The RX 6700 XT has been exciting, having already taken a look at one other card we know that it performs well in the 1440p range and is a monster for 1080p for anyone looking to run a high refresh rate monitor. The first card I took a look at was an overclocked one from MSI but XFX also sent over a card. I was impressed with their new styling when I took a look at the Merc 319 6800 XT and from what I’ve seen the Merc 319 6700 XT has a similar setup. The name alone tells us that this is their high-end model and it has the triple-fan cooler. So it will be interesting to see if the 6700 XT performs even better with the cooler and we get the chance to check out card-to-card performance as well which is a rare chance in the current market. So let’s jump in and see what it is all about and find out if it’s the 6700 XT to pick up.

Product Name: XFX MERC319 6700 XT

Review Sample Provided by: XFX

Written by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE

 

Specifications

Model Number

RX-67XTYTBDP

Product Name

AMD RadeonTM RX 6700 XT

Product Description

XFX Speedster MERC319 AMD RadeonTM RX 6700 XT BLACK

Gaming Graphics Card with 12GB GDDR6, HDMI 2,1, 3xDP,

AMD RDNATM 2

Base Clk up to

2457 Mhz

Game Clk up to*

2548 Mhz

*"Game Clock" is the expected GPU clock when running in typical gaming applications, set to typical TGP (Total Graphics Power). Actual individual game clock results may vary.

Boost Clk up to

2622 Mhz

Default GPU TDP

211w

Card Dimension (cm)

32.3 x 13.2 x 5.1

Card Dimension (inch)

12.72 x 5.20 x 2.01

Bus Type

PCI-E 4.0

Stream Processors

2560 (40 CU)

Memory Bus

192 bit

Memory Clock

16 Gbps

Memory Size

12 GB

Memory Type

GDDR6

Card Profile

2.6 Slot

Thermal Solution

3 Fan

 

As always I did run GPUz and get a screenshot. I do this to double check to make sure the card I’m testing has the correct clock speeds for one. Our MERC 319 did come in a hair higher than the listed boost clock here at 2629 MHz, 7 MHz higher than listed in the XFX specifications. I’m not sure if that was an issue with our BIOS or an error in their specifications, but it was a small difference. Beyond that GPUz also keeps track of our BIOS revision and the driver which was the pre-launch AMD provided driver. 

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Packaging

XFX this generation has taken more of an EVGA styling for their packaging. Going with a vertical box which is unique and in my opinion, helps make the main branding more visible. Part of the reason for this is because the red wraparound down at the bottom doesn’t take up half of the box but it does still pack in the model name and next to it the ram size and resolution focus. But then up top, they can make the MERC 319 branding huge and behind that, they also have the Speedster Series in just an outlined font as well. Up top is the XFX logo which is much smaller than the model name. I would have preferred a picture of the card in the background of the front but they do at least have that on the back of the box from two different angles. The AMD wrap around continues down at the bottom and they have some information on AMDs RDNA 2 and gameplay which I think is all provided by AMD as well. I would love to see a specification listing that at least has the card dimensions and clock speed which are the two things you might need to know when shopping in retail along with maybe a listing/drawing/picture of the display outputs as well.

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Inside there is a second main box which is all blacked out and has the XFX logo on it. When you open it up there is an inch thick foam panel then under that, you have the card in its cutout tray in the bottom foam. It is wrapped in a plastic bag as well. On top of that XFX includes two small things for documentation. One is a user manual and the other is a warning that there isn’t a driver disc included with a link to where to download a driver.

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Card Layout and Photos

If you saw my previous XFX review which was the RX 6800 XT MERC 319, both the name and the overall look of the 6700 XT MERC 319 are going to look familiar. This card shares a lot with its older brother, but they aren’t the same card. The MERC name tells us that this is their highest-end RX 6700 XT and like I mentioned in my previous review the MERC stands for Mercury not Mercenary like you might think. As for the numbers, the 3 tells us we have a three fan cooler and 1 says there is a 100mm fan, and 9 means there is a 90mm fan. I like the idea here but when you compare the 6800 XT cooler to this one. It has the same 319 name but it has two 100mm fans and one 90mm fan where this card has two 90mm fans and one 100mm. I think a numbering scheme that lets you know when that changes like 290 for the 6800 XT cooler and 280 for this one would match the size if you added the fan sizes together and it also gives you a little clue in overall cooler size. Anyhow, enough about the name, the overall look of this card is similar only this one dropped the golf ball like dimples for a smooth flat black finish which is like older XFX cards. It has silver accents around all three fans and at the ends which I like as well but overall it completely avoids the angular design that almost every other card seems to have.

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So with the dual 90mm fans, this card is a little smaller than the 6800 XT MERC 319. It’s still a large card though, especially compared to the MSI that I just took a look at. For length, it is 323mm long and it is 132mm tall. Then the thickness is 51mm. The 6800 XT was 340mm x 139mm x 57mm so you can see it is smaller in every dimension. But it still manages to be a huge card.

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I already talked a little about the fan sizes, but I will mention it again. The two outer fans are 90mm and the inside fan is 100mm. It's a solid layout that gets the largest fan right over the top of the hottest area of the card with the other fans to help with the heat pulled away by the heatpipes. Both fan sizes have a similar fan design which has 13 blades on each fan and only a slight twist to the blades. The fans have a single X logo on each on the center section which is the only XFX branding visible from this side. We can also see through the fans and see that the heatsink has a vertical layout which is always good for cooling performance but does mean with these being axial fans that air will vent out the top and bottom. With the bottom vent, you do want to avoid having M.2 drives mounted up under the GPU whenever possible.

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Looking around the edges of the MRC reinforces the fact that the airflow is focused towards the top and bottom edges of the card. XFX did open up their airflow here when compared to the 5000 series cards. We can see most of the heatsink but there is still the fan shroud going around the top and bottom edges to help focus the airflow in those directions. The top edge also has an LED-backlit section with the XFX logo on one end then Radeon RX 6700 XT on the other. I can’t say how much I love this. I hate seeing every card just have a backlit company logo, getting the model name out on the top edge lit up shows off what card you have. Even here I would like it more if it dropped the XFX and had the 6700 XT and then MERC 319 to show off that this is the higher-end model as well. The view of the end does have a gap but it just lets any extra airflow out this end, down in the heatsink area is blocked to keep that air flowing across the heatsink. Then the bottom does show that XFX has the heatsink formed around components on the board which is great, not just a universal design and we can see the large contact surface that covers the GPU as well as the memory around it.

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Along with the 6700 XT branding on the top edge, the MERC 319 also has its dual 8-pin power connections up there. They are next to the end but not at the complete end of the card due to the PCB being shorter than the cooler and they are flipped around with the clips facing the PCB and the PCB notched to match to get the tightest possible fit from the heatsink itself. Next to that is also a BIOS switch. This lets you flip between two modes. Our pre-launch sample didn’t have the two modes just the one balanced mode. But I’m told that the card has a quiet mode and then balanced mode. Quiet has the power limit set to 198 watts with a fan target temperature junction of 90c. The balanced mode has a higher power limit at 211 watts and a target temperature of 85c.

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The backplate for the MERC 319 is a full-length backplate but it is also very open, so much so that it feels weird calling it a full backplate. XFX has vents opened on it down at the PCI bracket end and then down below the power connections there are four more openings as well as the XFX logo cutout. Then at the end when the PCB ends there is a larger hole that lets airflow blow through. The cooler and backplate also drop down at the top of the card where the PCB is shorter than the cooler to allow extra airflow up there. The backplate is metal with a black textured finish, then across it in bright white they have MERC.

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The PCI back bracket has the XFX logo cut out of it along with a few small ventilation holes. Then down in a row, they have three DisplayPort connections and one HDMI which is mixed in as the third one down. As I mention with just about every card, if this was blacked out, it would look a lot better in my opinion, especially here with the card being mostly blacked out. This view also shows the overall thickness and how much height the card has over the top of the PCI bracket as well.

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I also took a look at the overall lighting once I got the RX 6700 XT MERC 319 setup on our bench before testing. I talked a lot about it previously but I do love what XFX has going on with the top edge lighting. Showing off the card model is cool, though some accents on the backplate or front wouldn’t hurt to go with it as well. Most of the lighting is white with a hint of blue except for the RX which is red.

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Test Rig and Procedures

 

Test Rig

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3900X

Motherboard: Asus Crosshair VIII HERO WiFi

Memory: G.Skill Trident Z Royal 3600MHz 16-16-16-36

Storage: Corsair MP600 2TB

Cooling – Corsair H100i RGB Pro XT

Power Supply - Corsair AX1200w

Case - Primochill Wetbench

OS - Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

 

Our Testing Procedures

3DMark

The same goes for the most current version of 3DMark using the Fire Strike benchmark in normal, extreme, and ultra settings. Tests are also run in the DX12 focused Time Spy benchmark as well as the Time Spy Extreme test. Port Royal is also used on video cards that support DirectX Raytracing

Unigine Superposition

1080p Medium, 1080p Extreme benchmarks along with the VR Maximum and VR Future tests, both done at the Vive resolution

VRMark

Cyan and Blue rooms tested, use Average FPS for the result

Borderlands 3

Built-in benchmark testing with the ultra detail setting and medium detail setting, done at full screen with default settings at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k.

Metro Exodus

Using built-in benchmark, testing at ultra and normal details at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k.

The Division 2

Built-in benchmark at Ultra detail with V-Sync turned off at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k resolutions.

Total War: Three Kingdoms

Built-in benchmark using the Battle Benchmark setting. Tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k at both Medium and ultra detail settings

World War Z

Tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k in both Medium and Ultra Detail using the built-in benchmark.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Built-in benchmark, tested using the Medium texture setting and again at the highest texture detail setting. Both tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k

Far Cry 5

Built-in benchmark, tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k with the Ultra and Medium detail settings

Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War III

Built-in benchmark, Image and Texture settings set to the maximum setting, and V-Sync turned off. Tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k

Watch Dogs: Legion

Built-in benchmark testing at ultra and high details. Tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Built-in benchmark, tested using the Medium texture setting and again at the highest texture detail setting. Both tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k

Far Cry 5

Built-in benchmark, tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k with the Ultra and Medium detail settings

Passmark Performance Test 9

Test using the GPU Compute Score inside of Passmark’s Performance Test 9

Blender

Using the new Blender Benchmark with the Quick Benchmark setting set to use the GPU, not the CPU. The result is in total seconds the test took, lower is better. All cards tests were done using the 2.90 build for compatibility with the latest cards

Basemark GPU

GPU tests were done using the OpenGL and DirectX12 APIs

Power Usage

Results come from a Kill-A-Watt hooked up in line to the power cord for the test rig. Two tests are done, one using the AIDA64 Stress Test and the second uses the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark on the Performance setting using the combined test.

Noise Testing

Our Noise testing is done using a decibel meter 18 inches away from the video card on the bottom/fan side of the card. We test at both 50% and 100% fan speeds. The 100% test isn’t a representation of typical in-game noise levels, but it will show you how loud a card can be if you run it at its highest setting or if it gets very hot. Under load testing is also done, measuring the noise levels of the card when under load in AIDA64 over a half hour. This is done using a Protmex PT02 Sound Meter that is rated IEC651 type 2 and ANSI S1.4 type 2. Tests are done set weighted to A and set to a slow response using the max function. The ambient noise level in the testing area is 33.3 decibels using the test settings.

Temperature Testing

Using AIDA64, the GPU stress test is run for 30 minutes or until the result has leveled off. The test is run twice, once with the stock fan profile and a second time with 100% fan speed.

 


Synthetic Benchmarks

As always I like to start my testing with a few synthetic benchmarks. 3DMark especially is one of my favorites because it is very optimized in both Nvidia and AMD drivers. It's nice to not have to worry about it being favored too much either way and the repeatability of the results makes it a nice chance to compare from card to card, especially when comparing with the same GPU. Which here I have the chance to compare the MERC 319 against the Gaming X that I took a look at launch.

The first round of tests were done in the older Fire Strike benchmark which is a DX11 test. There are three detail levels, performance, extreme, and ultra. The XFX RX 6700 XT MERC 319 was tied right with the MSI only with the XFX edging out by a few points in each test. This kept the card above the RTX 3070 cards by a hair.

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The next two were both based on the Time Spy benchmark. One is the standard test and then there is the extreme detail level. The base Time Spy results were interesting, the gap between the XFX RX 6700 XT MERC 319 and the MSI was once again nearly nothing but the 30 points was enough to edge out ahead of the RTX 3060 Ti as well. In the extreme time spy test the 3060 Ti was still out ahead, however.

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I also slipped in the Port Royal benchmark from 3DMark which with the ray-tracing cores is supported. Here the XFX and MSI are right all in a line with the RTX 2070 SUPER and RTX 2080. This time around the MSI edged out by 21 points.

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The last test was using the Unigine based Superposition benchmark and I tested at 1080p with medium detail and again at 1080p with the extreme detail setting. In the extreme detail setting the XFX RX 6700, XT MERC 319 has 29 points on the MSI but it has a larger margin in the medium detail test with 325 points. The extra points pushed it up closer to the RTX 2080 SUPER.

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VR Benchmarks

As for Virtual Reality, I love it but it is more demanding than traditional gaming. This is partially because of the resolutions needed to render for two eyes and because they render more than what is immediately visible. But also because of post effects to get the proper “fisheye” effect for it to look proper in your eyes with the HMD. You also have to have much higher expectations for frame rates in VR, skipping frames or lower FPS can cause motion sickness in VR. Because of that, I ran a few tests.

My first test was again in Superposition. This time I tested the VR Maximum and VR Future tests using the Vive resolution. Here the XFX RX 6700 XT MERC 319 gained over an FPS on the MSI 6700 XT which was enough to jump over the RTX 2080 and the 3060 Ti, putting the 2080 SUPER above it.

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My second round of VR testing was in VRMark which has two tests that are similar to the VR tests in Superposition. One is future-looking and extremely demanding and the other (cyan room) is more like modern VR games. The XFX RX 6700 XT MERC 319 gained a little over a quarter of an FPS on the MSI in the blue room test here which isn’t much. The gap was a little larger in the less demanding cyan room test but wasn’t enough to pass any other cards as well.

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In-Game Benchmarks

Now we finally get into the in game performance and that is the main reason people pick up a new video card. To test things out I ran through our new benchmark suite that tests 9 games at three different resolutions (1080p, 1440p, and 4k). Most of the games tested have been run at the highest detail setting and a mid-range detail setting to get a look at how turning things up hurts performance and to give an idea of if turning detail down from max will be beneficial for frame rates. In total, each video card is tested 48 times and that makes for a huge mess of results when you put them all together. To help with that I like to start with these overall playability graphs that take all of the results and give an easier to read result. I have one for each of the three resolutions and each is broken up into four FPS ranges. Under 30 FPS is considered unplayable, over 30 is playable but not ideal, over 60 is the sweet spot, and then over 120 FPS is for high refresh rate monitors.

So how did the XFX RX 6700 XT MERC 319 do? Well, it stomped the 1080p tests with every result coming in over 60 FPS and 10 out of the 16 results even being up over 120+ FPS. The 6700 XT is designed for 1440p so it was the 1440p chart I was most interested in and it did well there as well. There was one result down in the 30-59 FPS range but beyond that everything was up over 60 FPS with 8 over 60 and 7 more up over 120+ FPS. At 4k performance fell off with one of the results now in the under 30 FPS range which is unplayable. 7 were playable but not smooth then 8 were solid at over 60 FPS.

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Of course, I have all of the actual in game results as well for anyone who wants to sort through the wall of graphs below. In my previous 6700 XT review, I focused on where the 6700 XT landed. Here I wanted to see how the XFX Merc 319 would compare with MSIs Gaming X. At 4k they were basically tied but the XFX did edge out a small boost in performance at 1440p and 1080p with a few exceptions. It is interesting however how clock speeds aren’t the only thing that makes a difference. GPU wattage settings make a difference as well and I do check it later but let's just say the XFX does run with a little higher power target which helps gain an FPS here and there.

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Compute Benchmarks

Now some people don’t need a video card for gaming, they need the processing power for rendering or 2D/3D production, or in some cases people who game also do work on the side. So it is also important to check out the compute performance on all of the video cards that come in. That includes doing a few different tests. My first test was a simple GPU Compute benchmark using Passmark’s Performance Test 9 and the XFX RX 6700 XT MERC 319 edged out in front of the MSI 6700 XT Gaming X by 67 points. This put it ahead of the 3060 Ti and the old faithful 1080 Ti and behind the 3070.

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In Basemark I test with the DirectX12 setting and again with OpenGL. The XFX RX 6700 XT MERC 319 has the same OpenGL issue that all of the AMD cards have in this test. Here the MSI came out ahead with 12 more points.

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Blender is always my favorite compute benchmark because the open-source 3D rendering software is very popular and it isn’t a synthetic benchmark. Here I render two scenes and combine the total time it takes. The XFX RX 6700 XT MERC 319 and the MSI came in at the exact same time here with the two tests taking 168 seconds. This was ahead of the RTX 2080 Ti but 29 seconds behind the RTX 3060 Ti and higher.

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Cooling Noise and Power

For my last few tests, rather than focusing on in game performance, I like to check out other aspects of performance. These are also the most important ways to differentiate the performance between cards that have the same GPU. To start things off I took a look at power usage. For this, I use our Kill-A-Watt hooked up to the test bench to record the total wattage of the system. I ran two tests with the first using 3DMark Fire Strike to put the system under a load similar to normal in game performance. Here our test system with the XFX RX 6700 XT MERC 319 pulled 357 watts which was 13 watts more than the MSI. The AIDA64 stress test results were a little different, the MSI pulled more there with 10 watts more pulled. Then I also have the software level results which look at what the GPU itself is pulling. This is where each card is setting its target and the XFX in the balanced mode was running at 212 watts here, 9 watts more than the MSI. That result helps explain the XFX having an edge even at the same clock speed as well.

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My next round of tests were looking at noise levels. These are especially important to me because I can’t stand to listen to my PC whirling. Especially when I’m not in game and other applications are using the GPU. For my testing, though I first tested with the fan cranked up to 100% to get an idea of how loud it can get, then again at 50% to get an idea of its range. The XFX RX 6700 XT MERC 319 wasn’t exactly quiet. In my 100% fan speed test it came in up in the top portion of our charts with a few cards like the 6800 XT MERC 319 slightly ahead as well as AMD's old 5000 series reference cards which were extremely loud. At 50% fan speed, the XFX RX 6700 XT MERC 319 was better but still in the upper portion of the cards tested. Then for the most important test, the under load testing the XFX RX 6700 XT MERC 319 was loud once again.

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To finish up my testing I of course had to check out the cooling performance. To do this I ran two different tests. I used AIDA64’s Stress Test run for a half-hour each to warm things up. Then I documented what temperature the GPU leveled out at with the stock fan profile and then again with the fans cranked up to 100%. With the stock profile, the MERC 319 did extremely well coming in at just 47 degrees putting it down at the bottom of our charts. The large card/cooler helps a lot with that. Cranking the fans up to 100% it cooled down more to 41c but overall the delta between the two was smaller than you would expect at 6c. It seems like the stock profile could be tuned down more which would help with the noise performance while still leaving room on the cooling.

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While running the stock fan profile testing I also took the time to get a few thermal images so we could see what is going on. The fan side showed the temps on the XFX RX 6700 XT MERC 319 running nice and low. The hottest spots were on the bottom half of the fan where there is less airflow but even there they weren’t really hot at all. The top edge shows the top venting working well. Then the hottest spot I found was on the backplate right where the GPU is. But it is good to see that heat is transferring to the backplate as well to help pull that away.

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Overall and Final Verdict

When the XFX RX 6700 XT MERC 319 came in I was a little surprised that it nearly shares the same footprint as the XFX RX 6800 XT MERC 319. But being a large card I was excited to see how it would affect cooling performance and performance overall. XFX was able to dial in a higher wattage limit which translated to a touch more performance over a similarly overclocked card. Most impressively the cooling performance was top notch with the large cooler. The only downside as far as performance goes was on the noise side of things, the large card was loud across all of my tests. Overall though, like the previous 6700 XT that I had the chance to check out it offers great performance at 1080p which can work well with a high refresh monitor, even with modern demanding games. Then at 1440p, it was solid as well, handling anything I threw at it.

XFX kept their styling simple, even cutting out the dimples that the 6800 XT had for a very clean blacked-out look that completely avoided the angular designs that everyone else seems to go with. It shows what model of card you have up on top and backlit and they included a metal backplate which ends up being the most aggressive part of the card with all of its ventilation holes. The only thing it is missing for me is a matching black PCI bracket but that is a small detail and almost no one includes that.

As for pricing, it is listed at $569.99 which isn’t exactly cheap compared to the $479 6700 XT base price but it is significantly lower than the MSI card I previously took a look at. This is a more realistic price for an overclocked card with a huge cooler like the XFX RX 6700 XT MERC 319 has. But of course, availability is the big issue and while it is completely out of XFX’s hands I do still have to mention it. ANY card is hard to come by, especially a card like this at retail. We can only hope that things settle down sooner rather than later so people can get a chance to put the XFX RX 6700 XT MERC 319 to use. Given its 1080p and 1440p performance, it is a solid option for most builds. Though I might play with the fan profiles a little bit if I were living with it every day.

fv5

 

Live Pricing: HERE

 

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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