Description

Thanks for the feature PCPP :)

The Pinnacle


The Pinnacle, named mostly after the case’s extreme height is a HTPC build / gaming rig to go into a in progress games room. The build was not really needed as I could have just upgraded the GPU in my other HTPC build “White Fusion”, but as many know, the itch is real and upon seeing the Shift X and Shift revealed a while back, got my imagination going, so relegated “White Fusion” to my living room.

The main approach to this build is broadly similar to my other’s, I wanted a neutral base color scheme, which in turn meant I can add in RGB to mix up the flavor of the build on a whim without there being any clash’s. I enjoy building custom loops, so that was another element that was to be baked into the build. Anyways onto the main parts and reasons:


Case - Phanteks Shift X

I really like different or unique cases, so when I saw this one I knew I wanted it straight away. The case itself is stunning, but tall would be an understatement! To be honest right now it looks overly tall in my game’s room, but as I will be upgrading the audio with floor standing speakers, the case should look fine next to them and balance things out.

The case itself looks stunning in real life and phantek’s put in real nice elements with the silver metal panel’s creating a nice contrast to the two glass panels. The glass panels themselves have black borders around the edge, this works great to hide the frame, but also you can and I did, use the hidden spots to run cable’s and LED strips, to help avoid the visibility of the individual LEDs themselves. The other two main elements, the crossbar running along the middle and the PSU shroud work well to allow you to hide away all the cables.

Anyways in terms of actually working with the case, its a mixed bag. For my build at least it was a challenge as things had to fit in a certain order thanks to the loop and lighting, but that is thanks to my part choice. As an example, bottom radiator with thermo sensor had to go in before the PSU went in to have cables run hidden, the LED lighting had to go in before PSU, PSU shroud had to go in after lighting, so the LED strip end’s terminate under the shroud, said but before the custom loop which runs above the shroud and so on. It became a bit of a puzzle in the end, but ended up how I wanted. The rear of the case where the bulk of the cables go is also tight, made somewhat worse by my commander Pro unit, I actually ended up snapping one of the pegs so got a replacement panel.

One area where it does fall down a bit is airflow and temps. The primary inlets and outlets are fairly restrictive in this case, so temps are a fair bit warmer then other slightly more open ITX case. It's not overly terrible thanks to the custom loop, but temps do get fairly warm and pulling off the side panels can see a 5-6 degree drop in water temps pretty quickly. Frustratingly in my case, the middle phanetk’s Logo was partially damaged upon delivery, a small thing but annoying, but credit is due as Phantek’s have sent a replacement, abit taking a month to get here apparently!


CPU - 8700k Delidded

As this was only going to be a gaming rig for most the part, the 8700k was the go to choice, not that for hitting 60 FPS, the limit of the TV would be an issue for most other CPU’s but this means I am unlikely to need to change the parts for a while.

The 8700k temps out the box are awful to be honest, this is the worst CPU I have had temp wise, so I delidded the CPU which saw a 20 degree drop. This is important, as the flow rate to the CPU is hampered by design with my custom loop’s parallel design flow, combine that with the absolute crap Intel use’s and it was not good for temps until the delid. Anyways, my sample can hit 5.3 GHz on all 6 core’s for benchmarking with Cache at 51, but for daily use 5.2 GHz with the Cache at 50 is what I have settled for.

In all, the 6 cores, solid IPC and relatively nice clockspeed I can hit mean’s the CPU has no real issues chewing threw game’s I throw at it with the limitation being mostly on the GPU.


Motherboard - Strix z370i

The ASUS Strix z370i was another straightforward choice, in part to synergise most of the lighting with ASUS aura, but also I am well used to ASUS’s BIOS’s at this point. In terms of feature set the board board overclock’s well and the monochrome finish ticked all the box’s for me.

Few issues with it is the lack of a USB 2.0 header, which is frustrating with so many device’s using such a header these days, my commander pro being an example. To get around this I had to use a USB 3.0 internal header to USB 2.0, which means the external USB 3.0 header’s can’t be used, but thankfully the case’s top lid just opens and closes so in this build its largely irrelevant to have outside USB 3.0 ports. Another oversight I think is the move to a single addressable RGB header from the normal 12v on the z270i strix or in addition too. It's a small thing I know, but so many peripheral’s use normal 12v header, that one of each would have been ideal to be honest.


RAM - Trident Z RGB

I had this kit on hand and it was well suited for this build. It has a two tone brushed aluminium finish so aesthetically worked great. The RGB strip up top looks neat, works with Aura sync and the specs on the kit I had at hand worked perfectly fine for this build. I am limited somewhat with there being only two slots on this board, but 16GB kit works perfectly fine for a gaming machine, so doubt I will have any issues there even for the foreseeable future.

The Kit itself is 3600 MHz 16-16-16-36 2T out the box, however manually tweaking I have it running at 3866 MHz 16-16-16-36 1T so a small bump over out the box XMP specs. I did get the Kit running at 4000 MHz with slightly looser timings 17-17-17-37 and worked fine, but did not fully check stability, so for daily use 3866 MHz @ 16-16-16-36 1T is my in use profile which is nice enough.

In all, combined with the CPU running at 5.2 GHz and the RAM at the above speeds means usually the performance limitation is on the 1080Ti.


GPU - Strix GTX 1080Ti OC

The GPU was a pretty straightforward pick to be honest. For 4k gaming the 1080Ti was the ideal choice and the Strix was the best choice in part due to the aforementioned reason of it having a RGB header to manage the other 12v RGB part’s. The other reason, and a bit sad, is I love the backplate when combined with the Phantek’s block, it looks pretty amazing to be honest.

Anyways, in terms of performance, it's pretty much how a 1080TI is expected to perform. Running under water means it can boost slightly higher with the GPU peaking at around 2.1 GHz on the core and a bit over 12.1 Gbps on the memory.

In terms of actual game performance, the 1080Ti is solid, but I think right now it straddles the line. Some AAA game’s can give the 1080Ti a tough time at 4k while maintaining 60hz, but for most the part, even in AAA games, tweak some harsh settings and it does a solid job.


Custom loop and lighting

For this build a custom loop was planned from the onset. I decided to go for a 120 mm and 240 mm radiator which offered a 10% increase in surface area over a single 280mm other’s usually go with, but this setup bring’s in air through two directions. Will not make a massive difference, but every little helps!

From the onset I wanted this build loop in parallel rather then running it in serial. I wanted couple of runs in parallel, so designed the loop around that and after spending various hours over the route, got it to work in the end and personally thing it looks great with some nice parallel runs which work to keep the main visual elements like GPU block / backplate and pump / res easily visible.

I was 50/50 in regards to my choice of tube with either acrylic or chrome plated tubing being the two options, but settled on the chrome plated tubing to offset some of the black in the build and use chrome fittings to complete the look keeping it similar to the looks from my main build. I elected to go for the Phatnek’s block rather then EK as I think they look great and to try something different having mostly stuck to EK. Additionally the Phantek’s GPU block allows you to reuse the Strix back plate which I think looks great in this build as the ROG logo clear's the crossbar and ends up in the bottom chamber. The RGB element’s look great and with Aura can sync with all the other Aura components.

The fan’s themselves go into the Corsair Commander Pro unit which takes reading’s from the two thermo sensors into the loop measuring water temp and adjusts the fan profiles accordingly.

The Corsair commander pro also doubles up to manage the temp sensor and lighting in the rig, well most of it. Around the perimeter of the case is 8 addressable RGB strips which I have hidden in the crevices so the strip’s can’t be easily seen from outside. Great think about this kit, is there is only 2 actual inputs, so 4 strips running on either side of the case, but each strip can be addressed individually so strip 2 and 3 on input 1 can be turned off leaving only the first and last strip illuminated.

The Lighting on the GPU backplate, GPU block, CPU block and external case lighting however are standard 12v lighting. Annoyingly as I mentioned, the z370i does not have a 12v header, only a 5v addressable, but the 1080Ti strix model does, so those bits are actually wired into the GPU amusingly. In effect, it means there is two software to control lighting, with the RAM, block’s GPU, external case lighting and motherboard lighting via ASUS aura, while the primary internal case lighting via corsair Link. Not a pain as both would be needed either way, and in use, the Corsair main lighting is set to a clean white while the ASUS aura cycles all the other parts through in tandem or set to reflect the water temperature.

It was mostly a jigsaw getting the loop and lighting done with little thing’s like having the RGB strips not visible, soldering the ends of each strip and so on adding to the complexity but end result being worth it.

I did have two issues here though, the biggest issue was the initial 240mm radiator’s end tank hand popped a leak. As soon as water was forced through it when the pump came on, the water poured straight out out! That was a pain as I had to undo the loop, get a replacement radiator and then put it all back together with the replacement thankfully being fine.

Another issue I have come across is the Corsair Commander Pro does not play ball with EK’s EVO vardar fans, but there non EVO fan’s work fine. To get around this, I used a Non-EVO fan as the primary fan on the PWM sense line and the other Vardar fan’s branching off it, annoying but does the job okay.


Other Parts

For the power supply the silverstone 700w unit SFX-L platinum unit was picked. More than enough capacity for the build and I have a plethora of silverstone sleeved cable kits which I initially planned to use. For this build I went with a pretty neat silver wire cable’s (which meant that plethora of kits I already had were pointless!) which I had to order in for this. Took a month to get as I had to order the 24 Pin ATX and 8 Pin CPU cable twice. Both of those runs are actually pretty long, with the 8 Pin run from PSU to the CPU power connector needing to be 75 CM. Anyways, the PSU does the job fine and usually the fan does not spin at light loads.

For Storage there is a 1TB 960 EVO on the rear of the motherboard and a pair of 500GB Samsung 850 EVO’s. In all the 2 TB capacity between them is more the sufficient for gaming with most my content being able to be streamed from a NAS anyways. Truthfully I did not need a M.2 drive as for game’s it makes no difference, but I wanted to just stick too two sata cables as the other 2 locations on the board would have meant cables transversing the board.


Overall

Overall fairly happy with the build. Performance is solid and I can game fine at 4k with few tweaks made. The case is stunning and hopefully once Phanteks send a replacement crossbar logo, I can replace this one.

Temp wise, the case is on the warm side, but with the 8700k delidded, temps on both the CPU and GPU stay reasonable, even during prolonged use so it's not a massive issue, even with an overclock on the parts.

Looks wise, hits most of the points I was trying to do, a base monochrome look so I can mix RGB in as when I feel like it. Only annoying bit is one of the two runs from the CPU block to the GPU is not quite parallel, but annoyingly, not all that easy to remedy in such a tight spot.

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Comments

  • 27 months ago
  • 6 points

This the pinnacle of all shift builds I have seen, truly beautiful.

Sorry for the pun

+1

Also I see a feature.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks bud :)

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

NP.

  • 27 months ago
  • 4 points

This deserves a FEATURE!!! +1

  • 27 months ago
  • 3 points

This is mighty beautiful. Glorious Shift build!

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks bud. Just saw your shift build, looks shiftastic also :D

  • 27 months ago
  • 3 points

Ayyy, Thanks man!

  • 27 months ago
  • 3 points

Well thats a feature lol

  • 27 months ago
  • 3 points

Looks awesome well done squeezing two rads in there ;)

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks bud. Was such a pain having a second radiator lol. meant everything had to go in a specific order it worked out okay.

Just saw your shift. Amazing build in an even tighter case!

  • 27 months ago
  • 3 points

Well done on the feature!

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks bud :)

  • 27 months ago
  • 3 points

Beautiful! Deserves a feature!

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you very much. Just saw you did a shift X custom loop also! got sick of the game consoles like me heh. How is your build going?

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for your reply. Build is going very well. I am gaming on a 4k OLED TV, looks gorgeous and the GPU hits every game i play on ultra settings with 60 FPS with around 55°C. Was not smart enough to delid the CPU in the first place, so during longer game sessions it averages around 60°C but gets short spikes on single cores up to 92°C. Will delid in the future, allready got the Delid-Die-Mate-2 and Conductonaut/Kryonaut ready. De-Installing the Loop and Motherboard-Block is a pain so i will do it when i got enough time.... By the way, don't like the Phanteks-Fans i got for the radiator and will swap them to Corsair ML Pro and change some of the lighting

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice, that is the next change I plan to make, jump to an OLED TV as the blacks look amazing (well seeing as they are totally black).

Ahhh, I actually did similar, tried the build without delidding, but temps got far too warm on the CPU. In part as I have the loop in parallel so flow to the CPU is already lower the most serial designed loops. Yeah feel your pain about draining and all that, always a downside to custom loops :(

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

By the way, check this guy out, did a terrific job on the Shift X: https://pcpartpicker.com/b/LvZRsY

  • 27 months ago
  • 3 points

This build, just like all your other builds, is absolutely stunning! I would put this in a glass case and display it as art. You are truly a genius.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank's for the kind words bud. :)

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

This build... I dig this build! Excellent write up and amazing pictures, great job!

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you very much! If you made it through that text, no doubt you deserve a +1 heh.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Absolutely beautiful. A piece of artwork.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Awesome Build! No part looks untouched! What gauge did you use for your wires?

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks bud.

It was 26 AWG. It was more diy's silver plated copper wire.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Amazing build, man!

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Why your Shift has earned the feature spotlight with the lovely monochrome scheme that has enough lighting to make it radiate with beauty. I never get tired of your builds Radox. Amazing work with your build, photos, and your description. Keep it up!

Please take my one as I'll hear no buts about it.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

As always, thanks for your kind words eltech, always good to hear from you :)

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Feature worthy. +1

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks bud.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Just beautiful. Awesome work!

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you :)

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Impressive build dude!

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Cheer's buddy, appreciated :)

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Radox-O, real nice build. I'll probably be coming to you for questions (I've already asked a bit of KurtKurtson). I've about amassed all the parts for my build. I have practically the same list you have (GPU, MB, PSU, RAM, etc.) https://pcpartpicker.com/user/toucanf16/saved/#view=TxvRGX

Since I have the same PSU and MB can you please pass along all your custom cable lengths?

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks.

Think I went with 50cm 24 pin, 35cm PCIe and 75cm CPU +/- a few cm.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. BTW, nice photography also.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Np. Best of luck with your build!

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm about to order cables. Were yours from CableMod? Considering the tight fit, I'm afraid of getting something big and bulky. Are you sleeves paracord or nylon? Recommendations?

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Dude, that's freaking nice!

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks bud

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Aw man, EKWB has a monoblock for this motherboard you could've used. Would certainly look good and help with performance. Might have issues with tubing fitment?

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

It was an option I thought of and It would have fit fine. It is just that I prefer the normal waterblock as it allows me to keep the VRM heatsinks and Rear I/O heatsink on which I prefer to the look the monoblock.

Performance wise I am hitting 5.3 GHz on the CPU and 51 for cache anyways and the VRM temps stay reasonable thanks to that fan pulling air over the area as it exhaust's heat out, so performance will not really improve.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Beautiful build! The pictures are absolutely fabulous as well. Love them all but pic 10 is my favorite! Congrats on the feature!!

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

and wow!!! All your build are amazing ....Top notch and this isn't even the best one! You have some skills!

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Cheers bud :)

Yeah pic 10 turned out well lol. Tried and failed getting the others looking quiet as neat as that one hah.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

They are all perfect I just love the clarity of that particular picture.... Hell if there was a dust particle you could see it those pics are so clear.... Great camera!

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Love the build. Where did you get your tubing and fittings?

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks bud. I purchased the fittings from a reseller on ebay UK. The fittings and tubing themselves are by Barrow. I know most people in the USA and some other places can order them from Aliexpress or something, China's version of Ebay.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Another BEAUTIFUL Shift X Build! +1 I swear to god, Every Phanteks Shift X build gets featured because these things are soooooo sleek. This computer has many hard hitting components that are pristine in almost every way! From the powerhouse of a GPU, to the motherboard that is the top of the top of the top of the line, this rig is the holy grail of an HTPC! I must say that I am a little biased since I am financing my own shift x build for personal use and that case makes the entire pc something absolutely mouth-dropping! From the acrylic glass on both sides, to the vertical height of the case, and to the sharp metallic finish on the sides; overall, this computer is a masterpiece with just that case alone! Yet, the high performing components go over the edge with a mix of power and quality! All in all, I have to say that this HTPC is a beautiful piece of work and the overall look is incredile! Well done!

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

That is a cool response :)

And I do fully agree, shift case is very unique from all angles. No doubt you will enjoy building it and hope you upload your build once complete!

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Will do! Happy building!

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Now that is damn nice.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks bud

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

That is a fast CPU. Nice job on the build!

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Cheer's bud.

Yeah the CPU is solid once you delid it. such a shame as before that, so much potential was locked away as it would only do 4.8 GHz before temps were an issue.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Top notch. Your pictures, presentation, description, and execution is just awesome.

Thumbs up and congrats on the featured spot.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice! I wish there was a "100+" upvote button instead of a "1+".

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks bud :)

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

is it wrong to be sexually attracted to a cpu block?

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

No, no its not in this case. :P

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey Radox,

really awesome build ! Looks prestine and very elegant :) I'm building a shift x myself right now and do kinda have the same issues as you do. Thats why i created an account to ask you some question, some help would be awesome!!

1: I'm having trouble to power my cpu waterblock rgb and pump rgb. I have an Asus Strix GTX1080 Advanced and do have 12rgb header on my gpu, which i use to power my gpu backplate and gpu block. Do you think it's possible to power the cpu block and maybe the pump rgb with this aswell? Otherwise i have no idea how to power them, since i only have a 5v 3pin on my motherboard..

2: how did you manage to do a parallel loop with gpu and cpu? i'm kinda trying to do it like you, but the part left to the pci slot on the motherboard is where all the magic happens and i have no idea what you did there, neither can i see it on the pictures... Could you maybe give me some insights on that aswell??

Looking forward hearing from you and greatings from germany, reelah

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the comments :)

To Answer your question:

1) The single header should be enough. That is how I am powering mine as I think we are looking at the same board which like you said, only has a 5v addressable header. The Led strips for the block's and pump are all relatively short, so I expect it will all be fine.

1) Picture 9 shows how the rear of the build is plumbed for parallel routing. from the side exiting the GPU block to the CPU, its just a matter of using some 90 degree fittings to get the angles right mostly. Its not easy and quiet fiddly in that area as its so tight, but fittings will make it easier until you get the angles right.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for the answers :)

1) I'm having the same motherboard, but i was worried that my gpu wont supply the rbg with enough power, since you have a 1080ti and i dont have that one..

2) Did you root both tubes into the gpu and on the other side to the cpu? so use kinda use your gpu block as flow through? Is the gpu cooled enough like this? Could you maybe take 1 or 2 more photos of that specific area? :)

BR again!

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

No probs.

1) The header is the same on both I believe so will not be an issue. Each header is capable of powering about 2m worth of 5050 LED strips (actually more) but that is the recommended amount. There is not that much RGB strips in the components you listed.

2) Yes I routed both tubes through the GPU as pic 9 shows. Its a parallel loop formation, but its not ideal. Flow rate to the CPU does take a hit and the CPU runs warmer then if the loop was in a serial formation how most other's do their's. I really had to Delid mine to keep temperatures reasonable. Part of the reason is in my loop formation and other parallel loops, water will take the path of least resistance. This is not an issue with GPU's for example and most put loops in parallel there, but in this sort of configuration where there is 90 degree fittings after the GPU block then water goes into the restrictive CPU block, then back through 90 degree fittings to the GPU block is much more restrictive for the water flow. As a result in my loop configuration the water flow to the CPU block is lower that temperatures until delidding were getting hot.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

I hoping to build this so it can lay flat. Do you think you could turn the pump around so the tubing comes out the bottom?

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah pump would work fine. Plenty of builds lay pump / res combo's horizontally. Just make sure however as you noted, the tubing pumps down and out and not having to work against gravity.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you think you could fit this rad (https://www.aquatuning.us/water-cooling/radiators/radiators-active/20473/alphacool-nexxxos-st30-full-copper-x-flow-240mm-radiator?c=6566) in there?/If not, could you mod the case so the bottom fan is a slim to drop the 120 rad, or run the top tube in cable compartment. TLDR can the rad be 13mm taller?

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

1499 lmao Just wait for the price drop lads.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Its an auto filter based on where you live, I expect it shows $1499 as that is the cheapest the SKU is available in the US. I paid MSRP and live in UK.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Just curious, I'm working on a similar build, where did you mount your wifi antenna?

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

I just left it up top in the compartment, also means its hidden and reception works fine.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool build! Where did you get the tubing?

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. Tubing is Barrow's Chrome plated tubing 14/10.

Not sure where you live so will need to check easiest way to get it yourself. Here in UK not an issue largely as a guy on ebay imports it and sells it on.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

GJ dude!

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello. Beautiful build. I'd like to do the same parallel loop but with EK Fluid Gaming A240G kit. May I ask how you drain your loop? Because I cannot see any valves or extra splitters on the pictures.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, thanks bud.

Good eye however. There are no splitters of valves, I wanted a cleaner / symmetrical look as much as possible.

. I largely do it with the squeeze bottles and rather then using it to squeeze the fluid into the resivior, do the opposite and use it as a suction to drain most the fluid out of the loop that way through the resivior. Doing that will empty most of the loop. After that, its a matter of then undoing a fitting towards the bottom of the loop, namely the radiator ones and being ready with the towels!.

To date takes about 10 mins to drain, which while longer and more laborious then having a fitting, is not too much of an issue seeing as I drain it only once a year or so.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

I see. Thanks for the answer. That's tricky way to drain the loop. Alas, I've already ordered t-splitter and need to find a place for it anyway.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

What type of fittings did you use

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

14 mm outer Diameter compression fittings in shiny silver from Barrow

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks I was thinking of using similar fittings in my Shift build but 12mm

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

No probs. Best of luck with your build

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks

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