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.