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Even so, many of the original advantages of stored programs (such as enhanced security and reduction in network traffic) still apply, if to a reduced degree. The use of stored programs is still regarded as a “best practice” by many application developers and architects.

Would the meaning of the sentence be the same, if I changed if to even if? To me, this particular usage of if looks strange.

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Even if is more of an idiom, and while it would ALSO make sense there, the way the phrase is written now is fine.

changing the last bit of the sentence to "even if..." isn't really changing the meaning any more than changing it to "if only..." would.

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I would rewrite to: Even so, many of the original advantages of stored programs such as enhanced security and reduction in network traffic still apply, albeit to a reduced degree.

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  • albeit changes the meaning. The use of if connotes a possibility, changing to albeit drops the possibility and replaces it with admittedly
    – Jim
    Commented Apr 22, 2014 at 2:05
  • Maybe combine it with the possibility, albeit potentially to a reduced degree.
    – Barmar
    Commented Apr 22, 2014 at 11:49
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This particular usage of if is highly idiomatic. I suppose you could say even if, but there is certainly no need to, and there's nothing strange about it.

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