Laptop - Sound stutters when gaming.

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by Coxis, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. Coxis

    Coxis Member

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    Hey guys,

    I've been having an issue with my laptop when gaming. Sound will frequently stutter, almost as if it was having a hard time processing the sound. It's hard to explain, but it sounds as the equivalent of FPS stutters with sound. Sound is labeled as IDT high definition audio.

    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=us&lc=en&docname=c03146727

    Those are my laptop specs. It has that Beats Audio crap. I have tried to game both with the BA drivers as well as the generic Windows driver and the same problem occurs. It's baffling, considering graphics wise the performance is decent for a laptop. Sound will play fine for a few seconds then stutter a bit. Sometimes it stutters randomly, but the start of sound clips appear to cause it a lot more. For example, if playing Portal 2 the sound has a bigger chance of stuttering at the moment Cave Johnson or GlaDoS start talking. Same with other games (someone starts talking, shooting a gun, starting a vehicle's engine).

    No problems whatsoever when playing music or youtube videos. What could be the issue?

    EDIT: In some games, the stutter will be coupled with an FPS stutter, while in others only the sound stutters.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
  2. IcE

    IcE Don Snow Staff Member

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    Sounds like DPC latency problems.
     
  3. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    You can try to switch PCI devices to MSI-mode
    Also you should minimize the applications and system services running on background.
     
  4. elkosith

    elkosith Maha Guru

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    Try this:
    When stutter happens, open task manager and look for a LOCAL SERVICE (I forgot the name of the process, maybe one of the svchost) that uses high CPU time. On my laptop, when this process uses around 20-40% CPU time, the audio will stutter just like your description.

    If the process is there just do end process. It wont cause any problem when it is closed.
     

  5. Rebel975

    Rebel975 Maha Guru

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  6. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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  7. Rebel975

    Rebel975 Maha Guru

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    Cool. I've never actually used one of those tools. I was just following through with what IcE said.
     
  8. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    If you haven't fixed your issue op, you can get a Asus Xonar U3 or a Creative X-FI Go cheap on ebay which should fix your issue. If you tried updating your laptop audio drivers. I know i seen the U3 going for $13 dollars on ebay as well the X-FI go going around the same price, both are usb.
     
  9. Coxis

    Coxis Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I actually have a Behringer USB audio interface, and unfortunately, the issue continues to occur even when the sound goes through it. :(

    http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UCA...=1402885377&sr=8-1&keywords=behringer+uca+222

    If this changes anything regarding the solutions already offered, please let me know, otherwise I'll try them out and see what's going on.
     
  10. Coxis

    Coxis Member

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    Using latency mon I got these results:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    No high DPC or ISR faults, but pagefaults rather... from Steam? I never expected Steam to be causing the issues. I'm going to do some googling around, but if you can offer any assistance please let me know.

    I don't have any non-steam games installed. In fact, I only have 2 games installed: Portal 2 and Trine 2 and they're both Steam. What should I do? test with a non-Steam game? Guess I could install Starcraft 2...

    EDIT: Sorry for the low res pictures. I quickly remembered that's why I stopped using Photobucket.

    EDIT THE SECOND:

    A second test reveals even more disturbing results.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A ton of pagefaults from Catalyst Control Center, Portal 2, Steam...

    Latencymon says it's a problem with CPU throttling, but my BIOS has no such option. The power plan is high performance, and I run my computer plugged in at all times. I have "maximize performance" on everything, CCC, windows power management options, 100% CPU capacity, all that jazz.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014

  11. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    Instead of pictures you can attach report text from LatencyMon (copy-n-paste through clipboard - search in its menu). That will be more informative. And don`t look at both 'Highest measured interrupt to process latency' and 'Highest reported hard pagefault resolution time'. I get them high (occasionally) on my rig without slightest audio problems. Btw, in what mode works your SATA controller? And which drivers it utilizes?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014
  12. Coxis

    Coxis Member

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    Here's the report of the latest test. I started Portal 2 then Trine 2. In P2 both sound and video stutter. In T2, only sound. Any help is appreciated...

    Code:
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    CONCLUSION
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Your system appears to be having trouble handling real-time audio and other tasks. You are likely to experience buffer underruns appearing as drop outs, clicks or pops. One problem may be related to power management, disable CPU throttling settings in Control Panel and BIOS setup. Check for BIOS updates. 
    LatencyMon has been analyzing your system for  0:10:48  (h:mm:ss) on all processors.
    
    
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    SYSTEM INFORMATION
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Computer name:                                        COXIS-HP
    OS version:                                           Windows 7 Service Pack 1, 6.1, build: 7601 (x64)
    Hardware:                                             HP Pavilion dv6 Notebook PC, Hewlett-Packard, 1807
    CPU:                                                  AuthenticAMD AMD A8-3520M APU with Radeon(tm) HD Graphics
    Logical processors:                                   4
    Processor groups:                                     1
    RAM:                                                  7657 MB total
    
    
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    CPU SPEED
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Reported CPU speed:                                   1597.0 MHz
    Measured CPU speed:                                   910.0 MHz (approx.)
    
    Note: reported execution times may be calculated based on a fixed reported CPU speed. Disable variable speed settings like Intel Speed Step and AMD Cool N Quiet in the BIOS setup for more accurate results.
    
    
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    MEASURED INTERRUPT TO USER PROCESS LATENCIES
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    The interrupt to process latency reflects the measured interval that a usermode process needed to respond to a hardware request from the moment the interrupt service routine started execution. This includes the scheduling and execution of a DPC routine, the signaling of an event and the waking up of a usermode thread from an idle wait state in response to that event.
    
    Highest measured interrupt to process latency (µs):   15591.741166
    Average measured interrupt to process latency (µs):   9.572660
    
    Highest measured interrupt to DPC latency (µs):       701.400750
    Average measured interrupt to DPC latency (µs):       2.599892
    
    
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
     REPORTED ISRs
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Interrupt service routines are routines installed by the OS and device drivers that execute in response to a hardware interrupt signal.
    
    Highest ISR routine execution time (µs):              209.004383
    Driver with highest ISR routine execution time:       i8042prt.sys - i8042 Port Driver, Microsoft Corporation
    
    Highest reported total ISR routine time (%):          0.060897
    Driver with highest ISR total time:                   hal.dll - Hardware Abstraction Layer DLL, Microsoft Corporation
    
    Total time spent in ISRs (%)                          0.221448
    
    ISR count (execution time <250 µs):                   1128124
    ISR count (execution time 250-500 µs):                0
    ISR count (execution time 500-999 µs):                0
    ISR count (execution time 1000-1999 µs):              0
    ISR count (execution time 2000-3999 µs):              0
    ISR count (execution time >=4000 µs):                 0
    
    
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    REPORTED DPCs
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    DPC routines are part of the interrupt servicing dispatch mechanism and disable the possibility for a process to utilize the CPU while it is interrupted until the DPC has finished execution.
    
    Highest DPC routine execution time (µs):              837.595492
    Driver with highest DPC routine execution time:       storport.sys - Microsoft Storage Port Driver, Microsoft Corporation
    
    Highest reported total DPC routine time (%):          0.304422
    Driver with highest DPC total execution time:         rspLLL64.sys - Resplendence Latency Monitoring and Auxiliary Kernel Library, Resplendence Software Projects Sp.
    
    Total time spent in DPCs (%)                          0.955277
    
    DPC count (execution time <250 µs):                   4413867
    DPC count (execution time 250-500 µs):                0
    DPC count (execution time 500-999 µs):                58
    DPC count (execution time 1000-1999 µs):              0
    DPC count (execution time 2000-3999 µs):              0
    DPC count (execution time >=4000 µs):                 0
    
    
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
     REPORTED HARD PAGEFAULTS
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Hard pagefaults are events that get triggered by making use of virtual memory that is not resident in RAM but backed by a memory mapped file on disk. The process of resolving the hard pagefault requires reading in the memory from disk while the process is interrupted and blocked from execution.
    
    NOTE: some processes were hit by hard pagefaults. If these were programs producing audio, they are likely to interrupt the audio stream resulting in dropouts, clicks and pops. Check the Processes tab to see which programs were hit.
    
    Process with highest pagefault count:                 ccc.exe
    
    Total number of hard pagefaults                       5155
    Hard pagefault count of hardest hit process:          3029
    Highest hard pagefault resolution time (µs):          1001294.269881
    Total time spent in hard pagefaults (%):              2.414277
    Number of processes hit:                              16
    
    
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
     PER CPU DATA
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    CPU 0 Interrupt cycle time (s):                       28.968389
    CPU 0 ISR highest execution time (µs):                145.772073
    CPU 0 ISR total execution time (s):                   1.602617
    CPU 0 ISR count:                                      650347
    CPU 0 DPC highest execution time (µs):                271.909831
    CPU 0 DPC total execution time (s):                   12.644847
    CPU 0 DPC count:                                      3528932
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    CPU 1 Interrupt cycle time (s):                       9.286717
    CPU 1 ISR highest execution time (µs):                204.222918
    CPU 1 ISR total execution time (s):                   0.108067
    CPU 1 ISR count:                                      9491
    CPU 1 DPC highest execution time (µs):                245.527865
    CPU 1 DPC total execution time (s):                   0.691223
    CPU 1 DPC count:                                      65954
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    CPU 2 Interrupt cycle time (s):                       14.726740
    CPU 2 ISR highest execution time (µs):                198.308704
    CPU 2 ISR total execution time (s):                   0.351270
    CPU 2 ISR count:                                      32274
    CPU 2 DPC highest execution time (µs):                275.383845
    CPU 2 DPC total execution time (s):                   1.512246
    CPU 2 DPC count:                                      124272
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    CPU 3 Interrupt cycle time (s):                       28.723142
    CPU 3 ISR highest execution time (µs):                209.004383
    CPU 3 ISR total execution time (s):                   3.683761
    CPU 3 ISR count:                                      436012
    CPU 3 DPC highest execution time (µs):                837.595492
    CPU 3 DPC total execution time (s):                   9.937423
    CPU 3 DPC count:                                      694767
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    
     
  13. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    1. What mouse do you use? USB or PS/2? (I see "i8042prt.sys - i8042 Port Driver" in report.)

    2. Which drivers do you use for SATA? (I see "storport.sys - Microsoft Storage Port Driver" in report.)

    I guess you have AMD chipset, so have you installed
    either chipset drivers
    http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/chipset?os=Windows
    or SATA drivers
    http://www.win-raid.com/t29f25-Recommended-AHCI-and-RAID-Drivers.html
    ?

    3. Have you checked your OS+CPU for a CPU core parking?
     
  14. Coxis

    Coxis Member

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    1- When I ran the test I pasted above I was using my laptop's integrated touch pad. It's a Synaptic touch pad and since it's integrated I assume PS/2. Performance is the same when using an USB mouse. Should I disable the driver when gaming? please advice.

    2- I don't use any particular SATA driver. I just did a fresh Windows install to remove all HP bloatware and that was it. I'll take a look at your link and install AMD drivers.

    I do have an AMD chipset and I have the latest drivers. Without the chipset drivers my 2 USB 3.0 drivers don't work.

    3- By CPU core parking I assume you mean any sort of CPU throttling? Profile I'm using is high performance, all the options in Catalyst Control Center are set for maximum performance, including the minimum-maximum CPU clock, both set at the maximum (1600MHz), no power saving turning off the the HDD or anything like that. I've been very thorough.

    Unfortunately, my laptop's BIOS is locked since it's RSA signed. I haven't been able to unlock my BIOS advanced settings, so I guess there's a chance that there's an inaccessible option in there that's throttling my CPU's performance?
     
  15. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    Well, it is possible that CPU is bottlenecked. So the less code (drivers, services, applications) is executed the more air for CPU.


    Go to Device manager, invoke "IDE/ATAPI controllers -> AMD SATA controller" property dialog, go to "Driver" tab and click "Driver details" button - copy listed drivers details here.

    No. Not throttling. Launch "Resource Monitor", go to "CPU" tab and look at CPUs usage diagrams on the right. In case CPU core is parked you will read something like "CPU 1 - parked" at the title of diagram.
    http://blogs.technet.com/b/mattmcspirit/archive/2009/05/07/seeing-core-parking-in-action.aspx
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014

  16. Coxis

    Coxis Member

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    GPU:
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    SATA drivers:

    amd_sata.sys
    amd_xata.sys

    CPU parking is not on. CPU 0,1,2,3 not showing Parked, and all of them spike at more or less the same time when in use.
     
  17. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    Do CPU utilizes P-states/C-states? Get HWINFO (for example) and spy after it.


    Edit: I see 8 GB of RAM. Is it 2x4GB ?

    Edit2: Here is PwrTest http://www.mediafire.com/download/drkkxqeiyiafafq/pwrtest.zip
    - utility from MS WDK. Read about - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff550682(v=vs.85).aspx
    You can test power plan performance and also check P-states and C-states of CPU.

    Edit3: Select amd64 version of pwrtest and execute:
    pwrtest.exe /info:ppm

    pwrtest.log should be created - paste its content here.

    Edit4: For live P-state and C-state info execute
    pwrtest.exe /PPM > pwrtest_ppm.log
    then run any application and close it.

    pwrtest_ppm.log should be created - paste its content here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  18. Coxis

    Coxis Member

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    HWINFO log:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ogjzohphsnc5j6h/hwinforeport.LOG

    In the main HWINFO window my HDD shows an exclamation mark. When looking at the drive information especifically, it's under "Reallocated sector count" 100/50, Worst: 100 (Data = 35). It is worth nothing that this laptop originally came with a 750GB drive which I quickly removed to put in my main gaming rig. I then installed a smaller 120GB drive from an older laptop...

    pwrtest.log:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/uc70mxxoo4wc6nz/pwrtest.log

    pwrtest_ppm.log:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/8wsrudbepzyhz1c/pwrtest_ppm2.log

    Yes, 2x4GB RAM.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  19. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    Please, execute
    pwrtest.exe /info:ppm > pwrtest_info.log
    and paste file pwrtest_info.log here.

    I see that your CPU stays at C-state "C2" most of time, and only under heavy load it jumps to C-state "C1". I can help you to disable powersaving C-states through power plan settings. There are hidden CPU settings which should be revealed. But you must understand that if you swicth off C-states completely then CPU will eat battery much faster. And also we don`t know whether C-states is the culprit on audio-stutters.

    Edit: And P-states are also there (in logs). Are you sure notebook was at Performance power plan?
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
  20. Coxis

    Coxis Member

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    Here it is:

    Code:
    InstanceName: ACPI\AuthenticAMD_-_AMD64_Family_18_Model_1_-_AMD_A8-3520M_APU_with_Radeon(tm)_HD_Graphics\_0_0
    
    
    Processor Performance States
    
      PerfStates:
    
        Max Transition Latency:  0 us
    
        Number of States:        7
    
    
        State  Speed (Mhz)    Type
    
        -----  ------------   ----
    
          0     1600 (100%)   Performance
    
          1     1400 ( 87%)   Performance
    
          2     1200 ( 75%)   Performance
    
          3     1100 ( 68%)   Performance
    
          4     1000 ( 62%)   Performance
    
          5      900 ( 56%)   Performance
    
          6      800 ( 50%)   Performance
    
    
    
    
    InstanceName: ACPI\AuthenticAMD_-_AMD64_Family_18_Model_1_-_AMD_A8-3520M_APU_with_Radeon(tm)_HD_Graphics\_1_0
    
    
    Processor Performance States
    
      PerfStates:
    
        Max Transition Latency:  0 us
    
        Number of States:        7
    
    
        State  Speed (Mhz)    Type
    
        -----  ------------   ----
    
          0     1600 (100%)   Performance
    
          1     1400 ( 87%)   Performance
    
          2     1200 ( 75%)   Performance
    
          3     1100 ( 68%)   Performance
    
          4     1000 ( 62%)   Performance
    
          5      900 ( 56%)   Performance
    
          6      800 ( 50%)   Performance
    
    
    
    
    InstanceName: ACPI\AuthenticAMD_-_AMD64_Family_18_Model_1_-_AMD_A8-3520M_APU_with_Radeon(tm)_HD_Graphics\_2_0
    
    
    Processor Performance States
    
      PerfStates:
    
        Max Transition Latency:  0 us
    
        Number of States:        7
    
    
        State  Speed (Mhz)    Type
    
        -----  ------------   ----
    
          0     1600 (100%)   Performance
    
          1     1400 ( 87%)   Performance
    
          2     1200 ( 75%)   Performance
    
          3     1100 ( 68%)   Performance
    
          4     1000 ( 62%)   Performance
    
          5      900 ( 56%)   Performance
    
          6      800 ( 50%)   Performance
    
    
    
    
    InstanceName: ACPI\AuthenticAMD_-_AMD64_Family_18_Model_1_-_AMD_A8-3520M_APU_with_Radeon(tm)_HD_Graphics\_3_0
    
    
    Processor Performance States
    
      PerfStates:
    
        Max Transition Latency:  0 us
    
        Number of States:        7
    
    
        State  Speed (Mhz)    Type
    
        -----  ------------   ----
    
          0     1600 (100%)   Performance
    
          1     1400 ( 87%)   Performance
    
          2     1200 ( 75%)   Performance
    
          3     1100 ( 68%)   Performance
    
          4     1000 ( 62%)   Performance
    
          5      900 ( 56%)   Performance
    
          6      800 ( 50%)   Performance
    
    
    
    
    InstanceName: PPM_Processor_0
    
    
    Kernel Idle States: (2 states)
    
    
      TargetState:       1
    
      Type:              0
    
      TargetProcessors:  0x1
    
      State 0:
    
        Latency:          0 us
    
        Power:            0 mWatts
    
        TimeCheck:        77984 QPC ticks (50 ms)
    
        PromotePercent:   60%
    
        DemotePercent:    40%
    
        StateType:        C1
    
        IdleHandler:      Present
    
        Context:          Present
    
      State 1:
    
        Latency:          100 us
    
        Power:            0 mWatts
    
        TimeCheck:        77984 QPC ticks (50 ms)
    
        PromotePercent:   60%
    
        DemotePercent:    40%
    
        StateType:        C2
    
        IdleHandler:      Present
    
        Context:          Present
    
    
    
    
    InstanceName: PPM_Processor_1
    
    
    Kernel Idle States: (2 states)
    
    
      TargetState:       1
    
      Type:              0
    
      TargetProcessors:  0x2
    
      State 0:
    
        Latency:          0 us
    
        Power:            0 mWatts
    
        TimeCheck:        77984 QPC ticks (50 ms)
    
        PromotePercent:   60%
    
        DemotePercent:    40%
    
        StateType:        C1
    
        IdleHandler:      Present
    
        Context:          Present
    
      State 1:
    
        Latency:          100 us
    
        Power:            0 mWatts
    
        TimeCheck:        77984 QPC ticks (50 ms)
    
        PromotePercent:   60%
    
        DemotePercent:    40%
    
        StateType:        C2
    
        IdleHandler:      Present
    
        Context:          Present
    
    
    
    
    InstanceName: PPM_Processor_2
    
    
    Kernel Idle States: (2 states)
    
    
      TargetState:       1
    
      Type:              0
    
      TargetProcessors:  0x4
    
      State 0:
    
        Latency:          0 us
    
        Power:            0 mWatts
    
        TimeCheck:        77984 QPC ticks (50 ms)
    
        PromotePercent:   60%
    
        DemotePercent:    40%
    
        StateType:        C1
    
        IdleHandler:      Present
    
        Context:          Present
    
      State 1:
    
        Latency:          100 us
    
        Power:            0 mWatts
    
        TimeCheck:        77984 QPC ticks (50 ms)
    
        PromotePercent:   60%
    
        DemotePercent:    40%
    
        StateType:        C2
    
        IdleHandler:      Present
    
        Context:          Present
    
    
    
    
    InstanceName: PPM_Processor_3
    
    
    Kernel Idle States: (2 states)
    
    
      TargetState:       1
    
      Type:              0
    
      TargetProcessors:  0x8
    
      State 0:
    
        Latency:          0 us
    
        Power:            0 mWatts
    
        TimeCheck:        77984 QPC ticks (50 ms)
    
        PromotePercent:   60%
    
        DemotePercent:    40%
    
        StateType:        C1
    
        IdleHandler:      Present
    
        Context:          Present
    
      State 1:
    
        Latency:          100 us
    
        Power:            0 mWatts
    
        TimeCheck:        77984 QPC ticks (50 ms)
    
        PromotePercent:   60%
    
        DemotePercent:    40%
    
        StateType:        C2
    
        IdleHandler:      Present
    
        Context:          Present
    
    Yes, the computer has been on High Performance for months now. Every time I attempt to tackle this issue I go over all power options and nothing is wrong, everything is set to maximize performance. I know better than to do serious gaming on laptops, which is why I have a desktop PC built for it, but I have never had these issues with any of my laptops. I bought it because specs looked good on paper... :(

    I don't care about battery times to be honest. It isn't that good to begin with anyways. If you could help me disable the C-States then please do, I'd appreciate it. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014

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