5 SSD Expansion Testing with the WD Black SN850 SSD

A you are considering buying the WD Black SN850 for your PS5 because of Mark Cerny’s recommendations or because it is currently floating around for a good price online? Either way, it is currently one of the most popular choices for those looking at upgrading their Playstation 5. Whether you are looking at upgrading the SSD on your PS5 because you are running out of space or because you heard that some SSDs can increase load times for your favourite games, it is always going to be sensible to spend a few minutes reseaching before pulling the trigger at checkout before spending hundreds on the WD Black SN850 only to find out that the benefits are negligible or, worse still, actually slow your games down! Equally, you should always factor in that the PS5 is a relatively new console and games developers are still in the early stages of maximizing how much they can do with the CPU, Memory, GPU and (of course) super-fast NVMe M.2 SSD. Therefore the commitment you make on buying an SSD upgrade to your PS5 needs to also factor in that it will still perform well in the years to come. The WD Black SN850 meets a number of the key specifications of the PS5 storage bay, but then again many, MANY SSDs do. So today I want to put this SSD through it’s paces with many games to see how well it compares against the internal PS5 SSD doing the same thing. NOTE – FULL Videos of the testing of the WD Black SN850 that combined cover more than an hour can be found at the bottom of the article. This article primarily covers the load times of games and saves on the PS5 using the WD Black SN850 SSD and how they compare with the internal PS5 loading the same game. If you want to watch the full videos that cover PS5 WD Black SN850 use that feature frame rates, texture swapping, asset management and more, I recommend you watch those videos at the end of this article.

Here is the PS5 internal Benchmark for the WD Black SN850 SSD at the initialization of the system:

What Are the Specifications of the WD Black SN850 SSD?

Before we go through the load time testing of the WD Black SN850 on the PS5, it is worth taking a look at the hardware specifications. Unlike traditional Hard Drives and SSDs that were using the PS3 and PS4 that used SATA connectivity, this new generation of SSD storage using M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 architecture. This is a very, VERY big difference physically, in terms of maximum performance and opens up ALOT of specifications that you should keep an eye on. Aside from the capacity (i.e the amount of data the WD Black SN850 can hold in gigabytes and terabytes) the key ones to factor in when buying an SSD are the following:

  • Controller & NAND – These are the brain of the SSD (handling the transfer of data as quickly and efficiently as possible) and the physical cells on the WD Black SN850 SSD that hold the data. As long as you are using 3D TLC NAND (the industry preferred middle ground for price vs performance), you should be ok. Though the better the quality of NAND, generally the better the performance and durability long term.
  • Sequential Read – This is the reported maximum access speed that the data on the WD Black SN850 SSD can be access when accessing large blocks of data
  • Sequential Write – This is the reported maximum speed that data can be written to the WD Black SN850 SSD. As far as the PS5 architecture goes, this is much less important right now but could become important later in the system’s life as games, services and the level to which the WD Black SN850 can be accessed changes.
  • IOPS – These represent the number of individual operations the WD Black SN850 SSD can handle per second, based on the smallest size possible. Again, not strictly relevant in the PS5 right now because of the way data is largely front-loaded on modern games, but may well impact how larger and evolved worlds and multiplayer games are developed in future
  • TBW, MTBF & DWPD – Terabytes Written and Drive Writes Per Day, these indicate how much the drive is designed to withstand in activity over a 5 year or daily basis (respectively), Before the drive begins to deteriorate in performance or eventually fail. The PS5 will hardly be able to hit these kind of numbers daily BUT these figures will give you a good idea of the lifespan of the SSD beyond 5 years. Given the lifespan of some consoles can cross over a decade, the higher these numbers are, the better!

Here are the official specifications of the WD Black SN850 SSD:

Brand/Series WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

Model ID WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Capacity 500GB 1000GB 2000GB
Price in $ 500GB – $169.99 1TB – $249.99 2TB – $549.99
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND BiCS4 96L TLC BiCS4 96L TLC BiCS4 96L TLC
Controller WD_BLACK G2 WD_BLACK G2 WD_BLACK G2
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 4100MB 5300MB 5100MB
Warranty 5yr 5yr 5yr
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,750,000 1,750,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.3DWPD

So, now you know the hardware specifications of the WD Black SN850 SSD and you also know that (at the time of writing!) the WD Black SN850 is supported by the PS5 SSD expansion bay.

IMPORTANT – This article contains ALOT of gifs to demonstrate the loading times of the WD Black SN850 SSD versus the internal PS5 SSD, so the page/gifs might take an extra minute to load. Please be patient OR watch the videos of the full testing a the bottom of the page.

Testing the WD Black SN850 SSD with the PS5 – Test Parameters

All of the tests of the WD Black SN850 SSD on the PS5 were conducted in groups of 5 games at a time. In the event of a game arriving on a disc, the full disc data and all current updates were transferred over the WD Black SN850 SSD. The disc might be present, but it is only for system verification and would be an identical setup to the PS5 internal SSD that it is being compared against. The SSD was tested using the latest PS5 Beta Firmware update (3.0 or 3.1 depending on the time of testing as a further update was made available during the widespread testing) and although the supported drives when the SSD expansion feature might change, the WD Black SN850 SSD is fully functioning and supported on the PS5 at the time of writing. So, let’s get started on the testing of each game:

 

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Demon Souls Nexus Loading Test

This test was loading from the title screen to the central hub world (Nexus) of Demon Souls, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Demon Souls Archstone 2 Test

This test was loading to the Smithing Grounds of Demon Souls, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Demon Souls Archstone 1 Test

This test was loading to the first main area of Demon Souls, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Ratchet & Clank World Loading Test I

This test was loading to the starting area of Ratchet & Clank Rifts Apart, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Ratchet & Clank World Loading Test II

This test was loading to the first main transitional area of Ratchet & Clank Rifts Apart, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Borderlands 3 Full Loading Test I

This test was loading Borderlands to the Title Screen from the PS5 Main menu on Borderlands 3, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Borderlands 3 Level Load Test II

This test was loading a save game from the title screen to the Pandora World Area, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Resident Evil Village Castle Loading Test I

This test was loading the Castle Area of Resident Evil Village, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Resident Evil Village Stronghold Loading Test II

This test was loading the Stronghold of Resident Evil Village, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Hitman 3 Dartmoor Loading Test I

This test was loading the Dartmoor level on Hitman 3, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Hitman 3 Mendoza Loading Test II

This test was loading the Mendoza level on Hitman 3, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Terminator Resistance Level Loading Test

This test was loading Terminator Resistance Infiltrator Mode, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – GTA V Full Game Loading Test

This test was loading the Grand Theft Auto V from the PS5 menu to gameplay on the Single Player Mode, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Dead By Daylight Bots Test

This test was loading the tutorial Bots Mode on Dead By Daylight, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Red Dead Redemption II Campaign Loading Test

This test was loading the Blackwater Area of Red Dead Redemption II in single Player, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – No Man’s Sky Creative Mode Loading Test

This test was loading No Man’s Sky in Creative Mode from the Title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – In Rays of the Light Loading Test I, Outside

This test was loading the outside world area of In Rays of the Light, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – In Rays of the Light Loading Test II, Inside

This test was loading the underground bunker area of In Rays of the Light, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Star Wars Fallen Order Level Loading Test I

This test was loading the Kashkykk area of Star Wars Fallen Order from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Star Wars Fallen Order Trial Loading Test II

This test was loading a combat challenge, mid-game, of Star Wars Fallen Order from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Doom Eternal Level Loading Test I

This test was loading a level in Doom Eternal from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Control Level Loading Test I

This test was loading to an early area of the game from the title screen on Control, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Plague Tale Level Loading Test I

This test was loading an early Level area of Innocence, a plagues Tale from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – WreckFest Level Loading Test I

This test was loading an early challenge in Wrecckfest from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Maneater Level Loading Test I

This test was loading the first area of Maneater from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

PS5 WD Black SN850 SSD Testing – Destruction Allstars Level Loading Test I

This test was loading the first arena of Destruction Allstars from the title screen, comparing the WD Black SN850 vs the internal PS5 SSD:

 

Full WD Black SN850 SSD PS5 Test Videos

If you want to see the FULL testing of every PS5/PS4 game with the WD Black SN850 SSD, you can watch the videos below. These tests have been grouped into 5 games per video, with each game being assessed on Loading Times, Frame Rate, Texture swapping, Asset Popping and compared against the exact game being loaded on the PS5 SSD. NOTE – These videos are being edited and published throughout September and October, so if a video is showing as ‘unavailable’ below, it might not be published yet, but should be up shortly!

Brand/Series WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

Model ID WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Capacity 500GB 1000GB 2000GB
Price in $ 500GB – $169.99 1TB – $249.99 2TB – $549.99

 

WD Black SN850 PS5 SSD Test 1

WD Black SN850 PS5 SSD Test 2

WD Black SN850 PS5 SSD Test 3

WD Black SN850 PS5 SSD Test 4

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

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