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18 April 2007 @ 01:28 am
Mit Heatsinken Und Fanblasten Keine Spitzensparken  
My heatsink (a Foxconn Socket A ljobber) works pretty well. Except the fan on it needs to be going full blast to cool it to 58°C, which I thought was a little hot. As it turns out, an Athlon XP 3200 has a maximum operating temperature of 85°C. This number seems ridiculous, but it is what it is. I wanted to do something quieter with what I had, and that meant a new heatsink.

So I got a Thermalright SI-97A heatsink. If you haven't seen one of these, they look like an aluminum Star Trek vessel. Adding a 92mm fan to it, and the temperature under load is at 52°C. This isn't really an accomplishment (OOH! 6 Degrees!), unless I can crank the CPU fan down to a bare minimum. This means fan controllers I don't have yet, but which are easy to obtain.

Then I thought, "I need to stress-test the computer, and start thermal cycling". Then I remembered that I run Gentoo, and promptly opened a terminal window and typed emerge -u world.
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Current Music: Fans. Too many fans.
 
 
 
Epic Dude: trojanmorecake on April 18th, 2007 09:34 am (UTC)
There's a tiny spaceship inside your computer. I am impressed.
Josiah Carlsonchouyu_31 on April 18th, 2007 03:53 pm (UTC)
I hear that people have had good results with heatsinks that look something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118003

The factory heatsink for my P4 from Dell (one of their server boxes) looks very much like what you have, only the radiator is situated vertically, is about a 4 inch cube, and exhausts out the back of the machine.

I can say quite a bit about Dell, but the three server towers I bought have been basically trouble free for the 2.5-3.5 years we have owned them. Heck, even the one sitting at my parents' house has worked pretty well (except when they do stupid things).
Virtual Travellervtraveller on April 18th, 2007 07:14 pm (UTC)
Okay - we can win this.

I have an AMD Athlon 64 3000+ and I'm running at 29C (as you know). I'm using a Zalman to get that temperature. It's cheaper and cheesier than yours.

From the design of that fan I know it's going to be VERY critical on the direction of flow. Your PSU blows out the back. You *should* have a secondary 6" on back of the case just above the PCI/PCI-E slots. BOTH FANS BLOW OUT THE BACK. Okay - shouting wasn't really justified as I know you're not a donut but it's also fun to type.

Tips
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1. Ensure the CPU has a good layer of contact cement. If you didn't remove the old stuff, use the side of the blade of a flathead screw driver and remove the old stuff until you can AMD underneath (yeah, it's there, laser edged).

2. Put a few layer of contact cement on, but make sure its thin. Use your flathead's side to spread it like a butter knife.

3. Ensure your Zalman is blowing to the back of the case. VERY IMPORTANT.

4. Ensure that any front fans SUCK into the case. Ensure all rear fans BLOW out of the case.

5. If your GPU blows down to the bottom of the case you want to remove some of the PCI blanking plates. If it blows out the side just make sure all cables are free from airflow.

6. Make sure ACPI is on on the BIOS. Measure all the system temperature guages using SpeedFan (or a Linux equivalent)

7. Let me know how you get on, I'm dying to know if we/you can crack it.

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Appendix
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Make sure you're plugged into the correct voltage for the CPU fan. I once read of one n00b that plugged the fan into 5V when it was rated 12V and couldn't work out why it wasn't cooling. I don't think we'll put a Flight Systems Safety Critical Software Engineer into that category though.

Good luck. If you smell plastic you know the drill ...
XCorvisxcorvis on April 18th, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC)
You know, when I was telling you about my case I forgot one important thing. I use a passively cooled video card. This drastically affects my noise level so don't expect your case to be as crazy-quiet as mine.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on April 19th, 2007 12:40 am (UTC)
I only own passively-cooled video cards.
XCorvisxcorvis on April 19th, 2007 01:04 am (UTC)
Excellent.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on April 19th, 2007 03:04 am (UTC)
Only by accident - ATI held on as long as they could.
From the Bad side of Bad Towneorbitsquirrel on April 19th, 2007 02:36 am (UTC)
I agree passively cooled video cards are the way to go. I found a GeForce 6800 model years ago, which I still have and it has cut down on my noise a great deal. As to CPU cooling I got one of these a long time ago
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835106044
I only have one fan attached to it, although it can take two and no case fan. In my experience case fans just increase noise and don't really cool your computer. So the only two fans I have are the one in the PSU (an early model "silent" variety PSU) and the fan on the CPU cooler. When the computer was first built it was so quiet I sometimes forgot it was on. After a few years and some internal dust build-up the noise has increased slightly but not too much. By the way my CPU (an AMD64 3500+) is currently running at 40 C at 100% load due to Folding @ home running 24/7.
danielmiyabo on April 19th, 2007 02:54 am (UTC)
Until my junior year at Macalester, I only had a Duron 600. I got Gentoo to compile initially, but it took a couple of days. After that I set up distcc so all my future compile jobs would be distributed across the Linux Lab. It took a lot of work, since Gentoo used a different gcc and glibc version than the lab's.

That worked until ice chunks brought down the Ethernet cable going from Olin-Rice to the Chinese House, where I lived.

That machine died at the end of sophomore year when I tried to plug in a 5-inch RC blimp propeller into the power supply. The propeller ran at the proper +5 V, but drew way too much current and the magic smoke got out. It was a MicroATX machine, so a replacement power supply would have been very expensive and it would have been hard to put the machine in a new case. I went without a computer of my own until I could afford the sweet Gentoo box I have now.