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I have often thought about building something that would bypass then entire ACF save routine by doing something similar.
The main problem that I’ve found is that there is nothing to keep ACF from running anyway. Well there is, after the update you can unset $_POST[‘acf’], but there are other time consuming problems…
… like you’d need to recreate most of the things that ACF does and deal with all the special fields involved and how each one needs to be stored, and then there’s the dealing with all of the custom field addons that exist and any special treatment you’d need to give those fields…
What’s really needed is an improved mechanism in WP core for updating meta values that does not require doing multiple queries for every value, but I don’t think that’s ever going to happen.
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