I love Grease, don’t you? There’s some logic in the title. It is sum­mer here in Aus­tralia, and as many may know Aus­trali­an sum­mers are typ­ic­ally very hot and dry. A lot has happened over the past few weeks and I’ve been too lazy to type it out here. I’ll split things into sev­er­al entries for the sake of readability.

Back in July, I bought myself a nice new Ath­lon 2100+ sys­tem. This machine is lightyears ahead of my old Pen­ti­um II 350, and now I can do many things that wern’t prac­tic­al on the old sys­tem. When I got the machine, I put it through a rig­or­ous bar­rage of tests, includ­ing memtest86, heavy com­pil­ing and cpub­urn. It passed with fly­ing colours.

How­ever, in the past couple of months, I’ve been hav­ing prob­lems with heat. When I ran the tests, it was the middle of winter. Now it is sum­mer, and room tem­per­at­ures can eas­ily hit 35 degrees or more. Using lm_​sensors, I found that my CPU was about 70 degrees or more on a hot day — and that’s just at idle. If I tried com­pil­ing some­thing or play­ing a game like Quake 3 or Unreal Tour­na­ment, it would eas­ily go past 85 degrees. This trig­gers the over­heat pro­tec­tion sys­tem on my ASUS A7V333 mother­board to shut the com­puter down (an Ath­lon can only take 90 degrees before fry­ing itself). I’ve been saved many times by that — had my mother­board not had that fea­ture (most boards don’t) I would’ve lost my CPU.

I had to use my sys­tem very care­fully to pre­vent shut­down. This is obvi­ously unac­cept­able, but I had to wait until mid-Decem­ber before I could do any­thing about it (I was busy with oth­er things). The heat­sink on my CPU was stand­ard AMD-issue — noth­ing spe­cial. I decided to pur­chase some­thing bet­ter, finally set­tling on the Thermal­take Vol­cano 9. I made an order on an online shop­ping site and much to my sur­prise it was delivered only three hours later! The own­er of the store lives only a block or two away from me, and he decided to deliv­er it him­self on his way home. Now that’s what I call ser­vice!

I don’t trust myself with expens­ive equip­ment (I’ll mess around with older/​cheaper stuff, though), so I decided to get the heat­sink installed by the guy I bought my com­puter from. He’s a nice guy, and I’ve been deal­ing with him for a num­ber of years, so I know he’s good. I opened the heat­sink box for the first time. This thing is a mon­ster! It was so big that we could­n’t install it without tak­ing the mother­board out. It sounds like a heli­copter, but over time I’ve got­ten used to the noise. What’s import­ant is that I can use my sys­tem at full throttle without fear of burn­ing it out.

Summer lovin’, had me a blast…” / Sridhar Dhanapalan by Sridhar Dhanapalan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA 4.0 licence.
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